25-storey workplace tower deliberate atop Bay retailer in downtown Montreal


Metropolis paperwork recommending approval say the mission sends the message that the downtown core continues to be enticing.

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A 25-storey workplace tower might be constructed atop the 130-year previous Bay retailer at 585 Ste-Catherine St. W., in line with a proposal submitted to Montreal metropolis council Monday.

The Hudson’s Bay Co., which owns the location, proposes to demolish a 1966 addition to the landmark retailer, which occupies the block bounded by Ste-Catherine, Union Ave., de Maisonneuve Blvd. W. and Aylmer St.

The plans, on which metropolis council is predicted to vote Monday night, name for a tiered glass tower rising 120 metres with 63,000 sq. metres of workplace area. With an entrance on de Maisonneuve, it can have 116 underground parking spots.

Retail area can be pared all the way down to lower than half of the division retailer’s present floorspace, for a complete of 27,500 sq. metres over 5 flooring, together with the basement.

The workplace tower is twice as excessive as the location’s zoning permits, which is why the mission requires approval by metropolis council. Metropolis paperwork recommending approval say the mission sends the message that the downtown core continues to be enticing.

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Nevertheless, it’s coming earlier than metropolis council amid gloomy prospects for downtown workplace towers.

On Thursday, the City Improvement Institute of Quebec and Montréal Centre-Ville retailers affiliation released a report displaying a pointy rise in workplace vacancies throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, which may speed up when leases come up for renewal. It additionally discovered rental gross sales have been falling whereas new listings soar — an indication that the downtown space could also be dropping a few of its enchantment.

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The report discovered 70 per cent of downtown staff have been working from house greater than three days per week throughout the fourth quarter of 2020. Two-thirds need to proceed teleworking more often than not after the pandemic.

It additionally confirmed that 28 per cent of downtown’s retail places stood vacant final fall, up from 26 per cent in August.

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Greater than half of companies in workplace towers are inactive, whereas 20 per cent of shops in procuring malls are unoccupied. Twenty-three per cent of retail places on Ste-Catherine St. have been abandoned final fall, up from 18 per cent final spring.

Final 12 months, Hudson’s Bay launched a growth enterprise, HBC Properties and Investments, to maximise its huge portfolio of real-estate property.

The architectural agency chargeable for the mission is Menkes Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux, which designed a 61-storey rental being inbuilt Phillips Sq..

Nonetheless remembered by older Montrealers as Morgan’s, The Bay is the final surviving conventional division retailer on town’s well-known procuring strip.

Scottish immigrant Henry Morgan based the shop in 1845, initially known as Colonial Home, in Outdated Montreal. In 1891, he revolutionized retailing and launched the migration of companies to present-day downtown when he opened the Ste-Catherine St. flagship. The Morgan’s chain had 9 shops when it was acquired by Hudson’s Bay in 1960.

Boston-born architect John Pearce Hill designed the neo-Romanesque division retailer, with its distinctive facade in pink sandstone imported from Scotland.

Public consultations on the mission are deliberate.

mscott@postmedia.com

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