Montrealers, including ex-mayor, demand answers after developer backs out of promises
MONTREAL -- It was advertised as the height of luxury downtown living: a $400 million condo development that has, so far, been known more of a subject of controversy.
Community groups now want answers on why promises made over parts of the plan have been broken.
“It’s been difficult for the last few years," said Corey Gulkin of the Peter McGill Community Council.
"In 2018, DEVIMCO announced they weren’t going to build a school on the side and then... two years ago, High-Rise Montreal announced they would not build social housing on the site."
Back in 2016, when the project was announced, those developers promised 174 social housing units, exciting the community.
“These are things that have been very needed in community for many years," said Gulkin.
Now people want to know: why were they dropped, and why was it allowed?
“How is it that the developer was allowed to start constructing without there being a solid contract in place to make sure that the housing got built?" asked Gulkin.
"Right now we’re asking for a public inquiry we want to know what happened so this doesn’t happen again."
Denis Coderre approved the project when he was mayor, and now he says he has the same question.
Coderre is running again this year.
“I’m not going to answer for the administration," he said. "I know that when I was there it was supposed to be happening, so what happened?"
Neither the city nor the developer returned CTV's requests for comment. The two are locked in a legal battle right now.
But the CBC reported the developer used a clause in his contract that allowed him to pay a $6 million penalty to get out of the clause.
The losses will hurt the project, Gulkin predicts.
"You know over the years we’ve had administrations say they want to bring more families into the downtown area," she said, "but if there’s no place for families to live, if there’s no place for families to send their kids, they’re not going to come.”
Almost half the residents of Peter McGill fall below the low-income threshold, and the average rent in the area is $1,200 a month.