A hotel, shops and 400 housing units in the Dorchester parking lot

The face of the Saint-Roch neighborhood is set to change with the construction site that the Trudels are planning on the 100,000 square foot Dorchester parking lot. The vast lot, crisscrossed by Dorchester, Caron, Sainte-Hélène and Saint-Vallier Est streets, will be reclassified as a mixed project, including housing and businesses.

The outlines of this vast project, the investment of which remains unknown, are beginning to take shape. In operation charm in the neighborhood, the major real estate developer is meeting these days with its neighbors to present to them the concept and the main lines of the future developments that they will soon see appear near their homes.

According to information from SunTrudel is targeting the beginning of January 2025 to begin work on the lot purchased in December 2022. The project should last two and a half years, with a projected completion in mid-2027.

Strategic land in the heart of Lower Town, the Dorchester parking lot will give way to nearly 400 housing units, divided into different buildings with a height of six storeys or more, in a gradual rise, from west to east. Dorchester Street will be bordered by a 175-room hotel, up to 20 floors high.

Trudel would have in his sights to link this building, the highest in his project, to that of the Fresk residential tower, not far from there, at the corner of rue de la Couronne and rue Saint-Joseph. Such a height does not comply with the special urban planning plan (PPU) in force in the sector and must be subject to an exemption by the City of Quebec. In force since 2017, it instead provides for the construction of buildings of up to a dozen floors.

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The Fresk tower, rue de la Couronne, has 169 units spread over 20 floors. (The Sun, Pascal Ratthé/The Sun, Pascal Ratthé)

Like its other requalification projects launched elsewhere in the city, such as Fleur de Lys, Galeries Charlesbourg and Place Quatre-Bourgeois, Trudel also intends to include a commercial component in its new constructions.

Several local and service businesses will therefore emerge. The desire not to compete with companies already established in the neighborhood would be at the heart of Trudel’s concerns, according to information from Sun.

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The huge Dorchester parking lot behind the La Fabrique building, bordered by Sainte-Hélène, Dorchester, Caron and Saint-Vallier Est streets. (Archives The Sun)

Likewise, the need for a grocery store communicated by residents of the area will be echoed in the Dorchester block project. A 30,000 square foot “volume” grocery store will be created at the corner of Dorchester and Sainte-Hélène. It remains to be seen whether the strong interest in a hardware store will also materialize.

Green spaces and pedestrian passages will also punctuate the decor, while parking will be arranged underground. Two public squares as well as a 10,000 square foot park are in the works.

Ambitious project, welcomed approach

Called to comment on information from Sun, Trudel’s chief of staff, David Chabot, refused to confirm or deny anything. The company instead wants to let its approach run its course.

“We do not want to comment on the current process out of respect for the citizens who have not yet been met. We are in voluntary consultation to measure the receptivity and interest of partners and citizens in relation to the proposed project,” he simply states.

>>>Brothers Jonathan and William Trudel are behind several current and planned real estate projects in Quebec.>>>

Brothers Jonathan and William Trudel are behind several current and planned real estate projects in Quebec. (Yan Doublet/Archives Le Soleil)

For several days, the developer has been inviting his neighbors to meetings to share his proposal for developing the disused lot. Around twenty of these meetings are planned on the agenda.

According to the first feedback collected by Le Soleil, traders and citizens who were entitled to the presentation were mostly satisfied with the presentation.

Far from the final plans, still to be refined, the latter were entitled to images of the volume of the various buildings to be constructed. Trudel’s consultation process, carried out ahead of Quebec City’s regulatory changes, is also welcomed by the stakeholders consulted.

After citizens of the Arago and Christophe-Colomb sectors, those of Saint-Vallier Street are invited Tuesday to a meeting on the redevelopment of the property. The entire population of Saint-Roch will follow on Wednesday, then the owners of the Le Gutenberg building on Thursday.

In a hot reaction, the general director of L’Engrenage Saint-Roch, Marie-Noëlle Béland, says she is “favorable” to the rapid construction of rental housing, but questions the part that the developer really plans to reserve for social and affordable housing.

“It’s an important project that has lots of positive aspects, but there are still areas that still need to be adjusted.”

— Marie-Noëlle Béland, general director of L’Engrenage Saint-Roch

Knowing that “more and more people are having difficulty finding housing,” the community organization is asking for a project that “meets the housing needs of a diversity of people.”

“In an environment like Saint-Roch, you have to be careful,” warns Ms. Béland. It is commendable that the Trudel group wants to hear from the community, but for a project of this magnitude which does not fit into the PPU, it will also require consultation with the City to ensure that it is the best project.

For a long time

Will this time be the good one, when the disappearance of the Dorchester parking lot has been looming over Lower Town for several years now. For at least eight years, the birth of a new district has been promised in the heart of Saint-Roch.

In 2016, the Kevlar group presented its vision to eliminate the vast asphalt space in the southern sector of Saint-Roch. The project ultimately never saw the light of day.

>>>The Kevlar group was planning at the time the construction of four buildings, namely three residential buildings with commercial spaces on the ground floor and underground parking lots as well as an office building.>>>

The Kevlar group was planning at the time the construction of four buildings, namely three residential buildings with commercial spaces on the ground floor and underground parking lots as well as an office building. (Archives The Sun)

The years passed and, in 2022, the Trudel company finally acquired the lot from Développements Dorchester Inc, from Pierre Pomerleau, then owner of the land. They have always shown themselves committed to redeveloping the “strategic” lot.

Even before the transaction concluded at a cost of 6 million, Trudel Alliance had already been managing parking for several years.

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