Devimco, the embattled developer with big plans for the forlorn neighbourhood of Griffintown, south of Downtown, have finally unveiled their new, albeit considerably scaled-down plan for four new high-rise residential buildings, which they are now calling “District Griffin”.
The four buildings will be primarily residential with three condo buildings and one mixed 150 room, 3 star hotel/office building. Stores will be located on the bottom floor but potential tenants and sizes remain to be seen. The buildings will front rue Smith and will be bordered by Wellington to the north and west, and Shannon to the east. Currently, this area is mostly parking lots and warehouse buildings so this phase will see limited demolition which was one of the biggest concerns with the previous plans which encompassed a much larger portion of the neighbourhood.
Building heights won’t differ too much from previous plans with the hotel slated for 12 storeys and the residential buildings to be built as tall as 19 storeys. Condos will come with 1 to 3 bedrooms at prices ranging from $250 000 to $750 000 per unit.
Information on the actual design of the buildings has been scant with a couple generic night-time mockups on their website and the vague map above being pretty much all that has been presented by the developer. As was the case with Devimco’s previous plans, it is unlikely that they intend for the final product to correspond with any of their preliminary marketing or mock-ups.
However, Devimco’s greenwashing tactics and pandering to opponents seem to have been sharpened since 2007 when they came into Griffintown, guns blazing, not expecting citizen opposition or, as it seemed, the fact that there were actually residents living in the area. They now plan to build 275 social housing units and another 206 affordable units (8% more than is required by the Sud-Ouest borough) which will be built off-site and sometime in the future, while also planning to give $25 000 to maison Saint-Gabriel, a history museum in Pointe-St-Charles. Hopes to get condo buyers out of their cars apparently comes with their plan to give free bicycles to condo buyers and providing parking spaces for Communauto (a now standard practice for any new development in the city). Devimico is also still pushing hard for the tramway, taunting Richard Bergeron about it at yesterday’s announcement of the project (nothing has been said of Devimco’s previous pledge of $10 million to the city to help build the tramway).
Construction is expected to begin in the next three to four months costing $475 million. Any additional phases planned for the future have not been announced as of yet.