The transformation of the Van Horne warehouse worries citizens

The transformation of the Van Horne warehouse is of concern to citizens

The Van Horne warehouse

According to the results of an online survey conducted by the Arrondissement du Plateau-Mont-Royal, the project to transform the Van Horne warehouse into a building housing a hotel, offices and shops is perceived as worrying by a majority of citizens.

Of the 10,732 people who participated in the public consultation held from January 30 to February 12, more than two-thirds (68%) say they are concerned about the building's transformation project, which derogates from several provisions of the Borough's Urban Planning Regulations. .

The seven-storey building, which is located between the Canadian Pacific railway line and Van Horne Avenue, facing Saint-Laurent Boulevard, was built in 1924-25 for the storage merchandise. It is to be transformed and extended with new construction on the neighboring land with a view to creating a complex with offices, a hotel, shops, restaurants and a roof terrace.

It is the presence of a hotel in the building (32%), the conservation of the original character of the building (30%) as well as the gentrification of the sector (24%) which are considered to be the aspects of most concern of the project of the owner Rester Management.

The vast majority (83%) of respondents agree with the development of a roof terrace. On the contrary, opinions are more mixed with regard to the addition of commercial activities on the ground floor (54%) as well as the presence
offices and a hotel in the building (23%).

Housing construction impossible

While four in ten survey respondents (40%) want affordable or social housing added to the project, the project is too close to a railway line for this to be possible. Indeed, the rules were tightened in 2015 following the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster.

Moreover, only areas with an economic vocation – such as industries, offices, businesses as well as community or institutional facilities – are permitted in the sector.

In his presentation document to elected officials, the entrepreneur states that his project will offer a “mix of uses that will enhance urban life and the dynamism” of the sector.

Next Steps

In view of the results of the public consultation, the Borough has asked the project promoter to appoint an independent firm to design and facilitate a process of dialogue with citizens, the economic community, as well as with civil society groups. who are interested in the history of the district and the preservation of heritage.

The consultation process should make it possible to identify any adjustments and necessary measures so that the project can be carried out with the support of the population. A report describing the actions undertaken and the results obtained must then be presented to the Borough, which will be able to decide on the follow-up to be given to the project.

The heritage interest of 1, avenue Van Horne will also be assessed by a working group. In 2014, Heritage Montreal put the Van Horne Warehouse on its list of 10 sites to watch.

The results were discussed during the borough council on Monday evening. “We are very, very aware that there is a long way to go and that the owner will have to return to the work table and meet with the citizens of Mile-End in order to incorporate their desires and their vision. to make it a unifying project that will look like what we find in the Mile-End,” said City Councilor Marie Plourde.

The Borough will have to approve the project or not from here. the end of the year. A referendum could also be requested by citizens.

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