There are new steps being taken to potentially protect the Technoparc green space.
Technology company, Hypertec, had plans to build its global headquarters on the site after purchasing the land in April.
But after months of public outcry from environmentalists to scientists, saying it would disturb and potentially damage one of the last natural areas on the island of Montreal, it seems like the company is listening.
“We have our site that we’re willing to sell to the city because we found an alternative site, in close proximity,” said Eliot Ahdoot, Hypertec chief innovation and sustainability officer. “And we believe this is really a win win for everybody.”
Hypertec is willing to sell the land to the City of Montreal for the same price that they bought it at — a price tag that hovers around $30 million, they say.
The city says discussions are ongoing.
“We cannot just say we will buy it at this point,” said Luc Rabouin, Montreal executive committee member.
“We are discussing with them, we are evaluating the land and we will make a decision very soon.”
In June, more than 200 scientists signed an open letter in newspaper Le Devoir, asking that the City of Montreal and any company that wants to build, take biodiversity as a prime consideration.
Katherine Collin of Technoparc Oiseaux, a group whose members have been fighting to protect the land for years, says she’s cautiously optimistic about the announcement.
“Those of us in the conservation movement more broadly know that this is a marathon and not a sprint, and that the acquisition of these lands is not going to happen immediately,” she said.
“So we do hold out hope, but we will only really be able to celebrate when this land is formally placed into conservation and when we see the Parc Nature des Sources materializes.”
Hypertec says if Montreal doesn’t agree to buy the land, it will go ahead with its plans to build on the controversial site.