Laval will get its first commercial office building with exposed wood beams, and a once-popular but long abandoned recreation centre in the city will be transformed into a multiresidential complex housing 1,000.
These were two of the projects discussed at the 5th annual Laval Real Estate Forum on Nov. 7.
Construction and development firm Cosoltec is building Code 440, a mixed-use building that will contain 22,500 square feet of industrial space and 40,000 square feet of office space with exposed wood.
And the Récréathèque, which served as an indoor amusement park for 45 years but has been vacant and boarded-up since 2012, should soon be home to 347 apartment units.
Office and industrial space
Code 440, slated for completion in 2020, will be located on Lucien-L’allier Street, an industrial sector between Highways 15 and 13 and visible from Highway 440. It will be next to the $35-million head office and distribution centre of electrical equipment distributor Lumen, which Cosoltec built in 2016.
One of the floors of the four-storey building will house the head office of Cosoltec. Founded in 1997, Cosoltec has built several other projects in Laval, including the Cineplex Laval and Saint-Martin Hotel, and a number of multiresidential, commercial and institutional buildings in the Montreal area.
“Sustainable development is a must in all projects,” said Vanessa Drolet, director of business development at Cosoltec. The building will incorporate a number of LEED design elements, including abundant vegetation and floor-to-ceiling windows to optimize natural light.
Wood acts as a form of natural thermal insulation that absorbs sound and humidity well, she said. Drolet cited a study that found workers in the presence of wood are better able to concentrate, are more optimistic and productive, and have less stress.
By providing exterior views, large windows and optimal natural lighting, “we can increase individuals’ productivity by 10 to 25 per cent.”
She said the wood elements of the building incorporate the philosophy of biophilia, “a trendy term” that suggests people seek connections with the natural environment.
Code 440 will contain one floor of office space devoted to co-working. Adding a co-working element will make the neighbourhood more dynamic and encourage startups in Laval, Drolet said, and some firms will likely make use of the space for satellite offices.
The industrial area of the building will have ceiling heights of 24 feet and a loading dock, while the office space will have 12- to 13-foot ceilings.
Code 440 will also have a large rooftop patio available to all building occupants.
Apartments at La Récréathèque
Meanwhile, La Récréathèque, a 347-unit apartment project, will replace the Récréathèque, a Laval institution that once attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.
The indoor amusement park included activities like roller skating, bowling, paintball, arcades, a large indoor playground and more. In recent years however, the shuttered building became known as a site for vandalism and break-ins.
Located at 900 Curé-Labelle Blvd., at the corner of Notre-Dame Blvd., the 132,575-square-foot site is slated to house 347 apartments in brick-clad buildings of six, seven and eight storeys. There will also be 532 underground parking spaces and 70 bicycle spaces.
“We’re replacing a rundown building with people that will live in the neighbourhood,” said project architect David Smith of DS Architecte.
The project will be developed by Vertex Construction. Founded in 2002, Vertex has built a number of single-family houses, condominiums and townhomes in the Montreal area, including H1 Harmonie Urbaine, a 250-unit condominium development in Pointe-Claire on the West Island, and Royal Decarie, a 16-unit condo development in Montreal.
Smith said the “very-well-located” project will be geared toward families and will house about 1,000 people. About 60 per cent of the units will be two-bedroom apartments, while the remaining 40 per cent will split evenly between one-bedroom and three-bedroom units.
Amenities will include outdoor rooftop outdoor pools, a gym, conference rooms and common room and a green courtyard with private balconies.
Development plans for the project have been approved by the City of Laval, but Smith did not provide the construction start and finish dates.
Another developer previously envisioned a three-tower, 400-unit condo project at the site, but the project failed to see the light of day.