Monday, March 9, 2009

Griffintown Saved?

Looks like brute economic forces have done to Devimco's ill-conceived $1.3-billion redevelopment of Griffintown what grassroots democracy and common sense at city hall could not?
Hey, we'll take it!
The developer has already had to scale back the project because of the economic downturn. The city has in turn lifted expropriation orders on 27 properties along Peel and Wellington Sts., freeing those owners to lease or sell their buildings. Some of them might even tear them down and rebuild, thanks to the new PPU (plan particulier d'urbanisme) or urban plan that Devimco bullied through city hall last year.
Irony of ironies that the the strong-armed developer actually may have helped the mostly small building owners of the area kick start change in the gritty and historic old industrial neighborhood.
In La Presse, Devimco president Serge Goulet said he's already spent $10 million on area improvements without seeing any return. Now it's time for the city to pony up or else he'll head back to Brossard and continue working on his Dix/30 mega-shoppotainment complex.
If it has any brains (?), city hall will take a pass and says "Merci M. Goulet. Attention que la porte ne vous frappe pas les cuisses!"

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