At least they did something
It's nice to imagine something along the lines of The Fyxx coffee shop, which occupies the back half of the building on Albert Street, but let us not pretend there's a history of successfully converting Winnipeg's old single-room hotels. How is Ken Zaifman, that golden boy to the downtown booster crowd, doing with the St. Charles Hotel? (The "insanitary" sign the City put up in the window a month ago is the most action I've seen there in a while. ) How is the sale and redevelopment of the Bell Hotel going? What's new at the Royal Albert?
You can loathe the Woodbine Hotel's existence all you like, but at least the owner has done something with his property.
Photo from Digital Agent on Flickr
Edit: Am I good or what? This story was just put up on CBC Manitoba: "Woodbine Hotel hurting Exchange district's changing image: residents"
I wonder: is Mr. McGowan searching for buyers for the comparatively more sketchy, statistically more dangerous, yo-yo nightclubs in the vicinity? Or is he just looking for a whipping boy? After all, dodgy bars like the Clarendon Hotel and Times Nightclub left Portage Avenue years ago, so what excuse can be made for the Avenue Building remaining a vacant civic embarrassment? Who owns that one?
Also worth noting, is the renovation and commercial development presently going on next door to the Woodbine Hotel.