For years, a lot at the southwest corner of de Maisonneuve Blvd. and Claremont Ave. in NDG has stood empty, but that's about to change.

Provigo is requesting zoning changes to allow for a new grocery store to be built on the land, which it has owned for more than a decade.

The project would be a mixed commercial and residential complex, right behind the new MUHC. It would include a housing complex for seniors, offices for the Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation, units to accommodate out-of-town families with children being treated at the hospital and the grocery store at street level.

“It's magic almost for a senior to be in his apartment, to come downstairs and have access to a coffee shop and a number of commercials spaces such as a grocery store and to be able to be independent longer,” said Luc Maurice, founder of development company Le Groupe Maurice.

If all goes as planned, construction would start in the fall and would be completed by the end of 2017.

But the plan isn't going over well with some residents who live close by who are worried about the additional congestion a grocery store could bring.

“We are also experiencing now with the closing of the St-Jacques overpass an increase in traffic on de Maisonneuve at this corner which is very worrisome,” said NDG resident Elizabeth Shapiro.

“It's going to create more traffic, it's going to create more noise, there's going to be trucks coming in and out,” said Larry Karass, also an NDG resident.

The developer says Provigo is aware of those concerns, and will only deliver goods between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Right now, the area is zoned to allow the construction of a mixed commercial-residential building, up to ten-storeys tall, but not permit a large-scale grocery store.

Coleman said there will be public consultations and possibly even a local referendum before the borough goes ahead with any changes. In theory, this project could get the go-ahead as early as June.

“I think everybody needs to take a deep breath. Yes there are concerns, there are traffic concerns, there's a traffic study that has been done, there are issues with access from Ste. Catherine St. on the Westmount side and those are things that the borough will look at,” he said.