$200 Million Saint-Michel Project Gets Green Light



    MONTREAL, Feb. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - SmartCentres announced today that it has
entered into an agreement with the City of Montreal for the development of the
Saint-Michel quarry. As part of the agreement, SmartCentres has agreed to
purchase part of the quarry for $10 million and to work closely with community
groups to encourage local hiring.
    This innovative development project is a first for North America. The
site in question is a part of the Saint-Michel quarry, measuring a little over
350,000 square metres and divided into three levels: one at a depth of ten
metres, a second at 40 metres and the third at more than 70 metres. The
buildings envisaged would have a floor area of some 75,000 square metres. A
public park is planned, with unique architectural features: a lookout, a
network of footpaths, a bicycle path, an elevator, and a number of cliff-side
staircases giving access to the site.
    "We congratulate the City and the local community for their vision and
their commitment to supporting a unique project that should become a
destination for Montrealers and visitors to our city," noted John Gardonio,
Vice-President, Development, SmartCentres. "We look forward to continuing to
work with them in the months and years ahead."
    The project will have an extremely positive impact on the borough and on
the city of Montreal, including:

    $200,000,000 of investment, $2,600,000 in annual taxes and some
    $3,000,000 a year in economic spin-offs;
    The creation of thousands of jobs: 1,200 construction jobs, and
    1,600 full-time jobs in the commercial enterprises which will occupy the
    centre.
    -A $1.6 million contribution by SmartCentres to community initiatives

    Studies also indicate that the project will lead to the repatriation of a
significant portion of purchases that are currently made outside the
neighbourhood and serve as a catalyst for the revitalization of the area.
    "We are committed to incorporating sustainable development practices
whenever possible at every stage of the project," added Mr Gardonio. "Measures
we will be looking at range from the use of non-ozone-depleting refrigerants
in the HVAC units to a focus on recycling, water preservation and the use of
local materials as well as the setting up of a shuttle bus to encourage public
transportation use."
    The next phase involves public hearings organized by the Bureau de
consulation with construction scheduled to begin within two years. "We have
benefited over the past year from our collaboration with City of Montréal, the
borough of Villeray / St-Michel / Parc-Extension and a stakeholder forum,
which includes, among others, representatives of the VSMS and the CDEC as well
as the feedback we received at the open houses. In moving forward our
commitment is to build on this partnership."

    About SmartCentres

    SmartCentres is an enterprise which has given itself the mission of
providing Canadian consumers with opportunities to save time and money: a
winning formula of one-stop shopping. A leader in the field of low-cost retail
sales, SmartCentres has created 185 developments in 95 different Canadian
communities spread over all ten provinces; 22 of these are in Quebec. The
Quebec projects represent a total investment of more than 1.2 billion dollars
and a total of more than 650,000 square metres of commercial floor space.




For further information:

For further information: Jonathan Goldbloom, Jonathan Goldbloom & Ass.,
(514) 923-7779, jonathan.golbloom@jgoldbloom.ca

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