Construction begins on Marc Chagall: Update by Cllr. Mike Cohen

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Construction on new buildings on Marc Chagall to begin: here are the facts

By Cllr. Mike Cohen, 29 Mar 2017

Phase One of  construction will begin this week on the first of two 12 storey rental apartment buildings at the corner of Marc Chagall and Mackle. The project will be called Le Carlyle.

It is very important to clarify that zoning for this site has been in place for nearly 30 years. Contrary to some opinions, the present-day city council can do nothing to stop this project from happening.

Let me please make it clear that I am not pleased to see more construction occur on this street. But the zoning for this land was established in 1988 by a former city council.

I would like residents of Marc Chagall to please come back with me to 2000. A sales office was sitting on this land and down payments were being accepted by many people for two – yes two 16 storey condominiums. Eventually, the owners of the land cancelled the project. While city council could not rezone the land, we were able to adjust our master plan. By-law amendment no. 2217-36 brought the density down from 16  to 12 storeys in 2010. Now, seven years later, this new company has purchased the land and as long as they remain in the exact same footprint as the bylaw dictates we cannot stand in their way.

Residents of Le Rothchilds I and II might be interested  to learn that in 1988 it was Mr. H. Glassman and Mr. N. Arnovitz who requested the zoning to allow for two 16 storey multi-family dwellings and a 12 storey plus penthouse facility. Their plans were to  call them “Le Rothchild Condos III and IV.”   Le Rothchild III   became La Marquise and was built in 2005. The owners eventually sold the other piece land, where the new apartments will be constructed.

At no time did I or any member of council advocate for someone to purchase this land or build on it.  I was very pleased to see it remain vacant. But there are very few pieces of land available in our city, so someone was bound to secure it.

Some people have raised concerns about parking. Council has also applied our parking bylaw to the limit. Parking ratios are calculated as follows: one bedroom, one parking stall; two bedroom, 1.5 parking stalls; three and more bedrooms, two   parking stalls,

This project is proposing the following breakdown of units: 140 one bedrooms (140 parking stalls); 147 two bedrooms (221 stalls); and 19 three or more bedroom units (38 stalls).

According to our bylaw then, for the total of 306 dwellings, they are required to provide 399 indoor spots and 40 outdoors. They will actually do better than that, with 402 interior spaces and 44 exterior spaces for a grand total of 446, so five more than required.
We will work closely with the builders to insure they follow the proper noise bylaws and keep the area as clean as possible. I will be meeting with representatives of the different buildings to discuss this development in more detail.

CHAGALL-2

 

 

Un message du conseiller Mike Cohen, District 2

 

La phase 1 de la construction débutera cette semaine sur le premier des deux immeubles d’appartements de 12 étages au coin de Marc Chagall et de Mackle.

Il est très important de souligner que le zonage de ce site est en place depuis près de 30 ans. Contrairement à certaines opinions qui circulent, le conseil municipal actuel ne peut rien faire pour bloquer ce projet.

Je tiens à préciser clairement que je ne suis pas heureux de voir plus de construction sur cette rue. Mais le zonage de ce terrain a été établi en 1988 par un conseil municipal précédent.

J’aimerais que les résidants de Marc Chagall remontent avec moi à l’année 2000. Un bureau de vente était installé sur ce terrain et des mises de fonds ont été acceptées par plusieurs personnes pour la construction de deux — oui, deux — immeubles à condos de 16 étages. Plus tard, les propriétaires du terrain ont annulé le projet. Le conseil municipal ne pouvait pas changer le zonage du terrain, mais nous avons été en mesure d’ajuster notre plan directeur. La modification no 2217-36 aux règlements a baissé la densité de 16 à 12 étages. Aujourd’hui, sept ans plus tard, une nouvelle entreprise a acheté le terrain. Tant qu’elle reste exactement sur la même empreinte que celle dictée par le règlement, nous ne pouvons pas lui faire obstacle.

Les résidants de Le Rothschild I et II seront peut-être intéressés de savoir qu’en 1988, c’étaient MM. H. Glassman et N. Arnovitz qui avaient fait la demande de zonage pour permettre la construction de deux immeubles multifamiliaux de 16 étages et d’un immeuble d’appartements-terrasses de 12 étages. Leur plan était de les appeler « Condos Le Rothschild III et IV ». Le Rothschild III est devenu La Marquise et a été construit en 2005. Au bout du compte, les propriétaires ont vendu l’autre morceau de terrain, là où les nouveaux appartements seront construits.

Jamais les membres du conseil, dont moi-même, n’avons recommandé que quelqu’un achète ce terrain ou construise dessus. J’étais très heureux de le voir rester vacant. Mais notre ville ne contient plus que quelques terrains disponibles, et il était inévitable que quelqu’un se le procure.

Certaines personnes ont soulevé des inquiétudes concernant le stationnement. Mais le conseil a aussi appliqué notre règlement sur le stationnement jusqu’à sa limite. Les ratios de stationnement sont calculés ainsi : une chambre, une place de stationnement; deux chambres, 1,5 place de stationnement; trois chambres et plus, deux espaces de stationnement.

Ce projet propose la répartition suivante des logements : 140 logements à une chambre (140 places de stationnement); 147 logements à deux chambres (221 places); et 19 logements à trois chambres ou plus (38 places).

Selon notre règlement, donc, pour l’ensemble des 306 logements, l’entreprise doit fournir 399 places intérieures et 40 places extérieures. Elle fera en fait mieux que cela, en offrant 402 places intérieures et 44 places extérieures, pour un total de 446 places, soit cinq de plus que ce qui est exigé.
Nous collaborerons étroitement avec les constructeurs pour nous assurer qu’ils respectent les règlements appropriés concernant le bruit et qu’ils gardent la zone aussi propre que possible.

Je rencontrerai les représentants des divers édifices afin de discuter de ce projet plus en détail.

Synagogue rezoning on Mackle. Public info meeting, Monday, April 3, 7:30PM

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The City of Cote Saint-Luc has received a request from the Fondation Sepharade Kollel Avrechim who wish to construct a synagogue on Mackle Road, backing onto the Cavendish Mall parking lot.

Provincial law requires a notice of motion to be given at City Council on the draft bylaw to begin the zoning amendment process required to render the residential land for institutional use. The law provides for a public information meeting which will take place on April 3, 2017 at 7:30 P.M. Interested residents should attend this meeting at City Hall to learn about the project, ask questions and get answers in order to decide for themselves if they agree with the rezoning.

 

The residents within the adjacent zones (neighbouring streets) are the ultimate decision-makers on matters of rezoning.

A sign was placed in front of the property so that all residents may be adequately informed about the proposed changes. Additionally, a letter advising residents in the contiguous zones of the request and the public meeting is being delivered to the homes in question this week.

More information about the rezoning is available at CoteSaintLuc.org/publicnotices or by calling the Cote Saint-Luc Urban Development Department at 514-485-6800.

 

Rezonage d’un terrain dans le secteur du Mail Cavendish

Une proposition de rezonage d’un terrain résidentiel à un terrain institutionnel sur le ch. Mackle afin de permettre la construction d’une synagogue est en cours. Le terrain est entre l’entrée du stationnement arrière du Quartier Cavendish et du 6794 Mackle.

 

Une consultation publique aura lieu le lundi 3 avril à 19 h 30  à l’hôtel de ville, salle du conseil, 5801, boul. Cavendish. Pour en savoir plus, consulter l’avis public sur le site du terrain en question ou à CoteSaintLuc.org/fr/avispublics.

 

Pour toutes questions, envoyer un courriel à urbanplanning@cotesaintluc.org ou composer 514-485-6800, poste 1607.

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Meadowbrook developer suing city for $46 million

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Montreal Gazette, Mar. 24, 2017

In its $46-million lawsuit against the city of Montreal, real-estate developer Groupe Pacific charged Thursday that the city used high infrastructure costs as an excuse to block construction of its 1,600-unit project and save the Meadowbrook golf course as green space.The city engaged in “disguised expropriation” to preserve the Lachine portion of the golf course, lawyer Martin Bernard said. Groupe Pacific is requesting damages to cover the profits it would have earned had the project been approved.

Taking the stand in Quebec Superior Court near the end of the two-week trial, Bernard began his closing arguments in the two-week trial in Quebec Superior Court by outlining his client’s interactions with city and Lachine borough officials in 2007-2010.

Meadowbrook Groupe Pacific, a subsidiary of Groupe Pacific, purchased the land in 2006 for $3 million.

In 2010, as protests by concerned citizens and environmental group Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook escalated, executive committee member Alan DeSousa announced the city would not support the project because the cost of installing infrastructure, like additional access roads, sewage and water systems, were excessive.

In 2013, the company discovered that the city’s estimates for putting in services like water, sewage pipes and a railway overpass to ensure access for emergency services ranged from $60 million to $150 million.

“The city of Montreal behaved in a manner that exhibited bad faith and acted contrary to the principles of balanced procedures,” Bernard argued. “It failed to work with care and diligence, to follow its own regulations, or to work transparently.”

The city’s demand that access lanes be created to the south of the project, necessitating an overpass over train lines costing as much as $125 million, were exorbitant, Groupe Pacific argued. As well, the city has since indicated its support for converting the space into a public green space, Bernard said.

In its defence, the city’s lawyers argued that Groupe Pacific purchased a piece of land bordered on three sides by train lines, with only one narrow access route cutting through the de-merged municipality of Côte-St-Luc. Installing 1,600 residences would involve extensive sewage and water-main installations, and because the city cannot force a neighbouring municipality to install additional roads, the only option was to install a costly overpass on land to the south belonging to the city. Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook has argued that all residences within the development would be within 300 metres of the Canadian Pacific switching station located alongside, in contravention of federal guidelines.

It would take the city 50 years to recoup its infrastructure investments, far longer than the maximum 10 years its financial services department considers acceptable, city lawyer Eric Couture said.

“The city of Montreal refuses for now to invest the necessary sums in this project that is not profitable for public finances,” the city wrote in its defence statement. “Meadowbrook Groupe Pacific can continue to manage the golf course which is permitted under the current zoning. … Meadowbrook Groupe Pacific is thus not the victim of a disguised expropriation.”

It added that if Groupe Pacific deemed the city was negotiating in bad faith, it could have contested that point in Superior Court, as opposed to requesting damages.

Groupe Pacific’s demand of $46 million is “clearly exaggerated,” the city said in its defence statement. City lawyers will conclude their closing arguments Friday.

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Synagogue proposed for Mackle Road next to Cavendish Mall, public info meeting April 3

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At last night’s Public Council Meeting the City of Cote Saint-Luc dealt with a request from the Fondation Sepharade Kollel Avrechim who wish to construct a synagogue on Mackle Road, backing onto the Cavendish Mall parking lot.

In recent years, the new homes on Kellert, and the four lots on Mackle between Kellert and the Mall parking entrance were added to District 6, which I represent. This property is the eastern-most point in the district.

The notice of motion was read aloud and City Council adopted the first draft bylaw to begin the zoning amendment process required to render the residential land for institutional use.

In fact, the property is currently composed of two lots that are currently zoned for a semi‐detached dwelling. The amendment would change the zoning from residential to institutional use.

The Fondation Sepharade Kollel Avrechim is a religious institution that currently occupies, and conducts its affairs at 5750 Parkhaven Avenue. They are seeking to re-establish itself in a new premises to be built on a lot at 6790-6792 Mackle Road.

Rabbi Yehuda Benoliel is the spiritual leader of the congregation.

The City, having officially adopted the notice of motion and first reading of the bylaw, has started the legal steps for the request for rezoning.

The residents within the adjacent zones (neighbouring streets) are the ultimate decision makers. The law requires that eligible residents can demand a register to be opened for any neighbour that chooses to contest the rezoning.

The next step is a provincially-mandated public information meeting on April 3, 2017 at 7:30 P.M. as required by law. Interested residents should attend this meeting at City Hall to learn about the project, ask questions and get answers in order to decide for themselves if they agree with the rezoning.

A public notice is then given around mid to end of April for those residents who ultimately wish to sign a register to force a referendum on the issue.

Meanwhile, a sign will be placed by the City in front of the property so that all residents may be adequately informed about the proposed changes. More information about the rezoning is available by calling the Cote Saint-Luc Urban Development Department at 514-485-6800.

“Cavendish link is not just talk anymore”: Brownstein

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Numerous meetings have been held in recent weeks regarding the long-awaited Cavendish Blvd. link between Côte St. Luc and St. Laurent, Côte St. Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein told council regular Bernard Tonchin.

Tonchin and fellow council regular Irving Itman regularly ask for updates on the link.

Brownstein responded at the February council meeting that separate talks were held with St. Laurent Mayor Alan DeSousa, Quebec Transport Minister Laurent Lessard, representatives of Canadian Pacific and Canadian National railways, all area mayors and MNAs, and Montreal Executive Committee Chairman Pierre Desrochers.

“Everyone’s on board,” the mayor said. “All the MNAs representing the area, the Transport Minister and all of the mayors. It is moving forward — $222,000 at the last agglomeration council meeting I was at was passed to be spent on a feasibility study for the overpass [that would be part of the link].

“It’s not just talk anymore.”

BSR Group building most CSL projects: Six years in the making, development firm going strong

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2017-02-14-free-press-parkhaven-courtyard

By Isaac Olson, Free Press, Feb. 14, 2017

Ronen Basal grew up in Côte St. Luc. He has always called it home and now he is playing a key role in developing the city as director of BSR Group – an NDG-based company located at 6138 Côte St. Luc Rd., just east of Beaconsfield Ave.

Six years ago, BSR Group went from buying real estate throughout Montreal to constructing apartment complexes and homes across the island. When property prices started shooting up, construction began.

“We started with homes,” said Basal, noting those homes went in next door to the Quartier Cavendish near the corner of Cavendish Blvd. and Kildare Rd. “And we started with townhouses at the Parkhaven Courtyard.”

The new neighbourhood along the Park Place, Jubilee Rd. and The Avenue next door to Quartier Cavendish has changed the face of the city with million-dollar homes cropping up. A large, 90-unit apartment building is currently under construction there as well. Parkhaven Courtyard is a similar story, located at the corner of Kildare Rd. and Parkhaven Ave. where the developer has built 50 townhouses with three to four bedrooms each.

These projects are just the tip of the iceberg as the company has developments in NDG, Hampstead and across the island.

“We started with three employees and now we employ over 200,” said Basal. “Very successful.”

The 90-unit apartment building on The Avenue, directly across from the Quartier Cavendish, will include an indoor pool, Shabbat elevator, 24-hour security guard, appliances, ground floor commercial and more. It will be an upper-scale apartment complex, he said, that will likely attract many older people looking to downsize from their single-family homes. This is a demographic, he explained, that no longer wants all the hassle that comes with property ownership. They are looking for something more temporary.

With senior homes closing in the area, this apartment complex could be an alternative for some, he said. While it may not have assisted living, it is in close proximity to all the services found at the mall next door, he noted. Residents won’t need a car, he said, as they get all they need in the area.

Parkhaven Courtyard will be getting a 150-unit building and construction on that will begin in April. That facility, noted Basal, won’t have a pool because it is next door to the Aquatic Community Centre.

The high-end apartments will have large family rooms, 24- hour surveillance, a Shabbat elevator and more.

“We just finished a few projects on Côte St. Luc Rd.,” he added, including one right in front of the Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre. Another with 59 rental units is going up where Bernie’s Auto used to be at the corner of Montclair Ave. In fact, BSR Group’s headquarters is located in a building that it developed after the previous structure burned several years ago.

“I grew up in Côte St. Luc and lived there all my life, since the age of seven when we came from Israel. Côte St. Luc is a home for me. It’s where my synagogue is. It’s where my kids go to school. It’s where my friends are.”

Basal admits that the company heads and city politicians don’t always agree, but there is a willingness to discuss issues and find compromises.

“We have a good relationship with the city councillors and mayor, which encourages us to build,” said Basal. The company builds across Montreal, but it concentrates on Côte St. Luc because, he said, “We used to be the people in two- and three-bedroom apartments. We know the market. We know what people want and we feel, knowing the market inside out, we know the demand.”

St. Laurent Mayor DeSousa optimistic about Cavendish extension

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By: Councillor Mike Cohen

Cote Saint-Luc City Council welcomed St. Laurent Borough Mayor Alan DeSousa to City Hall recently.

DeSousa

Mayor Brownstein and Council welcome Alan DeSousa.

De Sousa served as Councillor in St. Laurent from 1990 to 2001, following which he was elected borough mayor for four consecutive terms. He also sat as a member of the City of Montreal Executive for 11 years, and served as Vice-Chair. During these years, he was responsible for finance and administration, economic development, long-term planning, hydraulic infrastructures, environment and parks, as well as for sustainable development.

In the private sector, DeSousa  served as Vice-President, Corporate Finance, at BioChem Pharma, a publicly owned Canadian company. He also worked as a corporate tax specialist in international taxation at Ernst & Young. Throughout these years, his social involvement in numerous community and charitable organizations has never ceased.

Our council often invites political colleagues to meet with us. In the case of DeSousa, we spoke about issues such as transportation and of course the extension of Cavendish Boulevard.

“Cavendish is getting to the point of political acceptance,” DeSousa commented. “Right now it seems to be going on the right track. Cavendish is on the rails. We have to keep pushing it.”

DeSousa is confident that Phase One of the long-anticipated extension will occur in 2019-20 with a connection from Royalmount to St. Laurent.

Phase Two would entail the connection from Cote Saint-Luc up to Royalmount.

Later in the same week DeSousa announced his intention to seek the Liberal nomination in the federal riding of St. Laurent- Cartierville, recently vacated by Stéphane Dion.

 

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