A new residential development aims to break down the walls between people and their environment and between generations
REZ Real Estate is beginning construction of District Union, a $900 million multi-residential development that claims to herald the emergence of “a new smart, organic community” in Canada.
It is located in the off-island suburb of Terrebonne at the crossroads of highways 40 and 640, a strategically located interchange providing easy access to the Montreal region and beyond.
This innovative project stands out as one of the most ambitious in recent years in Quebec. It is part of the growth of dynamic new neighbourhoods in a number of cities in North America, Scandinavia and elsewhere. These thoughtfully-planned and well-connected neighbourhoods become true mobility hubs designed to make the lives of residents easier and more enjoyable.
District Union is inspired by five principles: generational mix, community living, proximity, living well and time. These principles are all the more relevant today, when successfully negotiating the multi-dimensionality of family life, and the constant race-against-the-clock, depends on better urban planning, modern design and the latest technology.
District Union will offer a variety of smart home features such as the Internet of Things, energy management and smart lighting as well as connected multimedia intercoms. A mobile application will also enable knowledge sharing and facilitate neighbours helping neighbours.
District Union will be integrated into a socio-economically dynamic sector that has experienced a 65 per cent increase in employment over the last five years, with over 27,000 of these jobs created within 15 minutes’ travel time of the project.
REZ Real Estate is a new division of Réseau Sélection, which has been designing, developing and managing residential projects for more than 30 years. “The major investment by REZ Real Estate is taking shape in an area in full economic expansion, a focal point with connections to all major centres in Quebec and beyond," explained Réal Bouclin, president and CEO of Réseau Sélection.
"With over two million people living within 30 minutes of our site, our long-term future as a sustainable community is assured.”
Sustainable design principles will also be applied through the use of green roofs, ecological water management and the reduction of heat islands. "The project is designed to encourage physical activity and promote the use of active modes of transportation.
Integrated into a TOD (transit-oriented development) neighbourhood, mobility and inter-modality will be favoured by wider sidewalks and amenities that will ensure that cyclists and pedestrians coexist in harmony," adds Herbert Nunes, Réseau Selection’s vice president of real estate development in Québec for Réseau Sélection and REZ Real Estate.
Green spaces, public areas and parks, equal to 10 football fields, will make up 20 per cent of the site. The area is exceptionally well-served by public institutions and activities, including a primary school, a hospital, the Train de l’Est commuter station and the Urbis shuttle as well as 1.5 million sq ft of retail space. A community sports centre and gymnasium are already under construction, and the future will see the addition of library and an aquatic centre.
Réseau Sélection intends to enrich this offering by attracting local businesses to serve the full range of family needs, with initiatives to encourage the establishment and growth of small and medium-sized businesses.
The housing units proposed will be adaptable to the specific needs of millennials, families, empty-nest baby boomers and active retirees in search of a dynamic living environment. Phase I of District Union will offer three new types of real estate developments for a total of 364 housing units.
District Union will be planned to promote diversity and intergenerational mixing by designing private living spaces that respect the residents’ individuality in tandem with multi-use public spaces shaped by the community and organised around common interests. These spaces will encourage interaction and gatherings around various themes.
The project also provides for generous outdoor spaces. District Union will be bounded by a spacious wooded area to insulate the development from the nearby highway infrastructure.
A "green" avenue will link the two extremities – the woods bordering Highway 640 to the north and, to the south, the Ruisseau de Feu park. There will be parks, pedestrian paths, wooded areas, bike paths and cross-country ski trails.
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