Groupe Montoni, which marked its 20th anniversary in October, got its third decade off to a strong start in November by partnering on the $420-million Espace Montmorency development project in Laval, Que.
“We own three million square feet of office, industrial and institutional buildings,” business development director Mike Jager said of the Laval-based company’s growth, which has seen it make inroads from its Quebec base into Ontario and Western Canada.
The commercial development, construction and property management company founded by Dario Montoni has been involved in industrial and commercial projects totalling more than 12 million square feet, as well as 10 office buildings. It has 15 million square feet of other projects in progress or substantially completed.
Montoni will work with the Bronfman family’s Claridge investment firm and the Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ real estate fund on Espace Montmorency. The four phases will consist of about 10 buildings with shops, offices, a hotel, entertainment venues and public spaces and will have direct access to Montreal’s Montmorency subway station.
Espace Montmorency is located on a 277,000-square-foot lot east of Autoroute des Laurentides, between Du Souvenir and Boulevard De la Concorde West, and will offer more than a million square feet of leasable space. It’s aiming for LEED Gold certification and is projected to create more than 5,000 jobs over its five-year development.
A residential area located north of the quadrangle will be anchored by the Urbania 2 condominium project. On completion, it will consist of six buildings with 1,150 suites.
The new Place Bell to the south, with its skating rink and amphitheatre under construction, will add more energy to an already vibrant neighbourhood that’s home to a Université de Montréal campus and other educational institutions, stores and performance halls.
Espace Montmorency will be the newest addition to a varied Montoni portfolio that includes, among other properties: an 893,800-square foot head office and distribution centre being developed for pharmacy retailer Jean Coutu Group in Varennes, Que.; the 418,292-square-foot Exel DHL logistics space in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.; Montreal’s 720,728-square-foot Centre Corporatif Saint-Laurent, the first industrial park in Canada with seven LEED-certified buildings; and the under-development 275,000-square-foot Ericsson corporate campus in Montreal.
The privately owned company has three divisions: Montoni Development; Montoni Construction; and Montoni Property Management. Its services include site evaluation, acquiring lots, initial planning and design, financing, construction, design and installation of all interior elements and systems, after-sales and property management.
Montoni maintains ownership of some of what it builds and sells off other projects. It manages all of the buildings it develops while both leasing its own space and working with real estate brokers.
Diversified redevelopment is becoming an increasingly important part of Montoni’s growth strategy.
“We are focused on rehabilitating old industrial buildings and converting them into class-A, LEED-certified office buildings,” said Jager. “We are also focused on developing corporate campuses such as our Ville Saint Laurent Hub that will house Ericsson and other future tenants.
“Ericsson has 1,200 parking stalls, but only 90 will be visible to the eye. The rest will be underground and in a multi-level parking structure. It’ll be the greenest campus of its kind with jogging paths, bicycle tracks and lakes. The entire site will be surrounded by a 16-foot mound that will be used to deflect the noise and views of the surrounding streets and highways.”
Focus on sustainable development
Montoni has been consistently ranked among Canada’s 50 best-managed companies by Deloitte and is equally concerned with the occupants of its buildings. The Canada Green Building Council presented its 2013 Industry Leadership Award to Montoni in recognition of its commitment to environmentally friendly LEED construction and sustainable development.
“We are trying to do our part for generations to come,” said Jager. “We want to reduce the impact on the environment by building better, more energy-efficient buildings.
“Since 2006, we’ve been focused on LEED certification. All buildings that Montoni builds and retains in its portfolio are LEED-certified Silver or Gold.”