Right Track Thinking B y Kelly G ra y
P hotography : M ichael R oberts
Winnipeg engineer, entrepreneur and property developer Michael Mark is working to create change. Mark owns H2O Waterfront, a 43-suite apartment complex at 500 Waterfront Drive at the northern gateway to the signature street. His vision is one of inclusiveness and contemporary living amid one of Winnipeg’s oldest neighbourhoods - the historic Exchange District. H20 is a four-storey property with one and two bedroom units that range in size from 724 sq. ft. to 1100 sq. ft. What makes them unique is the access to incredible river views and the fact that these are rental apartments, a point that distinguishes them from the other residential developments in the area that are largely condominium projects. Another key factor is Mark’s hands on approach where he has been designer, engineer and owner, a facet that has given him the ability to really get what he wants – an environmentally sensitive structure that works to create urban community.
He reports that his plan was one that maximized available sunlight and river views into the suites, and utilized the very latest in sustainable design. More, he wanted to offer the suites in a package that was the most value laden – an aspect that had him move from condo sales to apartment rental in an effort to make this view and access to lifestyle as inclusive as possible. Amazingly, he has been able to keep rents between $1000 and $1600 a
month for suites that have been largely snapped up in record time. There are currently only ten units left un-leased. “This is an incredible property on an incredible site,” says Mark. “The view is spectacular. Across the river is Whittier Park in St. Boniface, and to the south is a view of downtown, the Canadian Human Rights Museum and the Esplanade Riel. We
The project took wings back in 2010 when Mark responded to Centre Venture’s request for proposals (RFP) for a parcel of land that they had collected and cleared for development. “I won the RFP, thanks to the best design and a willingness to pay the most for the property,” says Mark, a longstanding Winnipeg-based engineer who operates M2 Engineering.
Summer 2014 | STYLE MANITOBA | 59