FEATURE STORY | Patrice Groleau – Owner of McGill Real Estate
GRIFFINTOWN the perfect neighbourhood!
Finally Griffintown is out its urban lethargy thanks to the vision of DEVIMCO REAL ESTATE (DISTRICT GRIFFIN) & the City of Montreal.
GRIFFINTOWN is on the verge of becoming the best & most interesting area in Montreal! All thanks to the vision of the developer who believed in the potential revitalization of the abandoned land area where lied parking lots and rundown warehouses and when the population of Griffintown no more than 180 residents at a point in time. But to whom do we owe this revival of the area that everyone is talking about, the increase of residents & a neighborhood life: Serge Goulet, Devimco Real Estate.
Devimco Real Estate is a Quebec company, managed by Quebecers. Supported financially since its inception by the largest fortunes incorporated in Quebec.
Myth: There will be no local services in close proximity in Griffintown …
Reality: District Griffin will offer Griffintown 100% of the local services just a few steps away!
At District Griffin, that’s exactly what we do with our commercial arteries in Griffintown. We are talking about offering grocery stores, pharmacies, daycares, restaurants, SAQ, banks, etc. which entails all this. Devimco Real Estate and its multi-phase project District Griffin (will cover + 90% of new commercial services), while other promoters altogether will cover a little less than 10%.
Myth: In Griffintown developers do what they want …
Reality: The city is excessively demanding & citizens, community groups are consulted as well as heard, and they greatly influence the planning of the Griffintown District
In 2007, the original plan which included the Casino, Cirque du Soleil, etc. (here is the video), please tell me it was not the work of a visionary. Community groups from the Southwest area, as we know, were opposed to these plans, which included the Casino, etc. and we listened to them, as we respected the city as well and change the project drastically. We abandoned a portion of the options & agreements (while millions of dollars were already invested) that we had with the owners of vacant lots & rundown warehouses (Devimco had options on 95% of Griffintown in 2007)
They preserved the best lots and properties, namely the land bordering the Peel Bassin, the St-Ann Park as well as the property along Peel.
Myth: There is no architectural planning in Griffintown…
Reality: Griffintown is one of the most demanding areas in terms of architecture and only the best architects worked on the design of the District Griffin towers/buildings.
District Griffin consists of 15 phases until its completion; we hired the best architects to carry out our projects. However, people must understand that architects cannot just do what they want. There are strict parameters; they are limited at every level by the Urban Consultant Comity, which is the municipal jurisdiction. Whether it is material, colours, shapes, dimensions, heights, design, etc, it is the city that makes the final decisions in order to harmonize the new with the existing architectures in order to make all the different projects homogenous. It is the city that approves or rejects proposals. Look at our Phase 1 and the Alt Hotel, it is magnificent, spectacular, people love it, and admire its beauty.
The main framework of the the Griffintown streets was preserved, which did you know, is the base and planning that is the norm in Montreal, which is the base of Manhattan’s framework as well! Many would have preferred Griffntown more that a new “Plateau” area with 2 or 3 floor buildings but the price of properties would have been way unaffordable considering the value of property and the prices that would have had to pay. There is nothing more ecological than to make a city denser versus the urban spread. This allows for the preservation of green spaces for parks by generating property revenues and better resident ratio per square kilometre. Let’s not forget, the city does not have an unlimited budget. Wanting to and be able to are two very different things without a budget.
Myth: There is no planning for parks in Griffintown…
Reality: It will be the perfect neighbourhood in terms of planning of GREEN spaces thanks to the exemplary collaboration between the city of Montreal & Devimco Real Estate
- Redevelopment of the Smith promenade…
- Redevelopment of the Peel Bassin…
- Redevelopment of the Lachine Canal…
- Redevelopment of bike paths…
- New water plans…
- Redevelopment of several parks including the huge St-Ann Park, a dog park, volleyball courts, etc.
- Several properties will be expropriated by the city to create parks…
- A main street completely transformed as a pedestrian area…
- Preservation of patrimonial buildings and façades like in the case of New City Gas, Wellington Direction Tower and many others
- Redevelopment of the Bonaventure highway into an urban with central parks
- Devimco was even ready to invest 10 million dollars in the Tramway project!
Look at this photo, it’s difficult to imagine more green spaces and areas for pedestrians, right?
Myth: Griffintown is not made for families
Reality: Devimco Real Estate is the developer who offers the most 2 & 3 bedroom units in District Griffin at the best prices.
In addition to the replanning of layouts for multiple rooms at a better price, District Griffin is the only project offering daycare services as well as, mentioned for the first time, Devimco is also working on the first semi private elementary school in Griffintown which will revolutionize the concept of school in an urban setting thanks to a partnership with the CSDM (Montreal School Board) whom will take the final decision. In short, Devimco Real Estate is just more condominiums, it is a unique way of living and the well thought out Griffintown of tomorrow…
Dix30 is Dix30… District Griffin is District Griffin!
Two different and distinct creations with their own signature. The major points in common between the two neighbourhoods are Devimco Real Estate, the fact that these projects were well planned and created according to the reality of each of the areas and that both are successful projects that everyone is talking about and where everyone wants to live.
Why is it such a big success, actually the most successful endeavour in Canada?
Why do so many people go there?
Why do so many people eat at our restaurants?
Why do so many people come to our grocery stores and pharmacies?
It is definitely meeting a need? A demand?
We did not demolish residential areas, we redeveloped empty lots and created a residential area along the way. We cannot recreate the “Plateau”, which is the suburbs and a different reality from the city. I think that the biggest complaint comes from the success that we have and the fact that consumers are slowly swaying away from downtown Montreal to come toward us. We have the most popular show venue in Quebec….But are we to blame or do the main Montreal commercial arteries are to revamp themselves, and evolve?
The ongoing debate: City or Suburbs?
The decision is up to you but Devimco Real Estate offers you the best of both worlds!
Patrice Groleau , owner & certified real estate broker
Patrice Groleau was born and raised in Quebec. He completed a Bachelor’s degree in human resources at the Université du Québec à Montréal, as well as a graduate degree in Entrepreneurship at the Université de Sherbrooke and in Advanced Project Management from McGill University in Montreal. Patrice Groleau obtained licenses in Risk Management from the Université du Québec à Montréal and Canadian Securities from the Canadian Securities Institute, as well as a Real Estate Agent degree and a Chartered Real Estate Broker’s & Agency Excecutive Officer (AEO) degree from the Collège de l’immobilier du Québec.
Member of the Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec (OACIQ) and of the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board, Mr. Groleau also has a solid background in finance, having worked for several major financial institutions.