Real estate development is getting a makeover, thanks to a few innovative companies. Maître Carré is one of them. Founded in 2009 by Hugo Girard-Beauchamp, the agency places innovation, creativity and community at the heart of its business. Mélanie Quintal, Marketing & Customer Experience Manager, explains their approach.
Development on a human scale
Real estate developers abound. But above and beyond the cookie-cutter approach of “planning, building, buying” lies a far more original and participative one. And it’s this forward thinking approach, and the market’s subsequent need for it, that can attest for Maître Carré’s success. Since its inception, and with over 500 units built so far, Maître Carré has set out to create unique, environmentally friendly living spaces that bring a true quality of life to its customers. In other words, "we want to create living environments and not just condominiums" explains Ms. Quintal. "We want for our project to add value to the neighbourhood."
To this end, the team of experts at Maître Carré have chosen to work closely with the local communities to better understand them and their needs. "When we buy a piece of land, we'll be putting lots of time and energy into organizing focus groups with former clients, industry people, and influential organizations. We're really going to look at what’s happening on site. We do not reproduce a formula that would have worked in the past. We always question ourselves to find the product that best meets the needs of the neighbourhood’s inhabitants while having boldness in terms of architecture and design. "adds Ms. Quintal.
What sets Maître Carré apart is its ability to develop projects in neighbourhoods undergoing major transformations. Here are some examples:
Located in the historic heart of the Quartier de l’innovation (QI), on eight floors, Carré de la Montagne houses 148 apartments. "At the beginning of Maître Carré, we settled mostly in developing neighbourhoods like Griffintown. And seven years ago, it really was not what it is today. You had to have vision enough to go there and see all of its potential. With our first project "Le Carré de la Montagne" we thought: how can we propose a new construction without distorting the value of the neighbourhood and while being able to reflect the whole history of the area? Because in the end, that's what sparks a strong emotion, a sense of belonging." This heritage, Maître Carré recalls and preserves it through the choice of its materials, its location, and its design.
Located in the effervescent Mile-Ex, the project Jeanne-Mance Terrace is the "reconversion of a factory into 16 lofts-condos. Our objective was to be able to keep the industrial character of the neighbourhood while adding a touch of modernity," explains Ms. Quintal.
Located on Avenue Chateaubriand, in the Rosemont-Petite-Patrie borough, just opposite the Beaubien metro station, François-René has presented itself as a response to the needs of families. "In Rosemont, we realized that there were a lot of families who were looking for homes near a subway. In general, the apartments located closest to public transit are quite small; you have to go much further to find larger accommodations. We have developed this concept of 3 bedroom townhouses and condos that can accommodate families. Today, their owners have chosen to keep only one car and use public transport as they have access to the whole city right in front of their home."
Located in the QI, the Brickfields is a direct reflection of the neighbourhood: anchored in the past, but looking to the future. Built keeping heritage and tradition in mind, the famed Keegan House, was actually moved and integrated into the building to become its centrepiece. In addition, Ms. Quintal tells us that the Brickfields Tower is the first tower building 2.0 since it includes an intelligent ventilation/heating system. "The building is able to share energy."
Innovation as cornerstone
For Maitre Carré, innovation is on every aspect and at every stage of a project. It begins at the construction level: how can we be more efficient? What new technologies could be integrated? How can we reinvent the condominium? Or how can we rethink its marketing approach? Maître Carré innovates at every level; "we have a more human approach, without giving into market pressure. "
QI: a place of choice
Maître Carré has recently moved its offices in the heart of the QI. For Ms Quintal having their offices there is a real advantage: « The QI is a pool of knowledge where ideas swarm. To be in a neighbourhood so full of life really pushes us to challenge ourselves. The QI is a window onto the world and, also, a strategic location within the city." Maitre Carré, as many QI companies, can inspire new talents.