By Craig Patterson
The Royalmount mega-project in Montreal is bringing on a new investor to help launch what is being positioned as a new ‘Midtown’ for Montreal. Developer Carbonleo, based in Montreal, has announced that it is partnering with the L Catterton group to develop Royalmount — L Catterton is a private equity firm linked with French luxury conglomerate LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) and Groupe Arnault.
The mixed-use Royalmount lifestyle centre will become a model for future shopping centre developments globally. Gone are the days of a fashion mall amid a sea of parking — Royalmount will become a community and entertainment hub that will include a whopping 3.6 million square feet of space in a multi-billion dollar development which will include more than 200 retail stores as well as more than 100 food and beverage destinations, five hotels and four office towers.
“Royalmount will be a feast for the senses – a super-stage for self-expression and connection and a place of uncommon quality,” said Andrew Lutfy, Chairman of Carbonleo and Founder of Royalmount. “We are proud to welcome LCRE to Montreal and to share in our vision of making it a global real estate destination. We are confident that LCRE is the ideal partner for a project of this scale and imagination.”
Royalmount is L Catterton’s third North American development project, following its investment in Miami’s luxury retail complex, Miami Design District and most recently, a significant investment in The Amazing Brentwood centre in suburban Vancouver. L Catterton is also involved in a number of luxury projects in Asia, including the recent unveiling of the magnificent Ginza SIX luxury retail complex in central Tokyo. L Catterton is noted as being the world’s largest consumer-focused private equity fund, with more than US $15 billion in capital.
The Montreal project is being built in a former industrial district and will create 35,000 jobs during its construction, and 15,000 jobs in operation.
L Catterton’s projects are known for their architectural and design excellence, high profile public art and premium merchants. Royalmount is expected to become a retail ‘luxury node’ for the city, alongside the expanded/merged Holt Renfrew Ogilvy on Ste-Catherine Street West in the downtown core, where Carbonleo is also developing the soon-to-open luxury Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences.
“We are honored to partner with Carbonleo on such an extraordinary project and thank Andrew Lutfy and his team for their trust,” said Mathieu Le Bozec, Managing Partner of L Catterton Real Estate. “With its scale and underlying vision, Royalmount will be one of the most innovative real estate projects in the world, offering an unrivalled consumer experience that we hope all Montreal residents and visitors will enjoy.” ‘
Royalmount is seeking to become a significant destination for locals and tourists. It will feature exciting entertainment venues the likes that have never been seen in the city. The centre’s retail will be “re-imagined through supreme storytelling, world-class fashion and luxury rows, international flagships, independent boutiques, and family-oriented shopping from the next generation of global retailers along side Montreal’s most exciting local champions,” according to the developers.
As well, more than 100 culinary venues will draw from the region — there will be a range of offerings from popular chain restaurants to trendsetters to luxury players. There will also be five hotels, four office towers, a wellness village, and a sustainable and efficient transportation hub that will be anchored by a privately funded fully enclosed pedestrian and bike friendly bridge, which will connect visitors from the metro to the development.
Consumers are seeking out experiences like never before, and at a time when online shopping is growing rapidly, landlords are looking to make their properties more engaging. The ‘lifestyle centre’ concept, which creates something of a community centre, is a model being adopted by many leading developers, including Carbonleo. The landlord is also one of the developers of suburban Montreal’s massive Quartier DIX30 project, which includes a mix of retail and other amenities in an outdoor configuration. As land prices rise, site intensification will see more shopping centres adding ‘lifestyle’ components and even on-site housing to further unlock the value of real estate, as well as to create foot traffic for centres.