GWL Realty Advisors is building two downtown residential towers
(Montreal, October 10, 2019): Having received approvals from both the Comité consultatif d’urbanisme (CCU) and the City of Montreal, GWL Realty Advisors (GWLRA) announced today that it is starting construction of a two tower multi-residential project next to 455 René Lévesque West. The project involves the construction of approximately 820 rental units on the vacant lot adjacent to the head office of SNC Lavalin and the Gesù Church.
“Our site is a prime downtown location which is within walking distance of the Quartier des spectacles, the home of Montreal’s many festivals, and the heart of the city’s entertainment district,” said Pascale Roy, Vice-President, Asset Management, GWLRA. “The site is adjacent to two metro stations, is in close proximity to the bus and train stations and provides ready access to the City’s highway network. Combined with state-of-the-art fitness facilities, pool, social rooms, a dog run and more, we expect the project to be a sought-after address for prospective renters”
The two similarly sculpted towers of differing heights are separated by an architectural reveal, and the base of the towers are occupied by podiums that relate to the scale of the urban context. The project design connects the site very strongly with the Church to its north and to its own past by celebrating the heritage character of the building that previously occupied the site. Retail lining De Bleury reinforces this important north south pedestrian spine while the gently tilted glass tower form of the south building punctuates the important intersection of René Lévesque Boulevard and De Bleury. The project in fact fills a void in the street wall and knits together the urban fabric in a vibrant and exciting manner.
The project conforms with the existing zoning for the neighbourhood in terms of height, density and use and blends with the neighbouring tall buildings on René Lévesque Boulevard. GWLRA has begun preparing the site for the construction of the first 36 story tower, which is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2022.
“Designed by IBI Group in collaboration with the Montreal firm NEUF architect(e)s, the architects of record, the project will focus on sustainable urban development and seek LEED certification,” said Ms. Roy. “Since we acquired the property in 2017, we have taken the time to listen and adjust our plans in order to effectively address concerns that have been raised. We believe the resulting design respects the neighbourhood character and will be a landmark on the Montreal skyline.”
Steps have been taken through the architectural design of the towers to maintain and enhance the sight lines of the Gesù Church. In addition, GWLRA plans on reconstructing the stone wall which was the foundation of the old College Ste-Marie and restoring the original entries and window openings to recall the cultural and social importance of its history.
GWLRA is developing this project on behalf of owners: Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life policyholders.
“This project is part of our growing real estate development program,” said Brian Allison, Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, Canada Life. “It is consistent with our commitment to deliver stable returns by investing in real estate projects that add value for our stakeholders and the communities where they are developed.”
GWLRA’s Development Experience
Over the past ten years, GWLRA has earned a reputation as one of Canada’s premiere developers of commercial and residential real estate. We look for development opportunities that align well with the long-term interests of our clients and that add value to the communities where they are built. To achieve these goals our developments are technologically advanced, socially acceptable and environmentally responsible. Across Canada, GWLRA has completed over $6B in development projects and is currently managing a development pipeline of $1.8B representing projects that are actively under construction or in advanced planning.
GWL Realty Advisors Inc. is a leading North American real estate investment advisor providing comprehensive asset management, property management, development and specialized real estate advisory services to pension funds and institutional clients. GWL Realty Advisors Inc. manages a diverse portfolio of office, industrial, retail and multi-residential assets as well as an active pipeline of new development projects. In the United States, the Company provides real estate advisory services through its wholly owned subsidiary, EverWest Real Estate Investors, headquartered in Denver, Colorado.