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  1. I'm sure there's a thread for this piece of land but too lazy to look. In Saturday's Gazette a report on a new Preval projet on the former Franciscan church site. Suspects are apparently already complaining though that's a small piece of the report. MONTREAL - A vast tract of downtown land, left partially empty after the site’s historic Franciscan church was destroyed in a 2010 blaze, could be reinvented as two 18-storey condo towers. Groupe Prével, the developer that transformed the former Seville theatre near the old Forum into a sold-out multi-phase condo project, has an option to buy part of the site on the south side of René Lévesque Blvd., west of Fort St. and the entrance to Highway 720. The Prével project — which would include a 330-square-metre public park on part of the site — would require the city of Montreal to change the zoning from institutional to residential. “We’ve had internal discussions with the planning department and they seem positive about it,” said Jonathan Sigler, a co-founder of the urban condo developer, which has also built the Lowney project in Griffintown. “But obviously, this is going to go through a public consultation.” The project comes at a time when the city of Montreal, along with other local muncipalities, is under fire for fast-tracking residential development at the expense of green space and such services as schools and daycares in areas like Griffintown. Sigler said Prével’s project would balance development with the need for green space, by creating the park and maintaining the woods in the back of the site known as the jardin des Franciscains. “Nothing would be knocked out,” Sigler told The Gazette. But some residents in nearby Shaughnessy Village have already called on city officials to “firmly oppose the project” and come up with a plan oriented toward better public access to the site instead of for “building condo towers.” Through the deal with the Franciscans, Prével would acquire only part of the site, which includes two heritage buildings used by commercial tenants. The religious order, which first stepped foot in Quebec nearly 400 years ago, would continue to own these two buildings. The historic Franciscan church was destroyed in an early-morning fire more than three years ago. News reports said the religious order had ceased holding services at the aging church, and abandoned the building in 2007 because it couldn’t afford the $5 million in needed repairs. Read more: Montreal Gazette | Page Not Found
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