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Evolo Condos in Montreal
Plateau borough hoped to apply a new fee for condo conversions, in an attempt to nudge landlords into keeping their properties in the rental market. City hall’s Michael Applebaum has blocked the plan.
ant6n, qatzelok, Kate, and 7 others are discussing. Toggle Comments
I don’t understand Applebaum’s argument about how making condo conversions in the Plateau easier would help people to chose Montreal over Longueuil/Laval. Condos, and buildings in general in the Plateau are so much in demand that they would be bought however they cost, really. It’s not as if we have a choice between no taxes/people living there and taxes/people fleeing. We don’t need to make the Plateau attractive, it is already.
Not making a profit over people willing to pay to live in the Plateau is an indirect subsidy, IMO, and we don’t need to subsidize Plateau buyers, really.
When are we going to stop this nonsense? Stopping the conversions doesn’t work, it just leaves people vulnerable legally. Even if people convert, they can still rent out. It’s a cockamamie argument.
And as with every tax, it will hurt someone down the line. In this case, likely the sellers, who will likely get lower prices to offset the costs of the new tax.
likely the sellers, who will likely get lower prices to offset the costs of the new tax.
Well, yes. That’s part of the point, here – to make it less attractive to sell.
Okay, let’s put it another way, what percentage of these properties are already coproperties that want to convert so that they can get proper mortgages, certificate of location and have a proper convention in place? Why should they pay a tax?
Co-props can and do have proper mortgages and certificates of location. At least mine does…
Kevin, divided versus undivided co-ownership. Divided have cadastre numbers, undivided don’t, it’s simply percentage of property.
actually, where i’ve been living for a little while now, san francisco, restrictions on condo conversions have proved to be the single most effective legislative tool to ensure that rental stock remains consistent. remember too that montreal’s rent controls are so stringent that owners have every incentive either to get out or to defer maintenance – one means more owners on the plateau (which is annoying for a variety of nimby reasons) and the other means a lower-cost rental stock. seems pretty clear which one is better.
that said, i’m so disappointed that projet montreal hasn’t done a wholesale rezoning to allow far greater density on the plateau. walking down roy or saint laurent or whatever, you just see how our idiotic low density policies are killing neighborhood businesses and sabotaging residents’ efforts on quality of life issues like pedestrianizations, increased transit service, getting that fucking tram going down avenue du parc, and the rest of it. we’d have less of a weekend shitshow on prince arthur if we had another 3000 residents in the immediate vicinity to support establishments that don’t appeal to non-locals.
As I recall it was condo conversion that drove up Plateau rents in the late 90s through simple supply and demand. You still can’t find many units bigger than 6 1/2 for that very reason. New developments tend toward smaller units as the price rolls over better, so families are essentially forced to move to the burbs if they don’t have a good enough job to afford the 1500/m+ that most Plateau 61/2 new rentals are asking now. I’ve seen asking prices over 2k this year. It’s getting very close to mortgage prices.
david m, the Plateau is hardly ‘idiotic low density’– it’s the 2nd most dense neighbourhood in the country.
Tend to agree with David here. If there’s a demand, just offer more supply. A half dozen 15-storey highrises in some corner of the area would do a lot to alleviate the crush.
Aaron, it’s not as simple as ‘just add more supply’. Increasing housing supply adds demand to other systems: fresh water, sewage, parking, garbage collection, etc.
Also, and while I’m aware of the need for urban densification, most people don’t move to the Plateau to live in 15-storey highrises. They want to live in a duplex or triplex flat, maybe with a front or back yard, because at its best the Plateau can give you the best of urban and suburban living in one package.
Well, if you’re against densification of the area near downtown and you’re against (presumably) urban sprawl, then what’s your solution? Taxes will pay for the services and those who can’t find a duplex might be happy in a taller building. I find you guys a bit precious here.
I didn’t say I was against it, I just think that if people want to move into highrises they’re more likely to choose the downtown area than the Plateau. (If it makes me precious that I like living in a ground-floor flat with a tiny bit of yard well then, call me precious.)
One major problem with “urban densification” is that – like urban renewal – it usually involves building expensive new residential properties that normal people can’t afford. So, instead, you get isolating yuppies who drive out of underground parking lairs, and add little to their neighborhoods except traffic.
When the city starts building inexpensive high-density housing in the center of the city… there will be a noticeable increase in quality of life. Until then, the condos are just suburbia-in-a-box. They look good, but are as dead as the parking lots they hide in their basements.
There’s a huge spectrum between urban sprawl (500-1000ppl/km^2) and the plateau (12000ppl/km^2) and Manhattan (30000ppl/km^2). In the greater Montreal area, there’s really no need to go to Manhattan-like densities in order to curb sprawl; I’d say what we need is good density on the whole island in an environment that’s is of high living quality such that people actually want to live in the city. The Plateau fits that model very well, people really like living in N-plexes with their tiny yards.
You’re not going to solve the problem of sprawl by trying to pack suburbanites into 15-story apartment buildings in the Plateau, but rather by exporting the Plateau model (i.e. the traditional Montreal model) to the rest of the island – and to the some of the surrounding communities: walkable, relatively dense communities, where people may even have their own attached houses and small yards, for a density of something like >6000ppl/km^2.
Btw, if you take a Plateau style block, which is ~45×200 meters, and has streets that are 20m wide. If you assume a lot for a house is 8meters wide, and then you assume 2.5 people per house, you still get ~11000ppl/km^2. That means if the Plateau was just a giant residential area, and every single building was a single family dwelling, you’d still get a similar density than what is there today, and more than what is required for being walkable/transit oriented.
(The point is that we solve the the sprawl issues by making low density areas more dense and walkable, not by making already dense and walkable areas so packed that they loose their appeal)
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