Public consultation on Séville block rehabilitation: OCPM reports conditional support



    MONTREAL, June 29 /CNW Telbec/ - The Office de consultation publique de
Montréal (OCPM) makes available today the report on the spring 2009
consultation on the redevelopment project for the Séville block, at the west
end of the borough of Ville-Marie business sector.
    The project in question calls for redevelopment of all the properties
along the north side of Sainte-Catherine Street West, from Chomedey to
Lambert-Closse Streets, including the building of the old Séville theatre. The
plans involve the demolition of existing buildings and the construction of a
new student housing building, on a site currently occupied by vacant
three-storey buildings constructed between the late 1800s and 1930. The
Séville theatre building has been designated as an historic monument by the
City of Montréal. The "Résidences Séville" building would include community,
recreational and administrative spaces, as well as 1155 student rooms.
    Some 120 people participated in the consultation, and the commission
received 13 briefs, presented orally or in writing. Overall, the project was
well received. A referendum register may be opened as required following the
filing of the report. People see the repurposing of the block as an initiative
to revitalize an undesirable part of the neighbourhood. However, some concerns
were voiced at the hearing, primarily concerning the target clientele, the
protection of old buildings, and heights.
    The commission agrees with many of those comments. Although it recognizes
the need for student housing, it notes that the developer has signed no
agreement guaranteeing that clientele. Some participants also expressed a wish
to see a more permanent resident base settle in the area. The commission
therefore recommends that the project target a broader clientele by
integrating the goals of the city's affordable housing inclusion strategy.
    Moreover, the commission notes the dilapidated state of the old Séville
theatre, and believes that the city should implement tools to ensure proper
maintenance of its recognized historic buildings. It also believes that the
other old buildings on the block should be evaluated with a view to finding
new ways of preserving their heritage elements.
    Lastly, the commission recommends that the 25-storey tower at the corner
of Sainte-Catherine and Lambert-Closse be lowered by 15 metres, in keeping
with the height of the tallest buildings surrounding Cabot square. The
commission also examined several other issues, including the location of the
delivery entrance, and offered a number of suggestions and recommendations.

    The consultation report and other information on the project are
available at the OCPM offices, 1550 Metcalfe Street, 14th Floor, and on the
Office Web site, www.ocpm.qc.ca. For information, please call 514 872-3568.




For further information:

For further information: Luc Doray, (514) 872-3568, Cell: (514)
977-8365


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