Major Benefits for Sud-Ouest Borough Residents - LAUNCH OF PHASE 1 OF THE
A COST OF $475 Million

MONTREAL, Aug. 30 /CNW Telbec/ - Devimco, le Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ and Groupe Cholette inaugurated today the sales office of a major real estate development project that is predominantly residential and favours sustainable development. It will be constructed in a partially abandoned area in Griffintown.

Valued at $475 million, Phase 1 of the "District Griffin" project will be the first development in Montreal on this scale that integrates residential, commercial, community and business functions at the same time on the same site. The work will begin in a few months.

"We are creating an all-new, pleasant and safe living environment where residents can live, work and be entertained close to downtown, Old Montreal and an important gateway to Montreal," announced Serge Goulet, President of Devimco, accompanied by Normand Bélanger, President and CEO of the Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ and Michel Cholette, President of Groupe Cholette.

Mr. Richard Deschamps, councillor on the City of Montreal's Executive Committee, responsible for economic development, infrastructure and roads, presented the highlights of a development agreement signed between the City and Devimco. As part of this agreement, the City of Montreal will invest close to $30 million in the development of parks and public spaces, as well as in infrastructure rehabilitation. Mr. Richard Bergeron, member of the Montréal Executive Committee responsible for land development and the Urban Plan, who was also in attendance, referenced the innovative nature of the agreement and project.

In accordance with both municipal zoning regulations and the Programme particulier d'urbanisme, Phase 1 of District Griffin will feature 1,375 residential units, including affordable social and family housing, as well as a 150-room hotel, 200,000 square feet of office space and 130,000 square feet of business space.

Phase 1 of District Griffin will be made up of four blocks, bordered by Wellington Street to the north, Shannon Street to the east, the Lachine Canal to the west and Smith Street to the south, along the railway viaduct. Its development will require no expropriations.

The work will begin in the block formed by Wellington, Young, Peel and Smith Streets, where a 19-storey residential tower and the hotel will be built. The two first floors of the two buildings will house local businesses, a daycare centre, restaurants, a spa and a physical fitness centre. The hotel tower will also include five floors of offices and twelve floors of hotel rooms. The residential building will offer 166 condominiums, including affordable housing, shared over 17 floors, with a rooftop recreation area that includes a swimming pool.

"Our residential project will be of interest to young people and families who will appreciate living close to the Lachine Canal, the prestigious future entrance to the Quartier Bonaventure, downtown and Old Montreal. We will offer 3½, 4½ and 5½ units at prices varying between $250,000 to $750,000," said Mr. Cholette.

The important investors who have accepted to partner with Devimco to finance this project are the Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ, Groupe Cholette, Groupe Fayolle and François Lemay.

"Our investment in this project is significant to us because it meets the mission of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, which was set up to create jobs in Quebec that respect human economic development and that are respectful of local needs. In this regard, I am especially proud to note that this entire project could be qualified as urban regeneration in an area that has suffered greatly from urban devitalization," declared Mr. Bélanger.

Benefits for the Sud-Ouest borough

The development of this project will have many benefits for the citizens of this Montreal borough:

  • District Griffin will create 450 direct jobs during the construction of the first block, representing a potential 2,163 permanent jobs for all of Phase 1, including 954 for the first block. In this regard, Devimco will conclude an agreement to collaborate with the Regroupement économique et social du Sud-Ouest (RESO) and spend $50,000 to encourage the employment of local residents and the relocation of businesses, as well as to coordinate a manpower training program;
  • District Griffin will offer a significant number of residential units, including 275 social and community housing units and 206 affordable housing units, totalling 37.4% of the total number of residential units. The promoters will therefore go beyond the City of Montreal's social and affordable housing strategy, which requires a proportion of 30% of these two types of housing;
  • Devimco will give $25,000 to a social community organisation in the Sud-Ouest borough, the Maison Saint-Gabriel, directed by Sister Madeleine Juneau;
  • Devimco wants to implementing a daycare centre and medical service in cooperation with the CSSS Sud-Ouest Verdun;
  • Devimco will develop an alliance with the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) to encourage the establishment of businesses with common areas of activity with the ÉTS and to promote the advantages of local young and highly educated manpower. The agreement will also plan for a sharing of services;
  • Term annual revenues for the City of Montreal will be $6.7 million and $1.4 million for the Sud-Ouest borough, including revenues from construction permits.

Mr. Goulet confirmed that District Griffin will respect both the industrial and Irish heritage of the chosen site. "The architecture will be decidedly forward-looking, but we will include elements commemorating the history and the strong presence of the Irish community in what was North America's first industrial area," he announced.

Sustainable Development

District Griffin respects several sustainable development performance criteria, notably the following:

  • It will encourage the use of public and active transportation by giving a free bicycle to every buyer of a housing unit; by building an indoor recreation area for users of the projected tramway on Peel Street; by reducing the parking ratio, and by encouraging the use of buses and Communauto;
  • it proposes a mix of functions and a densification of the area;
  • it will be developed in a deconstructed urban area;
  • Devimco will decontaminate all the lands and the CN control tower (which will become a station for cyclists);
  • it will construct buildings conceived for recycling and waste collection;
  • it will display a superior energy performance of at least 10%, by favouring clean energy consumption and renewable sources;
  • it will apply the environmental principles of "Pedestrian Oriented Development."

In the upcoming weeks, Devimco will pursue discussions with the Sud-Ouest borough to obtain a permit with the goal of demolishing some buildings that have no heritage value.

As it has done for three years, Devimco will also continue its consultations with stakeholders, such as Bâtir son quartier, RESO, the Chamber of Commerce and Industrie du Sud-Ouest de Montréal, the Irish community and the ÉTS.

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About Devimco

Devimco has been the leading real estate developer in Quebec since 1997. A private company, it benefits from the financial support of institutional and private partners as well as pension funds to distinguish itself in the development of "lifestyle" type projects. It was the first real estate company to develop a commercial centre of this type in Canada. Since its beginnings, Devimco has developed more than 1.4 million square metres in Quebec. Its principal projects are the Quartier DIX30 in Brossard, the Méga-Centre Notre-Dame in Laval, the Méga-Centre Lebourgneuf in Quebec City and the Carrefour Champêtre in Bromont. In association with Groupe Cholette, it is currently developing the Cité DIX30 residential project.

About Fonds immobilier solidarité FTQ

Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ is a fund manager specialising in real estate investment and development, created in October 1991 by Fonds de solidarité FTQ. Its mission is to develop partnerships with institutions, corporations and managers active in real estate in order to stimulate the creation and the maintenance of jobs and spark economic development. To do so, the Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ has concentrated its activities in the development of residential projects, retirement homes, office buildings, industrial and high technology buildings.

About Groupe Cholette

Established in Laval, Groupe Cholette is a real estate promoter that specialises in the condominium, townhouse, semi‐detached and detached markets. With a balance of almost $100M, Groupe Cholette deploys most of its activities on the South Shore, the North Shore, Montreal, Laval, the Laurentians and Estrie. After 20 years, Groupe Cholette has developed more the 5,000 housing units and is currently working on 15 residential real estate projects.

SOURCE Devimco

For further information: For further information:

Olivier Fillion Boutin
514 985-8309
514 942-0029

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