Land located in popular area for condos; community hall would likely be torn down
The historic St. George's Anglican Church is looking
for a partner to develop part of its prime downtown site, located across
from the Bell Centre in what's becoming a growing hub for condo
The 1869 Gothic Revival church, which is said to take
up about a quarter of the 36,460-square-foot site, is looking at ways
to redevelop some of its "excess land," including an aging community
hall, located between Stanley and Peel Sts. and Canadiens-de-Montreal
Ave., a sales brochure published by real estate services firm CBRE Ltd.
said. The development of the site, possibly as condos, would likely
involve the demolition of the community hall, one Montreal real estate
source familiar with the project said.
"The site is perfectly
located in the central business district ... with the benefit of an
impressive contrast of old and new architecture," the brochure reads.
A CBRE broker referred a reporter to church officials who couldn't be reached for comment on Thursday.
development plan would generate revenues to help renovate the aging
building, which was designated a national historic site in 1990 and is
the only survivor among five Protestant churches that once ringed
Dorchester Square, formerly called Dominion Square, a Gazette report
said. The church received a $425,000 federal subsidy in February to
rebuild its portico.
The development project comes at a time when a
growing number of religious institutions are struggling to cover costs,
as worshippers dwindle. While St. George's would not be touched, some
former churches in other parts of the city have already been converted
The activist group Heritage Montreal is especially
concerned about the future of these religious institutions, which often
have distinctive architecture and rich histories. "There's been an
appalling abandonment (of these buildings)," said Heritage Montreal
policy director Dinu Bumbaru, who was not familiar with the development
plan at St. George's.
"This is something that re-quires preventive action."
Once a residential sector, the area around the church is now becoming an increasingly diverse mix of office and condo towers.
four different residential condo projects are planned for the area
around the Bell Centre. These include: the Roccabella twin tower project
with more than 500 units at the corner of René Lévesque Blvd. and de la
Montagne St. and the Icône project with more than 300 units across the
As The Gazette reported, developer Broccolini Construction
Inc. and an equity partner are looking for a buyer to purchase the
hotel component of a mixed residential tower on a former parking lot
located just west of the church. A fourth condo project, to be developed
by Cadillac Fairview Ltd., with Canderel and the Quebec Federation of
Labour's Fonds de solidarité is expected to be announced this summer.