Cadillac Fairview is launching its first purpose-built rental tower, which will contain 510 apartments, at the huge and ongoing Quad Windsor district redevelopment in downtown Montreal.
The tower at 750 Peel St. will be the latest addition to a half-dozen office, commercial, condo and other developments or renovations which have been completed as part of the project.
CF's executive vice-president, development, Wayne Barwise, told RENX that although preliminary plans had slated that area for office development, CF had always had several development options at 750 Peel.
“The site has a mixed-use designation, so we’ve always had the flexibility of doing any number of things, office, residential, hotel," he said.
"The market opportunity is ripe right now for residential which is badly needed in many cities across the country . . . so that’s why we’re building residential."
Updated plan for 750 Peel
The most recent plan for the 750 Peel portion of Quad Windsor is to add a second purpose-built rental tower as well as an office tower in Phase 2.
“This is yet another one of the projects that will add to our Quad Windsor district, (where) we have the potential to build up to approximately four million square feet. We have about 2.5 million square feet completed already," he said. “This will add to that diverse, mixed-use community.
"This is the only new residential building that will connect directly into the train station, which has access to the subway, the commuter rail and the underground network here in Montreal.”
It is also the second major announcement as part of Montreal-based CF’s commitment to invest $4.7 billion in developing 7,000 rental units across Canada in coming years.
That program was launched in 2022 and CF is already building a 288-unit apartment tower in Ottawa at its downtown CF Rideau Centre shopping mall.
If the first tranche of the program is built out as currently envisioned, it would include 20 apartment towers.
In addition to the new rental residences at 750 Peel, the project includes 207 underground parking stalls and features a European-style courtyard, extensive wellness amenities, co-working and meeting spaces, landscape and public realm improvements.
Multires sector a return to Cadillac Fairview's roots
Barwise said although below-ground excavation and remediation are well underway, the federal government’s waiver of the GST on construction of rental housing played a "significant role" in moving ahead with the apartment tower.
“We’ve been working on this residential tower for about two years," he noted. "I will say the federal government announcement did make a difference in the viability of the project to proceed at this time.”
It is the latest step in the company’s densification and diversification strategy, with previously announced rental projects at CF Richmond Centre, CF Sherway Gardens and CF Fairview Mall in addition to the under-construction Ottawa project.
Cadillac Fairview president and CEO Sal Iacono said its phased strategy of re-entering the residential sector is familiar territory. In fact, it’s a return to CF’s roots.
“It was in 1953 that our company was founded by meeting the need for housing during the post-war baby boom,” Iacono said in the announcement.
“We revolutionized the design of apartment buildings, introducing features that are taken for granted now such as health-club facilities, individually controlled heating and air conditioning, underground parking, and grounds landscaped with trees and fountains.
“These were all pioneered by the early forerunners of CF and for us today, our full-circle re-entry into residential is akin to homecoming of sorts.”
Barwise told RENX CF is expanding its own property management network for the multiresidential sites.
“It will take a while to ramp up to that, but that is the intent," he said.
"We are known among our retail portfolio and office portfolio as having best-in-class (asset management) and this will be, similarly, best-in-class at a residential building with professional management for our residential occupants."
Montreal's Quad Windsor district
The Quad Windsor district is located around the downtown Bell Centre, home to the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens and one of the city’s marquee entertainment facilities.
It includes millions of square feet of existing mixed-use properties and development:
- the century-old Gare Windsor office and commercial complex with about 300,000 square feet of leasable space;
- the 510,000-square-foot LEED Platinum Deloitte Tower with anchor tenants Deloitte, Rio Tinto, the Montreal Exchange and Analysis Group;
- a series of three Tour des Canadiens towers, all at least 50 storeys tall, and containing a total of about 1,700 condominium units plus amenities;
- the three-tower 600 Peel development in the southeast portion of Quad Windsor, which is planned for about 1.5 million square feet of townhouses, high-rise condos, retail and commercial;
- and 750 Peel, which was originally conceived as two class-AAA office towers comprising approximately 1.2 million square feet of space.
750 Peel will be solely owned by CF, with occupancy slated for 2026.
About Cadillac Fairview
Cadillac Fairview is an owner, operator, investor and developer of office, retail, multiresidential, industrial and mixed-use properties in North America.
Wholly owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, with assets under management of more than $30 billion, CF manages over 35 million square feet of leasable space at 68 properties across Canada, including Toronto-Dominion Centre, CF Toronto Eaton Centre, Tour Deloitte, CF Carrefour Laval, CF Chinook Centre and CF Pacific Centre.