Downtown Montreal’s iconic Maison Birks store will see an overhaul that will include a new on-site hotel. The announcement follows Saks Fifth Avenue‘s decision to open a flagship store across the street, as the area continues to become more upscale.
Birks Group Inc. is referring to the project as being a ‘luxury lifestyle property’ that will feature a renovated flagship Maison Birks jewellery store, as well as a bistro and 120-room boutique ‘Birks Hotel’ operated by Le St-Martin Hotels, scheduled to open in the spring of 2018. Construction will begin in the spring of 2017.
Renovations to the Birks store itself will reflect the brand’s latest retail concept, which was recently unveiled at its new Yorkdale Shopping Centre unit last month. Birks Montreal will remain open during renovations.
The 58,444 square foot Montreal Birks building currently includes a 19,785 square foot Birks store at its base. The building, featuring a Miramichi sandstone facade, was designed by Edward Maxwell and opened in 1894. The Birks store will be downsized to about 7,500 square feet.
The immediate area is seeing considerable improvements, expected to draw crowds of affluent shoppers. In early 2018, Saks Fifth Avenue will open a 200,000 square foot store (including an 80,000 square foot Quebec-themed food hall) on the north side of the existing 655,000 square foot Hudson’s Bay building. Other improvements to the area will include merged Centre Eaton and Complexe Les Ailes shopping complexes (to be anchored by a 44,840 square foot Saks OFF 5TH by Saks Fifth Avenue), a renovated Phillips Square, as well as heated sidewalks along Sainte Catherine Street West.
Birks has been renovating and relocating some of its key stores over the past several years. We’re told that, soon, it will announce the renovation and reconfiguration of its flagship Manulife Centre store in downtown Toronto, which will be part of a $100 million mall renovation that will include the addition of Italian food concept Eataly.