Sunday, August 29, 2010

Le Seville, Standing Room Only

Artist's rendering of Le Seville. Courtesy of Prével.
You could be forgiven for thinking there was a hot double-feature at the  former Seville Theatre on Friday.
A couple of dozen people were queued up outside the old repertory palace as though they were waiting for the midnight screening of Rocky Horror Picture Show on Hallow'een.
(There I go dating myself again.)
Turns out those lined up were getting a night-before jump on the official opening of the sales office of Le Seville, a condo project that will rise on the site.
CBC Radio reported that Montreal police put a stop to the overnight line-up by asking developer Prèvel to hand out numbered tickets so that people could come back on Saturday and still have a guaranteed spot in line.
 Prèvel began inviting people last year to get advance word on the project by signing up on its web site.
More than a thousand of them did and that gave Prèvel a chance to ask questions of the potential buyers and fine tune the project. The initial 99 units will be priced between $144,000 and $350,000 and aimed at young singles or couples. This is in the area that city is trying to rebrand as Cité Concordia. Right now, it's skid row, a neighborhood that had its heart broken with first the closing of the Seville in 1986 and then with the shuttering of the beloved Forum. Rubbies and papered-over windows line the three blocks between Closse St. and  Fort. St. Le Seville will be built smack dab in the middle, at the corner Chomedey.
Locals are delighted by the project, which is expected to be built in three phases over three years. A second building with 120 units is on tap, followed by a third featuring 230 more.
These won't be huge condos, ranging in size from a microscopic 450 square feet to a comfortable 950. Prèvel has gone down this road before. It's Lowney and Imperial loft projects both feature small open-concept units with barely enough room to swing a cat (Meeow!) To make up for it, the buildings feature roof-top "lounges" with panoramic views, barbecues, pool tables, pools and the like, so that owners can socialize in style.


  1. Interesting blog. Very original. Interest in the project came after last night which brought me to your blog.

    What is the difference between this project and others in the area was a discussion we had Friday evening over coffee & cheese cake (Pekarna)?

    The discussion derailed all against this project being of value except for me.

    The area was identified as run down in a number of ways by the group and of very slow appreciation in real value.

    I was the only one among the group who would have invested in this project - not that I could today - My points were access to the metro, the forum and Westmount all walking distance. Concordia, St Catherine street, and the children's hospital.

    Will these points really make this project of value?

    Can you back me up Mary?

  2. Hello Anonymous,

    How nice to hear from you. I have a lot to say about the Seville project.It is true, the area around the project is rundown and has been on a downward track since the Forum closed and the Habs moved to the soulless confines of the Bell Centre back in the 1990s.
    Tear the heart out of a neighborhood and watch how quickly it takes a turn for the worse.
    Still, there are signs of life on this end of Ste. Catherine St.
    I haven't visited The Seville sales office and so am not 100 per cent up on what's going on with the project. This much I can say, Prevel, the company behind it, has impressive history of identifying up and coming neighborhoods well ahead of the pack, including places like the Old Port, Griffintown and St. Henri.
    As mentioned in this post, they anticipate the market and deliver finely tuned condos geared to specific niches. They are really good with young, urban buyers who like being in the middle of the action and don't need acres of square footage.I have doubt the Seville will have more heart and style than many other new builds just by virtue of the fact the site has a history - an old fashioned movie palace.
    If Preville is on this rundown strip of Ste. Catherine it is because they are betting on rebirth and are willing to help bring it about. Concordia has a growing presence in the area and is actively trying to rebrand it as Quartier Concordia. Students are the vanguard of change in any urban neighborhood, right?
    So, to make a long stroy short, I think the combination of Prevel and Concordia, plus the metro and Alexis Nihon, the Forum and Dawson College will all contribute to the area's revitalization.
    I'm totally vamping here. But that's my view.
    Thanks for writing!


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