The company that built Quartier Dix30, a mega shopping centre and entertainment complex on Montreal’s South Shore, wants to build a 280,000-square-metre mall in the Town of Mount Royal.
The $1.6-billion shopping centre will sit on the southwest corner of highways 15 and 40.
Similar to Quartier Dix30, the plan is for this new project to also have stores, restaurants, green space, a cinema and possibly a concert hall.
“I think it's a positive sign. It's a sign of life. It's a sign that things are happening in Montreal,” said Shuja Bashir, the owner of Bashir Persian Rugs.
Bashir’s store, which he has owned since 1991, is located right across the street from the proposed project.
But Bashir told CBC that while it may revitalize the area, city officials should consider how else the complex could affect the neighbourhood before giving it the green light.
“It's going to create a big mess, it's going to [create] a lot of traffic. People will complain and that time the complaints will be genuine,” he said.
Some business leaders say the municipality is acting too fast, and they're worried it could hurt local businesses.
“Lack of vision, lack of coordinating economic development. You get into a situation we are today — you get a terrible decision. All the more depressing is that the elected officials are happy with this decision,” said Glenn Castaheira, executive director of the St-Laurent Boulevard Merchants Association.
Castaheira said big box stores will discourage people from working and living in the city core.
“That talent seeks a quality of life and a mixed city and a diverse city in its environment. For that you need thriving main streets with venues, restaurants and shops.”
City passes zoning bylaws
The project has the support of the Town of Mount Royal.
The town council has already passed several zoning by-laws to help pave the way for building to begin later this year.
The developer is expected to present its final project design to council in the spring.