Developer Carbonleo’s Royalmount project aims to transform a limited part of Town of Mount Royal’s industrial sector by building, from the ground up, a new real estate development there. This major private-sector project has not only changed significantly over the years but continues to do so. The Town has been closely monitoring the situation from the outset and discussions with Carbonleo are ongoing.
Retail, entertainment and hospitality facilities as well as office spaces originally formed the core of the Royalmount project. In 2015, the Town adopted a special planning program (PPU) for the industrial sector to allow Carbonleo’s proposed redevelopment project to go ahead. The initial version of the project was approved, a permit was issued and some work – mostly demolition and excavation – was started.
Revised project and current situation
In 2018, on its own initiative, Carbonleo proposed adding a residential component, significantly distancing the project from its starting point and even transforming its nature. In contrast to the changes permitted under the 2015 PPU, the potential construction of residential units in the industrial sector is a change that requires the Town to proceed with caution. The repercussions on zoning and, more broadly, on land use and development would impact TMR’s very identity. The Town must study further the financial benefits of the new project and its impact on infrastructures and the existing industrial sector. Above all, it must consider the quality of life of current and future Mount Royal residents in the short, medium and long term. The Town takes none of this lightly.
It should be noted that, to date, the addition of a residential component has not been approved by the Town.
At the Town’s request, two reports from external consultants on the revised Royalmount project – an urban planning study and a financial study – have been commissioned, though the ongoing changes in the project’s fundamentals make their conclusions irrelevant even before they are made public. Discussions with Carbonleo continue and the Town is requiring the developer to submit a more complete and detailed version of the updated project, all the more that today’s retail realities are in a state of flux. The new data will enable us to update our studies, continue discussions and clarify our vision for the sector.
Citizen consultation planned
When the time comes to assess the value for the community of the project with its new residential component and determine its social acceptability, the Town intends to hold a full-fledged consultation of its residents, a process in no way related to the commercial surveys repeatedly conducted by the developer for promotional reasons.
However, before embarking on that phase, Carbonleo must submit formal documents detailing its updated proposal. Further discussions with the developer will have to take place and the Town will need to update or redo its own studies before the public consultation can be held. The results of the consultation will determine whether the Town accepts or refuses the Royalmount project, an outcome Council commits to accepting.
At the start of the January 25, 2021, regular Council meeting, mayor Philippe Roy provided an update on the Royalmount project. View the meeting on YouTube.
Read the brief submitted by Town of Mount Royal in 2019 to the Commission du développement économique de l’agglomération de Montréal. (Note: French only.) Note that the brief does not cover a future residential component to the project.