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FINANCIAL POST

 

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fpposted/archive/2007/11/15/the-rebirth-of-downtown-montreal.aspx

 

Posted: November 15, 2007, 2:46 AM by DrewHasselback

Montreal

Downtown Montreal is going through a rapid revitalization that has seen the rise of condo towers, university buildings, hotels -- and major international retailers.

 

 

Nowhere is this more apparent than the corner of Peel and Ste-Catherine, one of the city's busiest spots.

 

 

"The corner has always had a certain amount of vibrancy," says Sam Sheraton, senior administrator for Montreal's Drazin family, which owns property near Peel and Ste-Catherine. "Now, it has become the central core of downtown Montreal."

 

 

One-level retailers who once occupied 1,500-to 2,000-square-foot spaces and generated sales of about $400 to $600 per square foot are making way for bigger, multi-level stores that bring in twice as much.

 

 

A large Roots store on the northeast corner of Peel and Ste-Catherine recently downsized and hot U.S. retailer American Eagle Outfitters moved in. On the northwest corner, a Guess store opens next month.

 

 

Next door on Ste-Catherine is the year-old flagship store of Montreal's own Garage chain, one of Canada's top fashion retailers. And on the southwest side, several retailers, including a Rogers phone store and SAQ liquor outlet, are being relocated by the owner, to make way for a multilevel H& M store, industry sources say.

 

 

(On the remaining southeast corner is an HMV store, in the same building as the Montreal Gazette and National Post bureau).

 

 

Rumour has it Pottery Barn is looking for a location nearby. A few blocks to the west on Ste-Catherine, next to Ogilvy's, Apple is taking a space formerly occupied by a menswear store.

 

 

Sean Silcoff

 

 

 

:applause:

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