Visitors and Montrealers alike have for years now been witness to the sad sight of disused buildings and vacant lots next to the Monument-National on Saint-Laurent Boulevard. Comprised of nine lots, this major site, located in the heart of the Quartier des spectacles, is in dire need of redevelopment, not unlike that previously undertaken by the 2-22 and the Société des arts technologiques (SAT), which have established themselves there.
Spearheaded by the Société de développement Angus, the new project is meant to be unifying in its approach and respectful of the Main's heritage, while being attuned to the imperatives of today's real estate market. The project developers are equally aware of the need for consensus-building in this pivotal downtown neighbourhood now undergoing requalification.
The proposed project calls for the construction of a tall building, slightly set back from Saint-Laurent Boulevard. It will fit seamlessly into the urban fabric, integrating some of the materials and historical details found in the surrounding old buildings. All told, it will offer 47,500 m2 of leasable area to be divided between offices, residential units, an important cultural component, and retail space. The latter, drawing inspiration from the small neighbourhood markets and food trucks Montrealers enjoy so much, current trends in the food industry and the developer's own philosophy, will be skewed toward fair-trade businesses. As well, in its pursuit of sustainable development, the project is aiming for LEED NC Gold certification.
Carré Saint-Laurent is more than a real estate project: taking a cue from the work already begun in the Quartier des spectacles, it will further contribute to the neighbourhood's economic, social and cultural revitalization. The vision it offers is that of a living and working environment where one can take a stroll, go shopping, eat well, and get to the concert or show without a car. The stretch of Saint-Laurent Boulevard south of Sainte-Catherine Street will once again thrive as a cultural hotspot as it has in the past, until those glory days ended shortly after World War II.