Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cazelais is saved! Yippee! Sort of.

  So now Cazelais Street will not be expropriated, demolished and built over by a remade Turcot Interchange.
  If you haven't been following: Montreal's Turcot interchange, an elevated spaghetti of overhead roadways where Highway 20 meets Highway 15 is slated to be redone because the concrete is aging faster than a meth-smoking bottle scavenger. Our provincial transport ubergruppenministry favours a low-lying structure, euphemistically known as an urban boulevard, offering cityfolk their rightful smackdown- comeuppance by having cars right in your face, polluting your front lawn rather than being way overhead out of sight, out of mind.
   So the plan would have required demolishing the northern side of Cazelais Street, a stone's throw away from the Home Depot in St. Henry. It's not a posh neighbourhood. A few years ago the $90,000 per triplex standard applied to this street under the shadow of the elevated highway.
   Some tenants opposed demolition because they'd get about three months free rent and moving costs but would be otherwise forced to move their Ikea futons to other apartments, this didn't seem like a great deal for them.
  But what about the actual owners of the buildings? They had a powerful incentive to have their homes demolished. When the government expropriates a property they usually overpay massively.
  The expropriation process starts with the government trying to negotiate a deal. They will usually tell you that the standard is around 2.5 times your municipal evaluation. You can fight it though. One grizzled vet tells me it can go up to three times the market price. It's no cheap affair for a government to expropriate.
 These buildings had tentatively slated for demolition:

4839-4843 Cazelais - owned by Gary Venters of Montreal West, the current municipal evaluation from 2007 is $235,4000, so assuming the 2.5 times formula, the owner would get $580,000 from the provincial government to sell this place.
4833-4837 Cazelais, owned by Simeral Inc, evaluated at $172,500 would be in line for. $431,250.
4827-4831, Yasmine Noori - $210,000. (estimated buyout $525,000)
4825 Cazelais, Paul Landriault - $189,400. ($473,500).
4825 Aurelien Goulet - $160,000. ($400,000)
4821 Thomas Peacock - $173,000. ($432,500)
4815-4819 Jeff Usher-Jones - $180,900 - ($452,250)
4809-13 Yapi Investments - $240,000 ($600,000)
4797-4801 Yves Desjardins $256,200. ($641,250)
4791-4795 Pagona Melas $271,000. ($677,500).
4785-4789 Doriano Perrone, $182,000. ($455,000)
4783 Louise Girard $105,200. ($263,000)
4781 Julie Parent, $105,200 ($263,000)
4779 Andree Lebel $105,400. ($263,500)
4773-4777 Gerard Penarroya $292,000. ($730,000)
4767-4771 Martine Tiramani $160,000 ($400,000)

The buyouts would have cost taxpayers an estimated $7,587,750. A hefty payday to be divided unevenly between 16 owners, many of whom bought the buildings for nearly nothing.
Surely the unsentimental side of those owners was praying for the arrival of the bulldozers and ready to buy off the tenants with nice sums of cash.
   But alas the heart of Tannery Village - Turcot Village - Northwest St. Henry has not been pulled out of its chest quite yet. The beer bikes will keep rolling and the pit bulls will growl for a few more moons but the landlords will miss a chance at a big payday.


Jason Prince said...

Sometimes its a good idea to cite the legal experts, on such matters!

Not sure where you are getting your information on this, Kristian.

Here is one explanation of how the government fixes the price of an expropriated building (

L'indemnité est établie comme suit. Une fois faite la description du bien exproprié, on en détermine la " valeur au propriétaire " soit la valeur de ce bien pour celui qui en a la possession à titre de propriétaire, locataire ou occupant de bonne foi. Quand il s'agit d'un immeuble, cette preuve de la valeur est souvent faite par un évaluateur agréé. C'est l'indemnité principale.

La valeur du bien exproprié est souvent qualifiée de valeur au propriétaire, il faut aussi prendre en considération la valeur de convenance, la valeur spéciale à l'exproprié, etc. On parle alors de valeur marchande plus. Il s'agit en somme d'une valeur subjective contrairement à la valeur objective recherchée par exemple en matière de fiscalité municipale. En expropriation, on recherche vraiment la valeur de l'immeuble exproprié pour son propriétaire.

À la valeur du bien exproprié, s'ajoute la somme d'argent nécessaire pour compenser l'exproprié des autres préjudices qui lui résultent directement de l'expropriation. La preuve peut parfois en être faite par des factures ou des estimés de dépenses. Sinon, le préjudice fait l'objet d'une évaluation par un expert. C'est l'indemnité accessoire.

Cette indemnité inclut notamment l'indemnité pour dommages au résidu ou dommages de rapprochement, le coût de déplacement des bâtisses s'il y a lieu, la compensation des dommages moraux et du déracinement social ainsi que des troubles, ennuis et inconvénients subis par l'exproprié. La relocalisation et la réinstallation sont aussi pris en considération notamment s'il s'agit de l'expropriation d'édifices commerciaux. Les dommages agricoles sont également appréciés et mesurés pour être compensés dans l'indemnité lorsque l'expropriation vise une ferme.

Kristian said...

I discussed the process at length with a guy who was expropriated in Laval for the new metro. I can't locate that article now though.

The documentation everywhere -including that which you have sent - is very vague and there's no hard explanation of what the compensation would be. Surely you'd be a fool to let them steamroll you.

You will also note that the Cafe Cleopatra was going to be expropriated and demolished but the owner simply refused to go along with it and the city of Montreal decided that it would simply back off because they feared the cost of going to court would be too expensive.

It's no easy task to expropriate nowadays.

Neath said...

Interesting times down there. I don't know who would want to buy with the 6 years (and who knows how much longer the construction gangs could stretch it out for) of construction coming up. But it is an enormous victory for one street. Looks like 780 Saint Remi is still going to get bulldozed. Do try to interview the owner, Mr Fattal. I hear he is not necessarily in favour of expropriation and is a total character.

When you get right down to it the Turcot battle is really only starting. The whole thing has been in Limbo for awhile and with the MTQ ready to go forward it means the cards are hitting the table. Going to be very interesting.

Jason Prince said...

A final thought on this matter: If it really were the case that you could double or triple the value of your property, wouldn't there be some speculation going on around these spots? I will make some inquiries and if I turn up anything, will blog it.

Kristian said...

Usually you could read about past transactions by using the Montreal evalweb to get the cadaster and then plug that into the service foncier of the provincial government site. (cost you about two bucks per check). But on Cazelais the cadasters were not updated so you have to find another way of checking. Some of those owners are more prominent than others, the Usher-Jones is a good Westmount boy like me and you, but a little wealthier.

JNvillage said...

While very impressed at the wealth of information here, I can imagine the people whose names you've listed will not appreciate this violation of their privacy. Could you not have found a way to protect the innocent, so to speak, yet still reveal the facts?

The MTQ reps have insisted that nobody, not the government, not individual owners, are allowed to benefit from an expropriation...So it's hard to imagine prices tripling unless the added amounts are just that... Additional amounts to compensate for pain and suffering, expenses, etc.

For the record, there has been a great deal of speculation in the area in the last five years (perhaps in part to the construction of the nearby MUHC)... The building in which I live has changed hands 4 times. And the building at the north-west end of Cazelais was just bought... Apparently the new owner was told nothing about the potential expropriations. Gives new meaning to the terms '' Hidden Defects... Buyer Beware! ''

Kristian, can you dig up similar info on the local businesses (St-Remi and Pullman) ... The owners are like fish in a barrel, as no community group is advocating on their behalf; they too should be made aware of their options.

Also, let's not forget Selby street...

Anonymous said...

hey, i m one of the people on the list.goes to prove you probably never invested a penny in your life. the price goes for has to do with the worth on the market ,not necessarily the worth of the of the actual merchandize. not let s compare it to an illegal substance, pot let s say. to grow a plant you need a seed, water, and earth. grown indoors, electricity. now the real worth of a gram of pot for the probably a few for him to take the risk and take the effort, there has to be a profit. for if he had to sell his pot for the price it cost him it would not be worth it. now imagine a tennant. he or she gets three months free rent just for having rented there. no effort whatsoever.imagine the equation. if i where to tell don t have to do anything and i m going to give you free tell me who s getting a free ride. the investor who takes a risk,works to upgrade a neighbour hood or their property, or the people that get a hand out for doing absolutely nothing.also that is pretty pathetic the you publish info of the sort. there was no need to give amounts.the cost of mobilisation turcot constant protesting is a lot more than 7 million dollars. and perhaps the lives it can take. put that in your equation.

Anonymous said...

now continuing on what i was comparing the market. now the better the quality of the pot, the more in demand,for sure the higher the price. i don t know what kind of work you do , but you can be certain that you are paid more the the fellow of the gal that was doing your job, 20 years if you plan to better your life, you better start taking risks in investing as oppose do publishing everyones financial situation.i am sure there are still communists countries in the world where you can go to resist democracy and investment.

Anonymous said...

kristian, it is a shame i didn t see this blog before. i ve been busy working to pay my bills and another investment that could have potentially created jobs. but it is a shame that there are always people trying to create more poverty in this world as oppose to making a world where everyone can eat and pay there bills. if ever one day we meet perhaps we can sit down and talk about people that the gov t ment privilidge.and perhaps learn a little about investments. many yourself too one day will take a chance and invest your saving ,work hard to make your home or house more beautiful and find yourself happy knowing that the risk you took prospered.if i had known i was worth so much, i would have fought mobilisation turcot with all my might.i too was against it but realized that the perhaps 2 years of construction noise and dirt and possibility of not being able to rent the appartments was not worth keep comparing today s market with yesterdays prices. how much did a teacher make 20 yearts ago. how much was a pound of butter.i hope you take as much energy publishes the foes of this world as oppose to publishing info about people who chose to take a risk. i would like to know ,is it jealousy that animates you for i do not understand why the amount of the purchase of a property or even your appraisal of what a property is worth, has anything to do why the expropriation.the 90,000 dollar per triplex was in what year.?

Kristian said...

Sorry, Anonymous, I think you're asking me a question but I'm not sure what it is and I'm not sure if you're insulting me? I'm not really clear where you're coming from or what you're asking specifically.