Thursday, January 31, 2013

Luxury Address, Lowlife Clientele?

Heritage du Vieux-Port
The Toronto Star has a fascinating story today about the seamier side of one of Old Montreal's most exclusive luxury property's,  Le Heritage du Vieux-Port.

I don't know how long the link will be good so here's the gist of the story:

Hockey players and wealthy socialites call the Heritage du Vieux Port home.
Longer than a football field and crowned by four five-storey rooftop villas, it offers what the glossy sales brochure describes as “your private chateau in the city.”
But police also describe it as a virtually impregnable “bunker” for a handful of bikers, Mafia associates and other alleged organized crime figures who over the years found comfort and isolation behind the walls of the massive structure that once served as a refrigerated warehouse near the port.

How's that for a morning read?

The report goes on to enumerate at least 20 people with criminal records or ties to Montreal's underworld who have owned or lived in the 200-unit property in the last decade.

A Sûreté du Québec investigator told reporter Julian Sher of having carried out four search warrants on homes in the building and knew of a dozen more having been carried out since 1998.

True confession time. I was The Gazette's real estate reporter in 1999 when Toni Magi and his brothers announced their plan to redevelop a massive refrigerated warehouse on the edge of Montreal's Old Port.

No one had ever heard of the Magi brothers - I think remember there being four of them - at that point. In later years, Toni Magi evinced an amazing affinity for surviving being shot at. It got his name in the papers quite a lot.

I do remember the launch was held on a beautiful fall day, aboard a gleaming boat that cruised the harbour. Mayor Pierre Bourque, smiling and vacant, was in attendance.  There were hors d'oeuvres and light classical music. It was the splashiest PR event announcing the launch of new condo. (They usually involved visiting an unheated Dickie Moore trailer to pick up a sales kit and meet a sales agent who was chilled to the bone.)

The Magis couldn't bring the project to completion and ended losing it to TRAMS Property  Management, a large real-estate development and managemnt firm that does a lot of work in the U.S.. 

Radio-Canada's investigative news show, Enquete, will have a report on the dubious doings at one of Montreal's most luxurious addresses tonight. I, for one, intend to tune in.

In the meantime, if anyone is in the market for a luxury apartment in a bunker-like chateau on the edge of Old Montreal, give me a call. Prices start at about $2,500 for a rental and climb to $4.45 million for a penthouse.

After tonight, those prices might be negotiable.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What Were They Thinking?

Master bedroom of a $500,000 duplex currently for sale in Montreal. Wanna smoke crack?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

New Listing in LaSalle 8997-8999 Godbout

Amy Barratt and I have just listed an impeccable 1965 duplex at 8997-8999 Godbout in LaSalle. The property has been inhabited by the same owners since the year of construction and has been carefully maintained.

It consists of two three-bedroom dwellings. The ground floor has a finished basement with powder room, laundry room and workshop, as well as a two-car, tandem garage. The ground floor is available for immediate occupancy.

The upper is rented for $800 a month, heated. It has washer and dryer in the bathroom.

Both units are heated by a single oil-burning furnace, with hot-water (radiator) heating systems that are independent of one another. The ground floor also has a wall-mounted A/C.

What I love about this property is that the original style has been lovingly preserved. The kitchen is straight out of an episode of the Brady Bunch, I'm pretty sure. Love the real wood-grain cabinets. Love the copper drawer pulls. Love the etched glass panels with geese in full flight.

.(Love the wallpaper a little less, but that is a cosmetic trifle.)

This property has gleaming, unsullied oak floors throughout the main level. The basement has wall-to-wall carpets which are being steam cleaned as I write.

The roof was installed in 2004 and is still under guarantee. The front and rear balcony railings, stairs and flashings were redone in aluminum within the last decade. Ditto the fibreglass balcony decks.

The thermopane windows date from 1992. The hot water tanks were replaced in 2007 and 2008, respectively. The oil tank was replaced in 1999.

The living room is large and quite bright, thanks to the southwestern exposure that provides lots of afternoon sunlight through a big picture window. Fabulous for entertaining.

The bedrooms are well proportioned with good closet space and big windows.

The bathroom is fully functional if a little retro with its pink wall tile, pink and white shower tiles and pink marble-effect arborite vanity. It has a large closet and could easily be remodeled for the washer and dryer. Again, a trifle to change.

The lot is also larger than average for the neighborhood, measuring 388 square metres or 4180 square feet. 

Asking price is $453,000, which is a very competitive price for the area. 

Give me a call to schedule a visit. Mary Lamey (514) 978-6522 or Amy Barratt (514) 718-6522