Montreal’s four top-rated universities and highly developed tech scene attract particularly intelligent and skilled people, along with wealthy international investors, according to Devencore CEO Jean Laurin.
Among those drawn by what Montreal has to offer are parents of the students taking up higher education in the city.
“Canada is a safe place to park dollars and investments (given its good investment returns, low security issues and solid banking system),” Laurin explained, as quoted by RENX. “We’re welcoming to outside investors or people that want to move to the country.”
This trend has significant implications upon the future of the city’s commercial property, Laurin noted.
Case in point: the 4.5-million-square-foot Quartier des Lumières mixed-use development, currently being built by Groupe Mach, is slated to offer 600,000 sq. ft. of retail and approximately one million sq. ft. in offices. This is on top of its estimated 3,000 residential units.
In recent years, demand for office assets in Montreal and Toronto has been driven by the tech sector, especially firms and organizations involved in gaming, mobile/online applications, and artificial intelligence research.
Large-scale infrastructure projects such as the REM rapid transit system will most likely stimulate further construction, as well.
“Whenever you touch the infrastructure of a city that by itself triggers development activity,” Laurin said.
Considering current activity levels – which are higher than at any time over the past 50 years or so – Montreal’s real estate market might be entering a golden age characterized by ever-stronger growth and positive long-term prospects.
“We may very well look back on this period in Montreal’s evolution and recognize it as marking a truly momentous turning point,” Laurin stated.