Real Estate News Exchange (RENX)
c/o Squall Inc.
P.O. Box 1484, Stn. B
Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5P6
Canada: 1-855-569-6300

Time is right for Montreal South Shore's tallest condo tower: Devimco

Construction begins at $230-million, 33-storey Myral condominiums

Rendering of Devimco's 33-storey Myral condominium tower on the South Shore of Montreal. (Courtesy Devimco)
Rendering of Devimco's 33-storey Myral condominium tower on the South Shore of Montreal. (Courtesy Devimco)

Despite high interest rates and a tough sales market, the timing is right to begin building the tallest residential condo on the South Shore of Montreal, says James Goulet, partner at developer Devimco.

The $230-million, 33-storey Myral condo, scheduled for completion in 2028, will rise over the Longueuil–Université-de-Sherbrooke Metro station in Longueuil.

“The market is not very good because interest rates are high,” Goulet told RENX, “but all the other variables are pretty good: There’s not a lot of competition and there’s a housing crisis, so there’s a lot of demand.”

While construction costs “were through the roof” in 2021 and 2022 and part of 2023, “right now we’re looking at stabilization.” In addition, interest rates will probably drop slightly in the next six to 12 months, he believes.

“It’s hard sometimes to be able to balance pro formas, but with the (housing) crisis it’s a good time to launch projects. We’re very glad we’re doing it.”

Range of buyers as sales kick off

About 50 of the 555 units have sold so far at prices ranging from $312,500 for a studio to $820,800 for a three-bedroom. “Our price point is good in comparison to other projects in Montreal,” Goulet said.

Purchasers to date include first-time buyers, students, families and empty nesters. Using CMHC’s multi-unit mortgage loan insurance product MLI Select, about 10 per cent of the units will be affordable.

Myral is the only condo development above the Longueuil Metro station and its 33 storeys will serve as a focal point for the new downtown planned by the City of Longueuil, Goulet said.

“They wanted to have an identity project,” he said of Longueuil. The building could have gone higher than 33 storeys, but doing so would have required changes to its structural systems, so “33 was a good sweet spot.”

Myral will have the largest common area of any South Shore condo development with more than 20,000 square feet of space that includes co-working spaces, a training room, a Scandinavian spa, a private dining room, an art studio, outdoor pool with a BBQ, lounge and outdoor workout area and an urban chalet and patio.

Special challenges with Myral

Goulet said building above a Metro station presents challenges in terms of vibration and transfers of weight loads.

It also means three storeys of underground parking are being built in front of the tower instead of directly below it.

Plans call for Myral to be 100 per cent condos but if the demand is not there, the bottom of the tower could be converted to rentals.

Next to Myral, Devimco is also building a 33-storey rental tower slated for completion in 2027. Construction is well underway for the so-far-unnamed building, which will have about 460 units.

Goulet expects some of the renters in the tower will eventually be Myral buyers.

“We have a lot of that in our rental projects. They like the sector, they like the project, they don’t have the cash ready to buy a condo, but they want to live in the area.”

Devimco is also building the Sir Charles condos nearby, dubbed as the first project in the future downtown Longueuil. The 25-storey, 366-unit development is scheduled for completion in 2025.

Devimco programs to aid homebuyers

A dining and social area in Devimco's Myral condominium tower. (Rendering courtesy Devimco)
A dining and social area in Devimco's Myral condominium tower. (Rendering courtesy Devimco)

To help sell Sir Charles and four of its other condo developments in Greater Montreal, Devimco has launched a home ownership program aimed at helping purchasers in a tough market and increasing the potential buyer pool.

“The market is more difficult right now and we realized people need some support,” Goulet said. “They don’t know if they will be able to finance the buying of a condo.”

Four programs are designed to meet the needs of various types of homebuyers:

  • The “Accessibility Program” is addressed to first-time buyers who may not have enough money for a deposit. Devimco will refund a five per cent down payment and welcome tax, allowing these buyers to purchase immediately.
  • Under the “2.99% Fixed Rate Program,” buyers looking for lower monthly payments will pay a mortgage with a 2.99 per cent fixed rate for 24 months.
  • The “Peace of Mind Program” is aimed at second- or third-time buyers and temporarily pays their notary fees, welcome tax, property taxes, condo fees and mortgage payments for the first six to 12 months.
  • Finally, the “Profitability Program” targets real estate investors and pays their welcome tax and condo fees for 12 to 24 months.

Aside from Sir Charles, the program is available for Devimco’s Auguste & Louis Phase 1 (in the Quartier des lumières neighbourhood), Maestria (in the Quartier des spectacles), Wellington sur le Bassin (in Griffintown) and Oria (in Devimco’s Solar Uniquartier in Brossard).

The eligible projects will be completed between the end of this year and 2026. Goulet says Myral is not part of the home ownership program because there has been strong demand for the development.

Another factor is that Myral will be delivered in 2028, when many forecasters believe the economy will be more stable with lower interest rates.

“We don’t need to have the same type of program (for Myral) than for projects that will be ready in 2025 or 2026.”

Industry Events