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.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi, in an effort to cut down on spam, I will now be moderating comments prior to publication. If you're a real person with a real comment or question, I'll get to you as soon as I can. Thanks!