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2024 – Demolition of Place Versailles

The transformation of the Place Versailles site into a district with 5,200 homes will cost 2.2 billion euros and take several years, the project promoter said on Monday.



That same day, elected officials from the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district gave the very first green light to the idea, which involves the gradual demolition of the iconic shopping center.

When questioned by some citizens, local mayor Pierre Lessard-Blais praised the proposal of the owners of Place Versailles, who “want to do a great project”, while emphasizing that he still had “concerns”. He emphasized that a broad consultation will take place this autumn.

“We don’t want a heat island in the area. This is one of the basic elements of the project. The green spaces are very large and extensive. The disadvantage of that is the height,” he said, referring to the project to build two 25-storey towers on the site.

If the owners of Place Versailles wanted to build four to eight stories anywhere in their parking lot right now, they could. But it would still be a heat island.

Pierre Lessard-Blais, mayor of the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district

The elected official added that Place Versailles is a meeting place “for the entire east of Montreal” but that we must accept that “in 2040 we will not be able to do business like we did in 1960, things are changing.”

“It will be completely demolished”

The press announced the existence of the transformation project on Saturday. A school, a hotel and commercial spaces are to be built on the 17-hectare site served by the green metro line, in addition to the 5,200 homes.

The article’s publication sparked a strong wave of reactions, especially regarding the announcement of the demolition of the shopping center.

The district mayor Lessard-Blais also wanted to be reassuring during a media tour by confirming that “Place Versailles will not be destroyed at all, but will evolve over time”. The elected official did not return a call The press.

PHOTO ALAIN ROBERGE, THE PRESS

Demolition work on Place Versailles will not begin for another two or three years.

“Over time it will be completely demolished,” architect-urban planner Josée Bérubé, who is leading the project within the Provencher Roy company, confirmed in a telephone interview. It was this company that the Gregory family – owners of Place Versailles for more than 50 years – hired to carry out the planning.

Mme Bérubé has been working on the project for two years. She envisions a new integrated neighborhood, with three large parks, ‘ecological corridors’ and a public square.

The development would include “rental units, condominiums, social housing, family housing, senior housing and affordable housing,” according to a news release issued Monday.

“Across the majority of the project, the proposed height varies between 12 and 16 floors,” the municipality said in its documents. “However, two of the landmark buildings have been proposed on the site. The latter offer a maximum height of 25 floors and 115 meters. »

The commercial offer is divided in two, added Mme Bérubé: Regional businesses will be located on Sherbrooke Street, while local businesses will be located on the ground floors of residential buildings. “There will continue to be an offer (commercial) because after talking to different people, including citizens, it is still important to the people in the area,” she said.

Timeline

Regular guests of Place Versailles do not have to find a new meeting place in the short term. Construction will begin on the north side, where there is a large parking lot and a Winners store.

In a publication on its Facebook page, Place Versailles indicated that a long process awaited before the construction site was opened. Work “won’t start for another two or three years,” the East Montreal shopping center said Monday.

The company wanted to reassure its tenants after publishing the broad outlines of its transformation plan. “We are at the beginning of a new era for Place Versailles, a period of renewal and innovation,” the message said. We would like to reassure our commercial tenants and their customers that communication will be a priority throughout this process. »

“Our aim is to work closely with them to minimize the impact of the works and ensure the continuity of their commercial activities,” the text continues.

As for the mall as a whole, it could remain standing for several more years, says urban planner-architect Josée Bérubé. Projects of this magnitude “are developments that span decades,” she pointed out. “These are long-term projects. Yes, there will be construction, but not everything will be demolished at once. »

Open days are planned for June 18 to hear citizens’ concerns.

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