Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'owners'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Real estate projects
    • Proposals
    • Going up
    • Completed
    • Mass Transit
    • Infrastructures
    • Cultural, entertainment and sport projects
    • Cancelled projects
  • General topics
    • City planning and architecture
    • Economy discussions
    • Technology, video games and gadgets
    • Urban tech
    • General discussions
    • Entertainment, food and culture
    • Current events
    • Off Topic
  • MTLYUL Aviation
    • General discussion
    • Spotting at YUL
  • Here and abroad
    • City of Québec
    • Around the province of Québec.
    • Toronto and the rest of Canada
    • USA
    • Europe
    • Projects elsewhere in the world
  • Photography and videos
    • Urban photography
    • Other pictures
    • Old pictures

Calendars

There are no results to display.

There are no results to display.

Blogs

There are no results to display.

There are no results to display.


Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


About Me


Biography


Location


Interests


Occupation


Type of dwelling

Found 10 results

  1. MONTREAL - When James Essaris looks out over his flat concrete kingdom of 20 downtown parking lots that he started collecting in 1956, he sees a precious urban resource where others see ugliness. The much-maligned parking lot, long considered an urban eyesore and enemy of public transit, is becoming an increasingly rare feature on the downtown streetscape. Essaris, longtime owner of Stationnement Métropolitain, sees his barren concrete as more than just a chance for him to pocket some cash on the barrelhead: he believes in the good that parking lots do and considers the spaces to be the lungs of downtown commerce. “The City of Montreal should give free parking to come downtown. We’re chasing people out to the shopping centres,” he said. The new parking lot tax was adopted in 2010 and brings in $19 million a year to fund public transit. The tax is determined by a complicated formula that Essaris says in practice makes city taxes about twice as expensive on a surface lot as it would for another type of structure. The city held public hearings on the issue this spring and response to the surface parking eradication campaign — through the new parking tax and allowing larger-scale buildings on the empty lots — was greeted positively, according to City of Montreal Executive Committee member Alan DeSousa. “It brings more money into the city coffers and removes the scars in the downtown area,” he said. He said that some of lost parking spaces have been replaced by indoor parking in the various projects. But after seeing his taxes double in recent years, Essaris is now doing what many other parking-lot owners have done: He has started sacrificing his supply of parking spaces for housing, most recently building a 38-storey Icône condo tower at de la Montagne St. and René Lévesque Blvd. He has some misgivings, however, knowing that those spots will be sorely missed. “We cannot survive without parking in the city. I wish everybody could take the bus and métro, it’d make things easier, but you cannot force people onto the métro when they have a car,” he said. Urban retailers have long begged their merchants associations to create more places to park, perhaps no more than on the Main where about half of all members regularly plead for more parking, according to Bruno Ricciardi-Rigault, president of the SDBSL. “It would be really nice if we had a few more parking lots,” he said. However, the dearth of spaces is only going to intensify as the few remaining parking lots near St. Laurent Blvd. are slated to be redeveloped. Ricciardi-Rigault is bracing for more complaints from restauranteurs who have lost customers because their motorist clientele was fed up with circling the block. “Some people want to spend the whole afternoon, shop, go to Jeanne Mance Park, come back for a beer. Paying $20 to park on the street, that‘s asking a lot,” he said. Condo towers have been replacing lots in the downtown core at an impressive pace and the result is higher prices at indoor garages, reflected in a recent Colliers study that ranks Montreal as having the second-highest parking prices of any big Canadian city. Rates have risen an eye-opening 11 per cent since last year, as the average monthly price for an unreserved spot in a downtown underground commercial lot was $330.96 — $88 above the national average. The proliferation of private parking lots once inspired many to liken Montreal to a bombed-out city, but that is no longer the case. “We were spoiled by having tons of parking lots, now Montrealers will have to get used to much higher parking costs,” said Colliers representative Andrew Maravita. He credits a lower commercial vacancy rate for pushing prices higher. Up until the 1960s, Montreal tacitly allowed even historic buildings to be demolished and replaced by parking lots and until recently turned a blind eye to the countless rogue illegal lots that dotted the downtown core. For ages, Montreal surface parking lots were fly-by-night operations, changing ownership to avoid bylaw restrictions ordering them to be paved, landscaped. The city always said they couldn’t chase every owner down. But in recent years, authorities have increased taxes and cracked down on illegal lots, combining the stick of punishment with the carrot of juicy rezoning booty. In the past, many property owners failed to see the point of building on their parking lots, as the zoning frequently only allowed for small buildings. Those restrictions have been lifted on many of those properties, resulting in a bonanza for parking-lot owners whose land increased in value. The strategy was put into place with input from architect and former Equality Party leader Robert Libman, who previously served on the city’s Executive Committee. “A lot of projects going on now, on streets like Crescent and Bishop and that area, were previously zoned for two or three storeys. The urban plan capped those at a minimal height. The rezoning has made it more alluring for owners to build instead of leaving it vacant,” he says. Libman’s war against above-ground parking lots is personal. “They’re ugly and they undermine the downtown urban fabric,” Libman said. But he concedes that commerce relies on people being able to drive to a business. “You’ve got to find that careful balance between offering too much parking, making it too easy vs. your objective of discouraging people to take their car downtown and using public transit, that’s the fine line you have to find between the two,” he said. Developers are required to include parking in new projects, but the amount varies from place to place. In Laval, many projects are required to have two parking spaces per condo unit, while in the Plateau it’s close to zero spaces, although a typical recipe calls for one spot per two units. The one part of the city perhaps most challenged by a dearth of parking facilities is the booming Old Montreal area. The issue has long been considered such an urgent problem that one proposal from a decade ago even suggested that the massive silos in the Old Port be used to park cars. More recently, Old Montreal planners have installed an electronic billboard indicating where spaces could be found, but the pressure on parking endures, according to Georges Coulombe, whose real-estate company has been snapping up properties in the area for the last four decades. Coulombe concedes that area commerce has been hurt by a lack of space for cars. “People from places like Longueuil want to come shop on the weekend, but they can’t do it anymore, it’s too expensive to park, they end up going to malls closer to home.” He attempted to address the problem through a plan to build a high-tech robotic parking facility that could accommodate twice as many cars as a regular indoor lot. However, he did the math and found that it wouldn’t make sense because of city taxes. “I had a small 3,000-foot terrain that I would have turned into 300 spaces, but the city wanted to tax not just the building but the machinery inside. It made it impossible.” Much-hyped futuristic robotic parking systems are seen by some as a potential solution to parking woes and have actually been around for quite some time. The city has had at least three pigeon-hole parking systems as the earlier incarnations were known; one was opened on de la Montagne St. in the 1950s and another on Mansfield, where a worker was crushed by an elevator. A third more recent one was in operation at St. Jean and Notre Dame until a decade ago. Authorities frequently cite the fear of being unable to put out a car blaze in their opposition to such facilities. And although a few such high-tech robotic lots could elegantly alleviate parking pressures, one expert says that the standalone dedicated parking buildings will probably never get built. Chris Mulvihill, the New Jersey-based President of Boomerang Systems, a high-tech car-stacking parking lot system, notes that any landowner would most probably opt for a different sort of project. “Take any place where it’s very hard to get a parking spot,” Mulvihill says. “You’d think building a garage and charging for parking would be a good business model, but the economics dictate that if there’s a high demand for parking in that area, it’s because it’s a hot, happening place, so there are real-estate developers who want to build on that land. The demand makes it uber-expensive. A landowner could make a lot more money doing something other than parking on it.” © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/Parking+squeeze+Downtown+businesses+feeling/7453989/story.html#ixzz2ASqBCwJE
  2. NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Real estate values around the nation have collapsed, and sales of foreclosed and "underwater" homes now dominate many housing markets, according to a report released Tuesday. The report, from Zillow.com, a real estate Web site, revealed that with foreclosures soaring, nearly 20% of the nation's home sales in 2008 were of bank-repossessed properties. Another 11% were short sales, in which homeowners owed more in mortgage debt than their homes were worth. Madera, Calif., had the highest percentage of these distressed sales: 54.6% of all transactions there were foreclosed homes, and another 3.4% were short sales. In Merced, Calif., 53.4% of sales were foreclosures and 4.8% were short sales. In nearby Stockton, 51.1% were foreclosures and 5.4% were short sales. "As more markets turn down and markets that were already down go deeper, the pace at which value is being erased from the U.S. housing stock is rapidly increasing," said Stan Humphries, Zillow's vice president in charge of data and analytics. "More value [was] wiped out in the fourth quarter of 2008 than was eliminated in all of 2007," Humphries said. About $3.3 trillion in home equity was erased in 2008, with $1.4 trillion of that wipeout coming in the fourth quarter alone, according to Humphries. More than $6 trillion in value has been lost since the market peaked in 2005. Those equity losses have put many homeowners underwater, where they're extremely vulnerable to foreclosure. These owners can't tap home equity for the cash they need to pay bills when they run into rough financial patches, and they often find it impossible to refinance - lenders will not loan more than the property is worth. In the United States, 17.6% of all homes are now underwater, according to Zillow, as are 41.2% of all mortgages for homes bought in the past five years. The worst-hit cities are in the once-booming Sun Belt. In Las Vegas, 61.4% of all homes are underwater. Because so many homes are worth less than their mortgage balances, an increasing number have to be sold short. But short sale transactions can take a long time to complete, because lenders have been having trouble keeping up with the flood of requests. "The speed of short sales is a function of the resources being allocated to them by lenders, and those resources are being stretched to the limit," Humphries said. That means lenders may not act on approving short sales for months. The deals cannot go forward without their approval, because the banks must agree to forgive the difference between what they're owed and what the sale brings in. As the time it takes to arrange short sales lengthens, they become harder to complete. Time and money wasted One example of how price declines can doom a short sale occurred recently in Phoenix. Curtis Johnson, a real estate broker there, worked with a health care worker whose hours were being cut and who could no longer afford her mortgage. She fell behind and decided to sell. Johnson was able to find a buyer willing to pay $183,000, and got an approval form the lender. The owner confidently moved out, got a new place and started a new life. But the lender folded and the mortgage went to a new servicer, who took six weeks to approve the deal. "Unfortunately, the buyers who were approved were no longer interested because the real estate market had dropped significantly," Johnson said. "They wrote a new offer, considerably lower then the first, and it was time to start over." Two more offers eventually fell through before a new buyer was found and the owner's bank approved the price, this time at $163,000. On the day of that closing, however, the parties discovered that the buyer's lender had run out of funds and dropped out of the deal. The home went to foreclosure auction before another sale could be arranged. The house is now on the market for $139,900. "[The house is] listed for less than what would have been received had the bank been willing to work with us, and still has not yet sold," Johnson said. Distressed sales like that depress the market for all homeowners. Regular sellers in cities dominated by foreclosures have to adjust their prices downward to compete. The percentage of homes sold for less than what their owners originally paid has leaped up in the past couple of years. In the United States as a whole, 34.6% of the sales made in 2008 were done at a loss. In Merced, 71.6% of all sales last year were for less than the seller paid. Stockton, Modesto and Las Vegas all had in excess of 68% of all homes being sold at a loss. Foreclosures beget more foreclosures by adding inventory to the market, which depresses prices, which increases foreclosures, according to Humphries.
  3. Deal Book If this did go through, I do wonder if NM would land up in Canada.
  4. Wealthy Global Buyers Favoring Montreal Spur 17% Gains By Greg Quinn - Dec 4, 2013 11:09 AM GMT-0500 International buyers have thrust Montreal, a city sometimes overshadowed by Toronto and Vancouver, into the national spotlight. Montreal, known for its crumbling water pipes and bridges as much as its cobblestone streets, now stands out for drawing the biggest share of foreign owners. They purchased 49 percent of the 206 homes worth at least C$1 million in the first half of 2013, according to a Sotheby’s International Realty Canada report and survey of brokers. In Vancouver, which boasts a rugged Pacific coastline and cultural ties to Asia, 40 percent of buyers of 1,239 such homes were from abroad. Toronto, which has filled its skyline with condo towers over the last decade, had the smallest portion of international owners, making up 25 percent of 2,947 deals. “The share of foreign buying in the Montreal luxury market surprises me,” said Craig Alexander, chief economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank. (TD) “When we think about the presence of international buyers we tend to think about Vancouver and Toronto.” 16.9% Gain International buyers are shoring up high-end housing in Canada after regulators tightened mortgage rules in 2012 to cool the nation’s booming market. In Montreal, prices of bungalows of around 1,200 square feet (111 square meters) rose as much as 5.4 percent in the third quarter from a year ago, according to figures from Toronto-based Royal LePage Real Estate Services. Dwellings of at least 3,000 square feet worth about C$2.47 million in the Westmount area gained 16.9 percent in the same period. In Vancouver and Toronto, price growth of luxury housing in some neighborhoods also outpaced less costly homes, the data show. Julie Dickson, who heads the Ottawa-based Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, said scant data makes it difficult to determine the impact of foreign buyers on the market. “There is anecdotal evidence at a minimum that foreign investment plays a big role, particularly in Vancouver. And while I think that means Canada is a great place to do business, it also is a risk because it can dry up quickly,” Dickson said during a Nov. 25 presentation in Toronto. Full article ici.
  5. http://www.montrealgazette.com/travel/Grand+Plaza+hotel+shuts+doors/3633909/story.html [sTREETVIEW]http://maps.google.ca/maps?q=45.518145,-73.567035&num=1&t=h&sll=45.546981,-73.642344&sspn=0.018805,0.062013&ie=UTF8&layer=c&cbll=45.518051,-73.56697&panoid=2VUOMSEo3-GQUABb5zEK8A&cbp=12,341.92,,0,-31.42&ll=45.518136,-73.583336&spn=0.02138,0.054932&z=15[/sTREETVIEW] [MAPS]http://maps.google.ca/maps?q=45.518145,-73.567035&num=1&t=h&sll=45.546981,-73.642344&sspn=0.018805,0.062013&ie=UTF8&ll=45.518045,-73.566964&spn=0.005375,0.013733&z=17[/MAPS]
  6. mtlurb

    Montreal Haunts

    Montreal Haunts Kathleen Murphy Issue date: 10/30/07 Section: halloween edition Behind every great city there lies at least one chilling ghost story and Montreal is no exception. The Old Port is believed to be the most haunted part of the city. Before it was converted to a restaurant, Le Saint Gabriel was the oldest inn in Montreal and was said to be haunted by the ghost of a young girl who died there in a fire during the 19th century. The Old Port is also the home of Marie-Reine Besnard, the witch of Hotel Dieu, and the infamous lovers Claude Thibault and Marie-Josèphe Angélique, who were allegedly responsible for the fire that destroyed most of the Old Port in 1734. Marie-Josèphe-Angélique was found guilty and gruesomely executed, but Claude Thibault disappeared and was never seen again. London may be famous for Jack the Ripper, but at least all of Jack the Ripper's victims remained dead. This was not the case for victim and prostitute Mary Gallagher. In 1879 she was beheaded by her best friend and fellow prostitute Susan Kennedy. Rumour has it that a downstairs neighbour heard Gallagher's body fall, followed by the sound of an axe chopping for ten whole minutes. Every seven years, Gallagher returns to haunt the streets of Griffintown where she died. Ghosts are still being sighted in Montreal to this day. Le Spectre Montreal is a team of ghost hunters who will help anyone "troubled by paranormal phenomenon" free of charge. If they can't resolve the problem, they recommend people, such as mediums, who can. In November 2001, Le Spectre investigated an old Bed and Breakfast that was haunted by the spirits of previous owners who committed suicide in the building. Images of these spirits can be seen in pictures taken inside the house. Another Le Spectre project took place in June 2002, when a family with two young children moved into a house in the south shore. While playing in the ruins of an old house, the children came across the battered corpse of an old man. The victim had lost a lot of blood and one of his legs had been pulled from his body. The children ran screaming to their parents but when they returned to the house, the body was gone. In June 2001, in St. Joseph (on the north shore), a man took a wedding picture in a gazebo outside the house where he was having his reception. Behind his head in the picture is the image of a small baby's face. Upon asking the owners, the man discovered that 25 years ago a baby girl named Alison Campbell died by drowning in a pond that used to lie under the gazebo. If you are interested in learning more about the ghosts that lurk in Montreal there is a ghost tour that takes place in Old Port. Tours end in September but they have special tours over Halloween
  7. One island, one giant wireless dream Non-Profit group of computer nerds is seeking city hall's help to make Montreal completely Wi-Fi friendly MICHELLE LALONDE, The Gazette Published: 8 hours ago A small group of self-described computer nerds has been quietly beavering away to make wireless Internet access freely available across Montreal Island, and city hall seems poised to help them achieve that goal. Calling themselves Île sans Fil (which translates roughly to "wireless island") and charging not a penny for their services, the group has so far equipped 150 "hotspots" in central Montreal neighbourhoods with wireless capability. The idea is that anyone who wanders into any of these hotspots with a laptop or handheld computer (a BlackBerry, for example) can get free Internet access as long as they have a Wi-Fi card. Île sans Fil is what's known as a community wireless networking group. Its members are students and professionals of varying ages who are interested in Wi-Fi's potential "to empower individuals and to foster a sense of community," according to the group's website. "At the core of this group are just some pretty nerdy people, early adopters of technology I guess we are called," said Daniel Drouet, president of Île sans Fil. "We all had Wi-Fi cards a long time ago, but we saw that people running the cafés and places we wanted to go hadn't heard of Wi-Fi and had no idea how to install it. A lot of business owners seemed to want to offer it, but they were in the business of selling coffee, or whatever, and didn't know where to start." So the group began approaching business owners and offering to set them up. Some of these business owners had already tried charging customers for Internet access, and learned the hard way that few would pay. But offering wireless access for free was a good way to attract customers, they wagered. The group has set up Wi-Fi access at dozens of cafés and restaurants, some sports facilities, a couple of parks (Jarry Park, for example), a few doctors' waiting rooms and at least one laundromat. The group is impatiently awaiting the city of Montreal's approval of their proposal to create about 250 more wireless hotspots, including many outdoor areas, such as city parks and public gathering spots like the Place des Arts. City hall's interest in wireless movement has been growing, especially as it watches other other large North American cities - such as Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco and even Toronto - take steps toward establishing city-wide wireless networks. In the fall of 2007, officials from the mayor's office contacted Drouet and asked the group to come up with a proposal on how the city could help them accelerate their efforts to expand the wireless network. That proposal was submitted to city officials last fall. A standing committee of the agglomeration council also held a public meeting on the issue late last year and the committee subsequently recommended the project go ahead. The partnership, as proposed by Île sans Fil, would see the city contributing $200,000 a year for five years to the group to support the installation of 150 more wireless service points in outdoor locations, and at least another 100 points in local businesses. Drouet said he was told the contract would be approved at a spring executive committee meeting, but is still waiting. He has been informed there is no money left in the 2008 budget, but the project may be included in the 2009 budget. Alan DeSousa, executive committee member responsible for economic development, said he is working to get the project approved as quickly as possible. As mayor of the St. Laurent borough, DeSousa has approved Île sans Fil's installation of Wi-Fi hotspots in several borough locations, such as the borough hall and Marcel Laurin Park. "I think this is an exciting and important project," DeSousa said Friday. "I will do what I can to see it is stickhandled as quickly as possible to make sure it sees the light of day either in 2008 or 2009, but the sooner the better." For more information on Île sans Fil, go to http://www.ilesansfil.org [email protected]