Radio-Canada ensures that it has obtained a fair price in selling their huge land in the centre of the city of Montréal in 2017, for$ 42 Million. Yet, less than three years later, a promoter is going to sell only one-quarter to$ 114 Million, has learned our Bureau of investigation.
Vincent Chiara, one of the biggest players in real estate in Montreal, is the one that had won the tender in 2016 to buy the block where the dilapidated tower brown, which houses the studios and offices of the public broadcaster.
He then divided this land and entered into an agreement with the developer Devimco for him to sell a part, which corresponds to the parking lots in the south-western part of the field.
“I would say that you have good sources !” said Vincent Chiara to our Office of investigation, without wishing to confirm the amount of the transaction to come because he is bound by a confidentiality agreement. One thing is for certain, the promoter agrees that he is about to realize a significant profit.
The Group Mach, Vincent Chiara, and Devimco should go to the notary office in September to formalize their “understanding” on-farm”, which includes disbursements progressive according to the number of units built.
Devimco intends to erect the first building of condos 15 floors, baptized Auguste & Louis. The two parties were not disclosed the acquisition cost for the unveiling of the project last February.
“The market in our favor “
Vincent Chiara refuses to quantify his investment in the site until now.
“The amount that I put is not important,” he says.
According to him, the quality of the development plan, as Mach has put in place has largely contributed to the good price he got.
“There is also a part of that which we, it is not responsible : it is the market, should be Vincent Chiara. It is not because we are geniuses : the market is in our favor… “
The businessman owns several skyscrapers with the Saputo family-Borsellino airport to the city centre of Montreal.
At Radio-Canada, the public relations director, Marc Pichette, has always defended the sale of the site at Vincent Chiara.
“The offer of Group Mach has been accepted at the end of a tender process was robust and she was the best from a financial point of view and qualitative, he wrote in an email. Factors had been considered […] as the need to decontaminate the property and the fact that the revitalization of the tower and the site purchased […] could not start until after the move of CBC/Radio-Canada in the new House. “
The offer of Devimco is conditional to the finalization of the discussions between Mach and the City of Montreal on the infrastructure to be constructed in the new district.
Michel Bissonnette, VP Radio-Canada
“We need to sign agreements, said Vincent Chiara. One or the other of the parties may withdraw if they are not signed in July. “
Devimco, the origin of the DIX30 and the real estate boom in Griffintown, works here with his regular partner, the solidarity Fund QFL. Devimco did not want to answer our questions.
Radio-Canada leaves his old tower to install by 2021 in his new home at the corner of René-Lévesque and Papineau.
The development costs of this new building and the finances of the public broadcaster are often highly publicised in recent years.
In 2016, the Trudeau government announced it would provide up to an additional $ 675 Million over five years at Radio-Canada.
In November 2019, Michel Bissonnette, vice-president of the State company, said that the development of his new house would cost 287 M$, that is$ 17 Million more than expected. Radio-Canada will pay over$ 22 Million per year for housing, because the building does not belong to him.
In April, a spokesman for the Crown corporation explained that they had to remember to order some of its vendors that would have lowered the price of advertisements, and thus exercised an excessive competition on the private broadcasters.
$ 1.2 Million of rent to stay in the tower
Vincent Chiara is said to have invested$ 42 Million without touching any significant revenues to date. “You need to be visionary, and you are compensated when your vision is good and that you get a folder accordingly. ”
According to Vincent Chiara, Radio-Canada pays$ 1.2 M net rent per year to stay in her tower waiting for the new “house” is completed.
A rent ” not very high “, he says.
The public company refuses to confirm this amount.
In comparison, Radio-Canada will have to pay more than$ 1.8 Million per month, or$ 22 Million per year, to stay in the new building that he built Broccolini. This amount does include, however, electricity and municipal taxes.
Chiara ensures that the land that he had acquired it costs more than the rent he receives from Radio-Canada until the company’s Status permanently leaves the premises.
He says that his company spends around$ 2 Million in interest per year on the loan contracted to purchase the site.
The move of the company to State in its new building began last spring. It is expected to be completed in spring 2021, with the arrival of the teams information in the new house.
Why such a delay ?
“The original schedule was ambitious. In order to minimize the risks inherent in the technology transition and ensure the sustainability of our operations, the choice to spread out the move over a longer period has been done, ” said the spokeswoman, Julie Root.
Of course, the COVID-19 has also contributed to the delays in recent months.
In fact, Radio-Canada and the manufacturer of its new building, Broccolini, are in dispute about the move. The public company determines that its new house is not fully completed, so that the proponent ensure that everything was ready to accommodate all of its teams to the 31st December last, as provided for in the contract.
“A good investment ! “
Project of condos, Auguste & Louis, Devimco, on the former grounds of Radio-Canada.
Of experts that has consulted with our Office of investigation believe that the Group Mach Vincent Chiara has got a very good price for the land that he intends to resell at Devimco.
“At first glance, it seems to me very expensive,” says Pierre Laliberté, appraiser and consultant in real estate. If it is confirmed, it will have been a good investment for him ! “
Broker at CBRE, Benoît Poulin said that he was also surprised by the price. The buyer account build 2000 condos on the site, which amounts to about $ 57,000 in the door just to purchase the land.
“The market is very expensive in the city centre of Montreal,” he says.
Several factors could explain this high price : that Mach may have offered financing terms interesting.
“If the land sold is fully serviced by infrastructure and decontaminated, it also contributes,” says Pierre Laliberté.
One thing is for certain, by selling the south-western part of the site, Vincent Chiara disposes of the “jewels of the Crown” : the more near the centre of the city, no structures to demolish or adapt…
The sponsor has risked big by purchasing from the site by tender, with the considerable challenges posed by the presence of the tower, studios and huge underground space, ” says Pierre Laliberté. “In 2017, nobody wanted it, of that site. “