- Maestria, what developers call "Montreal's largest-ever" condo development, is officially under construction, with condo prices as low as about $295,000.
- The project will not include any social housing, however.
- We spoke to one of the developers about the scale of the project and affordability.
Last week, Montreal's largest-ever condo development officially broke ground. Maestria Condominiums, developed by Devmico Immoblier, the Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ, and Fiera Real Estate will have 1,750 units and 61-storeys, making it Montreal's biggest luxury residential development.
The project was first announced in 2018 and the first tower has already sold 75% of its units. Featuring both condos for sale and rental units, Maestria won't include any social housing.
It's important to note that unlike Devmico Immoblier's scrapped social housing plans for their Children's Hospital project, Maestria Condominiums wasn't required to provide social housing. The second tower, announced last week, will have 611 condos and 340 rental units.
According to Marco Fontaine, Vice-President of Development, Residential, and Marketing at Devmico Immoblier, FTQ and Devmico have set aside an investment of $10 million for current and upcoming social housing projects in Montreal.
Currently, the FTQ has more than 61 projects worth $4.2 billion in progress, 68 properties under management, 1.5 million square feet of land for development and $88 million allocated to affordable, social and community housing.
MTL Blog spoke with Marco Fontaine to find out more about the Maestria project.
Interview translated from French and edited for clarity.
According to Fontaine, "the Maestria project was made according to all government standards and social housing was not part of the original proposal. It wasn’t required to put social housing for this project."
"Maestria will be completed at the end of 2022 / beginning of 2023. Residents will be able to move in 2023. Excavation and construction start in a couple of weeks."
The project was first announced in 2018 and will overlook Montreal's Quartier des Spectacles. In the first tower, 75% of the units are already sold. Maestria is set to be a LEED-certified building and will be environmentally sustainable.
"It’s not only the tallest residential tower in the city, but it’ll also have 1,750 units. It’s a huge project for Montreal and it will be the largest in Montreal once it’s finished," says Fontaine.
Costing more than $700 million, the two towers will stand 61-storeys and 57-storeys, connected by a sky bridge at the 26th and 27th floors. It will be a striking addition to Montreal's skyline.
Many Montrealers are concerned with how many condo-only residential developments are springing up around the city. Maestria, however, will include units for rent, unlike many other ongoing projects.
According to Fontaine, "⅓ of each tower is dedicated to rental units and the other will be condominiums for sale. With 1,750 units, we’re looking for people from all walks of life. We have condos in the millions, for sure. But we’re also looking for young professionals, empty-nesters, baby boomers, and more."
"30% of the units will have more than 2 bedrooms, so we would like to see families as well. We’ll have a daycare in the building so, we’re hoping families will be attracted to the development," says Fontaine.
"We have a lot of buyers that are looking for student housing, as well. We’re close to three major universities in Montreal so we expect there to be a good amount of students in Maestria, whether from Quebec or international."
Fontaine assures us that pricing will be competitive.
"Condos will be on average, $440,000. On the lower end, we have condo units priced at $295,000. We compared prices to other similar towers with similar amenities in Montreal and we found that we’re on the average. And in some cases, less expensive than others," says Fontaine.
$295,000 is squarely within the affordable range for many Canadians, according to a Zoocasa report from early 2019 in which the company found that $42,293 was the income required to afford a $296,600 condo in Montreal.
According to the CBC and Statistics Canada, the "median after-tax income" of Millennial households was $44,093 in 2016.
As for rental units, time will tell. Because of its timeline, Devmico isn't able to estimate how much rent prices will be. The market fluctuates, so potential renters will need to be patient, says Fontaine.
"Our timeline to launch the rental units in around 24-30 months. Though we don’t know what the pricing will be yet, it should be competitive pricing according to other similar buildings in Montreal."
If you're worried about Maestria becoming an Airbnb "ghost hotel," Fontaine assures us that that won't be the case.
"At Devimco, we want to highlight that Airbnb is not tolerated or allowed in our buildings or upcoming developments."
According to a press release, Devmico Immoblier, has invested some $2.4 billion in Montreal. Devmico will have contributed 6,300 residential units on the island once all their projects are complete.
For some, this raises the question of whether or not the city of Montreal is doing enough to develop social housing. When announced last week, comments were generally negative across the board. Some even say that this tower is over-the-top and will contribute to an uncontrollable rent crisis.
Stay tuned for more news about the Maestria developement. To learn more about the project, read our earlier coverage here.