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When the Residents of Phase I Fight the Developments of Phase II
The area where Angus Shops now sits was once an abandoned train works in eastern Montreal. Activist Christian Yaccarini led a plan to redevelop it. "The idea was to repurpose many of the hulking industrial buildings on the site – known as the Angus Shops – and create airy, affordable work and office spaces that would be attractive to new-technology companies, professionals, service providers and other small and medium-sized businesses," Bertrand Marotte writes for The Globe and Mail.
By almost any measure that plan was a success. The site is now home to more than 60 firms in a bustling LEED certified building. Now Mr. Yaccarini is ready for phase two, but some in the neighborhood are against it. "The fears voiced by homeowners in the existing townhouses and condos located across from the public park or just up the street from the new project, run the gamut from falling property values; a dearth of street parking and dangerous rise in vehicular traffic because of the population influx; excessive noise levels; overcrowding and overuse of the modestly-sized park; social tensions; and building heights that will block views of Mount Royal to the west," Marotte reports.
These neighbors, many of whom benefited directly from the development feel that what the neighborhood has now is enough. "'To the people who said, 'We moved to Angus because it represented the suburb in the city,' we replied by saying, 'Sorry, you made a mistake,'" Yaccarini tells Marotte.