IDC Professional Centre Set to Open Doors


1 Idc Professional Centre Set To Open Doors Pic2
Dr. Phillip Hughes and Arthur Adam outside the new IDC Professional Centre Brenda Sawatzky

The Île-des-Chênes Professional Centre, at 430 Main Street, is set to open on April 1 and will serve as the community’s newest commercial and residential complex. The two-storey building will provide 4,500 square feet of space both above and below. The top storey will feature four residential rental units, each suite containing an ample 1,100 to 1,200 square feet of living space along with balconies to the back of the building. The main floor will include similarly sized units, each with its own front door access, and will be the new home of a medical clinic, pharmacy, physiotherapy clinic, and lawyer’s office.

Dr. Phillip Hughes and his project manager, Arthur Adam, couldn’t be more thrilled with the project’s progress and its location at the heart of the community. The layout, with the building at the rear of the property, means plenty of parking space out front. Hughes has financed the entire $1 million estimated for the project.

Hughes’ medical practice will move here, along with the Île-des-Chênes Pharmacy, from its current location as soon as the new space is ready.

“The new clinic will be about 1,200 square feet,” says Hughes. “There’s room for a lab, but unfortunately the lab situation in Manitoba has changed. That’s thrown us back, [but] we’re hopeful for a lab eventually.”

He adds that the clinic will feature three large consultation rooms, more than enough space should the practice expand to another doctor. The reception area will connect directly to the pharmacy, meaning clients won’t have to go outside to pick up prescriptions.

According to Hughes, the remaining two commercial units have already been spoken for. With the addition of a physiotherapist and lawyer, the centre will provide a good balance of professional services. Renters have already been secured for all of the upper suites. 

The project has seen a number of bumps along the way, none more discouraging than the numerous rejections by members of Ritchot’s previous council. Originally, Hughes hoped for a three-storey building, providing even more rental options for the community and a greater income stream for the centre. Those plans had to be scaled back to accommodate concerns and be approved by council.

Hughes, a 30-year general practitioner of medicine, works part-time from his Winnipeg location at Southdale Medical Clinic and, for the past two years, part-time in Île-des-Chênes. Île-des-Chênes, he says, is where his heart is, having moved there nine years earlier to raise his family in a rural community.

“It’s a very nice little town,” Hughes says. “I like it because it’s close to Winnipeg. My kids all went to school here. It’s a very nice place to bring up children. I like the town I live in and I like to give back, and this is helping the town.”

While Hughes loves his practice and has built a solid reputation in the area as the community doctor, he’s the first to admit that business is not his strong suit. Adam, his long-time friend, has a keen eye for promising business opportunities and a history of building them up to become profitable and successful ventures. Together, the two form a formidable team.

Adam, the CEO of Plexad Holdings and a self-professed millionaire, made his fortune in business undertakings of his own. Now retired, he works alongside struggling entrepreneurs to provide the support they need to become successful in their own businesses.  

“That’s who I am and that’s what I do,” says Adam. “[I] help people to get going in their life and I don’t want [anything] in return. I’m not getting paid, because I feel good about what I do. That’s my payday.”

Adam initially encouraged Hughes to move from his original location in Lorette to Île-des-Chênes, a growing town ripe with opportunity—a town that had no doctor. With Hughes’ permission, Adam began looking for a temporary location for Hughes and found one in the Île-des-Chênes Pharmacy. 

“Once I was working in the IDC Pharmacy, Adam [started] going around town looking for land to buy around here,” Hughes says. Although there were options, it wasn’t the right time—or the right price. “When it was right, he told me and we moved on it.”

Adam has long had his eye on the property the new professional centre now sits on. The derelict building there needed to be bulldozed, but the location was ideal. After buying the property, planning the centre, making appeals to council, and finally reworking those plans, the pair can hardly believe their dream will soon be a reality.

Once open, Hughes says he will continue to provide medical service to Île-des-Chênes and the area for four half days per week. Appointments will continue to be made through the Southdale Medical Clinic until reception staff is hired in Île-des-Chênes. He anticipates that his hours and staff will grow to meet local demand.

“First things first,” Hughes says. “You develop the business first and then you decide who to hire.” 

As for his clientele, Hughes adds, “I take people from birth all the way up to old age. I am taking on [new] patients out of this location and I will see booked appointments and walk-ins, but booked appointments will be given priority.”

“I look forward to the opening of the new professional centre,” says Ritchot councillor and Île-des-Chênes resident Shane Pelletier. “I think it’s a great fit for the location. A centre like this will only add to the quality of life in our community.” 

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