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  1. http://www.citylab.com/politics/2014/07/paris-wants-landlords-to-turn-vacant-office-space-into-apartmentsor-else/374388/ Paris Wants Landlords to Turn Vacant Office Space Into Apartments—Or Else The city has a surplus of empty commercial buildings that could better serve as residences. And it plans to fine owners who don't convert. FEARGUS O'SULLIVAN <figure class="lead-image" style="margin: 0px; max-width: 620px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Oxygen, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 17px;"><figcaption class="credit" style="color: rgb(153, 153, 153); font-size: 0.82353em; text-align: right;">Justin Black/Shutterstock.com</figcaption></figure>Leave your office space unrented and we’ll fine you. That’s the new ruledeclared by the city of Paris last week. Currently, between six and seven percent of Paris' 18 million square meters of office space is unused, and the city wants to get this vacant office space revamped and occupied by residents. The penalties for unrented space will be as follows: 20 percent of the property’s rental value in the first year of vacancy, 30 percent in the second year and 40 percent in the third year. The plan is to free up about 200,000 square meters of office space for homes, which would still leave a substantial amount of office space available should demand pick up. The city insists that, while the sums involved are potentially large, this isn’t a new tax but an incentive. And, if it has the right effect in getting property re-occupied, may end up being little-used. Landlords' groups are taking the new plan as well as can be expected. They’ve pointed out that, while the cost of the fines might be high, it could still cost them less to pay them than to convert their properties to homes. According to a property investor quoted in Le Figaro, the cost of transforming an office into apartments can actually be 20 to 25 percent more expensive than constructing an entirely new building. Many landlords might be unwilling or unable to undertake such a process and thus be forced to sell in a market where, thanks to a glut of available real estate, prices are falling. There is also the question of how easy the law will be to enforce: Landlords could rent out vacant properties at a token rent simply to avoid the vacancy fine. <aside class="pullquote instapaper_ignore" style="font-family: Bitter, Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: 2.11765em; line-height: 1.05556; border-top-width: 5px; border-top-style: solid; border-top-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); border-bottom-width: 1px; border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); padding: 25px 0px; margin: 30px 0px;">As Paris becomes a laboratory for new legislation to make homes more plentiful and affordable, other European cities would do well to watch it carefully. </aside>It’s too early to see if these predictions will come true, but past experience in smaller French property markets suggests it won’t. The fines have already been introduced elsewhere in France: in the country’s fourth city of Lille (governed by the Socialist party) and in the Parisian satellite town of St Quentin-en-Yvelines (governed by the right wing UMP). So far, neither has experienced a legislation-exacerbated property slump. It’s also fair to point out that Paris is asking for a round of belt tightening from pretty much every group involved in the city’s real estate. The new levy is part of a plan announced last month that will also pressure state and semi-public bodies to release Parisian land for home building. Paris has some fairly large reserves of this, including space currently owned by the state health authority, by the national railway network and by the RATP—Paris’ transit authority, on whose unused land alone 2,000 homes could be built. In the meantime, stringent planning laws are also being relaxed to cut development costs for office converters. They will no longer, for example, be obliged to provide parking spaces for new homes, as they had been until the law change. Finally, starting next year, landlords will get an incentive to rent their properties to financially riskier lower-income tenants by having their rents and deposits guaranteed by a new intermediary, a public/private agency called Multiloc. Coming on top of laws that have relaxed building-height restrictionson the Paris periphery, it’s clear that, for Paris developers and landowners, there’s a decent ratio of carrot to stick. But will it all work? At the very least, Paris deserves recognition for being proactive, especially on a continent where many cities’ grip on the property sector is floundering. Berlin has recently had major new homebuilding plansrejected by residents (for good reason—they were due to get a bad deal), while the U.K.’s number of newly built homes has actually gone down, despite property prices continuing to rise sharply. As Paris becomes a laboratory for new legislation to make homes more plentiful and affordable, other European cities would do well to watch it carefully. (Photo credit: Justin Black/Shutterstock.com)
  2. Photos: http://www.journalmetro.com/linfo/article/601300--un-stationnement-du-vieux-montreal-devenu-vacant-reprend-vie
  3. Petit projet situé sur la rue Wellington à Verdun et qui rempli bien un terrain vacant. De plus, il s'intègre bien dans le tissu urbain d'époque industriel de ce coin. http://w4455.ca/
  4. Is America's suburban dream collapsing into a nightmare? Suburban neighborhoods are becoming refuges for those outpriced in gentrifying inner-cities. By Lara Farrar For CNN (CNN) -- When Shaun Yandell proposed to his longtime girlfriend Gina Marasco on the doorstep of their new home in the sunny suburb of Elk Grove, California, four years ago, he never imagined things would get this bad. But they did, and it happened almost overnight. art.jpg "It is going to be heartbreak," Yandell told CNN. "But we are hanging on." Yandell's marriage isn't falling apart: his neighborhood is. Devastated by the subprime mortgage crisis, hundreds of homes have been foreclosed and thousands of residents have been forced to move, leaving in their wake a not-so-pleasant path of empty houses, unkempt lawns, vacant strip malls, graffiti-sprayed desolate sidewalks and even increased crime. In Elk Grove, some homeowners not only cut their own grass but also trim the yards of vacant homes on their streets, hoping to deter gangs and criminals from moving in. Other residents discovered that with some of the empty houses, it wasn't what was growing outside that was the problem. Susan McDonald, president of a local neighborhood association aimed at saving the lost suburban paradise, told CNN that around her cul-de-sac, federal agents recently busted several pot homes with vast crops of marijuana growing from floor to ceiling. And only a couple of weeks ago, Yandell said he overheard a group of teenagers gathered on the street outside his back patio, talking about a robbery they had just committed. When they lit a street sign on fire, Yandell called the cops. "This is not like a rare thing anymore," he said. "I get big congregations of people cussing -- stuff I can't even fathom doing when I was a kid." Don't Miss For Yandell, his wife and many other residents trying to stick it out, the white picket fence of an American dream has faded into a seemingly hopeless suburban nightmare. "The forecast is gloomy," he told CNN. While the foreclosure epidemic has left communities across the United States overrun with unoccupied houses and overgrown grass, underneath the chaos another trend is quietly emerging that, over the next several decades, could change the face of suburban American life as we know it. This trend, according to Christopher Leinberger, an urban planning professor at the University of Michigan and visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, stems not only from changing demographics but also from a major shift in the way an increasing number of Americans -- especially younger generations -- want to live and work. "The American dream is absolutely changing," he told CNN. This change can be witnessed in places like Atlanta, Georgia, Detroit, Michigan, and Dallas, Texas, said Leinberger, where once rundown downtowns are being revitalized by well-educated, young professionals who have no desire to live in a detached single family home typical of a suburbia where life is often centered around long commutes and cars. Instead, they are looking for what Leinberger calls "walkable urbanism" -- both small communities and big cities characterized by efficient mass transit systems and high density developments enabling residents to walk virtually everywhere for everything -- from home to work to restaurants to movie theaters. The so-called New Urbanism movement emerged in the mid-90s and has been steadily gaining momentum, especially with rising energy costs, environmental concerns and health problems associated with what Leinberger calls "drivable suburbanism" -- a low-density built environment plan that emerged around the end of the World War II and has been the dominant design in the U.S. ever since. Thirty-five percent of the nation's wealth, according to Leinberger, has been invested in constructing this drivable suburban landscape. But now, Leinberger told CNN, it appears the pendulum is beginning to swing back in favor of the type of walkable community that existed long before the advent of the once fashionable suburbs in the 1940s. He says it is being driven by generations molded by television shows like "Seinfeld" and "Friends," where city life is shown as being cool again -- a thing to flock to, rather than flee. "The image of the city was once something to be left behind," said Leinberger. Changing demographics are also fueling new demands as the number of households with children continues to decline. By the end of the next decade, the number of single-person households in the United States will almost equal those with kids, Leinberger said. And aging baby boomers are looking for a more urban lifestyle as they downsize from large homes in the suburbs to more compact town houses in more densely built locations. Recent market research indicates that up to 40 percent of households surveyed in selected metropolitan areas want to live in walkable urban areas, said Leinberger. The desire is also substantiated by real estate prices for urban residential space, which are 40 to 200 percent higher than in traditional suburban neighborhoods -- this price variation can be found both in cities and small communities equipped with walkable infrastructure, he said. The result is an oversupply of depreciating suburban housing and a pent-up demand for walkable urban space, which is unlikely to be met for a number of years. That's mainly, according to Leinberger, because the built environment changes very slowly; and also because governmental policies and zoning laws are largely prohibitive to the construction of complicated high-density developments. But as the market catches up to the demand for more mixed use communities, the United States could see a notable structural transformation in the way its population lives -- Arthur C. Nelson, director of Virginia Tech's Metropolitan Institute, estimates, for example, that half of the real-estate development built by 2025 will not have existed in 2000. Yet Nelson also estimates that in 2025 there will be a surplus of 22 million large-lot homes that will not be left vacant in a suburban wasteland but instead occupied by lower classes who have been driven out of their once affordable inner-city apartments and houses. The so-called McMansion, he said, will become the new multi-family home for the poor. "What is going to happen is lower and lower-middle income families squeezed out of downtown and glamorous suburban locations are going to be pushed economically into these McMansions at the suburban fringe," said Nelson. "There will probably be 10 people living in one house." In Shaun Yandell's neighborhood, this has already started to happen. Houses once filled with single families are now rented out by low-income tenants. Yandell speculates that they're coming from nearby Sacramento, where the downtown is undergoing substantial gentrification, or perhaps from some other area where prices have gotten too high. He isn't really sure. But one thing Yandell is sure about is that he isn't going to leave his sunny suburban neighborhood unless he has to, and if that happens, he says he would only want to move to another one just like it. "It's the American dream, you know," he said. "The American dream." http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/06/16/suburb.city/index.html
  5. Cities Collapsing throughout the USA The Coming Depression April 7, 2009“With enough abandoned lots to fill the city of San Francisco, Motown is 138 square miles divided between expanses of decay and emptiness and tracts of still-functioning communities and commercial areas. Close to six barren acres of an estimated 17,000 have already been turned into 500 “mini- farms,” demonstrating the lengths to which planners will go to make land productive. The city, like the automakers, has to shrink to match what’s left, said June Thomas, a professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. “The issue is how,” she said. “There’s no vision.” “People are moving out of the city, trying to find work,” said David Martin of Wayne State University’s Urban Safety Program. Those who stay “can’t afford to move out.” “Property abandonment is getting so bad in Flint that some in government are talking about an extreme measure that was once unthinkable — shutting down portions of the city, officially abandoning them and cutting off police and fire service. … [Mayor] Brown said that as more people abandon homes, eating away at the city’s tax base and creating more blight, the city might need to examine “shutting down quadrants of the city where we (wouldn’t) provide services.” He did not define what that could mean — bulldozing abandoned areas, simply leaving the vacant homes to rot or some other idea entirely.” “Cul-de-sac neighborhoods once filled with the sound of backyard barbecues and playing children are falling silent. Communities like Elk Grove, Calif., and Windy Ridge, N.C., are slowly turning into ghost towns with overgrown lawns, vacant strip malls and squatters camping in empty homes.” “In its depth and suddenness, the U.S. economic and financial crisis is shockingly reminiscent of moments we have recently seen in emerging markets (and only in emerging markets): South Korea (1997), Malaysia (1998), Russia and Argentina (time and again). … But there’s a deeper and more disturbing similarity: elite business interests—financiers, in the case of the U.S.—played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse. More alarming, they are now using their influence to prevent precisely the sorts of reforms that are needed, and fast, to pull the economy out of its nosedive. The government seems helpless, or unwilling, to act against them.”
  6. Questions simples; Quel sont selon vous les terrains vacant ou stationnement les plus apte à être développer en ce moment à Montréal. Plus communément appeler en anglais "Prime Real-Estate" Par exemple, les miens sont L'îlot Overdale De Loirmier et Ste-Catherine. Stationnements de la Maison Radio-Canada Merci de vos suggestions.
  7. M. Bredt comblera le poste laissé vacant par le départ à la retraite de Rob Reid, qui était directeur de l'exploitation depuis mai 2005. Pour en lire plus...
  8. Immeubles vacants: les irréductibles sont moins nombreux 15 février 2007 - 06h05 La Presse Cécile Gladel, collaboration spéciale Il y a quelques années, le Vieux-Montréal faisait pitié. Plusieurs édifices barricadés en faisaient sa triste renommée. Ce n’est plus le cas. Avec l’avènement de la Cité du multimédia puis la venue de plusieurs hôtels et les transformations d’usines en condos, le quartier historique de la métropole revit. D’ailleurs, les immeubles commerciaux vacants ne sont plus si nombreux à Montréal. Et plus précisement, les irréductibles, ces édifices vides depuis plus de 10 ans, se font rares. La ville s’assure de leur sécurité. Sauf que ces derniers faisaient le bonheur de l’industrie du cinéma. Comme quoi le bonheur des uns peut faire le malheur des autres. « Nous n’avons plus qu’un ou deux cancers », lance le commissaire au développement économique de l’arrondissement de Verdun, Alain Laroche. Car pour une ville, ces édifices vides, souvent esthétiquement laids, n’ont aucun attrait. Ils constituent plutôt une épine dans leur tissu urbain, et ce, même si leurs propriétaires payent des taxes. Plusieurs arrondissements, comme Saint-Laurent et Ville-Marie, affectent même des fonctionnaires pour traquer les édifices vacants. « Mon rôle est de faire le lien entre le propriétaire et le marché. Nous faisons régulièrement des recensements en visitant les secteurs commerciaux et industriels pour vérifier les édifices et locaux qui seraient vacants », souligne Marie-France Verret, agente de recherche du développement économique de l’arrondissement Saint-Laurent. Dans l’arrondissement Ville-Marie, deux fonctionnaires s’occupent du dossier. « Les deux commissaires visitent les édifices aux trois semaines et relancent régulièrement les propriétaires afin de les encourager à agir», explique Jean-Yves Duthel, directeur des relations publiques de Ville-Marie. Une pratique qui semble porter fruit puisqu’aucun édifice ne reste vacant plus que quelques mois à Saint-Laurent et que leur nombre serait à la baisse dans Ville-Marie. D’ailleurs, le maire de l’arrondissement, Benoit Labonté, devrait en dresser un état de la situation très positif à la fin du mois. Malgré tout, certains propriétaires résistent. La ville ne peut rien faire, sauf dans le cas d’un bâtiment dangereux. Les procédures sont cependant longues et coûteuses. « Nous n’avons que peu de moyens d’intervention lorsqu’un propriétaire n’entretient pas son édifice et ne veut le vendre », reconnaît Jean-François Soulières, commissaire au développement économique pour l’arrondissement Rosemont-Petite-Patrie. Le choix des propriétaires Le choix de laisser un édifice commercial vacant serait donc, à quelques exceptions près, celui du propriétaire dans un marché favorable. Un choix dicté par la spéculation commerciale. « Conserver un immeuble vacant est le choix du propriétaire qui cherche à faire quelque chose. Un immeuble vacant n’est pas un immeuble souffrant et il peut prendre de la valeur. Le dernier propriétaire qui soumet son projet touchera une plus-value, mais c’est risqué. L’immobilier est un cycle. À trop attendre, on peut manquer le sommet », explique Brett Miller, vice-président exécutif chez CB Richard Ellis, firme-conseil en immobilier. Parfois, le manque de ressources financières contrecarre le projet d’un propriétaire. « Si ce n’est pas bon investissement pour lui, il ne le sera pour personne. Mais un édifice vacant depuis longtemps est un édifice qui se dégrade », ajoute le directeur général de GVA Devencore, Alfredo Gomes. Une seconde carrière…cinématographique Si la majorité considère les immeubles vacants comme un problème ou une malédiction, ils font cependant le bonheur de l’industrie du cinéma, en particulier pour les séries télévisées et les films à petit budget. En effet, les coûts de tournage sont moindres dans un édifice vacant comparativement aux coûts dans un studio. « Il y a une vingtaine d’années, on avait des rues entières d’immeubles vacants comme sur la rue St-Patrick dans le Vieux-Montréal, se souvient Pierre Blondin, régisseur de locations montréalais. Aujourd’hui c’est très difficile, car nous n’avons plus la même marge de manœuvre. » À titre d’exemple, une location de studio peut coûter 20 000 $ alors que certains propriétaires louent leur édifice vacant pour 5000 à 10 000 $. « Personnellement je ne me réjouis pas de voir des immeubles vacants, car ça amène une certaine déprime, mais à titre professionnel, ils font mon bonheur. L’industrie du cinéma a besoin de ça, ils permettent à de petits films de voir le jour », ajoute Pierre Blondin.
  9. Voici un petit projet qui vient tout juste d'être complété. Ce duplex est situé face au parc Saint-Victor, à proximité de la rue Hochelaga. (Photographies de EMA Développements) Le terrain n'était pas vacant avant la construction, il faisait place à cette petite maison. (Photographie de Google StreetView)
  10. Le V1 condominiums est un projet de 40 unités dans un édifice de 4 étages sur la rue Bannantyne à Verdun. Belle densité, construction correct pour Verdun. Par contre je me demande ce que ce projet remplaçe en espérant que ce soit un terrain vacant !!! http://www.lev1.ca/
  11. http://www.montrealgazette.com/travel/this+architectural/6201759/story.html
  12. I was bored and decided to make this list. Is this normal? I find it a bit scary. November 18, 2:00am, 3484 Hutchinson No injuries News link November 17, 7:39pm, NDG 1 dead, 1 injured (fire was declared accidental) News link November 16, 4:20am, St Urbain at St Viateur No injuries News link November 16, 4:15am, Nouba restaurant, St Laurent at Maguire No injuries News link November 5, 4:00am, St. Michel at Louvain No injuries News link November 4, 11:08pm, Joliette St, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve No injuries (vacant building) News link November 4, 2:30am, Iberville at Rachel No injuries News link November 3, 1:40am, Chambord at Mont Royal No injuries (fire spread from cars) News link October 29, 4:25am, Cafe Bistro Charland, 2347 Charland near de Lormier No injuries News link October 28, 4:15am, Peaches Bistro, St Michel No injuries News link October 28, 4:05am, Perandello Sport Bar on Robert at St Michel No injuries News link
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