From almost the day I was first elected to Côte Saint-Luc City Council in November 2005, the disposition of the Cavendish Mall became a major issue for our elected team. For more than four years we went back and forth with different plans. The Mall has been losing money and tenants for years. Ownership could simply not go on with half of the facility empty. We reviewed 44 separate plans and recently signed off on what we consider to be a beautiful housing development.
Council did a lot of public consulation on this plan, which will bring much less homes and traffic into the area than originally proposed. At our last meeting on July 12 final approval was given. Roy Salomon, the long serving managing partner of the Mall, sat in the back row and smiled. Afterwards he came and shook all of our hands. Roy is a fabulous human being, a real community spirit and someone who has had to overcome much tragedy in his personal life. He has kept the Mall moving all of these years against incredible odds, watching as the likes of Eaton, Canadian Tire, the Gap and a series of restaurants closed. He showed innovation by bringing in the movie theatres and a Dollar store.
I asked Roy when the wrecking ball will smash at least 40 percent of the present structure down. "Soon," he said.
This will be a sad and historic moment in the history of Côte Saint-Luc. Initially, the view of a big pile of rubble will be hard to take. But from there an initial set of 38 townhouses will be built, followed by more housing. I have personally received many calls from people wishing to buy there. One lady called the day of our public information meeting. "Hi Mike," she said. "I cannot make it tonight, but my daughter wants to buy one of the houses. Can you reserve one for her?"
I think it would now be fitting for Roy and his partners to announce the official day the demolishment will take place and for us to arrange a public viewing. People will bring their cameras and video cameras. Some folks will tweet and the Cavendish Mall Facebook page will come alive.
The Cavendish Mall is not going away. We can now look forward to a shopping centre with 100 percent occupancy, which will thrive and a housing development we can be proud of.
A small sidenote on this issue. Bravo to the city's wonderful urban planner Christian Chiasson for his leadership on this dossier. To our mayor, council, city managaer, city clerk and others who helped us reach this crucial poiny