“The journey has been long. There have been ups and downs. I admit that it has gouged a lot of energy. Now I am relieved. Have I ever thought of giving up? No, I always thought that one day it would come true. “
After 11 years of discussions with the citizens, the City of Quebec and the Ministry of Culture, more than a dozen versions of the project, and three rounds of public consultation in 2006, 2013 and 2015, the development of More than $ 100 million, christened Domaine sous les bois, will eventually come out of the land this spring to the relief of developer Marc Simard of Immeubles Simard.
The project involves the construction of 180 dwelling units in three buildings on the former grounds of the College Jesus-Marie and five semi-detached houses in the Faubourg Saint-Michel in Sillery. Delivery is scheduled for the fall of 2018. The buildings will be a maximum of six floors with underground parking. Two tennis courts, community gardens, a training room, a yoga room, banquet halls and two indoor and outdoor pools will be set up.
For the developer it was important to achieve as green a development as possible. Only 10% of the 1 million square feet of land – including those of the Benmore Estate – will be used for the construction of buildings. In addition, Mr. Simard noted that he had given the City 40% of the land to allow the development of the linear trail at the top of the cliff and a park.
“There will be no further development on this part of the terrain. It is an exceptional place overlooking the river, “says the businessman. “We have a project that integrates and respects the historic district. We wanted a lot of greenery and cut as few trees as possible. We also wanted to keep the visual breakthroughs towards the river from the Saint-Louis road, “he explains.
A point of view shared by the architect Pierre Martin, in charge of the project. “A dozen trees have been cut and we will replant several dozens,” he assures. “We took into account the criteria that the people in the area were asking, either through the department or the City, but also from them directly by initially the PPU citizen he had made. The objectives put on the table have been respected. ”
The price of condos will vary between $ 220,000 and $ 425,000, depending on the size. A hundred units are already sold.
The last few years have been rather difficult on morale, concedes Mr. Simard, whose project is repeatedly returned to the drawing board and has lifted the grumbling among the citizens of the sector. In fact, shortly before the holiday season, several residents came out in the media to express their concern about the increase in ridership. They were concerned, among other things, about the impact on traffic for Treggett and Narcisse-Roy streets, both access to development.
“Yet, schools and the arena bring much more traffic than our condo project,” says Simard. “Traffic is gradual. Half of our people are retirees or early retirees who will go out at different times, “he adds.
Now that the project is on track, Mr. Simard hopes over the next five years his other real estate development will start a few stone throws. On this site, in 2007, he had built 16 condos by reconverting the old building of the Sisters of Our Lady of Africa in the Boisé of Domaine Benmore, near the Michel-Sarrazin house. He had spent $ 5 million to acquire the land. The next project involves the construction of 120 condos in two five- and six-storey buildings.
“In principle, it’s a development for condos, but it could also be a rental property. We are not here yet. When the project is finished, after we will look for the other, “concludes Mr. Simard.
Eventually, the company will have invested $ 170 million with its partners on the site in both real estate projects. And about 300 units of condos will have been built.