At last week's Portage la Prairie City Council meeting, the council passed a proposal for a group to turn the site of the old Portage Hotel into commercial housing.
Councillor Preston Meier says that the city is excited about this development.
"So, the lot has been sitting there vacant, and there's a group that has purchased the property. What they're looking for is to build a main floor commercial use with residential above, and that fits right into what our downtown corridor and our city planning is really about. It's to have a bit of mixed commerical and residential opportunities as well."
Meier explains that at the meeting, the group applied for 'conditional use' to make sure they could get the apartments as well as a 'variance order' to reduce the number of parking stalls but increase parking access overall.
"Council voted unanimously to support that. I think it shows that this council is really proactive in supporting economic development, specifically in our downtown, which is extremely important to us."
Meier notes that businesses do come and go, but the city is always looking out for the long game with our community.
"We want to be the best that we can be for Portage's people and the citizens. And, of course, all of our hundreds of thousands of visitors that do come through the area."
The next council meeting is scheduled for April 27th.