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Pointe-Claire in showdown with real estate developer

Click to play video: 'Developer objects to Pointe-Claire, Que. development freeze' Developer objects to Pointe-Claire, Que. development freeze
WATCH: The West Island City of Pointe-Claire has issued an interim freeze on some new high density housing projects and the decision has angered a major real estate company with big plans for a local shopping mall. Tim Sargeant explains what's at stake for the community – Feb 17, 2022

Pointe-Claire, Que.’s recent decision to issue an interim freeze on many housing projects has frustrated senior officials at Cadillac Fairview.

The developer has plans to build a residential complex on part of the parking lot of the sprawling shopping centre.

“This city’s proposed freeze, which is not in line with our discussions and expectations of the city, could jeopardize this amazing project,” Brian Salpeter, Cadillac Fairview senior vice president of development, told Global News.

Salpeter said he’s been in negotiations with the city for almost a year and the project was submitted last summer. He wants city council to reconsider.

“The city’s recent surprising actions is an attempt to ensure that the parking lot will forever remain a parking lot,” he said.

But mayor Tim Thomas has no plans of backing down. Thomas says there is already plenty of multi-level housing projects well underway and more aren’t needed. The mayor wants the future urban landscape of Pointe-Claire re-evaluated and public consultations to be held before new building permits are issued.

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“We would like to slow down certain areas where people are very concerned and have the public express themselves on how those areas of the city are going to be developed,” Thomas said.

The mayor says he doesn’t want Pointe-Claire to become the downtown of the West Island and will allow for public input into the city’s future this fall.

“What we’re doing right now is stopping and redeveloping our urban plan,” Thomas said.

READ MORE: Real estate project fuels debate about densification in Pointe-Claire

Cadillac Fairview also owns the forested land west of the shopping centre next to the future REM Fairview-Pointe-Claire train station. The company previously released artist renditions of developing some of that land which involved the felling of trees.

The building freeze issued by Pointe-Claire applies to the forest and is welcomed by conservationists.

“Of course we’re please by it. We understand not everybody is pleased with it but we’re hoping that some good conversations and good discourse will come out of it,” Geneviève Lussier, a spokesperson for Save Fairview Forest told Global News.

Cadillac Fairview plans to release more details on its proposed project next week.

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