Two Montreal companies have joined forces to bring new life to the former Seville Theatre.

25 years after the theatre was shut down and left to rot, and after countless projects withered on the development vine, a plan to revitalize the area seems to have finally taken root.

Developpements Immobiliers Seville, a business entity formed by Montreal-based investment firm Claridge and real estate developer Prevel, plan to invest more than $100 million to revitalize the block on the north side of Ste. Catherine St. W. between Chomedey and Lambert Closse streets.

In an effort to "transform one of Montreal's great neighbourhoods," Claridge chairman Stephen Bronfman said the proposed site will consist of a mixed commercial-residential complex.

It will be a "development composed of affordably priced apartments, accessible to a large and diverse market, with commercial spaces integrated at street level," Bronfman said in a statement released Monday.

Mayor Tremblay was involved

Mayor Gerald Tremblay says he took steps to bring this project to fruition.

"I was instrumental in a sense because of my good relationship with Steven Bronfman in saying 'listen we have to do this as soon as possible,'" said Mayor Tremblay.

People who live and work in the neighbourhood have been complaining about the lack of upkeep for decades.

"It's a terrible disgrace," said resident George Racine. "it should have been done long ago, this block has been like this for years now."

The local residents association is thrilled, and pleased that a project to build student housing fell through.

"Not that we're against having students, because that's what it was supposed to be originally, but these are people that are going to buy because they want to be in the area and they want to be part of downtown," said Roger Peace.

The details of the project are being finalized and the developer is planning to submit a proposal to the Ville Marie borough next month.

Shopping on the street, residential towers above

It includes street-level shops, and up to 450 housing units in three towers.

Many of the condominiums will be priced around $200,000.

"Our primary buyer will be a young professional seeking a first-time home," said Jonathan Sigler of the Prevel group.

Peace worries the area won't appeal to buyers unless others, including the Doris Centre for women, move out.

"There's problems with security, homeless people and drugs, so we're working with La Maison Doris to put all the pieces together," said Peace.

If permission for demolition work is granted, the construction would begin in the fall, and the first units would be available for tenants in the spring of 2012.