WATCH: Quebec hands over Hippodrome land to Montreal, paving way for housing and Cavendish extension
The Quebec government has officially handed over the Hippodrome land to the city of Montreal that should pave the way for the long-awaited Cavendish extension.
If all goes well, the selling of lots to developers and construction of five thousand housing units could begin in six years, with 30% devoted to social and affordable housing.
Work on the Cavendish extension is supposed to happen at around the same time as the housing development construction.
"Cavendish-Cavendish will happen but first things first," said Montreal mayor Denis Coderre at a news conference attended by Quebec finance minister Carlos Leitao.
The transfer of the old Blue Bonnets racetrack site to the city was held up by who pays what for the Cavendish extension. The Quebec government now says it'll be a partner though there are still no concrete amounts or construction plans.
The handoff should officially happen this month, leading to the start of the demolition of the site next month beginning with a call for tenders and the work getting underway in late October. There should also be more updated cost studies and public consultations before shovels actually hit the ground.
Côte-des-Neiges-NDG borough mayor Russell Copeman is not too worried Cavendish won't be ready when people are moving in.
"The development of the entire site to reach its maximum potential is going to take more than ten years and so we're confident the two projects will keep pace with one another," said Copeman.
Traffic expert Rick Leckner is concerned.
"I believe it would have been appropriate to announce a global plan today, which includes the link, the financing of Cavendish so people will once and for all know that this will happen," said Leckner in an interview with CJAD 800 News.
"The area is oversaturated with traffic currently so any more traffic has to be accomodated for and those questions remain unanswered."