Fleur de Lys Square |  Quebec finances the transformation of a shopping center

Fleur de Lys Square | Quebec finances the transformation of a shopping center

The Quebec government is investing $43 million to transform Place Fleur de Lys into a $750 million multifunctional complex with residential, office and utility components. An unusual intervention that provokes reactions.

Posted at 5:00 am

Andre Dubuc

Andre Dubuc
Press

According to the decree published on July 27 and adopted on July 6, the money comes from the government’s discretionary endowment, called the Economic Development Fund, which is used to finance businesses. Investissement Québec (IQ) acts as agent.

“The intervention is justified by its differentiation from other real estate projects. This large project will help revitalize a central district of Quebec City, attract new clientele and offer a range of services to the surrounding population”, explained the Ministry of Economy.

“It is a commercial company with an expectation of return”, we continue. If other promoters present similar projects, they will be analyzed taking into account the same criteria and with the same rigor as that relating to the Place Fleur de Lys”, assures the Government.

no social housing

Unsuccessfully, Press asked the government and the owners of Place Fleur de Lys the number of planned social housing. a daily article Sun dated September 2021, it reported that of the first 1,000 homes there would be 0.

The government’s investment takes the form of the purchase of preferred shares for a maximum of $43 million in the company 9468-4859 Québec, whose directors are linked to the Trudel Alliance, owner of Place Fleur de Lys. The required performance is kept confidential.

The limited company Trudel Alliance is in the process of transforming the old town by occupying a plot of land with an area of ​​280,000 mtwo (3 million square feet) in a mixed-use complex. The program includes works worth 750 million spread over five to seven years.

More than 2,500 homes, a university campus, trees, community services, offices and commercial premises replace the deteriorated commercial center of approximately 80,000 mtwo (860,000 square feettwo).

The Trudel Alliance Limited Company is owned by brothers William and Jonathan Trudel and their partners. Among the sponsors, there is a company linked to the manufacturer Pomerleau.


PHOTO PATRICE LAROCHE, LE SOLEIL ARCHIVE

Brothers William and Jonathan Trudel, owners of the Trudel Alliance, in June 2021

“This government investment is being made through a preferred equity investment. These will eventually be bought by Trudel. This investment enhances the innovative aspect of Fleur de Lys,” Trudel said in a second email sent to Press. In another email sent earlier, the company wrote that the project “would have been carried out with or without the help of the government.”

UQTR’s new Quebec campus, not far from Place Fleur de Lys, welcomed its first students last fall. There is also talk of opening a university for the elderly there. The transformation project was the subject of a stakeholder consultation.

a previous

“If the funds are used for downtown refurbishment, the equivalent must be available to all developers,” says Vincent Chiara, president of Groupe Mach, which owns several shopping malls in the Quebec region.

There are 50 malls over 500,000 square feet.two of leasable area in Quebec. “Virtually everyone has transformation projects,” says commercial real estate specialist Jean-François Grenier, senior director at Altus Analytical Solutions.

In the past, the provincial government intervened in the private real estate market by subsidizing building tenants. This was particularly the case for the Cité multimedia and the Cité du commerce e-commerce at the turn of the century. The competitors had shouted unfair competition. This time, the intervention is in the capital of a subsidiary of the promoter.

“A justified intervention”

“Such assistance is certainly not common, agrees François Des Rosiers, professor at Université Laval. Without a doubt, it is part of an important perspective of urban remodeling in the surroundings of the Videotron Center. It is not a question, therefore, of “renovating” the shopping center, but of radically changing its vocation”, he specifies.

For Danielle Pilette, professor at the Department of Strategy, Social and Environmental Responsibility at the Faculty of Administration Sciences at UQAM, government intervention is justified, since the assisted project aims to requalify a sector of Vanier, a central district from Quebec City in need of love.

The presence of the UQTR campus and the future of the university for the third age contribute to the democratization of knowledge.

Danielle Pilette, professor at the Faculty of Administrative Sciences at UQAM

There is much work to be done to reclassify Quebec City based on knowledge. This type of government intervention is part of this approach. By investing in the form of preferred shares, he adds, the government gives itself guarantees.

The keywords are “urban revitalization”, says Christian Yaccarini, president of Société de développement Angus (SDA), promoter of projects with social economy components. “In principle, I find it interesting that the government is involved in supporting urban revitalization projects in a context of a housing crisis, with costs and land prices on the rise,” he says.

D’ailleurs, au début de la mise en valeur des terrains Angus, dans Rosemont, dans les années 1990, SDA avait reçu 32 million en prêts gouvernementaux que se sont avérés essentiels au décollage de l’aventure et à succès, insists-t -The. Since then, the loans have been repaid.


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