Bell Centre area to become entertainment hub…

bellDisgruntled Habs fans, like the ones  streaming out of the Bell Centre before the end of Thursday night’s game, will soon have a choice of venues to lament their post-match losses.

At least three high-end restaurants, a giant sports bar modeled after Toronto’s Real Sports, along with a mixed bar and club are to be built over the next few years on the now empty parking lots around the Bell Centre. Late night groceries, anyone? A small supermarket is also planned at one of the four condo towers announced for the area.

While developers have been more than eager to talk about the thousands of condo units they want to build within blocks of the Bell Centre, what’s less well known is all the new retailing expected for the area. The Roccabella condo project has already leased the majority of  retailing space and is now looking to sign an upscale restaurant, spokesperson Karen Wisdom told me recently.

“This whole area will become an entertainment hub by 2016,” said real estate broker Raymond Singh, who’s sold about two dozen condos in condo projects around the Bell Centre.

Meanwhile, Broccolini Construction is marketing 140,000 square feet in its Avenue condo building as office space.  But with few Montreal office tenants prepared to pay the cost of rents charged at new construction projects, that space could end up as retailing as well.

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