Trantor Realty has launched Monarc, a $250-million residential real estate project in the Montreal borough of Saint-Laurent with more than 650 condo and rental units.
The four-phase project is being built on a long-vacant 288,602-square-foot plot of land at the intersection of Cavendish and Thimens Boulevards. It will include four towers from six to 13 storeys and is Trantor’s biggest development in Montreal to date.
The company has also partnered with Jadco Corp. to continue its development of Équinoxe Marc Chagall, a luxury rental tower development in the Montreal suburb of Côte Saint-Luc.
The first phase of Équinoxe was completed a few years ago and is 98 per cent leased. A second phase, consisting of 183 apartments on 13 floors, is slated for completion in the fall.
Location key to Monarc
Trantor president Alexandre Bouhadana told RENX Monarc’s location is one of its major selling points. It’s close to the airport, highways and major employers. It’s also across the street from the Place Vertu shopping mall, a municipal library, sports complex, major park and forested area with trails.
“When they say location, location, location, here you can say it four times,” he said. “The beauty of this place is that you have everything around you. How many places in Montreal do you have access to something like this?”
That, he said, explains the project’s marketing tag line “centred in your world.”
Construction of the first building, a 199-unit rental tower, began last fall and is scheduled for delivery next summer. Rentals will start in the fall, said Alexandra Serafini, director of development at Trantor.
A virtual leasing system will provide online tours of the units. Rents will likely be similar to those at Équinoxe – in the $1,000-plus to $3,000 range.
Sales for the first condo tower have just begun. Condos in the 246-unit, 13-storey tower will be priced between $208,000 for a studio and $610,000 for a three-bedroom and range from 424 to 1,307 square feet.
Construction of the first condo tower should start next spring for delivery in spring 2023. The entire project should be completed in 2025 or 2026.
Trantor and Jadco partner again
Opting for the hybrid formula – a mix of condos and rental apartments – better meets the needs of customers, Bouhadana said.
“To have a successful project, you need diversity. It’s a question of market absorption. You don’t want a development to take 10 years,” he said. “The idea is to offer a variety of product and to have a variety of clientele.”
Trantor has partnered again with Jadco to develop the rentals component of Monarc. Jadco has $1.2 billion in current and planned investments, with 1,928 rental units owned and in the development pipeline and 1,473 houses and condo units built to date.
Bouhadana said Trantor teamed up with Jadco because of its long-term approach to real estate and successful decades-long record.
Monarc will feature 126,000 square feet of common outdoor space in a landscaped interior courtyard that will include an amphitheatre.
“We definitely want a mix of people coming together in this interior space to create a community,” Serafini said.
Each tower will have an 18-foot entrance hall, indoor pool, lounge, fitness centre and co-working space. Buildings will feature nine-foot exposed concrete ceilings (10 feet on the ground and top floors). The partners are pursuing LEED Silver certification for the buildings.
Community rooftop gardens are planned for each building, which will allow residents to grow their own vegetables, Serafini said.
The project has attracted plenty of interest from locals in multi-cultural Saint-Laurent. Many are down-sizers who have lived in Saint-Laurent their entire lives and will be selling their homes.
Interest has also been generated from young professionals, young couples and first-time buyers.
“Local people know this area and have been waiting for something to come up here,” she said.
More about Trantor
Most of Trantor’s partners have backgrounds in the technology sector.
They started real estate investing in 2011 in the Atlanta area, primarily on existing rental properties that needed attention, and now have about 1,000 units in Georgia’s largest city.
Trantor also has two condo and rental developments in Cancun, Mexico.
Until 2015, when Bouhadana joined the company, the partners were passive investors. Bouhada, a CPA by training, has been in real estate since 1997. He spent 18 years at real estate development and management firm Sidev.
“The idea was to go to the next level and start developing, start managing the properties. This is where I came in,” Bouhadana said.
Trantor has owns several other development sites in Montreal and the plans other major projects in future years.
As for the Trantor name, it’s a nod to science fiction writer Isaac Asimov, who created Trantor as a fictional planet depicted as the capital of the first Galactic Empire.