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Found 16 results

  1. (Courtesy of The Montreal Gazette) WOW I am happy I don`t live on St Pierre anymore. This city has gone to the dogs. I guess its time to really go out and buy a bulletproof vest and armour up my car.
  2. MVRDV and ADEPT win Copenhagen high-rise competition with design ‘Sky Village’ The municipality of Rødovre, an independent municipality of Copenhagen, Denmark, announced today MVRDV and co-architect ADEPT winner of the design competition of the Rødovre Skyscraper. The 116 meter tall tower accommodates apartments, a hotel, retail and offices. A public park and a plaza are also part of the privately funded scheme. The new skyscraper with a total surface of 21,688 sq m will be located at Roskildevej, a major artery East of the centre of Copenhagen. It is, after the Frøsilos, MVRDV’s second project in Copenhagen. The skyscraper is shaped to reflect Copenhagen’s historical spire and present day high-rise blending in the skyline of the city, it further combines the two distinctive typologies of Rødovre, the single family home and the skyscraper in a vertical village. Consideration of these local characteristics leads to Copenhagen’s first contemporary high-rise. Responding to unstable markets the design is based on a flexible grid, allowing alteration of the program by re-designating units. These ‘pixels’ are each 60m2 square and arranged around the central core of the building, which for flexibility consists of three bundled cores allowing separate access to the different program segments. On the lower floors the volume is slim to create space for the surrounding public plaza with retail and restaurants; the lower part of the high rise consists of offices, the middle part leans north in order to create a variety of sky gardens that are terraced along the south side. This creates a stacked neighbourhood, a Sky Village. From this south orientation the apartments are benefitting. The top of the building will be occupied by a hotel enjoying the view towards Copenhagen city centre. The constellation of the pixels allows flexibility in function; the building can be transformed by market forces, however at this moment it is foreseen to include 970 sq m retail, 15,800 sq m offices, 3,650 sq m housing and 2,000 sq m hotel and a basement of 13,600 sq m containing parking and storage. Flexibility for adaptation is one of the best sustainable characteristics of a building. Besides this the Sky Village will also integrate the latest technologies according to the progressive Danish environmental standards. Furthermore the plans include a greywater circuit, the use of 40% recycled concrete in the foundation and a variety of energy producing devices on the façade. A public park adjacent to the Sky Village is part of the project and will be refurbished with additional vegetation and the construction of a ‘superbench’, a meandering public path and bench. A playground, picnic area and exercise areas for elderly citizens are also part of the plan. Lead architect MVRDV and co-architect ADEPT Architects won the competition from BIG, Behnisch and MAD. Winy Maas and Jacob van Rijs present the plan today in Copenhagen together with Anders Lonka and Martin Krogh from local office Adept Architects, Dutch engineering firm ABT and Søren Jenssen act as consultants for the project. Earlier MVRDV realised the Frøsilos / Gemini Residence in the port of Copenhagen: a residential project marking a new way in refurbishment of old silo’s which was highly acclaimed and received international awards. http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=10584
  3. as much as Aubin is a loud mouth - he;s not far from the truth. A wake up call to forum members.. we all love Montreal but we need to seriously wake up. 2011/2012 was a bad 2 years - we need to improve MONTREAL — SNC-Lavalin Inc. — founded by francophone Montrealers, headquartered in Montreal and active in engineering and construction projects in more than 100 countries — has long been the proud symbol of Québec Inc. Now, however, it risks becoming a symbol of something else — the decline of Montreal’s place on the world stage. The company announced last week that it is creating its largest corporate unit (one focused on hydrocarbons, chemicals, metallurgy, mining, the environment and water) and locating it not in Quebec but in London; heading it will be a Brit, Neil Bruce. As well, the company also said it was creating a global operations unit that would be based in the British capital. To be sure, SNC-Lavalin denies speculation by a La Presse business columnist that the company might be slowly moving its head office from Montreal. The two moves to London must be seen as reflecting “our healthy expansion globally,” says a spokesperson. “The corporate headquarters and all its functions still remain in Montreal.” Nonetheless, this unmistakable shift of authority abroad takes place within a broader context of fewer local people atop the SNC-Lavalin pyramid. In 2007, six of the top 11 executives were francophone Quebecers; last year, three. Note, too, that only two of 13 members of its board of directors are francophone Quebecers. When the company last fall replaced discredited Pierre Duhaime of Montreal as president, CEO, and board member, it picked an American, Robert Card. What’s happening to the company based on René-Lévesque Blvd. is the latest sign of the erosion of Montreal’s status as a major business centre. Of Canada’s 500 largest companies, 96 had their head offices in this city in 1990; in 2010, says Montréal International, only 81 remained, a 16-per-cent decline. It’s true that Toronto, too, has seen a decrease (with some of its companies heading to booming Calgary), but it’s only of six per cent. As well, because Hogtown has more than twice as many head offices as Montreal, the trend there has far less impact. Anyone with a stake in Montreal’s prosperity should care about what’s happening here. Head offices and major corporate offices, such as the SNC-Lavalin’s units, bring more money collectively into the city than do big events — the Grand Prix and the aquatics championship — whose threatened departures cause political storms. Such offices employ high-spending, high-taxpaying local residents and attract visiting business people year-round — people who represent income for cabbies, hoteliers, restaurateurs, computer experts, lawyers and accountants. Indeed, this week’s controversy over the absence of direct air links from Trudeau International Airport to China and South America is pertinent to this trend. It’s not only federal air policy over the decades that’s responsible for this isolation. It’s also that Montrealers have less money, and one reason for that is, as Trudeau boss James Cherry notes, “there are far fewer head offices in Montreal.” Keep losing them and we’ll be a real backwater. But how do we avoid losing these offices? We don’t need more studies. Tons of studies — good ones — already exist. The No. 1 factor for a company when choosing a head office location is corporate taxes, according to a Calgary Economic Development study. Quebec’s are the highest in Canada and the U.S. Thirty-four per cent of the executives at 103 local companies say that Montreal’s business climate had “deteriorated “ in the previous five years, Montreal’s Chambre de commerce found a year ago. The main reason: infrastructure (not only roads but also the health system). A study called “Knowledge City” that Montreal city hall commissioned in 2004 is still relevant. Its survey of 100 mobile, well-educated people (some of whom had already left Montreal) found that their top three biggest complaints with the city were, in descending order, high personal taxes, decaying infrastructure and political uncertainty from sovereignty. All studies agree that the quality of Montreal’s universities helps attract companies. Weakened universities would lower this power. The Parti Québécois government’s minister for Montreal, Jean-François Lisée, declared before Christmas that he was “Montréalo-optimiste.” He did not, however, spell out concrete steps for addressing the above-listed problems. Too bad that his government on Jan. 1 imposed higher personal taxes for people with high incomes — which hits business people. Too bad it has reduced spending on infrastructure by 14 per cent. Too bad that it has not only reduced funds to universities by $124 million over the next three months but that it says it might cut their funding in other years as well — in effect weakening them. And, finally, too bad that Premier Pauline Marois said this week her party would soon launch a campaign to promote sovereignty and that her government would step up its strategy of wresting powers from Ottawa. In the next few says, she’ll further promote Quebec independence with a meeting in Edinburgh with Scotland’s sovereignist leader. Staunch the hemorrhage of corporate offices from Montreal under this government? The very idea is Montréalo-irréaliste. Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Henry+Aubin+avoid+losing+head+offices/7862525/story.html#ixzz2IrXbVaOH
  4. Montreal's Greek consulate has already felt the impact of the Greek government's austerity measures, but many in the city's 80 thousand-strong Greek community are more angry at the rioters in their homeland than they are about the cuts. Hundreds of people rioted in the streets of Athens on the weekend, setting fires and looting stores, after the Greek parliament passed a new round of measures aimed at staving off bankruptcy. Politicians voted to slash the country's minimum wage and axe one-in-five civil service jobs over the next three years. Foreign consular offices have not been left unscathed. "We have had cuts, yes," confirmed the Greek consul-general for Montreal, Thanos Kafopoulos. "But we still try to maintain service, and we are also trying to increase revenues." Kafopoulos said many Greek expatriates living in Montreal own property and have investments in their native country - and they are divided over the solution. "There is concern. There is sadness, and there is worry about the process that Greece is going through," he said. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/02/13/montreal-greeks-react.html
  5. CINCINNATI -- The latest addition to Cincinnati's skyline seems to defy the recession plaguing the nation. Great American Tower at Queen City Square is a $400 million mega-building that will re-shape downtown. "We work in 43 cities around the country right now. This is the only high-rise we have currently going on in any of those cities," Turner Construction Vice President Ken Jones said. "This is a huge deal." The skyscraper is more than a year from opening and already it is 80 percent pre-leased. But so far, all the people moving to the building are coming from other buildings in downtown Cincinnati. "They need to stop right there in terms of stealing tenants from other buildings," Cincinnati Business Journal publisher Doug Bolton said. Bolton said the move of Great American Financial And Frost Brown Todd from their current offices to the new building in the eastern part of the central business district could cripple the restaurants and stores that have built their livelihood around Fountain Square. "There's a huge concern, and people have described it to me as this giant sucking sound out of the core of downtown," Bolton said. But the president of Downtown Cincinnati Incorporated said he sees the soon-to-be-empty office space as an opportunity to attract new companies and new revenue to the city. "At the end of the day, if there isn't growth, if there isn't more, then, really, we are, in fact, all spinning our wheels," David Ginsburg said. The developer estimates Great American Tower is saving or creating almost 9,000 jobs in Cincinnati. That number includes a prediction that Great American Financial would have moved out of Cincinnati if it wasn’t able to consolidate its offices. Copyright 2009 by WLWT.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Video of the news story and building here: http://www.wlwt.com/money/21795311/detail.html
  6. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-31/downtown-nyc-landlords-remake-offices-in-shift-from-banks.htmlDowntown NYC Landlords Remake Offices in Shift From Banks By David M. Levitt - July 31, 2013 David Cheikin is betting that skateboard millionaires will be happy where the Thundering Herd once roamed. As vice president of leasing for Brookfield Office Properties Inc. (BPO), Cheikin is leading the push to remake lower Manhattan’s former World Financial Center into a destination for technology and media companies. Once home to the Merrill Lynch & Co., the brokerage firm known for its bull logo, the Hudson riverfront complex is now Brookfield Place New York, and much more than the name is changing. Brookfield is stripping away brass and marble trims and adding bicycle parking, free Wi-Fi in public spaces and electric-car charging stations. At Merrill’s former headquarters, clear glass is replacing the imposing, dark-tinted facade built as a barrier to the public, Cheikin said. “We’re just trying to work out ways to make it more in line with how people want to work today,” he said. Downtown landlords with millions of square feet of empty space are transforming offices that were designed for the global financial elite to better appeal to New York’s technology and media firms. They’re pitching their properties as an alternative to the converted factories of midtown south, where a frenzy of demand has pushed up rents and driven vacancies to the lowest in the U.S. The image makeover is only part of the challenge as the area faces a glut of space from skyscrapers that are nearing completion at the World Trade Center site. Empty Space Consolidating financial companies have left landlords with at least 6.3 million square feet (585,000 square meters) of space to fill, almost 7 percent of the lower Manhattan office market, according to data from brokerage Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. Another 2.4 million square feet remains unrented at two new trade center towers scheduled for completion by mid-2014. At Brookfield Place, vacancies loom on about a third of its 8 million square feet. Across the street at 1 World Trade Center, the Durst Organization is preparing a marketing campaign to convince creative firms that they’ll feel at home in the Western Hemisphere’s tallest building. Almost half of the tower, scheduled to open next year, is available for lease. Durst, equity partner with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on the 1,776-foot (541-meter) skyscraper, is targeting companies that are in “phase-two growth, after the incubation startup stages,” said Tara Stacom, the Cushman & Wakefield Inc. vice chairman who is working with the developers on the leasing effort. New Construction “There’s something that the new construction can accommodate for all these tech users that the old construction can’t, and that is growth,” Stacom said. “A lot of these tenants are one size today, and they’re 200 times that size in less than a decade, and in some cases less than half a decade. We’re only now going out to speak to this audience.” Tenants could agree to take a small space at first, then expand into larger offices in the tower, Stacom said. As rents soar in the older buildings of midtown south, available government incentives and the efficiencies of new real estate would make the trade center more cost-effective, even at an asking rent of $75 a square foot, among the highest for downtown, she said. The tower’s open, column-free space offers more flexibility and the developers are even ready to duplicate a look that’s become popular with technology firms, leaving the ductwork exposed, Stacom said. Space ‘Mismatch’ About 1.4 million square feet are unspoken for in the skyscraper, which is slated to open to tenants next year and will have Conde Nast Publications Inc. as its anchor tenant. Another 1 million square feet are available at Silverstein Properties Inc.’s 4 World Trade Center, to open before year-end. There’s “a mismatch between the unprecedented amount of class A space currently available and the preferences of the tech sector for loft space in a neighborhood with a non-corporate vibe,” according to tenant brokerage Studley Inc. “Tech and creative-sector companies in Manhattan are indisputably growing by leaps and bounds,” Steven Coutts, senior vice president for national research at New York-based Studley, said in a July 24 report. “Nevertheless, this sector still lacks the heft to fill the void” left by contracting banks and other traditional office users, such as accounting and insurance companies. Lowest Rents Downtown Manhattan has the lowest rents and the highest office availability of the borough’s three major submarkets. The availability rate -- empty space and offices due to become vacant within 12 months -- was almost 16 percent at the end of June, up from 10.8 percent a year earlier, data from CBRE Group Inc. show. Asking rents jumped 20 percent to an average of $47.13 a square foot, a reflection of landlords’ expectations for the high-end space added to the market in the past year, according to Los Angeles-based CBRE. Rents in midtown south -- including such neighborhoods as Chelsea, the Flatiron District and Soho -- averaged $63.44 a square foot and the availability rate was 10 percent. Brookfield has about 2.7 million square feet of former Merrill offices to fill at its namesake complex. Bank of America Corp. (BAC), which took over the space when it bought Merrill in 2009, is keeping about 775,000 square feet and will stop paying rent on the rest in September when its leases expire. At Merrill’s former headquarters at 250 Vesey St., the vacant restaurant that once housed the Hudson River Club, where brokers dined on grouse and pheasant, has been removed. It’s now an open area where anyone can gaze at the Statue of Liberty in the distance. The change is part of a $250 million makeover of the World Financial Center’s retail space that will include an upscale food market and eateries that overlook the marina. Transit Hub Another selling point, according to Cheikin, will be the completion in the next two years of a $3.94 billion transit hub designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Brookfield is close to completing a 55-foot glass entryway supported by a pair of cyclone-shaped steel columns that will link Brookfield Place with the transportation center. Across town on the East River waterfront, SL Green Realty Corp. (SLG) is marketing about 900,000 square feet at 180 Maiden Lane, a black-glass tower south of the Brooklyn Bridge. Most of that is space that American International Group Inc. (AIG), once the world’s largest insurer, will vacate next year. SL Green, Manhattan’s biggest office landlord, is spending $40 million on renovations that include making over the interior plaza, as well as AIG’s cafeteria, auditorium and health club to transform them into “communal-type amenities,” said Steve Durels, director of leasing. Soul Cycle “I want the cafeteria to look like it’s a Starbucks, and I want the fitness center to look like it’s a Soul Cycle,” Durels said. “And I want the auditorium to look like the presentation space you’d find in a W Hotel.” Most importantly, he said, the ground-floor atrium will work like an indoor park, with seating areas where people can get a coffee and work on their laptops. Half of the floor will be covered in artificial turf, where tenants could arrange a volleyball, badminton or bocce game. So far, downtown landlords’ efforts to land creative firms have borne little fruit. Some of the industry’s biggest names -- Yahoo! Inc., EBay Inc., LinkedIn Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Facebook Inc. -- have opted to go elsewhere. Yahoo took four floors in the century-old former New York Times headquarters in Midtown, while LinkedIn went to the 82-year-old Empire State Building. EBay chose a onetime department store on Sixth Avenue in Chelsea that dates back to the 1890s, when the corridor was known as Ladies’ Mile. ‘Iconic’ Firms Facebook went to the East Village, taking about 100,000 square feet in 770 Broadway, which was designed in 1905 by Daniel Burnham, the architect who conceived the Flatiron Building. The social-media company joins tenants including AOL Inc. and the Huffington Post in the 15-story property. “Those firms are all iconic,” said Miles Rose, founder of SiliconAlley.com, a Web-based community for New York’s emerging technology industry. “The big, plain boxes don’t work for either their corporate culture or their workers. Older, iconic buildings have character and they have presence.” Of the 50 largest Manhattan leases made by technology, media, information and fashion tenants in the past two years, only 10 were in buildings completed later than 1970, according to Compstak Inc., a New York-based provider of leasing data. When 10gen Inc., maker of MongoDB data-management software, sought to expand out of its Soho offices last year, “downtown wasn’t exactly right for us,” said Eliot Horowitz, co-founder and chief technology officer. “We wanted some place that was pretty wide-open and feeling kind of lofty. We sort of wanted a Soho feel, but with a lot more flexibility and a lot more space than you can actually get in Soho.” Older Buildings 10Gen wound up taking about 32,000 square feet at the Times Building, he said. This month, it expanded its commitment to almost 50,000 square feet. Some creative companies that have gone downtown have favored the market’s older buildings. When HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. agreed to leave its longtime Midtown headquarters, it took 180,000 square feet at 195 Broadway, a colonnaded tower built in 1916 that was originally the American Telephone & Telegraph Co. building. WeWork, a company founded three years ago to provide shared office space to startups, took 120,500 square feet at 222 Broadway, a 27-story property completed in 1961 that once housed Merrill offices. Brooklyn Projects Brooklyn, across the East River from lower Manhattan, may emerge as competition for technology and media tenants. Developers have plans for about 630,000 square feet of offices at the former Domino Sugar plant on the Williamsburg neighborhood’s waterfront. In an industrial district near the Brooklyn Bridge, 1.2 million square feet of buildings long-owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses are under contract to be sold to a partnership that may make much of the space into offices. New York’s Economic Development Corp. projects that fast-growing technology companies will need an additional 20 million square feet of space over the next 12 years, and they’ll be seeking rents of less than $40 a square foot. Melissa Coley, a Brookfield spokeswoman, declined to say what rents it’s seeking at Brookfield Place. The landlord last week said it had rented about 191,000 square feet combined to Bank of Nova Scotia, Oppenheimer Funds Inc. and fitness-club chain Equinox Holdings Inc. Earlier this year, it landed GFK SE, a German retail-research firm, for 75,000 square feet at 200 Liberty St., formerly 1 World Financial Center. GFK is moving from an older building in Chelsea. Trade Center The World Trade Center site is poised to get its second large media tenant. GroupM, an advertising planning and placement firm owned by WPP Inc., is working on terms to lease 515,000 square feet at 3 World Trade Center, according to two people with knowledge of the talks. The skyscraper, slated for completion in 2016, is being developed by Larry Silverstein, who considered capping the tower at seven stories if he couldn’t land an anchor tenant. If he goes ahead with building it to the full 80-story height, he’ll have another 2 million square feet to fill. The 70,000-square-foot spaces planned for 3 World Trade Center, called “trading floors” on the developer’s website, can be designed for “any industry,” according to Jeremy Moss, Silverstein’s director of leasing. GroupM is planning to use some of the five base floors, according to the people. Greg Taubin, a broker at Studley who represented 10gen, said certain technology tenants will be tempted by landlords’ efforts, while others “won’t go below 14th Street, period.” “It’s very tenant-specific,” he said. “But as midtown south continues to be tight for these types of tenants, certain buildings downtown will be the beneficiaries of this.” To contact the reporter on this story: David M. Levitt in New York at [email protected] To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at [email protected] ®2013 BLOOMBERG L.P. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
  7. Pavillon 8 wins AR Future Projects award This project for the former wharf area of Lyons at the junction of the Rhône and Saône is an atrium office building composed of two blocks with a public contemporary art exhibition space on its ground floor and a restaurant floating in the river beneath four dramatically cantilevered floors of offices. The restaurant’s five bubbles are made from different cladding materials, some solid some open. The judges thought this scheme had a lovely plan, bravura cantilevers and a kinetic quality which will create a special relationship between water and occupants. http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=10981
  8. http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/nobel-reit-is-moving-downtown-montreal-577586241.html 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - (TSXV: NEL.UN) Nobel Real Estate Investment Trust (the "REIT" or "Nobel REIT") is pleased to announce that it is moving its head office into its most recent acquisition located at 2045 Stanley in Downtown Montreal. Our offices are therefore closed today for the move; they will reopen in our new premises on Monday May 2nd. The REIT will then be reachable again at its new phone number, 514-840-9339.
  9. I have heard from a source who works for a tenant at 1425 Boul. Rene-Levesque Ouest that the building was recently sold to Saputo and therefore the property management contact info had changed. I don't know anything beyond this. There were rumours circulating in other threads about Saputo targeting the Standard Life Building which appears to have fallen through... could this have been their Plan B? The building is home to a number of tenants including Quebec govt offices, some international NGOs, and a language school among others... as well as the newly opened Frunchroom restaurant.
  10. http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/montreals-economic-stagnation?__lsa=c702-331f Stagnation city: Exploring Montreal's economic decline Peter Hadekel PETER HADEKEL, SPECIAL TO MONTREAL GAZETTE More from Peter Hadekel, Special to Montreal Gazette Published on: January 31, 2015Last Updated: January 31, 2015 7:28 AM EST Prime St-Catherine St. real estate stands vacant in Montreal on Tuesday January 27, 2015. Prime St-Catherine St. real estate stands vacant in Montreal on Tuesday January 27, 2015. John Mahoney / Montreal Gazette The Montreal skyline is dotted with construction cranes as an unprecedented building boom continues to unfold in condo and office construction. On the surface, at least, signs of prosperity abound. But look a little deeper and you’ll see a city that’s slipping behind the rest of the country. Over the last decade, Montreal’s economy grew by an average of just 1.5 per cent — the lowest rate among Canada’s major cities. Personal disposable income is also the lowest among the country’s eight biggest cities, and unemployment is among the highest. The bad news doesn’t stop there. Montreal is living through a period of crumbling infrastructure, widespread corruption, failed governance, inadequate fiscal power, low private investment, an exodus of head offices and an outflow of people. Even the real estate activity that’s dominating private investment in Montreal these days is of some concern to economists. They point out that it’s largely speculative and does little to improve productivity, innovation or the knowledge base of the local economy. We’re starting to see the long-term cost of the city’s economic decline. What if Montreal had simply kept pace with the Canadian average over the last 25 years? A November report from the Institut du Québec, a research group started jointly by the Conference Board of Canada and the HEC Montreal business school, found that if the metropolitan area had grown at the Canadian average since 1987, per capita income would be $2,780 higher today and income for the province as a whole would be up even more. “Despite its strengths and obvious attractions, Montreal suffers from major economic shortcomings compared with Canada’s other large urban areas,” said the report. “It fails to adequately fill its role as driver for the provincial economy.” That role becomes more important in a global economy that relies on cities as engines of growth. We are witnessing intense competition between cities for capital, talent and ideas — a race that risks leaving Montreal behind. Montreal’s economic heyday At the dawn of the 1960s, the case could still be made that Montreal was Canada’s business capital, even though Toronto was gaining fast. A black-and-white snapshot of the city’s economy looked like this: Perched at the top was a thriving financial industry, driven by banks, insurance companies, stock exchanges and investment brokers. The city was home to the head offices of the Bank of Montreal and the Royal Bank of Canada, as well as insurance giant Sun Life. Both the Montreal Stock Exchange and the Canadian Stock Exchange served a large community of brokerage and investment firms. A big part of the picture was a broad network of head offices in Quebec’s natural resource industry. Ste-Catherine St. W. in 1963. Montreal was once the economic capital of Canada. Ste-Catherine St. W. in 1963. Montreal was once the economic capital of Canada. Photo courtesy City of Montreal Archives Farther down the chain were the factories that made Montreal hum: metal and machinery plants, appliance manufacturers and rail-equipment makers, food processors and cigarette plants. The so-called soft sectors of the manufacturing industry were thriving in the days just before Asian imports began. Montreal was Canada’s leader in clothing, textiles, leather and shoes, with the industry providing well over 100,000 jobs. The St-Lawrence Seaway opened up the shipping industry through the Port of Montreal while the city served as headquarters for both Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railways. In 1962, when world-renowned architect William Zeckendorf completed the stylish Place Ville Marie office tower, it seemed to symbolize a new optimism for Montreal. What followed instead were decades of underperformance in which the city never fulfilled its promise. The head office operations of the Bank of Montreal and the Royal Bank gradually shifted to Toronto to take advantage of that city’s impressive growth as a financial centre. Political tensions over language and the issue of Quebec sovereignty hurt private investment and drove some of the wealthiest and best educated people out of the province. Sun Life left in a huff in 1978 after the Parti Québécois took power for the first time. The Canadian Stock Exchange closed its doors in 1974, while the Montreal Exchange lost increasing trading volumes to its Toronto rival before switching its vocation to financial derivatives. The fancy new airport built in Mirabel didn’t take off as promised, with Toronto becoming the hub for Canadian air travel. At the same time, the city’s aging industrial base felt the first effects of globalization as imports from Asia began to hurt the textile and clothing industry. The Montreal economy tried to reinvent itself and got a boost from free trade in the 1990s. Industries such as aerospace gained in importance thanks to the success of aircraft maker Bomabardier Inc. while investment also picked up in pharmaceuticals and information technology. But as the new millennium began, more negative trends had crept in: offshoring, outsourcing, contracting out. Companies had found new ways to cut costs by sending work to places like China, India and Mexico at a fraction of local wage rates. More industrial plants began to shut their doors. Gazette front page from January 7, 1978. Insurance giant Sun Life left the city for Toronto shortly after the Parti Québécois took power for the first time. Gazette front page from Jan. 7, 1978. Insurance giant Sun Life left the city for Toronto shortly after the Parti Québécois took power for the first time. Gazette file photo Failures along the way Economist Mario Lefebvre, president of the Institut de Développement Urbain du Québec, points to a number of failures along the way. Perhaps the biggest, he says, is Montreal’s inability to adapt its transportation network to the new realities of the global economy. The airport, the port, the rail network and the highway system need to work seamlessly together. “Goods and services are not produced in one place anymore, those days are gone,” he says. “Step one might be in Brazil, step two in Chicago, step three in Montreal and step four in China. To be a player in this kind of environment, goods and services must be able to come in and out of your city quickly. “We have all the means of transportation but the fluidity between them is still very complicated. There are too many decision-makers involved and we end up with projects that are not completed as rapidly as they should be.” The city’s aging industrial base remains vulnerable because it hasn’t closed the productivity gap with other jurisdictions. “We have educated people,” says Lefebvre, “but we haven’t surrounded them with state-of-the-art technology.” The private sector hasn’t done its part to renew the city’s industrial base with new machinery and equipment. And with a low rate of investment in research and development, innovation in Montreal has lagged behind the rest of the country according to measures such as the number of patents per capita. One of the biggest obstacles facing Montreal is its low rate of population growth. Among the country’s eight biggest cities, only Halifax had a lower rate of growth over the last 10 years. Montreal’s population grew at an annual average of one per cent, vs. 1.6 per cent for Toronto and nearly three per cent for Edmonton and Calgary. The low birthrate and the low rate of immigrant attraction explain part of the trend. But perhaps most serious, according to the Conference Board, is that on average more than 16,000 people a year leave the metro area for other parts of Quebec or other provinces and countries. Just holding on to that number of people each year would have added more than 450,000 to the population over the last 30 years. That would have meant more people working, paying taxes and spending money on housing, goods and services. It would have given a real boost to economic growth. So would have a stronger commitment from the provincial government to help Montreal. Lefebvre points out that the Quebec government has been pushing a Plan Nord strategy to develop natural resources in the northern regions, but what Quebec really needs is a Plan Sud that helps Montreal develop its knowledge-based economy. Closed stores on Ste-Catherine St. in Montreal Tuesday January 27, 2015. Closed stores on Ste-Catherine St. in Montreal this month. John Mahoney / Montreal Gazette The payoff would be so much bigger, he argues, not only for the city but also for the province. A dollar of additional economic activity in Montreal generates at least another dollar for the province in spinoffs and benefits. Montreal funds more than half the government’s spending, 53 per cent of provincial GDP and more than 80 per cent of all research and development. Along with a Plan Sud, the government should at last recognize that Montreal needs new tools to manage its economy, Lefebvre says, including new fiscal resources and powers to promote investment, integrate immigrants and train workers. The property tax base has reached the limit of its ability to fund those new services. While such legislation has been promised, it’s not yet clear how much real power will be conferred on Montreal. The federal government has a role to play, too, Lefebvre argues. “I think we wasted an incredible opportunity when the GST was reduced by two percentage points (in 2006). A GST point is worth about $7 billion. If we had given just one point to the cities for infrastructure, that would have meant an extra $50 billion to $60 billion for infrastructure over the last eight years.” Fighting the exodus The city has suffered other blows. One is the decline in the number of head offices that call Montreal home. Between 1999 and 2012 Montreal lost nearly 30 per cent of its head offices, according to an estimate by the Institut du Québec. Toronto suffered a five-per-cent loss as economic weight shifted to Western Canada, but the impact on Montreal was far more painful. “Head office jobs are important for the indirect impact they have,” said Jacques Ménard, president of BMO Financial Group in Quebec. Head offices support a range of activities like legal, financial, accounting and advertising services. They maintain high-quality, high-income jobs and provide the city with a measure of economic influence. Part of the solution is to create more such companies in Montreal in the first place, Ménard says. Quebec is suffering from a deficit in entrepreneurship and can’t expect to replace these corporate losses without growing new success stories. “If you look at a company like Stingray Digital, it didn’t even exist seven years ago. It’s now in 110 countries,” Ménard says about the Montreal-based provider of digital music services. “I’m on the board of directors and I have seen the company grow to where it now has 200 high-paying jobs in its headquarters.” Along with the head-office challenge, Montreal is looking to become a more international place to do business, taking advantage of its multilingual and multicultural assets and its potential position as a gateway to the Americas for European and Asian trade and investment. Construction continues around the Bell Centre in Montreal Tuesday January 27, 2015. Construction continues around the Bell Centre in Montreal Tuesday January 27, 2015. John Mahoney / Montreal Gazette European firms already have a significant presence here and now “there is a ton of money looking to leave Asia for investment diversification,” says Dominique Anglade, who heads the economic development agency Montreal International. Asian money represents a big potential opportunity for the city as it tries to sell itself internationally and attract both investors and professionals from abroad. People are eager to come here, she insists. “We had 300 openings on the last recruiting mission we did in Europe and for those openings there were 13,000 applicants. There’s a phenomenal attraction power, especially for workers who are educated.” Still, it’s not easy for companies and professionals to move here. Companies are often deterred by the weight of regulation and red tape in Quebec while professionals face barriers such as the recognition of their credentials or concerns about French-language requirements and schooling. When 50 top executives were interviewed last year by the Boston Consulting Group on the challenges facing Montreal, several said that the emphasis on French in the immigrant selection process restricts the pool of talent on which Montreal can draw. They argued it would be better to cast the net wider and invest more in French language promotion rather than in defensive measures. Digging ourselves out At Ménard’s request, the Boston Consulting Group looked at the experience of other cities that suffered economic difficulties and how they managed to turn around. The report focused on cities such as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia in the U.S., Manchester in Britain and Melbourne in Australia. All have made impressive comebacks, owing largely to two common factors: a high degree of citizen engagement and a focus on infrastructure projects that have made those cites better places in which to live and work. RELATED Two Montrealers helping breathe new life into city's economy It’s one reason Ménard launched his Je vois Montreal initiative last fall in an effort to get citizens rather than governments engaged in the process of building a better Montreal. “We’ve had so much of the top-down approach — ‘We know what’s good for you,’ ” he says. “Yes there is a role for governments, but communities really thrive when citizens take ownership of their future.” Je vois Montreal has launched more than 100 projects to get the city moving again. While they are not heavy on investment or job creation, they do herald a significant change in the mindset of many Montrealers who are simply fed up with the status quo sent via Tapatalk
  11. Source: http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21611086-why-building-worlds-most-popular-city-so-difficult-and-expensive-bodies-bombs-and London’s costly construction Bodies, bombs and bureaucracy Why building in the world’s most popular city is so difficult and expensive Aug 9th 2014 | From the print edition CROSSRAIL, a new underground railway line, is the main engineering marvel near Tottenham Court Road station in London. Few passers-by realise that another immensely complex construction project is under way nearby. At Rathbone Place, an old postal sorting office is being demolished to make way for a new block of offices and apartments. The entire building must be removed through one narrow exit onto busy Oxford Street. Beneath the site lies a disused underground railway once run by Royal Mail, which must not be disturbed. Even as your correspondent visits, the developer, Great Portland Estates, discovers an ancient electricity cable buried under the foundations. Much of central London is being knocked down and rebuilt. Some 7m square feet of office space is due to be added this year—the most since 2003. Relative to the existing stock, more offices are going up in the capital than in any western European or North American city. Yet building offices (and homes) near the middle of the capital is shockingly expensive. Even before the cost of land is considered, it costs roughly a fifth more than erecting similar stuff in New York or Hong Kong, according to Turner and Townsend, a consultancy firm. The challenges at Rathbone Place help to explain why. London’s history throws up many problems. Unexploded bombs dropped by the Luftwaffe still turn up surprisingly often, as do interesting medieval bodies. The opening of Bloomberg’s new headquarters in the City was held up by the discovery of thousands of Roman artefacts, including a rare phallic good-luck charm. London’s underground networks—including the Tube, but also sewers, various government tunnels and oddities such as the Royal Mail railway—must be negotiated. The city’s medieval street pattern means that buildings cannot always have straightforward 90-degree corners. Narrow streets make moving vehicles and machinery around construction sites far more expensive than in other cities. Typically, construction begins with a small crane, which lifts in vehicles and in turn erects a bigger tower crane. These cranes cannot operate from roads or overhang existing buildings, which explains why so many of the ones in London are elaborate, multi-jointed things. Sometimes they must be custom-built. The planning system then adds all sorts of expensive complexities. In Westminster more than 75% of land is covered by 56 conservation areas protecting the historic appearances of streets, right down to the colour of paint on doors. At another Oxford Street site, Great Portland Estates must lift up an old façade and scoop out the rest of the building from behind it. During this process, neighbouring buildings must be protected—not only structurally but also from noise and dust. Taller buildings are trickier still. They must not block designated views of various landmarks, which explains why some of the skyscrapers in the City of London are oddly shaped. The curious wedge-shaped Leadenhall Building, known as “the cheesegrater”, is intended to protect a view of St Paul’s Cathedral from a pub in Fleet Street. The design also means that the building cannot have a central concrete core, as in most skyscrapers. Instead, the floors are held up by an innovative steel exoskeleton. This makes for a thrilling journey up the building’s glass lifts. But it does add somewhat to the cost. Developers have adapted to these constraints as best they can. Construction is modelled by computers long before the first crane is installed. Each day’s work is planned almost to the minute and materials delivered when they are needed, much like the “just-in-time” methods long used in car factories. Many parts are brought in ready made: fully 85% of the Leadenhall Building was manufactured in the Midlands and Northern Ireland. But the sheer complexity of building in the capital makes for a small, specialised industry with high barriers to entry. Outsiders who try to negotiate London’s planning system often get in trouble, notes Toby Courtauld, Great Portland’s boss. Getting projects approved requires more than mugging up on planning regulations: plenty of rules are unwritten, while political objections can be unpredictable. Incumbent developers know the vagaries of the system. Newcomers do not. All this raises costs, which are passed on to business tenants. And the slowness of building in the capital means that offices are often finished at the wrong time, at the low point in an economic cycle: a slump in construction starts three years ago means supply will crash next year. Putting up buildings is far quicker and easier in other cities, such as Birmingham and Manchester, and also in London suburbs such as Croydon. But developers persist with inner London anyway. Office rents and land values are high enough to support even some outrageously complicated projects. Leasing office space in the West End is twice as expensive as in Madison Avenue in New York. For all that the city’s skyline is dominated by cranes, were developers given free rein much more of central London would be being rebuilt. For firms struggling with high rents, that is frustrating. For Londoners who live and work next to construction sites, it may come as some consolation. From the print edition: Britain
  12. Head offices are worth protecting High-value jobs come with territory DAVID CRANE, Freelance Published: Thursday, July 24 When Rio Tinto, the Anglo-Australian mining giant, made a successful $38.1 billion bid for Alcan a year ago, the Quebec government quickly intervened to make sure that Alcan's global head office remained in Montreal. Fortunately, the Quebec government not only had leverage but, in un-Canadian fashion, chose to exercise it. Those with longer memories can recall how, when Stone Container of Chicago acquired Montreal-based Consolidated Bathurst in 1999, the head office was quickly dismantled and most important functions were transferred to Chicago. Head offices clearly matter, and, with the number of high-profile foreign takeovers of Canadian companies, this has triggered fears of a "hollowing out" of the economy. That's why, just over a year ago, the Harper government asked a small group of talented Canadians, led by corporate executive Red Wilson, to tell it what to do. Wilson's panel - the Competition Policy Review Panel - has now delivered its report, with many important proposals to improve the competitiveness of Canadian companies and build more Canadian multinationals. But Wilson's panel has not been successful in designing an effective policy on foreign takeovers that balances Canada's commitment to an open economy with the need for a stronger business sector headquartered in Canada. Our experience tells us that head offices of large corporations bring many benefits, the panel says. "When a Canadian company is acquired by another Canadian company, Canada loses a head office but gains a stronger company. When the acquirer is foreign, Canada loses a head office and a company," it contends, arguing that foreign takeovers affect career opportunities for Canadians as well as many community benefits associated with large head offices. As the panel stresses, "the head office of an enterprise is its 'brain.' It is the place where strategy and other critical decisions are made by its key management personnel." When a Canadian firm is acquired by a foreign enterprise, decisions that once were made in Canada are now made in another part of the world where Canadian interests may have little importance. Head offices provide high-skill, high-paying jobs. And as the panel points out, head offices also support many other jobs "by attracting high-value business services - legal, accounting, consulting, information technologies, marketing and advertising - to the community." But the panel's solution to foreign takeovers is not to propose stronger rules on foreign takeovers but to advocate policies to develop a new generation of Canadian-based multinationals, companies like CAE, Bombardier and SNC-Lavalin, as well as making Canada more attractive for divisional headquarters of foreign multinationals, as happened with Alcan. These are important proposals and we should certainly do all we can. But even if we do a better job of creating new companies, the best of them could also become foreign takeover targets. So we would be growing seed corn for foreign multinationals or, as it has been put, "growing guppies to feed the sharks." Moreover, the panel would make it even easier for foreign corporations to acquire budding Canadian multinationals by limiting Investment Canada screening of foreign takeovers to companies with a value of $1 billion or more, compared with the current level of about $295 million. This would be a mistake - we should keep as much screening scope as possible. The panel does propose that instead of judging foreign takeovers on a vague test of "net benefit" to Canada, that negotiation of proposed takeovers be based on a test of "Canada's national interest." Australia, which uses the "national interest" test for takeovers of about $100 million or more, has shown it's possible to use this approach to negotiate strong terms or alternatively to say no. For example, according to Secor Consulting, when BHP Ltd. of Australia and Billiton Plc of Britain merged in 2001 to create BHP Billiton, Australia required that the company continue to be an Australian, managed in Australia and listed on the Australian stock exchange. The global headquarters had to be in Australia, both the CEO and CFO had to have their principal places of residence, offices and key supporting functions in Australia and the majority of all regularly scheduled board and executive committee meetings had to occur in Australia. So the "national interest" test could make sense. But it would have to be carefully defined to give Canadians confidence that Ottawa would really stand up for Canadian interests. The panel also proposes easing Canada's foreign takeover restrictions on foreign ownership of Canadian airlines, telecommunications companies and broadcasters. But it's hard to see clear benefits. One important recommendation the panel does make is to give directors of Canadian corporations more power to say "no" to foreign takeover bids. Today, directors are typically forced to become "auctioneers" and find an alternative buyer in response to an unwanted bid. In the U.S., directors have much greater capacity to simply say "no." Canada should continue to screen foreign takeovers, but with a more rigorous and more transparent negotiation of conditions and a greater readiness to say no, while improving the ability of corporate boards to reject unwelcome takeovers. Canada should also focus more on attracting foreign corporations to launch new businesses here, not take over our existing ones. David Crane is a Canadian writer who closely follows innovation and globalization issues. He can be reached at [email protected] interlog.com. http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=65bbef64-3d8f-401e-8ad2-7790f7f4bcd1&p=2
  13. A new super skyscraper has just been announced for South Korea and will tower over all other buildings in Asia when it is complete in 2014. From a global perspective, Lotte Super Tower 123, designed by Kohn Pederson Fox, falls just short of taking the title, and will be not the tallest but the second tallest skyscraper in the world. The structure will serve as the new corporate headquarters for the Lotte Group, whose subsidairy, Lotte Construction, will build it. Zoning has been approved and excavation is nearly complete. With aims towards LEED silver certification, the tower will have a strong environmental component and will offer Seoulians mixed-use areas such as shops, apartments, offices and a hotel. To be built in the southern Jamsil section of the city near the Han River, the Super Lotte Tower will sit next to a key transportation hub, efficiently bringing in commuters as well as tourists eager to see the new attraction. Mixed-use development was a key element in the design, and the vertical city will include public transport connectors, retail and residential space, offices, a hotel, an observation deck, and other public areas. Exact details on the sustainable design elements of the structure have not been released, but the firm is aiming for LEED certification, which will hopefully by that time include building performance monitoring to ensure energy savings. Kohn Pederson Fox, who is also responsible for the new eco-district Songdo IBD, is well known for designing super structures – especially in Asia. US architecture firms like KPF have been looking abroad for design work and have managed to stay afloat with contracts developing regions in Asia as well as the Middle East. + Kohn Pederson Fox Architects http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/10/21/tallest-building-in-asia-revealed-for-seoul-south-korea/
  14. Israeli consulate to move from downtown to Westmount JASON MAGDER, The Gazette Published: 8 hours ago The Israeli consulate is moving from its downtown location to Westmount. According to the consulate's website, the offices will move from the CIBC building on René Levesque Blvd. at the corner of Peel St. to Westmount Square by next Monday. A spokesperson for the consulate says the consulate's 10-year lease in the CIBC building had expired, so the decision was made to change locations. "This is what suited us best in terms of office space and availability and we took what we could take," said Peter Subissati, the consulate's director of public affairs. Daniel Saykaly, a director of Palestinian and Jewish Unity, called the move a victory for his group. He said the consulate has been embarrassed by weekly protests held in front of the CIBC building since Feb. 9, 2001. "We originally started the weekly vigil in the relatively early stages of the second intifada," he said. "We felt it was important to make a regular public statement against the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza." The consulate's spokesperson denied the group's claim. "The protests had been going on without any incident and I don't think it ever was a factor in our move," Subissati said. He added the offices of the Spanish and Brazilian consulates are also at Westmount Square. Saykaly said PAJU and supporters haven't missed a week since the first protest, and usually between 20 and 30 people demonstrate in front of the CIBC building on Fridays between noon and 1 p.m., waving flags, chanting slogans and handing out flyers. A counter-protest of Israel supporters has been taking place across the street for the last several years, garnering about the same number of people. Saykaly said his group will now move its weekly protests to Ste. Catherine St. at the corner of McGill College Ave., to join members of the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid in front of the bookstore Indigo. [email protected]
  15. Voici ma propre vision pour le 2-22 Sainte-Catherine. Features include: 1- Glass-clad building (on all sides!!) 7 storeys with a "pinch in the middle" design intended to harmonize the first 4 floors with the surrounding buildings and to make the LCD news ticker stand out more. 2- Bar/terrasse sur le toit 3- Nightclub au 4ème étage 4- Three storey atrium with tourist info, cultural facilities, ticket booths, etc. 5- LCD news/info tickers, info about upcoming shows, also to give a bit of a mini-times square gradiose feel to everything 6- TV géants 7- Three remaining floors for offices, music rooms, quartier des spectacles administration, whatever, etc. Qu'est ce que vous en pensez? J'aurais du me coucher à 11pm mais depuis minuit je travail la dessus.. j'ai trop eu le fun Ok, là c'est dodo... si le feedback est positif, je vais peut-être continuer plus demain... sinon ben, voilà