Re-imagined Royalmount project billed as more environmentally friendly — but still has its critics

Click to play video: 'Real estate developer unveils a scaled-back version of proposed Royalmount project'
Real estate developer unveils a scaled-back version of proposed Royalmount project
WATCH: Real estate d eveloper Carbonleo has unveiled a new version of the Royalmount commercial and residential project in the hopes of getting the zoning approved. As Global's Olivia O'Malley reports, the new proposal includes carbon neutral buildings, direct access to the metro and greenspace. Global's Olivia O'Malley has more. – Feb 26, 2020

The massive commercial and residential project at the intersection of Highway 40 and the Decarie Expressway, known as Royalmount, has been re-imagined.

Developer Carbonleo’s $2 billion project in the Town of Mount Royal has been scaled down after facing criticism from various officials.

Royalmount 2.0 is smaller, more environmentally friendly with promises of carbon-neutral buildings and more green space, reduces parking spaces and enhances access to mass transit with a tunnel to De La Savane metro station.

“It’s a step in the right direction,” says Town of Mount Royal Mayor Philippe Roy.

READ MORE: Royalmount developer hopes to expand Mount Royal project to 4,500 units

The developer’s original plan of building 6,000 housing units has now been reduced to 4,500 units.

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The area is zoned for commercial use, meaning the old industrial neighbourhood needs to be rezoned by TMR’s town council for 15 high-density residential towers to be built.

“As a town, as a city, we need to be sure that if people come live in TMR, they’re going to live in a great place with services and everything,” says Roy.

Working with consultants, the Town of Mount Royal will continue to study the possibility of transforming the area into a residential zone, taking residents opinions into consideration at public consultations in March, Roy said.

READ MORE: Royalmount project faces setback after Valérie Plante calls for revision

Regardless of TMR’s decision, Carbonleo vice president Claude Marcotte says the commercial project is still under construction.

“We’re going to keep going with the hotels, the office, and hopefully we’re going to convince TMR to go ahead with the residential,” says Marcotte.

Past critic Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante still disapproves of the mega project.

“I mean, it’s still a project that is disconnected from the entire area,” she said. “Everything related to traffic congestion, a lack of options for public transportation.”

READ MORE: Montreal’s Royalmount mega development raises traffic concerns

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On top of the traffic headache, the new project has no affordable housing options — something Plante says needs to be included.

“It’s not a we-shall-see, it’s not a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have,” she says.

“People are having trouble to find a house right now in Montreal and I’m not talking about the city of Montreal, I’m talking about the territory on the Island of Montreal.”

A final decision on the matter is expected in April.


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