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Kirkland developer Broccolini has come up with a mixed-used development plan that envisions a brand-new community of townhouses, condominium towers, parks and services on the 56-acre Kirkland industrial site once owned by Merck Canada.

If a go, Quartier Évolution would create in one fell swoop a ready-made neighbourhood for more than 2,000 residents of all ages and stages of life as well as new industrial space for potentially thousands of workers.

 

A public consultation on the proposed plan and the rezoning it would require is scheduled for next week. The meeting takes place at Kirkland’s town hall, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m.

 

A representative for the Kirkland builder/developer is expected to be in attendance in order to share details about the housing project, a first of its kind in the West Island.

 

“It’s a bit like a wedding cake,” said Joe Sanalitro, Kirkland’s director general.

 

Running the full length of the property’s frontage on the Trans-Canada, Sanalitro explained, the project will feature refurbished industrial buildings, backed by a second layer comprised of six condo towers, then another layer of low-rise condo buildings and a final layer of townhouses along

Brunswick Blvd.

 

The project could bring welcomed life to the now abandoned tract of land on the Trans-Canada Highway between St-Jean and St-Charles Blvds., said Sanalitro.

 

The project will be LEED-certified and provide close to 800 homes clustered around a linear park, inner courtyards and services, such as restaurants, dry cleaners and local stores. (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices.)

 

Broccolini along with Magil Laurentian Realty Investments acquired the former Merck Canada Complex in September 2014. Merck Canada’s head office is now located in a new building in Kirkland on the other side of the Trans-Canada.

 

Town officials have met several times over the past 18 months with Broccolini representatives to discuss the project, said Sanalitro.

 

Over the past 20 years, he said, developers have had to become more creative as land prices in Kirkland, Dollard-des-Ormeaux and Pointe-Claire have risen from $5 to $35 a square foot as a result of dwindling supply.

 

But now, he added, it’s time for Kirkland residents to have their say about the project.

 

“Some residents may be concerned about the higher density, it’s something new to Kirkland,” Sanalitro said.

 

But, he added, residents will get a chance as they always do “to say yes or no.”

 

Under municipal regulations, a register can be opened by residents if there is enough opposition to a proposed building project. In that case, the town is compelled to hold a referendum on the project if the required number of residents sign the register.

 

Meanwhile, Ad hoc recherche, a Montreal consulting firm, is conducting telephone and online surveys to determine how receptive West Island residents are to the new project, its features and pricing.

 

A one-bedroom, 745-square-foot condo is projected to start at $308,000, according to the Ad hoc recherche’s online survey, while a two-bedroom, 1,475-square-foot townhouse would list for $650,000.

 

(Courtesy of Montreal Gazette)

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A group of us from Kirkland are going to the October 28th meeting in an effort to counteract any NIMBY efforts. From nearly every perspective this is a perfect project for the area.

 

- It reinvigorates an area that has been left a bit desolate since the old Merck building was abandoned

- It won't increase residential traffic since it would be built right along the edge of a major highway

- It should help offset some of the planned residential tax increases

- It will effectively block some of the noise coming from the highway into the residential zones along Brunswick

- The "highrises" they are talking about are only 10-15 floors high, well below the zoning limits for that zone

 

I'll update after the meeting. :)

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I believe the American series "Quantico" filmed in and around the abandoned Merk Campus

 

It is possible, seeing most of the first season was filmed in Montreal and Longueuil. I like that they used the old Royal Bank. I was watching the show and was like that looks like bank and after I realised, when they were in the alley in the first episode.

 

It will be interesting to see if this project does go through.

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Kirkland municipal council has taken another step toward implementing a zoning bylaw that would allow a controversial housing project on the site of the former Merck campus on the north side of Highway 40 the to move forward.The bylaw, which passed the second reading on Dec. 7, would rezone areas in the Lacey Green area from industrial to residential. The proposed project, called Quartier Evolution, would be a 800-unit, high-density residential redevelopment between the highway service road and Brunswick Blvd., west of St-Jean Blvd.

In addition to homes, the project would include green spaces and commercial businesses.

About 80 people attended the meeting Dec. 7, most to comment specifically on the zoning change.

A petition to withdraw the zoning bylaw from the agenda was presented to council before the meeting started. The petition had 409 signatures, mostly from residents in affected areas, according to Cherine Cheftechi, who spoke at the meeting. The bylaw vote was not removed from the agenda.

“We are asking why you will not consider our request, just to give everyone a beat to let us look at this, look at the alternatives,” she said. “We would like you to just slow down. The holidays are coming up. People would like a chance to speak to each and every one of you.”

Other residents said they believed there had not been enough direct consultation with residents.

“There is a greater onus on (the council) to communicate directly,” said resident Harry Steinbrenner.

There was also debate about the impact the new townhouses would have on property values.

Councillors Domenico Zito and Michael Brown voted against the motion. After a resident requested that councillors explain their rationales, Zito stated that he voted against the zoning change because the response he got from residents was strongly against the proposed changes. However, he added, “I strongly believe that if more information is made available to the residents, a mutually-beneficial conclusion can be achieved.”

Brown said the traffic generated by the project presented another issue.

“Our study shows an increase that will be approximately 900 vehicles during peak hours,” he said, something he claimed would compound issues with existing infrastructure.

“This is not Kirkland, and this is not the West Island that I moved to many years ago,” he said, followed by loud applause from the audience.

Brown added that he wanted to work with the developers to reduce the number of units and move the project forward.

Mayor Michel Gibson said the majority of councillors believe that the residential project would be better for Kirkland, bringing in new housing for young families and seniors and $6.8 million in additional revenues by 2022, when the project would be completed if it goes forward.

Several councillors who voted in favour of the proposed zoning changes said alternative uses for the site seemed worse. Another option proposed by the developer would be an industrial project, which would not require a zoning change. That proposal could bring 4,600 workers to the area, and traffic experts determined it would make rush-hour traffic worst, Gibson said.

Councillors André Allard, Paul Dufort, Brian Swinburne and Luciano Piciacchia voted in favour of the change. Piciacchia said the traffic was not a concern as it would not all be along Brunswick Blvd., and waiting times would not increase. Declining tax revenues were also a concern.

“Since 2006, we have lost $14.5 million in taxes to date,” Piciacchia said. Residential tax bases are more secure than industrial taxpayers, he added, something the city had felt when Merck abandoned the site along the Trans-Canada service road.

Before the meeting began, Mayor Michel Gibson, anticipating a tense atmosphere, reminded citizens that “the question period is not a forum for debate” and that “one does not change the rules in response to public pressures or from increased pressures from developers.”

Broccolini, a developer, bought the property in September 2014. Broccolini has other projects in the Montreal area, as well as others in Ottawa and Toronto.

Construction could begin in 2016, but citizens will have a chance to collect signatures to force the zoning change — and indirectly, the Quartier Evolution project — to a referendum.

 

(Courtesy of Montreal Gazette)

Edited by jesseps
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I was at the meeting. A group of us were successful in completely shutting down every one of the nonsensical points brought up by the petition-handlers. We actually had a half dozen people completely remove themselves from the petition right there at the meeting since the people who went door to door presenting the petition completely misrepresented the project.

 

After a resident requested that councillors explain their rationales

 

That would be me. ;)

 

Our study shows an increase that will be approximately 900 vehicles during peak hours

 

This was shot down by another member of our group since it completely misrepresents facts once again. The supposed 900 vehicles would be traveling in different directions (ie: 600 vehicles into the business area + 300 vehicles traveling out from the residential zone) and would be spread over completely different times.

 

Essentially, there is a large number of the YIMBY (yes, in my back yard) residents onboard with this one and we're going to fight just as hard to get this project approved as the folks who are trying to scuttle it.

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I was at the meeting. A group of us were successful in completely shutting down every one of the nonsensical points brought up by the petition-handlers. We actually had a half dozen people completely remove themselves from the petition right there at the meeting since the people who went door to door presenting the petition completely misrepresented the project.

 

After a resident requested that councillors explain their rationales

 

That would be me. ;)

 

Our study shows an increase that will be approximately 900 vehicles during peak hours

 

This was shot down by another member of our group since it completely misrepresents facts once again. The supposed 900 vehicles would be traveling in different directions (ie: 600 vehicles into the business area + 300 vehicles traveling out from the residential zone) and would be spread over completely different times.

 

Essentially, there is a large number of the YIMBY (yes, in my back yard) residents onboard with this one and we're going to fight just as hard to get this project approved as the folks who are trying to scuttle it.

 

Good job!

 

I am glad to see that YIMBY's too get their voice heard.

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