Conversion of the Place Fleur de Lys | discretionary assistance in question

Québec solidaire regrets that the government of François Legault is funding a private sector real estate project without the promoter making any commitment to social housing, in the midst of a housing crisis.

Posted at 7:00 am

Andre Dubuc

Andre Dubuc
The press

“We have a housing crisis across Quebec. In Vanier, 350 households are waiting for social housing, and the government’s first action to revitalize the Vanier neighborhood is to put money into a project by a private developer that currently does not guarantee social housing,” said Karoline Boucher, candidate for Québec solidaire in the Vanier constituency –Les Rivières, where the Place Fleur de Lys is located.

Thursday, The press announced up to $43 million in federal funding to convert this Quebec City shopping mall into a multipurpose real estate complex.


Place Fleur de Lys, before the transformation project, in 2014

The limited partnership Trudel Alliance is in the process of transforming the old center on a 280,000 m site⁠2 (3 million square feet) in a mixed-use complex. Works worth 750 million, spread over five to seven years, are on the program.

More than 2,500 rental units for all budgets, a university campus, trees, communal facilities, offices and commercial space replace the approximately 80,000 m² shopping arcade⁠2 (860,000 square feet2).

“Too early” for social housing

However, no social housing is planned among the first 1,000 units, the client publicly indicated last September. It is still too early to determine the number of social housing units, Trudel said on Thursday.

The state intervention takes the form of the purchase of preferred shares in a subsidiary linked to the owners of Place Fleur de Lys. Their performance and the conditions for redeeming the shares are kept secret by the government.

There is a lack of transparency in financing the project in this way with a freely available budget. It’s something we denounce.

Karoline Boucher, Quebec Solidaire candidate in Vanier-Les Rivières

It is in fact the Quebec government’s business financing envelope, the Economic Development Fund, that is funding the Trudel Alliance limited partnership project. The latter counts among its sponsors a company linked to the Pomerleau Group.

According to the last route proposal, no tram stop is planned at Place Fleur de Lys. On the other hand, an entry into the tunnel of the third link is planned in Vanier, reports Mme Butcher.

Make aid eligible for all

Not only politicians reacted to the government’s actions. His direct involvement in a private sector project did not go unnoticed in the real estate industry. For example, promoter Vincent Chiara, President of Groupe Mach, called for support to be offered to all promoters.

“If other promoters submit similar projects, they will be analyzed using the same criteria and with the same rigor as for the Place Fleur de Lys,” assures the government for its part.

Another promoter who came forward The press want help to be structured and offered to all within a standardized program. He doesn’t want his identity revealed to avoid damaging his business.

There are about fifty shopping centers of 46,500 m2 and more (500,000 ft2) in Quebec. Almost all are the subject of extreme transformation projects, according to Jean-François Grenier, commercial real estate specialist at Groupe Altus.

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