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It consists mainly of the former Eaton's company mail-order warehouse building that occupies the block bounded by Hargrave and Donald Streets, and Graham and St. Mary Avenues. The warehouse was designed by John Woodman, a Winnipeg architect, and constructed in 1916.
Eaton Place opened in 1979 as Downtown Winnipeg's first indoor shopping mall, after Eaton's closed down its catalogue and mail-order operations in 1976/77. It capitalized on its location adjacent to the downtown Eaton's department store, which was then the largest and busiest store in the city, now demolished. The former Eaton's store site is now the city's new arena, the MTS Centre.
Eaton place was purchased by Osmington Inc., a privately owned Toronto-based real estate company in 1998 for $35 million. Israeli investors purchased the building in 2003 for an undisclosed sum. The building was then purchased by Huntingdon Real Estate Investment Trust in 2005 for $75 million.
In 2009, the building was purchased by Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) for $81.5 million from Huntingdon Real Estate Investment Trust. At the time of the purchase, MPI occupied approximately 80% of the office space in the building and had been leasing space there since 1980. MPI's expectation was to save $3 to $5 million annually by owning instead of renting, as well as a 10% annual return on the property investment, even after the costs of retaining the realty group for property management.
The 337,000-square-foot (31,300 m2) main complex includes two levels of retail and food court space totalling 115,000 square feet (10,700 m2), as well as seven levels of office space. Cityplace also operates several surface parking lots and parkades. In 2012 the mall opened a rooftop terrace, accessible from the food court on the second level.
Cityplace is connected by elevated skywalks to the Winnipeg Walkway System, acting as a hub connecting the Portage and Graham segments, with a link connecting the Convention Centre segment. The 625-foot (191 m) connection from cityplace to the Delta and Convention Centre cost $6.2-million and opened in 2010. $4.5 million in funding for the 2010 connection addition came from the Winnipeg Partnership Agreement and a combined $1.7 million came from cityplace, the Delta Winnipeg and LaSalle Investment Management.
- Martin Cash (27 February 2009). "MPI purchases cityplace for $80.5-million". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
- "MPI buys cityplace". Winnipeg Sun. 27 February 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
- Paul Turenne (28 February 2009). "MPI defends mall deal". Winnipeg Sun. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
- Parsons, Lauren (13 August 2012). "New rooftop terrace in downtown Winnipeg". Metro News. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
- "Downtown skywalk extension opens". CBC News. 30 August 2010. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
- Jillian Austin (30 August 2010). "New walkway link opened". Winnipeg Sun. Retrieved 12 October 2012.