Above is the new Altitude Montréal condo tower, currently under construction. It will be 33 stories tall and occupy a former parking lot (yay). It’s not exactly human-scale, but, in that part of town not much is. Fortunately, at 33 stories it will roughly as tall as the Telus Tower, and so will draw the eye up towards PVM, thus continuing the ‘staircase’ groupings of office and residential buildings downtown. It will also mean more people living downtown, and that’s hard to argue with, especially when the lot being used was unoccupied and ugly. Just noticed this (Nov. 4th 2011) that the above picture features a new building at the corner of Boul. Rene-Levesque and University, adjacent to the new tower. What’s this all about?
And this is the Place Victoria. No work has begun yet, but it seems likely this project will go through. The location, at the top of Square Victoria, is currently partially abandoned and out of scale with more recent developments. Moreover, the existing building is simply too short, too reminiscent of what Square Victoria used to be back before its major renovation earlier last decade. Not convinced that this is the most elegant residential building they could put up, but it’s nonetheless a strong addition to the space. Moreover, the International Quarter while not exactly lacking in condos, can nonetheless support additional residential development, ideal here given how, for a significant time, it was largely void of life. So this may be a decent example of smart condo development. It should be noted, however, that there’s a decent number of major condo projects filling up vacant lots north of Viger and east of Beaver Hall Hill, which will essentially create a whole new neighbourhood right in the middle of the city. What’s problematic is that there is little in terms of street-life in this area, and hopefully the city and the developers will see to it to introduce space for basic amenities, such as dépanneurs, grocery stores and other small scale services. We’ll see I guess.