Urban Capital Property Group is set to begin construction this summer on the first phase of Cité Midtown, a $325-million, master-planned community in Montreal that represents its largest current development outside the GTA.
Cité Midtown, in the Montreal borough of St. Laurent, will have a total of 790 housing units (700 condominiums and 90 townhouses) which will be built over four phases and include condo towers between six and 10 storeys. It’s expected to be completed in six to eight years at the current pace of sales, says David Hilf, Cité Midtown’s project development manager.
The development is the second in Montreal for Urban Capital. In 2008, the company completed McGill Ouest, a two-phase, 244-unit development near Old Montreal. Urban Capital says that development introduced high-design “new-loft” condominiums to a market where they had not previously existed.
“They’ve been waiting for the right site to appear and the market is ready for a project this large,” says Hilf. “I think the opportunity to help define a new midtown in Montreal is exciting for us.”
Hilf is principal of the Montreal-based development management firm Groupe Atelier, which works primarily on multi-phased projects in residential and resort development.
Cité Midtown on 13-acre property
The project is located on a 13-acre (566,000-square-foot) site northwest of Highways 40 and 15 (Metropolitan Boulevard and Décarie Expressway) and off busy Marcel-Laurin Boulevard. It was once home to a Honeywell industrial facility for the aeronautic industry which was demolished about a decade ago.
Urban Capital bought the land from the Toronto-based Kilmer Group and the project has been in the planning stages for more than five years, Hilf says.
Construction will begin this summer of an eight-storey condo building with about 210 units, and four three-storey townhouse buildings with 12 units each. The first phase is scheduled to be completed in fall 2021.
About 55 per cent of the condos and townhouses in the first phase have been sold, Hilf says.
“Sales have been brisk. We had a fantastic launch in November and sales have continued at a solid pace ever since. We’re looking at a strong sales period coming up in the spring.”
He says buyers hail from St. Laurent and surrounding boroughs and are of all ages.
Given the size of the project, “we have a number of different unit types, more than a typical development would have, and they appeal to a cross-section of purchasers both in square footage and unit type and bedroom count as well as price point,” Hilf says.
TOD, POD development
Condo prices range from $165,000 for a 340-square-foot studio to $750,000 for 1,300 square feet. Townhouses sell for between $490,000 for 1,500 square feet and $750,000 for 2,100 square feet.
Cité Midtown is both a TOD (transit oriented development) with the Du College Metro station about a nine-minute walk away and a POD (pedestrian-oriented development): Urban Capital is building a shared street for use by pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
It’s also close to the planned $1.7-billion Royalmount project which will combine stores, restaurants, hotels, theatres, cinemas, a water park and condos in the Town of Mount Royal. The project off Highways 15 and 40 has garnered controversy about the possibility it will greatly increase traffic congestion in an already congested area.
“A project like Royalmount in some shape or form will go ahead,” Hilf says. “Development on a lot of these either vacant, or lightly used, industrial sites like Royalmount is inevitable. I think with the proper planning, projects like Royalmount will benefit the area in the long run.”
He says there are options to alleviate traffic congestion, such as the long-discussed extension of nearby Cavendish Boulevard. “It’s just a matter of the proper amount of time and diligence being taken to plan it correctly.”
Pedestrian pathways to Royalmount are “definitely in the cards.” Royalmount, which is touted in Cité Midtown’s marketing materials, would be about a 10-minute walk away.
Cité Midtown, which will be a LEED ND neighbourhood, will include an “edible landscape”: “It allows the residents to grow and cultivate fruits and vegetables (and) edible flowers,” Hilf says.
Condo buildings will be U-shaped and are planned around a central market street where all of the amenities will be located. They include fitness facilities, a work-share space, cafe, a product library in which residents can borrow everything from carpet cleaners to cribs, and a children’s play area.
The children’s area “helps reinforce the fact this project is geared toward families.” A two-acre public park will also be built by the borough in the development.
All of the condo towers will have green roofs that “contribute to lowering the heat island effect and to a cleaner storm water management process,” Hilf says. The rooftops will not be accessible to residents.
Since 1996, Urban Capital has developed more than 3,600 condominiums, valued at more than $3.6 billion.