MONTREAL – Property developer Devimco is not planning a baseball stadium in its Peel Basin development. But that does not mean he closes the door.
This is what the president, Serge Goulet, said at a video conference on Monday, when he unveiled the first models of his vision of the Peel Basin.
In the two sketches presented to the media, there was no trace of a baseball stadium. However, he still claims to discuss with Stephen Bronfman and Pierre Boivin, from Claridge and Groupe Baseball Montréal, about a possible partnership in the development of the neighborhood.
“When it comes to baseball stadium, we talk regularly with the MM teams. (Stephen) Bronfman and (Pierre Boivin). We are not in the details (in the MLB comeback project), and it is not our role to be either. We know they are moving forward, Goulet said. Apparently, the pandemic also slowed down their project. But discussions continue and economic studies are ongoing. There will be meetings in the coming weeks and months with the various governments.
“For us, a baseball stadium, yes. But first and foremost, a development project with the biggest possible spin-offs for Montreal’s economy, he continued. And it works with or without a baseball stadium. We will do with it MM. Bronfman and Boivin will bring us. But we, we believe, we believe, and we want the development axis for this project to be diversity, job creation and sustainable development. It must remain essential. “
However, the agreement between Claridge and Devimco, announced in May 2019, remains in place.
“The agreement is very simple to ensure that on the day they have the authority to create a stadium, we will work together to design a project that is acceptable to Devimco and its financial partners as well as to baseball teams and Montreal. “
A spokesman for the Montreal Baseball Group told The Canadian Press that there would be no comment on the project, which was unveiled on Monday.
How long is Devimco prepared to wait for Mr. Bronfman? As things stand, only the latter can wait for Devimco in the future.
“I think we have time to let Mr. Bronfman’s project land,” said Serge Goulet. We can have more time than we need. If the city is not ready for zoning before 2023, it is quite possible that the stadium project will be waiting for us. This is where we are: it’s still not fun. “
In addition, Mr. Goulet suggested that the countries targeted by the developments presented on Monday were those already belonging to him, and those held by the Canada Real Estate Company (SIC), not those of Loto-Quebec. In an article published in November 2019, La Presse reported that Claridge and Devimco had views of around 440,000 square meters belonging to Loto-Québec in the area. For Mr. Goulet, they are not necessary for the development of the district as he sees fit.
“The project as it is presented today does not include Loto-Québec countries. If we ever come up with a baseball stadium, and I’m not going to decide that, well, it would be interesting to have a bigger field than we currently have. These are decisions that will be up to Mr. Bronfman’s group. (…) But the surface we currently have can also accommodate the stadium. “
Mr. Goulet reminded that his neighborhood development project was presented to the city of Montreal in 2018, and that the latter will not deliver its development plan until the summer of 2021, a few months before the municipal election, which could cause construction to be further delayed, possibly until 2023.
To this end, Mr. Goulet was part of a group of 13 signatories to an open letter sent to the city of Montreal last week, asking the latter to accelerate the development of the city center, particularly the Bridge sector. Bonaventure, of which Peel Basin is a part. The signatories believe that the city is depriving itself of “billions of dollars” that are just waiting for the green light from the Plant Administration to proceed with these projects.
“The territory is clear, mature and can bring lots of economic and social benefits to Montreal. The project will be done with one, two or three developers. It does not matter. What is important is to turn it on, he said.
” New appointment “
Mr. Goulet wants the city and private developers to come together to set goals and deadlines now, subject to strict accountability. He will suggest a ” New appointment »To the city, so that it is more compliant in the requirements, in return for greater community involvement for developers.
“When there are large projects negotiated with the city, it is simple: the developer will aim for the minimum limits in social development, the minimum limits in the park areas, the famous 10 percent, and the city will aim for the minimum limits in densification and in terms of regulatory flexibility. Everyone aims for the minimum, then we come up with minimum results. I think it’s an old model that should be abandoned.
“It “New appointment“it is to allow large private sector projects to contribute financially to public equipment and infrastructure in return for improved value creation for these projects.”
For Devimco, it is important that REM stops in the neighborhood to make it interesting for development. According to the current route, the REM bypasses the Peel Basin without stopping there.
“This area will not be able to be developed until the traffic problems are solved: it is a fairly fixed area. We have done traffic studies that we have presented to the city for over a year. We have been waiting for those in town for several months. We know the solution: there is nothing more efficient to operate and open up this sector than a train. “
According to studies commissioned by Devimco, the financial benefits of a station in the Peel Basin would be in the order of $ 200 million in royalties paid to the Caisse de Dépôt.
“None of the 26 stations will charge that much,” Mr. Goulet said.
“Of course, this will only be possible if we get access to the territory in a comfortable and efficient way. The train station is the very best solution. The cost-benefit ratio of the Peel Basin is undeniable and superior to many other stations, including the Bernard-Landry station, announced a few months ago. “
In this connection, he reminds that Devimco has proposed to pay part of the cost of a possible station to 25 million dollars. Mr. Goulet points out that adding the station only after the electric train is in operation can multiply its construction costs tenfold.