Monday, October 15, 2007

Investing in Olde Walkerville

I find it inspiring when people are courageous enough to start a business, let alone when they decide to start it in economically depressing times. Luckily for Walkerville residents, there are still people who believe enough in our little corner of the city to invest their hard earned dollars and make a go of it.

Two developments are happening at the corner of Wyandotte and Chilver. In the old Bank of Montreal building, formerly occupied by T'Dye For Hair Spa, extensive renovations are underway for The Gourmet Emporium. I was invited into the building last week to see for myself, and let me tell you, BJ, the owner, is sparing no expense. I am looking forward to their Grand Opening scheduled for early November.

Across from The Gourmet Emporium on Chilver is the mystery development happening in the old Complex nightclub. I don't know exactly what is proposed for this building - but you know they are serious when Rosati is hired as the developer. Is seems as though the entire complex is being gutted. Keep an eye out for something here.

Over at the seemingly ever-under-construction Club Lofts, the windows are finally going in!

I attended their open house at Willistead Manor what seems like years ago, and the renderings I saw for these suites made me want to sign up on the spot. I do hope that the real estate market picks up in time so that the adaptive reuse of underutilized buildings such as Hiram Walker's warehouse becomes economically viable. These kinds of development really infuse life into a community that's experiencing rough times.

And then over on Walker Road, the old Hydro Sub-Station that was snapped up during Enwin's sell-off of unnecessary properties is seeing some life happening within it's walls. I was told that an architect had purchased the property, but when I was there, there was a host of cameras, lights and models strolling around the building and the grounds. The building has been beautifully restored - the windows are amazing - and work is obviously continuing.

So keep at it, Windsor. there's still a lot of life left in you!

6 comments:

ac said...

from what ive understood a martini bar will be opening up.

Chris Holt said...

I read the same thing - in Biz X magazine (then reposted it here) The article states "The old BMO bank at 1799 Wyandotte Street East, former home to T’Dye For Hair Salon (recently moved to 1464 Ottawa Street), has sold for $295,000. It will be leased for eight months while the new owners apply for a liquor licence with a long-term plan of opening a Martini bar.", but this place is definitely in line to be a cafe/organic foods store

dave said...

Don't forget that the old Posteroptics building on Wyandotte and Gladstone has been purchased and a French and North American antique store wil be opening in the next few months. It will be called Imeson Antiques. Upstairs they are renovating a 2 bedroom apartment to rent. It is very classy.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff thanks for the update Chris. The old Bank conversion to a Gourmet store is good news indeed. My wife and I were recently talking about the lack of that type of shop in Windsor.

Also good to hear Imeson Antiques is moving back to Walkerville. They were at one time located in the Imperial Building. The Posteroptics Building couldn't have asked for a better owner. At least we won't have to worry about the architectural elements being mangled or stuccofied.

Andrew said...

Uhhh.. Sorry, I hit submit to the last comment before entering my name...

Anonymous said...

How about the vacant storefront directly east of Posteroptics? I thought it had been sold.