Save Griffintown!

Quick Updates by ajkandy
July 6, 2008, 10:46 am
Filed under: griffintown

So what’s been going on with Projet Griffintown?

Essentially, the project has gone through at the municipal level — the proposed changes to the urban plan were adopted, paving the way for Devimco’s project.

Since then, there was a meeting at the local borough council in order to “conform” the local borough’s own urbanism plan to the new city plan, at which we all attended, spoke, and asked questions.

After that, there’s been one or two procedural meetings, but there’s something else very interesting going on which might derail Devimco’s project altogether.

The city some time ago gave Devimco an extension in order to get their funding guarantees together. And, likely linked to that deadline, according to Le Devoir, the actual expropriations have been pushed forward to September. 

If Devimco can’t come up with funding guarantees in time, then their ‘entente de developpement’ with the city falls through. The question then becomes, will another developer step in to do something within this new, grossly overscaled urban plan?

Given the state of the economy at the moment, and the never-to-again-be-cheap price of oil, I can’t foresee anyone looking at a car-based retail project and thinking that it would be a good long-term investment. Now would be the time to do something bold and innovative; maybe it’s time to talk to the developers of Dockside Green, or Foster and Partners — they’re building the world’s first modern carfree sustainable development, Masdar City, in the UAE.

If they can do it, why not us?


In April this year, didn’t Tremblay justify bypassing city-wide consulations because of an apparent “urgency of the situation”? How does extending the developper’s deadline resolve this urgency? Obviously, something is not working out with the developper, and instead of using these months for proper consultations, the city is waiting quietly in their corner as Griffintown falls apart. These extensions are hurting Griffintown owners who have sent their tenants to live elsewhere last month, and are now twiddling their thumbs waiting for Devimco to show some money…hopefully in September but who knows.

Comment by StatusQuo

Exactly. It rather puts the lie to their argument that they needed to act now or lose this opportunity forever. As we’ve stated over and over again, simply changing the zoning codes and encouraging development along desirable lines would have let the private market do its job of proper infill development.

Question now is – if it falls through, will Devimco and its associates put those properties back on the block? Can they be “re-appropriated”?

Comment by ajkandy

Very interesting dilemna. There is something about a few months extension for a billion dollar project that makes the whole thing so shaky. I mean they were all so gung ho, the city and Devimco, and now it all boils down to, uh, by the way, do you actually have the money to do this? This whole situation has become an extremely sad but all too clear picture of how the city really functions. Sounds like a good old boys in the back room deal getting scuttled by reality.

Comment by neath

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