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Amazon sets up shop on the grounds of a former Shell refinery in Montreal

Amazon sets up shop on the grounds of a former Shell refinery in Montreal

Our Bureau of Investigation has learned that US giant Amazon is continuing its expansion in Quebec by targeting new facilities on part of the land of the former Shell refinery in the east of the island.

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Builder Broccolini announced Tuesday the purchase of a massive 2.5 million square foot plot of land in Anjou and Montreal East for $56.5 million from Groupe C. Laganière.

However, the Montreal-based company has been careful not to announce what will unfold on this land that once housed Shell’s oil refineries and has been partly cleared of public funds in recent years.

“We look forward to presenting a bold project that will contribute to the recovery of the green economy in East Montreal,” said Roger Blamondon, president of the Brocolini Real Estate Group, in a press release.

Our investigative office noted that it is the web giant Amazon that will eventually settle in this area, after Broccolini has already concluded a lease with the American company in 2020.

Broccolini regularly serves as a partner for Amazon in Canada.

The industrial and commercial builder was notably involved in the development of two sorting centers in Laval, one in Lachaine and the other in Coteau-de-Lac, as well as a distribution center in Ottawa.

It was not possible to confirm the type of installation that Amazon plans to develop in the east of the island. Broccolini did not follow up on our questions.

For its part, the company, founded by billionaire Jeff Bezos, said that it could not “report information on specific operations plans.”

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This is likely a delivery-related facility, given that it was the subsidiary distribution company, Amazon Canada Fulfillment Services, that signed the lease and not the cloud computing division, Amazon Web Services.

C. Laganière Group, a soil remediation company, purchased the land from Shell for $22 million in 2017, in order to complete decontamination.

This purchase was partially funded by federal and provincial funds, namely $8.5 million from the Canadian Business Development Bank and $11 million from Investissement Québec.

A decontamination notice posted last week states that the land is still too polluted for residential use, but suitable for commercial or industrial use.

Thus, Broccolini acquires land that will very quickly be able to assimilate the giant Amazon.

British Columbia Investment Management has financed the purchase of Broccolini for $55 million.

It is an investment fund for British Columbia public sector employee retirement funds, closely equivalent to the Quebec Placement and Placement Fund.

The management of the Mayor of Montreal, Valerie Plante, wanted to buy the land of the former Shell Refinery for her nature park project called the Grand parc de l’Est.

In 2018, the city of Montreal had a right of first refusal allowing it to buy it at Laganir almost as much as Broccolini.

However, “after analysis, the city decided not to use the right of first refusal,” notes the mayor’s spokesperson, Youssef Amin.

After a portion of the grounds of the Metropolitan Golf Club in Anjou, which will host Costco, this is the second land that has slipped into the hands of the Plant Department of the East Natural Park Project.

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