L'Île-des-Sœurs: yesterday and today
Samuel Gewurz talks about developments re his “baby”par Alexandre Gauthier
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Article mis en ligne le 18 mars 2009 à 11:21
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Invited to give a talk on the history of L'Île-des-Sœurs – yesterday and today - Mr. Gewurz spoke of five developmental phases in the island; he concluded his presentation by providing a visual simulation of the mega project which he intends to pursue on the northern tip.
A 99-year lease for the land was then signed with Les Structures Métropolitaines of Chicago which built only a fourth of the 12,000 dwelling units that were planned. The lease was cancelled in 1978 and the lands were sold.
The recession hit in the beginning of the 1990s but Mr. Gewurz and Proment deployed their efforts to visualise a Westmount-type enclave by first creating a community of affordable town homes, and then single-family homes and finally, prestige housing in Domaine de la Forêt.
Proment began to prosper from 1998 to 2008 when they built the southern tip of the island through innovative projects like the Sommets sur le fleuve and Le Vistal. “The excitement of the river view or for the environment sometimes goes beyond reason to build a dwelling in these projects”, Mr. Gewurz pointed out.
After having built half of the 8,000 deluxe condos on the island, Proment has now embarked on an ecological development with its urban community plans in the northern tip which will go around the Bell construction project.
Projected on screen in 3D, the plan consists of condo towers as well as town houses surrounded by pedestrian paths, the shoreline, a bike path, a belvedere, a quay and of course some small businesses. A public place will also be developed along the edge of the river; it can serve as an area for holding concerts or outdoor movies surrounded by restaurants. A high and illuminated point of reference will also be built in the middle. Laid out right in the heart of the northern tip area, this project is estimated to cost a few million dollars and may increase the island’s population from the present 18,500 to 23,000 people in about 10 years.