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Ahead: A brighter horizon for Cabot Square Plans due; Downtown area in search of an identity Source: The Gazette Cty councillor Karim Boulos is standing in the Canadian Centre for Architecture, airing his optimism over a scale model of what is known as "the Cabot Square area" - a part of the Peter McGill district he represents. But the Cabot Square area is also a stretch of Ste. Catherine St. that makes many Montrealers wince. The thoroughfare between Lambert Closse and Chomedey Sts. has been this city's version of a picture of Dorian Gray, a pastiche of boarded-up storefronts, crumbling facades and grafitti that seems to have spread while other neighbourhoods renewed themselves. However, by this time next Monday, Boulos and the rest of the city will get a bigger glimpse of what might happen to the piece of downtown that's been in search of an identity for nearly a generation. That's when three teams of architects and urban planners will submit their versions of what should be done to revive the Cabot Square area. Boulos, Ville Marie borough mayor Benoit Labonté and members of an alliance of neighbourhood businesses and residents met the press yesterday to detail the attempts to revitalize the neighbourhood. The planning teams were formed after a collection of 25 business, property owners and residents' associations started the Table de concertation du centre-ville ouest. "The properties may be empty but the owners are still paying taxes," Boulos said. "They haven't left, they're waiting to see what's going to happen." The plans submitted by the teams will be judged by a jury that includes architect and Harvard professor Joan Busquest, Dinu Bumbaru of Heritage Montreal and founding director Phyllis Lambert of the Canadian Centre for Architecture. The successful submission will form the basis for an urban plan that will produced by the borough and submitted to public consultations. Boulos suggests that if everything goes well, changes in the district might begin "by this fall." And for Lambert, whose architectural centre sprawls across the neighbourhood's southern edge, change is what's needed for a district that spent decades losing more than it's gained. "Over the last years, this area has deteriorated miserably," she said. "There used to be the Forum and all those stores where the Faubourg (Ste. Catherine) is. ... But it just goes down the drain further and further. "Then there's the block ... just to the east of the Forum with the (Seville) theatre on it, which has been boarded up for years. "And this just destroys the whole area. People have no respect (for the neighbourhood), and why would you? People just walk down the street and it's so miserable." Lambert's nephew, Stephen Bronfman, is chairman of Claridge Inc., an investment company that owns the Seville Theatre block. Asked in October about the condition of the block, Lambert told The Gazette: "It is coming along. Slowly, but we are working closely with the city and other landlords in the area. It takes time to do properly." Labonté says a development project for the Seville block is under study by the borough's urban committee. Boulos has said in earlier interviews that a private investor plans to turn the block into student residences. "What I can tell you about this project," Labonté said, "is that that there will be lots of room for students - especially for Concordia University - and the design of the building will be quite impressive. ... I'm pretty confident this project at the Seville Theatre will start the renewal of this leg of Ste. Catherine St." A decision by the borough on which development plan will be used is expected in May. But final approval will rest with the city's executive committee. In the meantime, Montrealers and the people who own the storefronts that make them wince wait to see what's going to happen.
Top Asian team at global business challenge 31 March 2008 NUS' MBA team beat more than 270 Asian teams to emerge the best in the continent at Cerebration 2008, with DBS as principal sponsor. The Competition is an annual global business challenge organized by the NUS Business School. The team finished second overall among the more than 450 participating teams from 200 business schools worldwide. HEC Montreal team emerged the champion, with the London Business School and McGill University completing the final field of four. Now in its fourth year, the competition gives MBA students a chance to devise global business expansion strategies for participating Singapore companies -- Brewerkz Restaurant and Microbrewery, Expressions International and Qian Hu Corp. Each team had to study its chosen firm and come up with strategies based on the firm’s unique profile and target market. This is the second straight year that the NUS team has finished second in the competition, reflecting the School’s global ranking of the top 100 business schools for its MBA program.
Habs 'recession-proof' Canadiens anniversary merchandise is selling well. and the team even has an authorized special edition Monopoly game By MIKE KING, The GazetteJanuary 9, 2009 8:03 AM Being a sports monopoly with a merchandising power play extending to its own Monopoly board game has helped insulate the Montreal Canadiens from an economic slump affecting other teams and even entire leagues, a Concordia University marketing professor says. "The Canadiens and the New York Yankees may be the only two franchises that are recession-proof," said Bruno Delorme, a sports marketing and management professor at Concordia's John Molson School of Business. He called the century-old hockey team an anomaly in the sports world for its continued success during difficult financial times and offered reasons for the club's ability to remain prosperous. First, there's the monopoly of being what Delorme described as "the only true professional North American-wide sports franchise" in town. Second, the team is celebrating its 100th anniversary this season, boosting its already rich heritage. The official team boutique at the downtown Bell Centre has been expanded to accommodate additional souvenirs marking the centennial celebrations, items ranging from reproductions of vintage jerseys to an authorized special edition Habs Monopoly game. Anniversary merchandise creates a large revenue stream, said Delorme, who admitted to "buying a brick myself" in reference to the 20,000 personalized bricks being sold in Centennial Plaza outside the Bell Centre. The commemorative bricks, which can be inscribed with names and messages, range in price from $175 to $799 plus tax. Struggling corporations like the Big Three U.S. automakers are drastically cutting back sponsorship dollars for sports - something Delorme said especially affects the National Basketball Association, National Football League, Major League Baseball and their teams. But the impact is less on the National Hockey League because "hockey is a more gate-driven sport." Also playing in the Habs favour is a phenomenon Delorme pointed to: "when there's a recession, people tend to look to sports for escapism." Asked to comment on Delorme's remarks, Donald Beauchamp, team vice-president of communications, said the privately owned Canadiens don't discuss the business side of the operation. [email protected] © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette