REAL ESTATE

Montreal ponders world class mixed-use project

BY Al Urbanski

Royalmount, a 3.6-million-sq.-ft. mixed-use development being promoted as an era-defining addition to downtown Montreal, has gotten a boost with the arrival of a key partner.

L Catterton Real Estate (LCRE), an international private equity firm whose sponsorship partners include Moet-Hennessey-Louis Vuitton (LVMH) is partnering with locally based developer Carbonleo to bring the project to fruition. LCRE has a reputation for projects with high level s of architecture, design, and tenants.

The two partnered on a “Future Lab” calling upon real estate, retail, and design experts from around to world to envision what form Royalmount should take. Among ideas suggested were an Italian-influenced piazza with two levels of terraced restaurants and shops surrounding it; an outdoor theater that could mechanically be transformed into a 5,000-seat theater, and a restaurant row featuring gourmet cuisine.

“We’re looking to generate new ideas for human connectivity. We want to go outside our zone of comfort,” said Carbonleo chairman Andrew Lutfy in a videotaped at Future Lab. “This is an unbelievable opportunity for Montreal. We have a blank canvas.”

Lutfy got agreement from Debra Margles, president of Michael Kors Canada. “Royalmount has a phenomenal opportunity to make this city a very important destination,” she said.

LCRE partner and chief development officer David Gester expressed confidence that all the right brands would join the party in Montreal. “There’s eight major luxury brands in the world. As long as they’re all treated equitably, they’ll all come,” he said.

In the partnership announcement, LCRE managing partner Mathieu Le Bozec commented that “with its underlying vision, Royalmount will be one of the most innovative real estate projects in the world.”

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