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À propos de Jollysnork

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    Junior Member

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  • Biographie
    Work in fashion business
  • Location
    New York
  • Intérêts
    Reading, chess, running, skiing
  • Occupation
    VP Marketing

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  1. What is the status or rumor concerning the vacant lot just north of the Bethune statue's back? It's adjacent to a really ugly aparment building on the corner of Guy and Bethune Sq. I wonder if it's owned by Concordia. Thoughts anyone?
  2. This kind of remark is not necessary, inappropriate and somewhat racist. I move it be deleted asap.
  3. The gist of my post was to question the idea of a Molson Museum on the existing site. I used sarcasm to put things in context because the museum idea seems like a comical complement with their decision to move their brewery off the island . Furthermore, I was directly responding to an article that remains in the thread. If I remove the line about under-funding the Habs, would that work? If not, how would you edit my post so I can better adhere to the parameters of posting?
  4. Quelle deception: Molson decides to bail on its hometown by moving off-Island. This family has steadfastly leveraged its historic connection to La Metropole in order to sell beer, its name and enrich itself. Unfortunately, corporate welfare, highway access and cheap land on the South Shore trump any semblance of giving back to community. Je realise que les affaires sont les affaires, mais cette decision fait mal. Devraient-ils maintenant demenager les Canadiens a Missassauga pour prendre avantage d'un nouveau stade entierement finance par la municipalite? Maybe use the $10M they have under-funded the Habs this year could be used to build a museum to glorify the Molsons of Longueuil and Denver! "Let them drink beer" - Geoff lV
  5. Wow, the Altitude building is super ugly! The "toupe" off its top is so contrived, yet it somehow suits the rest of the rooftop smorgasborg! I accept that big projects such as this one bring in a lot of cash, but do we undervalue aesthetics and long term impact? As far as I can see, the only value this project provides is that an ugly building fills in an equally ugly parking lot. Can we find a happy median between infilling and investor ROI? Sometimes I feel that the city - or maybe those who stand to benefit - are far too willing to compromise. It will be very interesting to see how the 5 Bell Center projects turn out.
  6. Jollysnork

    Canadiens 2013

    Hi Guys, I always thought it was odd that Chicago, LA and Boston wont the Stankey Cup withing a short time span after years of drought. Could it be possible that the NHL fixes its big results. Unfortunately, markets in NY, Montreal, Toronto and Philly are too solid to warrant another win. I've pasted a very interesting article that appeared recently in the New York Times. Enjoy! May 31, 2013, 12:46 pm 95 Comments Why Can’t Canada Win the Stanley Cup? By NATE SILVER Shaun Best/Reuters Stanley Cup banners of the Montreal Canadiens, the last Canadian team to win the championship, hang from the rafters at Bell Centre in Montreal. The N.H.L.’s conference finals will begin on Saturday, and fans in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh can still dream of a Stanley Cup championship. But this year is an unhappy anniversary for America’s northerly neighbor. It is 20 years since the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Los Angeles Kings to win the 1993 Stanley Cup; no Canadian team has won the championship since. Just how unlikely has Canada’s Stanley Cup drought been? And is there anything in the league’s economics that might help to explain it? The answer isn’t simple, so let me give you the executive summary before we parse the details. First, bad luck is a major component. Even after accounting for the fact that Canadian teams have rarely been among the league’s best in recent years, you would still have expected Canada to pick up at least a couple of Stanley Cups at some point. Second, the N.H.L.’s economic structure changed at an unfavorable time for Canada. During the first half of the 20-year drought, the league allowed teams to spend freely, but Canadian teams were hampered by the weak Canadian dollar. Since 2005, the Canadian dollar has recovered substantially, and Canadian teams are now turning large profits. But they are limited in their capacity to invest those profits in superior players because the league has instituted a hard salary cap. Third, there is almost certainly a shortage of N.H.L. teams in Canada relative to the demand for hockey there and the revenues that Canada contributes to the league. Teams in nontraditional hockey markets like Raleigh, N.C., Tampa, Fla., and Anaheim, Calif., have won Stanley Cups since 1993, but without doing especially well financially. So have the Colorado Avalanche, who relocated from Quebec City in 1995-96. Had the distribution of N.H.L. teams more closely matched fan interest in the sport across the United States and Canada, Canada would have more teams in the league and – very probably – at least one Stanley Cup championship. Finally, and related to the excess demand for hockey in Canada, Canadian teams routinely sell out their arenas at high ticket prices — whether or not they are any good. This may reduce their incentive to compete. The simplest way to conceive of the situation is to assume that each N.H.L. team begins with an equal chance of winning the championship and to estimate the odds of a Canadian team winning the Stanley Cup as a function of the number of Canadian teams in the league. Eight of the 26 N.H.L. teams, or 31 percent, were from Canada in the 1993-94 season. The percentage fell to 20 (6 of 30 teams) by 2000-1, before increasing to 23 percent after the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg in 2011. If a champion were randomly chosen from all N.H.L. teams active each season, the odds that a Canadian team would have won at least one Stanley Cup since 1993-94 are 99.2 percent. (This period comprises 19 seasons, excluding 2004-5 when the N.H.L. canceled its season because of a labor dispute.) That means the chance of Canada failing to have won a Stanley Cup is just 0.8 percent, yielding odds of about 125-to-1 against. But it is naïve, of course, to assume that the Stanley Cup champion is chosen randomly. Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals, for example, aren’t merely unlucky to have failed to reach the playoffs in 28 years: they have usually stunk. Perhaps the Canadian N.H.L. teams just haven’t been very good either. At first glance, the difference in competitiveness seems minor. Canadian teams have averaged 35.3 wins and 81.5 points per regular season over this period, compared with 36.7 wins and 84.4 points for the American teams. Canadian teams made the playoffs 54 percent of the time, compared with 56 percent for the United States-based clubs. However, the Stanley Cup is not normally won by an average team that just sneaks into the playoffs — instead, it usually goes to one of the best teams in the league. Eleven of the 18 Stanley Cup champions since 1993-94 have been seeded No. 1 or No. 2 in their conference. And there has been a lack of elite Canadian teams; only 14 percent of the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds since 1993-94 have been from Canada. A more exacting way to evaluate the odds is by estimating each team’s chance of winning the Stanley Cup as a function of its playoff seed and its regular-season power rating. (Power ratings, in this case, are taken from’s Simple Ratings System, which accounts for each team’s goal differential and strength of schedule during the regular season.) We can accomplish this by means of a logistic regression analysis. The probabilities for each season are recalibrated such that the 16 teams that make the playoffs have exactly a 100 percent chance of winning the Stanley Cup, in total. In the 1996-97 season, for instance, I estimate that the Canadian teams had just a 2.1 percent chance of winning the Stanley Cup on the basis of their regular-season performance. Three of the six Canadian teams made the playoffs that year — but all as No. 7 or No. 8 seeds, and none of them were much good. In 15 of the past 19 N.H.L. seasons, in fact, the probability of a Canadian team winning the Stanley Cup, as calculated by this method, was lower than you would get if you drew from among all N.H.L. teams at random. Only twice — the Ottawa Senators in 2005-6, and the Vancouver Canucks in 2010-11 — did a Canadian team enter the playoffs as the best bet to win the Stanley Cup on the basis of regular-season performance. You would still have expected a Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup sooner or later. The chance that at least one would do so was 97.5 percent, according to this method. Nonetheless, the lack of dominant Canadian teams has helped to make the 0-for-19 drought merely unlikely rather than almost impossible — raising the chance of the Canadian shutout to 2.5 percent from 0.8 percent. So it is worth asking why Canadian teams have rarely been among the N.H.L.’s elite. Perhaps Canadian teams are competing on an unlevel playing field? Among the seven current Canadian N.H.L. teams, the median television market is 1.7 million people. By contrast, the median American team competes in a television market with 5.4 million people. Professional hockey, however, has an extremely regional following: it is extraordinarily popular in almost all of Canada, reasonably popular in parts of the northeastern and midwestern United States, and quite obscure elsewhere in the United States. These differences more than make up for the smaller size of Canadian markets. In fact, the typical Canadian team has considerably more N.H.L. fans in its market than the typical United States team does. In 2011, I estimated the number of fans for each N.C.A.A. football team by comparing Google search traffic for the term “college football” in different media markets. We can do the same thing for hockey by evaluating the number of people who searched for the term “N.H.L.” On a per-capita basis, searches for the term “N.H.L.” were more than seven times as common in Canada as in the United States. Although the United States population is about nine times larger than Canada’s, this makes up for a lot of the difference. How many N.H.L. fans are there in each country? A 2010 YouGov poll estimated that 11 percent of American adults were serious N.H.L. fans; a 2007 Scarborough Research study, using a stricter definition that was limited to the most avid fans, put the total at just 4 percent. Using the midpoint of those two surveys yields an estimate that 7.5 percent of Americans are N.H.L. fanatics, or about 23.5 million Americans among a population of 314 million. The frequency of Google searches in Canada for “N.H.L.” implies that about 54 percent of Canadians are serious N.H.L. fans, or about 18.5 million people in a country of 34.5 million. In other words, the two countries are reasonably close in their number of N.H.L. fans, despite the United States’ vastly larger population. I estimate that Canada accounts for something like 45 percent of the N.H.L. interest between the two countries. (The N.H.L., incidentally, makes about 40 percent of its national television licensing fees from Canadian networks — and the percentage is likely to increase after the league negotiates new Canadian TV contracts.) If N.H.L. teams were distributed between the countries in proportion to fan interest, Canada would have something like 12 to 14 teams out of a 30-team N.H.L. Instead, Canada has seven teams. This undersupply means that the Canadian N.H.L. teams have larger numbers of fans, on average. In the chart below, I have used the Google search data to estimate the proportion of people in various United States and Canadian media markets who are serious N.H.L. fans. (The method uses Google search data at the metro-area level for the United States and at the provincial level for Canada as metro-level data is unavailable for Canada.) The results demonstrate how much difference hockey avidity can make. Compare the cities of Los Angeles, Boston and Calgary. There are about 17 million people in the Los Angeles media market, 6.2 million in Boston’s and 1.6 million in Calgary’s. Based on their Google search traffic, however, I estimate that only 6 percent of the population in Los Angeles are serious N.H.L. fans, compared with 17 percent in Boston (high by United States standards) and 67 percent in Calgary (high even by Canadian standards). As a result, the three markets are roughly equivalent on hockey terms: each has about 1.1 million serious N.H.L. fans. Another astonishing result can be obtained by comparing Houston and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan — two markets that are occasionally mentioned as possible sites for N.H.L. expansion teams. Houston’s media market has about six million people, compared with not quite 340,000 for Saskatoon. However, I estimate that only 2 percent of Houston residents are serious N.H.L. fans, versus 46 percent of the population in Saskatoon. Thus, they are roughly equal at about 150,000 N.H.L. fans each. Accounting for the far greater propensity of Canadians to follow hockey, the median Canadian team plays in a market with about 1.1 million N.H.L. fans, while the median United States team plays in a market with about 530,000 fans. The American cities that have had their hockey teams for a long time generally place well above the United States median, however. Of the United States-based markets that had an N.H.L. team continually since 1990, all but St. Louis have at least 500,000 fans. So a couple of decades ago, there was a nice balance in the N.H.L. between American cities with large populations but moderate hockey interest, and Canadian cities with moderate populations but intense hockey interest. There were a few outlying cases — Los Angeles has very low hockey interest but a very large population, while Buffalo has a modest population but levels of hockey affinity that approach Canadian levels. These teams functioned well enough, and no team was dragging down the average that much. The American markets that the N.H.L. has ventured into since 1990 have only about 250,000 hockey fans on average, however. These differences in hockey interest have a profound effect on each team’s bottom line. In the chart below, I have compared the number of hockey fans in each market against their estimated operating profit or loss in 2011-12, according to Forbes magazine. (For the markets with multiple hockey teams, I have divided the fans as follows: in New York, 55 percent of the market to the Rangers, 25 percent to the New Jersey Devils and 20 percent to the Islanders; and in Los Angeles, two-thirds to the Kings and one-third to the Anaheim Ducks. These estimates are derived by evaluating the number of Google searches for the team names among the residents in each metropolitan area.) This measure of hockey fans does a very good job of predicting each team’s profitability. The 13 teams with 700,000 or more N.H.L. fans in their markets all made money and totaled $357 million in operating profits. The six teams in markets with fewer than 300,000 fans all lost money, totaling $77 million in operating losses. The teams between 300,000 and 700,000 fans had varied results but roughly broke even, on average. (This is the range in which a quality of a team’s management matters, along with other factors like per-capita income in the region and a team’s appeal outside its immediate metropolitan area.) Six of the seven Canadian teams are above the 700,000-fan threshold (and therefore made money). So did Winnipeg, with roughly 560,000 fans. In total, Canadian teams brought in $219 million in operating profits in 2011-12 — whereas the American teams made a net of just $31 million. (Outside of the highly profitable Rangers, in fact, the United States-based teams lost money that year.) So why have the Canadian teams struggled to win Stanley Cups? Part of it stems from the same reason that operating profits are so closely tied to the number of N.H.L. fans in each team’s media market. N.H.L. teams vary greatly in how many fans they have available to them. But under the league’s current collective bargaining agreement, there is relatively little revenue sharing. There is a hard salary cap, however, along with a high salary floor, so each team’s player expenditures are about the same. The good news for the Canadian teams is that, with nothing else to spend them on, those extra revenues flow through straight through to the bottom line. The bad news is that they could not spend them by investing in better player talent, even if they wanted to. Before the lost season of 2004-5, the N.H.L.’s economics were different: there was no salary cap. But something else was different as well: the Canadian dollar had been historically weak against the American dollar. Thus, the Canadian teams could not take full advantage of the excess demand for hockey in the country. In the next chart, I have estimated per-game ticket revenues for American and Canadian N.H.L. teams since 1995. Ticket revenues are calculated as per-game attendance during the regular season, multiplied by average ticket prices as reported by Team Marketing Report. (Since 2003, Team Marketing Report has designated a portion of tickets in each arena as premium seats; I assume that 20 percent of ticket sales are priced at premium levels.) All figures are denominated in current (inflation-adjusted) United States dollars. The chart also shows how much revenue the Canadian teams would have brought in had the American and Canadian dollars been trading roughly at parity throughout the period, as they have been recently. Per-game ticket revenues for the Canadian teams lagged somewhat behind the United States teams from 1995 through 1999. This was mostly because of the weak Canadian dollar; the Canadian teams would have run even with or slightly ahead of the American teams otherwise. From 2000 through 2003, the American and Canadian teams made about the same amount of money from a typical game despite a still fairly weak Canadian dollar. Since then, the Canadian dollar has strengthened, and Canadian teams have moved considerably ahead of the American teams: the average Canadian team now makes about 50 percent more than the average American team on a per-game basis. However, it is during this period that the N.H.L.’s salary cap has been in place. But even if the Canadian teams cannot spend their extra revenues on better player talent, this does not fully explain why they have been underachieving in the Stanley Cup and not at least winning their fair share of championships. Much of the reason, I must emphasize again, boils down to bad luck. Canadian teams have reached the Stanley Cup finals five times in the 19 seasons since 1992-93 but have come up short on each occasion, including in four cases where the series went to the seven-game maximum. One other factor, however, may be that there is so much excess demand for hockey in Canada that the Canadian franchises do not have to field especially strong teams to sell out their stadiums or to make a considerable profit. In the next chart, I have compared the per-game ticket revenues for each team in the 2012-13 season against the number of points they tallied between this season and the last one. For the United States teams, there is an imperfect but reasonably clear and statistically significant relationship between on-ice success and ticket revenues. There are lots of fair-weather American hockey fans, and they may not turn out unless their team is pretty good. In Canada, there is less competition from other sports, and there are many die-hard hockey fans who attend games almost no matter what. Consider, for instance, that the Toronto Maple Leafs increased their average ticket prices from about $75 (in inflation-adjusted United States dollars) in 2005-6 to $140 this season (or from about $85 to $140 in inflation-adjusted Canadian dollars) — despite never qualifying for the playoffs in the interim. They have almost always sold out their stadium anyway. These results can be generalized across other seasons. I ran a regression analysis that estimates per-game ticket revenues as a function of the number of hockey fans in a given media market, the number of points that a team averaged between the current season and the previous one, and a time trend. (Point totals are adjusted relative to the league-average number of points to correct for seasons shortened by labor disputes and changes to N.H.L. rules; the number of fans is expressed as a natural logarithm.) For American teams, an additional regular-season win (worth 2 points in the standings) yields about $10,600 in extra ticket revenues per game, or roughly $430,000 over a full regular season. For Canadian teams, the marginal value of an additional regular-season win is about $1,400 per game (or $60,000 per season), which is not statistically or practically significant. So the Canadian N.H.L. teams may suffer from a version of the problem that the Chicago Cubs faced during the “bleacher bum” years. Their fans are so loyal — happy enough to turn out for the spectacle and the beer even if the team stinks — that the franchises don’t have all that much incentive to put out a competitive product. Whether this has actually translated into complacency or mismanagement is harder to demonstrate. Even if N.H.L. teams are constrained in how much they can spend directly on player salaries, they could make other expenditures that should eventually translate into on-ice success — for example, by investing more in scouting and development. The Toronto Maple Leafs, the Montreal Canadiens and the Vancouver Canucks each employ 20 or more scouts, according to their Web sites — well above the N.H.L. average of about 15. So there is some evidence that they are making a good-faith effort to produce a quality team. (I wouldn’t want to slander any professional sports franchise by comparing it with the Chicago Cubs.) Nevertheless, a strong case can be made that these teams could stand some additional competition from N.H.L. franchises in their media markets and elsewhere in Canada. I estimate, for instance, that there are five million N.H.L. fans in the greater Toronto region (which I define fairly liberally to include the outskirts of the Golden Horseshoe): about twice as many as in the New York metropolitan area, which has three N.H.L. teams. And Montreal and Vancouver are not far from New York in their number of N.H.L. fans. Even acknowledging that additional N.H.L. teams in Toronto would not expect to draw as well as the Maple Leafs — just as the Islanders and the Devils do not have nearly as many fans as the Rangers — adding a second team in the Toronto area seems all but certain to produce another profitable N.H.L. franchise in a league where many teams are unable to break even. The new team would need to capture only about 14 percent of the Toronto market to reach the 700,000-fan threshold that seems to guarantee profitability in the N.H.L. A good case could also be made for a third Toronto-area team, along with second teams in Montreal and Vancouver. At the other end of the fan-interest scale, it seems very difficult for N.H.L. teams with fewer than about 300,000 hockey fans in their media markets to turn a long-run profit under the league’s current economic system. One might hold out hope that the newer hockey markets in the United States will grow to provide more revenue for their teams, but the evidence has not supported this conjecture so far. Per-game ticket revenues for United States teams in nontraditional media markets have grown at a rate of just 1.4 percent per year (inflation-adjusted) over the past 18 seasons, compared with 2.6 percent annually for traditional United States hockey markets and 4.2 percent annually for Canadian teams. These struggling United States teams hurt the Canadian teams both directly by diluting the share of Canadian teams in the league, and indirectly by compelling a salary cap structure that is meant to protect the struggling American teams (but which has yet to make most of them profitable). My best guess is that the economically optimal distribution of N.H.L. franchises would look something like the schema in the chart below. This would include two new teams in the greater Toronto area, one new team in Montreal and one new team in Quebec City. In lieu of a second team in Vancouver, Seattle — a marginal hockey market but probably better than several United States cities that already have N.H.L. teams — would get a franchise in the hope that support might spill over into British Columbia and other parts of the Pacific Northwest. New York would retain its three N.H.L. teams as the Islanders sought to find success in Brooklyn, while Los Angeles (which has no more N.H.L. fans than Philadelphia or Boston and fewer than Vancouver or Montreal) would be shaved to one. The six United States markets with fewer than 300,000 N.H.L. fans would lose their teams. This would yield a league with 11 Canadian franchises out of 28 — just shy of 40 percent — a level that comes much closer to the share of N.H.L. interest and revenues between among the two countries. And it would all but ensure that Canada’s Stanley Cup drought ends sooner rather than later
  7. Hey Roger, Boston is a "city where history has already happened." I still see Montreal as vibrant - a bit xenophobic maybe - but looking to build/re-build, challenge and create. Furthermore, the size differences and national scopes between MTL-TO vs NYC-Boston is not comparable. I've read the Montreal-Boston comparison on this forum before and I'm not altogether sure I understand why. Montreal is way more dynamic than Boston and New York is so far removed from anything Toronto it's not worth discussing. I think it's best that city comparisons be limited to specific issues and not be used to generalize a point.
  8. Jollysnork

    L'Avenue - 50 étages

    Hey there, Could any of the Forum's real estate experts comment about the correlation between sales offices that are built and actual building construction. Is it a good forecast? In other words, once a developer builds a sales office, what is the likelihood that the project actually gets built. It seems that once sales offices are visible here in New York, the likelihood is very high. Anyone have concrete numbers? Merci
  9. Maybe it would work off a PC. I have a Mac. I'll give it a whirl and report back. Merci pour ton aide et bonne fin de semaine.
  10. Bonjour Montreal, Mon fils et moi partons demain pour vous visiter. We will use the maps Monctezuma linked us to above. However, when I printed the document, all the formatting went crazy, making it hard to read and interpret (test it out on preview and you'll see what I mean). Is there one, printable master document somewhere on MTLurb that clearly lists names/addresses/locations of all the projects in play? On another note, we will fly into Burlington Vt and rent a car from there. My wife, who works at jetBlue, told me her airline has 8 flights a day (about 150 passengers per flight) into Burlington (4 from NYC alone) and that 50% of the passengers continue onto Montreal by car or bus. Seems like such a waste that Dorval could not harmonize taxes and fees to compete with a lightweight like Burlington. jetBlue is just 1 airline that people use to access Montreal from other airports. It all adds up to lost business. In a better world, logic would dictate that Dorval be a hub for places like Burlington, Plattsburgh, Ottawa, Quebec City and the Maritimes. Oh well, if anyone could help us out with a good, printable and comprehensive list of "Montreal en construction", that would be merveilleux. Merci les amis et bonnes vacances. I can't wait to see your amazing city again and sample all that wonderful food!
  11. Merci Monctezuma. C'est parfait pour mon excursion annuelle!
  12. Bonjour Montreal, I plan on touring Montreal on Bixi Bikes next Sunday when I'm in town for the weekend. I noticed that a Forumer had posted a map listing all the current construction projects. Trouble is I was not able to print it and now can't even find it. Can someone please advise? Merci
  13. Here's an article about Kheng Ly I found in Les Affaires newspaper. One wonders how long he can afford to sit on this land. Stay tuned, I guess. Mégatransaction : un acheteur au passé trouble HUGO JONCAS . Les Affaires . 27-08-2011 Un homme d'affaires au passé trouble vient de conclure la plus grosse transaction de l'histoire de Montréal sur un simple terrain à développer dans le centre-ville. Pour 28 millions de dollars, Kheng Ly a mis la main sur un lot de 140 000 pieds carrés, à deux pas du Centre Bell, boulevard René-Lévesque Ouest. Le nouveau propriétaire a été arrêté et accusé de blanchiment d'argent pour le compte d'un réseau de trafic de marijuana et d'ecstasy établi dans la capitale fédérale en 2004. Le juge a condamné son partenaire d'affaires allégué, Kien Huy Phung, à 16 mois de prison. Les accusations contre Kheng Ly, elles, ont été abandonnées "à la demande de la Couronne", mentionnent les documents judiciaires consultés par Les Affaires. "Il est trop tôt pour parler de nos projets pour le terrain", dit Kheng Ly, un membre influent de la communauté d'affaires asiatique. Il précise que plusieurs partenaires potentiels sont intéressés par son projet, dont des sociétés chinoises. Les lots - l'équivalent de deux terrains de soccer - occupent le quadrilatère formé par le boulevard René-Lévesque Ouest, l'avenue Overdale, les rues Lucien-L'Allier et Mackay. En plus d'un stationnement, d'un fast-food et d'une station-service, un immeuble historique occupe le terrain. La maison de Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine, premier Canadien à devenir premier ministre du Canada en 1842, a en effet échappé à la démolition, avenue Overdale. Le jugement de 2005 contre Kien Huy Phung indique que la police a saisi l'équivalent d'environ 280 000 $ en monnaies canadienne, américaine et européenne dans un centre d'encaissement de chèques des Services financiers Everest, qu'il dirigeait officiellement à l'époque. Huit mois avant le début de l'enquête sur le réseau de blanchiment d'argent, Kheng Ly était cependant l'unique actionnaire et dirigeant de cette firme, révèlent les archives du Registre des entreprises. Selon une source ayant travaillé sur le dossier, la police croyait qu'il était toujours le patron d'Everest. Joint au téléphone, Kien Huy Phung refuse de répondre à toute question sur cet épisode. "Je ne veux plus en parler, dit-il. J'ai payé le prix. J'ai quitté l'entreprise et je ne veux plus rien savoir des centres d'encaissement." Même silence chez Kheng Ly. "J'essaie d'oublier ce cauchemar", dit-il. Des amis intimes Après la peine de prison de Kien Huy Phung, Everest a fait faillite. Ses équipements ont été rachetés par Services financiers KL, qui a emménagé dans les mêmes bureaux, rue Jarry Est. Trois ans après le procès Phung, les centres d'encaissement de Services financiers KL ont servi à liquider 686 050 $ US en chèques des victimes d'une fraude de télémarketing, selon des documents policiers déposés en cour en 2009. Cette entreprise est dirigée par The Hong Huynh et Kong Tech Lim, proches de Kheng Ly. Avec sa femme, ils ont même cosigné ensemble deux hypothèques sur leurs deux résidences respectives dans l'arrondissement de Saint-Laurent, à deux coins de rues l'une de l'autre. Valeur totale des garanties accordées conjointement : trois millions de dollars, selon les registres immobiliers. "Nous trouvons parfois du financement ensemble, confirme Kheng Ly. Nous nous connaissons ; les Chinois s'entraident parfois de cette manière." Il assure cependant que ses liens avec le couple s'arrêtent là. Services financiers KL s'adonne aussi aux prêts lucratifs. L'entreprise en a consenti un de 250 000 $ à Andrea Cortellazzi, selon un contrat déposé en cour. Ce financier fait actuellement l'objet d'une enquête de l'Autorité des marchés financiers pour manipulation boursière. Taux d'intérêt : 50 % par an. Comme la plupart des autres entreprises de Kheng Ly, celle qui a acquis le terrain du boulevard René-Lévesque Ouest, le Groupe d'investissements immobiliers KL, publie la même adresse de correspondance que les Services financiers KL. Il s'agit du cabinet d'avocats Elfassy, Rose et associés, dans le Vieux-Montréal. Kheng Ly assure cependant qu'il n'a rien à voir avec Services financiers KL. "Vous savez, en ville, plusieurs entreprises peuvent avoir le même nom et le même bureau d'avocats !" Les Affaires n'a pas pu joindre le couple Huynh-Lim. "JE SUIS ARRIVÉ AU BON MOMENT" Kheng Ly a mis la main sur une aubaine au centre-ville de Montréal, selon des courtiers consultés par Les Affaires. "Je suis étonné du prix payé par l'acheteur, dit Brett Miller, vice-président principal chez CB Richard Ellis. À mon avis, les vendeurs n'ont pas maximisé la valeur du terrain." Ricardo Moretti, de City Space, est du même avis. À 197 $ le pied carré (pi2), les nouveaux lots de Kheng Ly contrastent avec les dernières grandes transactions. Ces derniers mois, le Fonds de solidarité FTQ a mis la main sur deux terrains du centre-ville pour 378 et 274 $ le pi2. Évaluateur chez Altus, Pierre Laliberté note toutefois que le terrain de Kheng Ly est plutôt loin du coeur du centre-ville et qu'il a longtemps été laissé à l'abandon. À deux pas des lots de Kheng Ly, le terrain du 1800, boulevard René-Lévesque Ouest est à vendre pour 243 $ le pi2. "Le prix n'est pas très élevé, mais 140 000 pi2, c'est beaucoup d'espace, dit Pierre Laliberté. Ça ne se développe pas si vite." L'ampleur de la tâche explique elle aussi en partie le bas prix déboursé par Kheng Ly, dit-il. Les vendeurs en guerre judiciaire Un conflit entre les anciens copropriétaires a pu précipiter la vente du terrain. Il était détenu par Les Vergers Lafontaine, une société en commandite que dirigeait et contrôlait le marchand d'art Robert Landau. Ses partenaires, les Cohen de Westmount, tentaient depuis des années de le forcer à vendre le lot et lui reprochaient de ne pas les tenir au courant des offres d'achat qu'il recevait, selon des documents judiciaires. Joints au téléphone, ni Robert Landau ni Douglas Cohen n'ont voulu fournir de détail sur la transaction. "Nous avons décidé de vendre parce que nous ne voyions pas comment nous pouvions travailler avec la Ville de Montréal", dit M. Landau. Les anciens partenaires ont réglé le conflit à l'amiable avant de conclure la vente du lot. "Je suis arrivé au bon moment", dit Kheng Ly. Il ajoute que le bas prix est aussi attribuable à l'importante décontamination qu'un éventuel constructeur devra faire sur le terrain avant de bâtir quoi que ce soit. Les vendeurs ont accordé une balance de paiement à Kheng Ly. Selon l'acte de vente, l'homme d'affaires a déjà versé 11 millions sur 28 aux anciens propriétaires. La somme provient en grande partie de ses partenaires, dit-il. Kheng Ly est cependant l'unique actionnaire et administrateur de la société à numéro qui a réalisé l'acquisition. "Nos avocats sont très occupés, explique-t-il. Ils n'ont pas fini de structurer l'entreprise." Pierre Laliberté croit qu'étant donné la grande dimension du terrain, il se prête bien à un développement mixte, y compris du commerce de détail et du bureau, mais surtout des copropriétés.
  14. The news about Ly is very disappointing. This is a clear care when the private sector has failed. Somebody should step in to protect this house.
  15. I consider this project the most important one in Montreal. It will fill an important and prominent hole in the cityscape and give LH LaFontaine his due. It will combine new architecture with preservation. Perfect. Let's all get behind this one! Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine home: Hope grows for landmark BY MARIAN SCOTT, THE GAZETTE OCTOBER 22, 2011 8:01 AM STORYPHOTOS ( 2 ) More Images » Decades of neglect: The Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine house on Overdale Ave. narrowly escaped demolition when the city designated it a historic site in 1987, but that did not stop the owners from gutting the interior in 1991. Photograph by: Dario Ayala, THE GAZETTE MONTREAL - For 25 years, vandalism, neglect and partial demolition have taken their toll on the Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine house. But as the 166-year-old greystone mansion has crumbled, the clamour to save the home of the man who brought democracy to Canada has only grown stronger. Now, there is new hope for a building many regard as this country’s most important endangered historic structure. Last week, heritage advocates met with the house’s new owner, businessman Kheng Ly, who is planning a commercial-residential project on René Lévesque Blvd. between Lucien L’Allier and Mackay Sts. Ly said he was open to exploring ways to preserve the mansion and part of its grounds. “This is one of the most important historic buildings in Canada, period,” said La Fontaine’s biographer, John Ralston Saul, who was in Montreal this week to launch the French translation of his 2010 book, Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine and Robert Baldwin. “It’s not simply that this was La Fontaine’s house. This is the house when he became the first prime minister of a democratic Canada,” Saul said. Many Montrealers have rediscovered La Fontaine’s contribution to Canadian history in recent months as the Pointe à Callière archaeology museum has unearthed remains of the former Parliament under Place d’Youville. The city was the capital of the Province of Canada from 1844-1849. It lost that title after a mob of English-speaking Tories burned down the Parliament building – and tried to burn down the La Fontaine house, which still bears bullet holes from the attack. As prime minister of the province of Canada from 1848-51, La Fontaine, aided by English-Canadian reformer Robert Baldwin, established responsible government, meaning that the prime minister is accountable to Parliament, and thus to the people. He also introduced official bilingualism in the elected assembly. In contrast to earlier reformers like Patriote leader Louis-Joseph Papineau, Saul said, La Fontaine used political savvy and the art of compromise to wrest self-government from Britain. Despite years of abuse and alterations, the peaceful refuge where La Fontaine, an introvert who spent many hours in his home library, devised those policies still survives at 1395 Overdale Ave. “It’s a national birthplace,” said Dinu Bumbaru, policy director of Heritage Montreal, who met Ly and his architect Oct. 14 along with Senator Serge Joyal and heritage advocate Phyllis Lambert, founder of the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Bumbaru said the new owner expressed willingness to explore options for preserving and restoring the historic building. “They would like it to become a lively place,” Bumbaru said of Ly and his associates, who paid $28 million for the 140,000-square-foot site and are working on plans for a mixed commercial-residential complex. “This (the La Fontaine house) would lend a certain prestige for their project,” Bumbaru added. Concordia University history student Ashley Clarkson, who organized a petition to save the house with classmate Selina Antonucci, took heart from the latest twist in its saga. “We build monuments for La Fontaine, like Lafontaine Park, and we name things after him, like the tunnel, and yet we have this direct connection to his life, and it seems like everybody just is letting it fall apart,” said Clarkson, 22. “I’m very hopeful. The news we just heard about the new owners being motivated, that made me really happy,” she said. The mansion’s troubles date back to the 1980s, when developers Douglas Cohen and Robert Laundau bought up properties on Overdale Ave. – a short street south of René Lévesque Blvd. – and evicted residents for a $100-million condo project. The La Fontaine property narrowly escaped demolition when the city designated it a historic site in 1987, but that did not stop the owners from gutting the interior in 1991 nor has it prevented damage from more than two decades of neglect. Its graffiti-covered walls and gaping windows are a far cry from the mansion’s appearance in the 1840s, when it commanded a splendid view of apple orchards, says Anna de Aguayo, an anthropology teacher at Dawson College who has researched the building’s history. John Ostell, Montreal’s leading architect of the time, known for McGill University and the Customs House in Old Montreal, was commissioned to design the house in 1845. It is the only surviving example of Ostell’s domestic architecture. The Italianate villa originally had a wide hipped roof, sweeping front staircase and a wrought-iron balconette over the front door, originally one storey higher than the present entrance. A mansard roof added in the 1880s transformed its appearance. When the railroad sliced though the neighbourhood in the 1880s, many wealthy residents moved away and the old houses were subdivided. In the 1950s, the La Fontaine house was turned into an apartment building, and the front entrance was moved to the basement level. But David McKinstry, a consultant with the Georgian Group, a preservation organization in London, said despite those transformations, the building is still significant and merits restoration. “In the U.K., this building would almost certainly be listed,” he said. In Britain, lottery funds are partly funneled into restoration of historic properties, McKinstry said. “I would say it is very important as the only surviving example of the domestic work of a known and eminent architect,” he said. Advocates say it should become a museum about the pivotal figure who brought responsible government to Canada. “Its historic role is absolutely clear,” Saul said. “I think it should be a museum. A museum about the birth of democracy in Canada, wh Read more: