A 40-storey tower belonging to Guy Laliberté projected in the middle of a cultural heritage space

A Guy Laliberté firm plans to demolish a building attached to the Maison-Alcan complex, a collection of historic and heritage buildings in downtown Montreal, to build a 40-story residential tower there as part of a new project.

Prével, a major real estate developer in Quebec, has in recent weeks taken steps with the Department of Culture and Heritage to obtain the necessary permits to demolish a building located in the heart of a space in downtown Montreal, known for 40 years for its successful integration of architectural heritage in public and private urban development.

This project is presented by Néonacla, Lune Rouge’s real estate agent, who is in charge of the activities of the former head of Cirque du Soleil, Guy Laliberté. The building is part of a square consisting of several buildings belonging to Mr. Laliberté, which houses offices for various companies, including Sagard Holding, Telus, Electronic Arts and Zù.

The construction project allows for the construction of a 40-storey residential tower, is specified in the company register.

In a communication with The dutythe company Lune Rouge confirms the existence of the project, but does not want to inform its partners: “We are therefore working on this file, but are currently bound to other parties by confidentiality agreements.” Ditto for Prével, also stingy with comments: “We confirm, however, that we are actually analyzing a project at the Maison-Alcan site. “

This is not the first time real estate projects have been offered on this site.

The building in question is located at 2050 Stanley Street, in downtown Montreal. Right where there is a quadruple classified as heritage since 2017. This important cultural heritage complex, which was created in the early 1980s by the company Alcan in collaboration with the public authorities, at the time constituted a kind of revenge after the destruction in series , which has caused the sector to lose more traces of its former glory.

The Maison-Alcan was inaugurated “a decade after the demolition of the much-maligned Van Horne House,” explains Dinu Bumbaru of Heritage Montreal. “Finally, there was a global vision that integrated heritage and urban development,” he sums up. “The great boss of Alcan could have decided to go elsewhere. His gesture of settling there was strong. It marked a trust in the city by integrating historic spaces and collective spaces”, in a collaboration that at the time was never set in Montreal.

“Assess future work”

The place where developers want to build a new tower, to offer for sale or rent around 250 homes, as evidenced by various previous projects, is located in what is called the “Golden Square Mile”. It is more precise in this classified area of ​​heritage, that of the Complexe-de-La-Maison-Alcan. Although adjacent to the protected cultural heritage site, 2050 Stanley Street escapes state protection.

The company first wanted to have discussions with representatives of the Ministry of Culture and Culture, “to assess the upcoming work for the transformation of the complex […] wants to ensure its sustainability, but also its successful repositioning in Montreal’s commercial real estate market ”, as indicated by the lobbyist register.

We find in this set of buildings of a XIXe very Victorian and imperialist Montreal centuries, such as the Donnacona building, which housed the Winter Club, and a church whose entrances overlook Drummond Street. Among them, the former Salvation Army tower, accessible from Stanley Street, is not protected in the same way as the others.

convince the state

Still, according to the Business Register, the project intends “to convince the Ministry of Culture and Communications not to exercise its right of first refusal with regard to listed buildings”, while assuring “decision-makers” that the planned interventions “are minimum standards”. and respect the heritage character of the place ”.

Since 2019, Lune Rouge, Guy Laliberté’s flagship, and its partner Canderel have already presented various high-rise construction projects for the city of Montreal at the same location.

There was even talk of building two towers connected by a footbridge. Following the withdrawal of Canderel, it is now the scenario of a single tower being defended by Mr Laliberté’s company.

The current complex forms an island where various networks of green areas are integrated, connected to the adjacent buildings via galleries. Nearby are also the Mount Stephen Club and the Mount Royal Club, long two flagship institutions of Montreal’s upper class.

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