The hotel would have 120 rooms, the owner of Hotel Le St-Martin says
07 ,Jun, 2018
The Gazette: Birks building sold
Birks building in downtown Montreal sold and will become a hotel
Inspired by Thompson’s signature colors of black and aubergine, as well as the textures of leather and velvet, Dawn Goldworm, “in-house nose” for 12.29, said that the “the vision was sinking into a worn- in leather chair in the lounge with a glass of scotch. Warm, inviting, comfortable, sexy and modern.”
Montreal’s iconic Birks building, famed for its jewelry that is sold in pretty blue boxes, will be transformed into a boutique hotel by the spring of 2018.
This transformation was announced Wednesday by the Birks Group and Le St-Martin hotels.
Jean Salette, owner of the Hotel Le St-Martin, said he had been eyeing the flagship Birks building for 15 years as a potential site for a downtown hotel on busy Ste-Catherine St.
“Eight years ago I approached Birks, but the timing was not good for them,” he said.
“They called me back at the beginning of the summer and we sat down together and finally I made the purchase. ”
Birks will maintain its jewelry store on the ground floor.
“Birks is keeping half the ground floor,” Salette said. “They will lease it from me. We have a long-term lease.”
Salette said the Birks corporate offices will move out of the building, as of May 1, 2017.
A year later, a new hotel is slated to open. It will be called the Birks Hotel, said Salette, who plans to retain the architectural features of the four-storey building, built in 1894 and designed by Montreal architect Edward Maxwell.
“The building is not a (heritage site), but the city really cares about it, like I do. I want it to keep it as it is,” Salette said.
“I don’t think I will touch nothing inside. Of course, we’ll relocate elevators and things like this, but the ground floor will probably be kept quite intact.”
He said there is about 20,000 square feet of space on the ground floor, and another 60,000 on the upper floors. He said the hotel will have between 115 and 120 rooms.
“It will be a boutique hotel,” Salette said. “I don’t know if it’s maybe a five-star (hotel), but certainly four-plus stars.”
“On Ste-Catherine St., you don’t have hotels. We’ll be the first one, I believe.”
“It’s such a beautiful location,” added Salette, who put the price tag for the luxury hotel project located at the corner of Union St. at $70 million.
The Birks project announcement follows recent news that the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) will open a branch of upscale Saks Fifth Avenue at its downtown location, across from Phillips Square.
“Ste-Catherine St. is being redone next year and Phillips Square will be reborn,” Salette said. “It will be the place to shop.”
Birks will remain open during construction, he added.
He also said Birks plans to maintain a head office in Montreal, but could not say where. Birks officials could not be reached.