Novartis to anchor new office tower at Place Gare Viger

IMAGE: Jesta Group has unveiled new details about its Place Gare Viger development in Montréal, including Novartis as anchor tenant for its new office building. (Courtesy Jesta Group)

Jesta Group has unveiled new details about its Place Gare Viger development in Montréal, including Novartis as anchor tenant for its new office building. (Courtesy Jesta Group)

Jesta Group has unveiled new details about its master-planned, million-square-foot Place Gare Viger development in the heart of Old Montréal, including a move by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada to become the anchor tenant in the new office tower.

The project will also include the 177-room Hyatt Centric Montréal – set to be the first Hyatt Centric hotel to open in Canada – and a continued expansion of e-commerce firm Lightspeed, which has doubled its space commitment to six floors in the historic Château Viger building.

At build-out, Place Gare Viger will also include approximately 330 rental apartments and 30,000 square feet of retail space. The development will surround a 36,000-square-foot pedestrian courtyard anchored by the Château Viger, one of the city’s most iconic structures.

Family-owned Jesta Group acquired Gare Viger in 2012 and has been working with government authorities, local stakeholders and industry specialists to create “an architectural landmark that celebrates the rich history of the site and promotes its future as a hub for innovation and creativity,” states a release issued Tuesday morning.

Novartis moves, Lightspeed expands

“Our vision at Jesta Group has always been to create a fully integrated urban campus for the future of work, live and play,” said Anthony O’Brien, Jesta Group’s senior managing director, in the announcement. “We are ecstatic that our vision has resonated so strongly with the business community.

“We look forward to welcoming Novartis, supporting Lightspeed’s continued growth and delivering an exceptional hotel experience with Hyatt at Place Gare Viger.”

The project is designed to respond to the latest demands of tenants, from indoor air quality to touchless entries, the central courtyard with abundant vegetation and enhanced amenities for both work-from-home residents and office occupiers.

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada, which was already based in Montreal, signed a 10-year lease to anchor the new office tower. Currently under construction, with work continuing on its underground levels, the building will be seven storeys and 145,000 square feet.

Novartis has more than 1,000 employees in Canada. It is scheduled to move into the new tower in 2022.

“We are very excited to build the next chapter of our growth in Canada in this progressive mixed-use project at the heart of Old Montréal,” said Novartis Canada president Christian Macher in the release.

“This location will position us closer to our partners, potential collaborators of all kinds, as well as new talent in a space that will be conducive to entrepreneurial thinking, inspiring innovation and co-creating solutions-oriented ideas with patients and customers in mind.”

Montréal-based commerce platform Lightspeed will officially become the anchor tenant in the Gare Viger Château. In 2015, the technology company established its global headquarters at Place Gare Viger and it will occupy six floors of the Château with office space that has won numerous global design and architecture awards.

New Hyatt Centric Montréal

The new hotel announcement by Jesta and Hyatt reflects confidence that downtown Montreal and its hospitality sector will bounce back quickly as the effects of the pandemic wane.

“We are very pleased to announce the first Hyatt Centric hotel in Canada in this iconic development in the heart of Old Montréal,” said Scott Richer, Hyatt’s vice-president of development, Canada, in the release. “The Hyatt Centric brand is perfectly aligned with the forward-thinking vision of Place Gare Viger.”

In addition to the 177 guest rooms, the Hyatt Centric will contain 4,500 square feet of banquet space, a rooftop pool and bar with unobstructed 360-degree views and a destination restaurant that will be run by well-known local restauranteur the Burgundy Lion Group.

About Jesta Group

The Jesta Group is a family-owned Montréal-based business that has been an active investor and developer of real estate for over four decades.

Its portfolio of hotel, residential, retail and industrial properties can be found in Montréal, Miami, New York, London and Paris, as well as in several Mediterranean destinations.

Place Gare Viger is home to Jesta’s international headquarters.

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