The owners of the Galeries d'Anjou shopping mall are reportedly launching a case against the STM involving a dispute over land that is supposed to be used for the Montreal blue line extension. According to a CBC News report, Cadillac Fairview and Ivanhoé Cambridge are pushing the Quebec Superior Court to dismiss a move by the STM to seize part of the mall's land (a process called expropriation) for the project. The case could delay the highly-anticipated extension, according to the STM.
The transit company tells MTL Blog that "despite the expropriation process currently underway, which is intended to ensure that the project schedule is respected, the STM favours an agreement that has been negotiated from the outset, since contesting expropriations leads to additional delays."
The mall's owners contend that the blue line extension as it's currently planned would stunt the shopping centre's growth, the CBC explains.
MTL Blog reached out to Cadillac Fairview to find out more about the lawsuit and its effects. We will update this article when we receive a response.
"Negotiations by mutual agreement were initiated by the STM with Cadillac-Fairview more than a year ago and numerous meetings have taken place," says the STM.
"The STM is attentive to the needs expressed and is open to finding solutions to the concerns and issues raised, all subject to compliance with the project's key parameters, in order to promote the completion of this major structuring transportation project that will have major benefits for the entire East End of Montreal."
The federal government has already dedicated $1.3-billion to the blue line project and any further delays could significantly increase costs and extend the timeline.
Expropriation notices were given to some businesses as early as 2018, according to a January 2020 report from the Journal de Montréal.
Big news in Montreal today! The Blue line extension means shorter commutes for Montrealers. #BuildingCanada https://t.co/WQLupSaGml— Justin Trudeau (@Justin Trudeau)1562262784.0
The STM has set aside $450-million to purchase the land for the extension, the report stated.
The blue line extension is set to be complete by 2026.
The Galeries d'Anjou are supposed to be the final stop along the 5.8-kilometre extension.
Stations are also planned along rue Jean-Talon at Pie-IX, Viau, Lacordaire, and Langelier.