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Prével plans office, retail, 2,000 homes at Esplanade Cartier

Prével has unveiled plans for Esplanade Cartier, a mixed-use development to be built on a vacant...

IMAGE: Prével has unveiled plans for its Esplanade Cartier mixed-use development in Montreal. (Courtesy Prével)

Prével has unveiled plans for its Esplanade Cartier mixed-use development in Montreal. Phase 1 is now under construction. (Courtesy Prével)

Prével has unveiled plans for Esplanade Cartier, a mixed-use development to be built on a vacant 400,000-square-foot lot at the foot of the Jacques Cartier Bridge near downtown Montreal.

The development, which will include office and residential towers, ground-level stores and parks, will utilize one of the largest sites still available for construction near downtown Montreal. Prével describes the site, currently a parking lot which has stood unoccupied for 18 years, as one of the largest heat islands near the downtown.

Prével outlined plans for the development in a report it submitted to Montreal’s public consultation office on development in the Secteur des Faubourgs, the area covered by Esplanade Cartier. It also discussed the project in an online video presentation Nov. 12 for potential buyers.

The site, just east of the Jacques Cartier Bridge, is bordered by Sainte-Catherine and Parthenais Streets, De Lorimier Avenue and René-Lévesque Boulevard.

To be built over several years, the site could include 2,000 residential units in a mix ranging from condos to affordable and social housing, between 500,000 and 700,000 square feet of office space and a number of street-level neighbourhood stores.

Esplanade Cartier to be a 20-20-20 development

The project will have “intelligent densities,” Prével said in the report, with buildings on Sainte-Catherine Street at a human scale not exceeding three storeys and including ground-floor retail, similar to other neighbourhood buildings. Buildings on René-Lévesque Boulevard would reach a maximum height of 80 metres or 262 feet (equivalent to about 25 storeys).

Prével co-president Laurence Vincent said the residential component will respect the City of Montreal’s proposed 20-20-20 bylaw which will require new housing developments to have a 20 per cent mix of social, affordable and family housing. The bylaw is expected to become official next spring.

“Whether or not it comes into effect, we’ve been committed since Phase 1 in 2019 to creating social housing on the site,” she said during the video presentation.

“We’re lucky to have a huge immense parcel of land so it’s possible to have (social housing) on the site.”

Having a mix of social, family and affordable housing on-site is part of Prével’s vision to have as much diversity in the development as possible, she said.

Esplanade Cartier would include a central park that would be almost as large as the Place des Festivals in the Quartier des spectacles entertainment district. The park would create a “spectacular view” of the river, the bridge and its superstructure, the report said.

The park will become an important part of the development as “the pandemic has revealed the importance of public spaces,” David Deschênes, design and innovation director at Prével, said in the video.

Office space on lower floors

IMAGE: An artist's rendering of Prével's Esplanade Cartier development planned for Montreal. (Courtesy Prével)

An artist’s rendering of Prével’s Esplanade Cartier development in Montreal, where Phase 1 is under construction. (Courtesy Prével)

Martin Galarneau, partner at TGTA, which will develop the office space at Esplanade Cartier said the first phase of office space in the development will respond to current coronavirus concerns; offices will be on the lower floors, enabling employees to take the stairs instead of an elevator. Offices will also have touchless systems and state-of-the-art ventilation.

TGTA converted an industrial building into loft style office space at O Mile Ex in Montreal’s Mile Ex neighbourhood.

“The vision for the office space (at Esplanade Cartier) is exactly the same as O Mile Ex,” Galarneau said in the video.

In 2019, the developer unveiled Phase 1 of Esplanade Cartier, covering 50,000 square feet of the site, which is now under construction.

It will see construction of an $85-million, 14-storey condo with 114 units on the northeast portion of the site, at Sainte-Catherine and Parthenais Streets, a four-minute walk from the Papineau metro station. Delivery is scheduled for early 2022.

Phase 2, with 162 condos over seven storeys, is scheduled to be completed in summer 2022.

Prével hopes the city will allow the new side streets in the development, Tansley and Falardeau, to be shared streets in which pedestrians have priority and speed limits are low.

Prével announces Les Cours Bellerive

Prével also announced another new development: Les Cours Bellerive, a 650-unit condo and townhouse project in the east-end Mercier neighbourhood in front of Bellerive Park along the St. Lawrence River. It would be bounded by Notre Dame Street East, Taillon Street and Dubuisson Avenue.

Condos in the first phase of Les Cours Bellerive will start at $190,000 with units from 537 to 1,084 square feet. Amenities will include a sports centre, co-working space, a rooftop with a view, a children’s recreation zone, a lounge overlooking the park and river and a green interior courtyard.

Esplanade Cartier is one of three major projects planned for the Faubourgs neighbourhood just east of the Jacques Cartier Bridge that could bring 8,000 to 10,000 new housing units to the area.

Groupe Mach is planning Quartier des Lumières, a 4.5 million-square-foot development that will incorporate the Maison de Radio-Canada tower (the current Montreal CBC and Radio-Canada headquarters) and parking lot. CBC/Radio-Canada will move into a new, smaller headquarters next door, which is being built by Broccolini.

Groupe Sélection, Montoni and the Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ are planning a mixed-use residential and commercial project at the historic Molson Brewery site on Notre Dame Street after Molson departs for a new facility on the South Shore.

Founded in 1978, Prével is a family business that has built more than 11,000 housing units and calls itself Montreal’s largest residential real estate developer.

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