After months of uncertainty and twists and turns, the Le Boulevard shopping center will not close its doors until December, when it was acquired by the Society de Transport de Montreal (STM), which is due to extend the blue line. This is good news for consumers and some businesses in the neighborhood.
Transport Minister Chandel Rulio made the announcement on Friday. The ministry said the tenants of the shopping center, located on the border of Saint-Michael and Saint-Leonard, had been offered a solution to avoid closing Boulevard.
A panel of experts recommended the size of the terminus, parking area and storage space for construction materials to ensure Le Boulevard is operational. Access to the building will be reconfigured.
“To date, the Quebec Ministry of Transport (MDQ) and STM wants to continue to maintain the business operations of Le Boulevard Shopping Center in the hands of SDM,” we read in a letter to tenants from MTQ.
It also points out that “a property manager will soon be appointed by STM to replace current manager Crafton Moore.”
On Friday, several consumers shopped at Boulevard. With the exception of a few windows pasted with yellow and black posters ending the sale, there is no sign that the shopping center is getting ready to close its doors anytime soon.
“Somehow, no one wants to close it,” said Liliana Rodriguez, an employee at the children’s clothing store OK Kids. According to her, many customers are regulars at the mall. Many of the residents of the nearby nursing homes were happy to walk there.
M working shopMe Rodriguez has already been replaced.
The feeling of the mall community was clear. Claire France Boutique sellers and customers were delighted with the sustainability of the place.
“It simply came to our notice then [habite] Shut up, ”yelled Michael, a store employee. One customer, Suzanne Sarbonio, said she was “very happy” with the announcement that she would be shopping with her friends at the mall.
The Claire France store has not yet been relocated. The tenants of the shopping center learned that Boulevard had closed a few days before Christmas.
Tarek C. Abela was shopping with her young boyfriend Mud On his side. “This is the refuge of our peace, this center,” Mr C Abela said. According to him, Le Boulevard has emotional value.
“It reminds us of the early days when we came here, it reminds us of a lot of things. It’s nostalgic,” the father explained.
According to Stephanie Vasina, owner of Olive Jewelry Store, Friday’s announcement did not hide recent months of concern.
“I do not know how to behave anymore. I have been looking for a place for eight months. I do not sleep, I worry, because it’s my future, it’s my job, I have children,” she listed with tears in her eyes.
She does not welcome Boulevard’s survival as a guarantee for the future. “Will the campus be empty? Will the businesses stay? If I decide to stay, I don’t want the center to be half empty,” the owner said.
The acquisition of Boulevard by STM created several uprisings. The company initially wanted to buy a third of the shopping center with the intention of setting up a Pie-IX metro station there as part of the expansion of the blue line. It is also planned to build an express bus system at Boulevard By-IX.
However, following the decision of the Quebec Executive Tribunal (TAQ), STM forced the entire land to $ 115 million.
The mall owner, real estate firm Crafton Moore, believed it would not have been possible to run Le Boulevard properly without a third party located in the corner of Rue Jean-Dalen Est and Boulevard by-IX.
Crafton Moore boss Mitchell Moss tried to persuade the government not to loot his building, without success, Press Last May1.
In February 2020, the TAQ finally ruled that MTQ, which was responsible for land grabbing on behalf of STM, should purchase the entire building.
The acquisition of Boulevard raised the bill for extortion associated with the construction of the blue line. The original budget for 2018 has almost quadrupled and is now $ 1.2 billion2, Released Press.
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