Referendum this weekend will decide the fate of a Hampstead development project
MONTREAL -- The fight over plans to demolish two apartment buildings in Hampstead is coming to a head with a referendum this weekend.
The referendum on Sunday will decide if developers can demolish a building on Cote-Saint-Luc Rd. and build a 10-storey, 90-unit apartment complex in a neighbourhood where the height of other buildings is only three storeys.
Developers are offering tenants in the current location a space in another building with a major discount on rent and moving expenses: a rent of $900 per month for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,200 per month for a two-bedroom, as well as a payment amounting to the equivalent of six months' rent.
Tenants said they're fighting to keep some affordable housing in Hampstead; Mayor Bill Steinberg, who wants to greenlight this project, said it will revitalize an area that is rundown and home to several vacant lots, as well as bring in more tax revenue, in turn decreasing property taxes.
The developer's spokesperson Jonathan Goldbloom said they decided to meet the tenants' demand for affordable housing, even though the rent will increase from the $700 they're currently paying per month.
It's a very generous offer that goes above and beyond what many others have offered, said Goldbloom.
"It is also going to be a much better accommodation. There are going to be elevators, air-conditioning, it's going to be a modern facility," he said. "These are very old buildings which would be difficult to renovate to bring up to those standards, so it's part of our plan to offer modern housing there, and unfortunately there is some displacement to that, but we are offering them a pretty good deal to come back."
-- With files from CTV News Montreal's Annie DeMelt