Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Nuns Island (some news from the Messanger)

L'Île-des-Sœurs: yesterday and today

Samuel Gewurz talks about developments re his “baby”

Alexandre Gauthier par Alexandre Gauthier
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Article mis en ligne le 18 mars 2009 à 11:21
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L'Île-des-Sœurs:  yesterday and today
Samuel Gewurz.
L'Île-des-Sœurs: yesterday and today
Samuel Gewurz talks about developments re his “baby”
In 1955, J.L. Gewurz and a partner bought L'Île-des-Sœurs for about $1.4 million. His son Samuel became a promoter of Les Verrières, the first high-end condominium tower in the island. He is now president of Proment Corporation and has undertaken an urban community project on the northern tip which will change the face of the gateway to Montreal.
“It’s going to be a jewel for everyone”, Samuel Gewurz assured about a hundred people gathered at Il Gabbiano restaurant in LaSalle on the 12th of March. It was for a lunch conference organised by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the south west region of Montreal.

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.
Departure of the religious order
The acquisition of the island by Les Investissements de L'Île-des-Sœurs, represented by Gewurz senior from the sisters of the Notre Dame Congregation marked the departure of the religious community. The island was then annexed to Verdun in 1957, Champlain Bridge was built and a global plan was presented in 1963. The plan however failed to obtain the necessary funding for the island’s development.

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.
Proment’s towers
Proment Corporation then undertook the construction of top quality condo towers and built Les Verrières in 1983. It didn’t really go very smoothly. “The island is my baby. It brings me a lot of pleasure, but also some worries”, said Samuel Gewurz when he explained that a resident of the second tower did not want to be deprived of his view of the river by the building of the fifth tower. The Val de l'Anse and Club Marin projects followed.

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.

1 comment:

Les F said...

Interesting story,but I wonder why they didn't have their business lunch,to announce this stuff,.in the 'Crescendo Restaurant' which would have looked directly over to the very spot they are talking about..........that's poor management (lol) ..........HF&RV
instead they ate in Lasalle ..........blasphemous.....hahahahahaha