Developer LSR GesDev has launched NOVIA, a $105-million mixed-use project in the new downtown area that is being developed in Longueuil, the South Shore municipality across the river from Montreal.
The developer is partnering with the Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ and private investors to build the 20-storey project at 300 Place Charles-Le Moyne, which will house 273 rental units and 28,000 square feet of commercial and office space.
“It’s a spectacular location,” LSR GesDev president Annie Lemieux said of the site, which is 400 metres from the Longueuil- Université-de-Sherbrooke metro station and just off the Jacques Cartier Bridge. With its proximity to the metro, a new bus terminal and a proposed REM light-rail line, “we found it was a perfect site for us.”
Longueuil’s new downtown will also be home to a $500-million housing development by Devimco, which will create nearly 1,200 housing units.
Although a groundbreaking ceremony for NOVIA took place April 26, construction is not slated to begin until this summer, with project completion scheduled for summer 2023.
Media company to occupy office space
The 25,000 square feet of ground-floor office space at NOVIA will be occupied by the head office of KO Group, a media consortium active in television, film, magazine, publishing and entertainment. A ground-floor cafe and bistro-type restaurant will comprise the rest of the commercial space.
Lemieux said apartments at NOVIA will be slightly larger than usual to facilitate working from home. Thirty-seven of the units (just over 13 per cent) will be three-bedrooms to accommodate rising demand for increased size, particularly in the COVID-19 era.
Tenants will have access to two rooftop terraces with views of downtown Montreal, the St. Lawrence River and the Montérégie area. The development will include a gym and indoor pool and will be located next to bike paths.
Marketing will not begin in earnest until six to eight months prior to delivery but rents will be in the $2.30 per square foot range, not including inflation, Lemieux said.
“We’ll have professionals who will be happy to be close to the metro to go work in Montreal, people with cottages who want to maintain a pied-à-terre (in the city), single parents looking for a secure site with a pool and activities and young professionals,” she explained.
“We didn’t take the approach that it’s an age-55-and-plus development. I really like projects that are representative of society.”
NOVIA one of several LSR GesDev projects
Lemieux is confident in NOVIA’s prospects. “We know multiresidential well (and) we know the area well.”
LSR GesDev is also waiting for authorization from the city of Longueuil and provincial government to build HOMIA, a 209-unit long-term care seniors home (CHSLD) at the site.
LSR GesDev was founded in 1969, with LSR standing for Luc, Serge and Roger, the names of the company founders, who included Lemieux’s father Serge Lemieux. GesDev is short for gestion and développement (management and development).
Lemieux joined the firm soon after completing a civil engineering degree at the Université de Montréal’s Ecole Polytechnique. She has been president of the firm since 2013 and also manages sister building management company Albert Immobilier.
Among its other projects, LSR GesDev is developing the third phase of Loggia, a 260-unit multiresidential project in Saint-Lambert, on the South Shore. Delivery of the 148-unit third phase is scheduled for next spring.
LSR GesDev, in partnership with Carterra, also built Arbora in Montreal’s Griffintown neighbourhood, which consists of 434 condos, townhouses and rental units in three eight-storey buildings.
When it was launched in 2015, Arbora was described as the largest cross-laminated timber residential project in the world and the first building over six floors in Quebec to leave its solid glued-laminated timber structure visible inside the units.
LSR GesDev and Fonds
LSR GesDev has had a long relationship with the Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ.
It also partnered with the Fonds in its Vic & Lambert development, a 51-unit condo in Saint-Lambert that received LEED Gold certification, and its Val-des-Arbres condo development in Saint-Bruno.
“The challenge lies in finding good partners and so far we’re very happy,” said Lemieux of LSR GesDev’s partnership with the Fonds and NOVIA builder Pomerleau.
In a statement, Normand Bélanger, president and CEO of the Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ, said the market is favourable for NOVIA at its downtown Longueuil location.
“We want to consolidate our portfolio in this rapidly growing area.”