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Royalmount in Montreal Announces Major Retail Tenants for the 100% Carbon-Neutral Development [Feature]

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The  Royalmount development in Montreal has announced an impressive roster of first-to-market retailers. That includes a mix of luxury stores, big-name brands and local retailers as well as foodservice businesses. The $7 billion centre, set to open in early 2024, is also aiming to be 100% carbon neutral which will be the largest such project of its kind in Canadian history according to Royalmount’s developer Carbonleo.

The project has been under construction since before the pandemic. In the spring of 2019 Retail Insider attended the ground-breaking of Royalmount which at the time was a former industrial site with construction equipment ready to dig. The project is now well along with a retail component housing over 100 retailers and 60 restaurants and experiential attractions. Michael Stroll, Vice President Leasing at Carbonleo said that the developer is spending more than a million dollars a day on construction and that the project has now secured some of the most exciting retail brands in the world.

That includes luxury brands that currently do not have standalone locations in Quebec. Louis Vuitton is confirmed to be opening its first standalone storefront in Quebec at Royalmount, and the announcement is particularly significant given its size. Spanning 9,200 square feet, Royalmount’s Louis Vuitton store will become one of the largest in Canada.

Click image for interactive Google Map
Photo: Carbonleo

Gucci will open a store at Royalmount spanning an impressive 8,700 square feet. This will become Gucci’s largest storefront in Canada when it opens.

Tiffany & Co will open a storefront at Royalmount, larger than its two locations in downtown Montreal (a standalone at The Ritz and a concession nearby at Holt Renfrew Ogilvy). Contemporary brands are also part of the mix at Royalmount, with Sandro and Maje both confirmed as tenants.

RH, also known as Restoration Hardware, will act as an anchor for Royalmount in a space spanning 46,500 square feet — not including a terrace for a food and beverage concept. This will become the second RH flagship store in Canada, following the 2017 opening of one at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto.

Carbonleo’s CEO Andrew Lutfy said in a statement, “To be able to announce that some of the world’s leading brands will be opening major flagship stores at Royalmount stands as testament to the quality of the project and its ability to meet demand in the Quebec market for luxury experiences.”

Photo: Carbonleo
Photo: Carbonleo

Other major retailers are on the way, and we weren’t permitted to reveal them in this article for press time. Several are household names, some of which are already in the market and will be seeing large flagship spaces as well.

Given the strong dynamics and tenants secured, leasing has been robust at Royalmount according to Stroll. “Most recently, our dealmaking velocity has meaningfully accelerated. In the past 12 months, we’ve leased over 250,000 square feet of retail space. Based on this traction, I anticipate that we will be oversubscribed prior to our grand opening.”

“As it relates to merchandising, demand from new to market global tenants has outpaced our expectation and I foresee that 40-50% of the tenant mix will be entirely new to the Quebec market. The other 50-60% will consist of the best brands that already have a presence here.”

The first round of announcements, including Louis Vuitton and others, are key to the success of Royalmount according to Stroll.

“These first brand announcements mark a major milestone for Royalmount. That some of the world’s greatest luxury brands will be opening flagship format stores at Royalmount is illustrative of the market opportunity that exists in Montreal and the quality of our project.”

Photo: Carbonleo
Photo: Carbonleo

The privately-funded Royalmount project will become a state-of-the-art lifestyle hub for the region and will set a new standard for luxury in Montreal. The project will include a mix of experiences and will also be home to a three-kilometre linear park called Le Champ Libre, along with an outdoor public plaza.

Sustainability is also a key component to Royalmount. The first of its kind, the district will be one of the only 100% carbon neutral mixed-use projects in Canada. With a holistic approach to sustainability from construction through to how visitors will interact with the space, Royalmount offers a new take on sustainable luxury that will enrich Montreal’s evolving approach to how people shop, work, live and play.

A key investor in the project is L Catterton, an investment arm of LVMH. Mathieu Le Bozec, Managing Partner L Catterton Real Estate, said, “We’re pleased that these renowned luxury brands have committed to opening retail locations at Royalmount, reflecting our view that this world-class project will redefine urban mixed-use development in Canada just as we were able to do with Miami Design District. Together with Carbonleo, we look forward to introducing this destination to Montreal and visitors from around the world.”

Carbonleo was founded in 2012 and employs about 145 people. The developer already has many projects to its credit, including Quartier DIX30 near Montreal, Royalmount and the hotel and private residences Four Seasons Montreal.

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Publisher & CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Advisor at the University of Alberta School Centre for Cities and Communities in Edmonton, former lawyer and a public speaker. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Very impressive. Carbonleo has definitely got the wind in its sails with all the big name first-to-Quebec retailers (landing Restoration Hardware is quite a coup). This is key, as we have become used to major luxury names skipping Canada’s second largest metro as they open locations in Toronto or Vancouver, then Calgary or Edmonton. I wonder how Andrew Lufty and his team persuaded these companies, normally chary and uncertain about the La Belle Province, to make the leap. Carbonleo has essentially created a Montreal counterpart to Yorkdale, and just as that thriving centre challenges Bloor/Yorkville for upmarket dominance in Greater Toronto, so will Royalmount challenge Centre-ville in La Grande Montreal. The sort of retailers who once would have opened on Sherbrooke Street or de la Montagne near the Ritz Carlton and the Museum of Fine Arts will now flock to this shiny, new commercial node and draw shoppers along with them to check out the new attraction. It’s as if the developer’s project a few years ago including the renovation of the former Ogilvy store to a Holt Renfrew showplace and construction of an adjacent Four Seasons Hotel was a practice run. This is going to turn Rockland Centre a few kilometres away into a ghost town, at least until the novelty wears off. The lack of a unified response from property owners in the Golden Square Mile makes the arrival of Royalmount a potential blow to Montreal’s historic centre of luxury consumption. There are signs of progress. The parking lot that has sat on the corner of de la Montagne and de Maisonneuve for over fifty years is finally being redeveloped with luxury residential and retail. The vacant land by the prominent corner of Sherbrooke and Guy will also see a new condominium tower and retail complex built around the old Medical Arts building. The moderne-style former Holt Renfrew store has also been remodeled and is awaiting tenents. And, a trickle of fancy shops continue to trade along de la Montagne and Crescent. Montreal’s commercial real estate players are about to find out whether there is room for two luxury retail nodes in the Greater Montreal market. If there is, it signals a step up in the city’s overall prosperity, economic headwinds notwithstanding.

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