The story speaks for itself. Founded in the late 1990s by Serge Goulet and Jean-François Breton, two visionary individuals in the world of real estate development in Quebec, GPG Devimco rapidly became an industry leader through their innovative projects in the Quebec City area. In the 2000s, Devimco became a major real estate developer and investor, and set the tone for the future in Quebec by implementing the concept of “lifestyle” commercial centres.
Evolution on a Human Level
1997 – Attracting Investors and Getting Things Done
Devimco has always been enthusiastic about real estate development. After identifying the most promising sites, Serge Goulet and Jean-François Breton worked hard to come up with original concepts and present them to potential investors. Once a project was accepted and the financing was finalized, they would jump into action and the project would quickly come to life.
2002 to 2005 – Bringing New Life to Unstructured Sites
Devimco started to specialize in the creation and structuring of commercial real estate projects in and around Quebec City. Our two visionary developers quickly started to transform unstructured sites into innovative commercial projects. During this period, Devimco widened its expertise and began to integrate entertainment options, such as movie theatres, in to retail commercial activities.
2003 to 2007 – The Instinct for Innovation Coming to the Greater Montreal Area
The Mega Centre Notre-Dame in Laval was one of the first such innovative projects created by Devimco in the greater Montreal area. This “power centre” was an a new model because of the densification of commercial activities and the fact that businesses were grouped into a thematic way, making it easier for customers to find exactly what they needed in terms of fashion retailers, restaurants, furniture or electronics stores, etc.
2004 – Present – R&D Inspired one of Quebec’s Most Interesting Projects
Quartier DIX30 in Brossard was the first “lifestyle centre” launched in Quebec. To implement this innovative concept (a mix between a commercial centre and a “power centre”) a lot of information and education needed to be shared with financial partners, tenants and consumers to build their awareness. Many trips to the United States (Montana, California, Florida, Virginia) were made to understand this “lifestyle” concept and determine how it should be adapted to our northern climate. As bold as it seemed in the beginning, this project is now one of the most attractive and interesting commercial areas in the province of Quebec.
The opening of “original concept” restaurants and the amazing entertainment venue L’Étoile turned out to be very good bets, creating a unique mixture of great food and incredible entertainment. Made up of several distinctive neighbourhoods, integrating office space, contemporary street furniture, and places of entertainment, Quartier DIX30 reflects a very current and well-thought-out urban planning process.
2005 to 2009 – Collaborating to Create Amazing Living Environments
Carrefour Champêtre in Bromont
Here is a good example of how a contemporary project can differentiate itself. This rural commercial project includes a hotel (Hotel St-Martin), restaurants, and recreational public infrastructures such as a bicycle path and a public square. An exceptional collaboration with the municipality of Bromont made it all possible and the use of urban street furniture adds a distinctive touch along Highway 10.
2008 – Present – Revitalizing Griffintown with the Most Exciting Real Estate Project in Montreal: District Griffin
During the early 2000s, Griffintown was one of the last unstructured neighbourhoods to be found in Montreal. In 2008, when Devimco was able to change the zoning of the neighbourhood, the company owned stock options on almost 93% of the sector’s real estate. With an ambitious plan in mind, Devimco asked a London-based architectural firm to design the buildings. However, following the major real estate crisis in the United States, the Montreal market became more hesitant and a complete revision of the project had to be made. A more modest rate of phasing was selected.
Despite the changed phasing rate, District Griffin now represents the most forward-thinking real estate project on the island of Montreal, with office towers, shops, a hotel, and a park: all strategically located between downtown Montreal, Peel Basin, and Old Montreal. District Griffin is a symbol of Devimco’s forward-thinking culture and the company’s expertise in terms of mixed use projects in an urban environment.
In fact, developing District Griffin allowed Devimco to create its first investment fund: the Fonds I Griffintown II. This fund, created in 2011, is worth over $30 million in private capital and represents the interests of investors from Quebec and Europe.
2009 – Present – The Start of a New Era in Partnerships
It’s the beginning of a new era for the company. Although Devimco maintains strong partnerships with investors (for instance le Fonds FTQ and other private partners), it has started to invest in its own real estate projects as well. Devimco Immobilier is inaugurating four new investment funds in 2014, intended for sophisticated investors, specialized in commercial and residential products, during development or holding periods.
End of 2012 – Always Meet Expectations and Stay on the Leading Edge
In 2012, the company went through a major change. Mr. Jean-François Breton left with part of his team to concentrate on real estate management rather than on the development of new projects. So Devimco has now become Devimco Immobilier with a new management team represented by Mr. Serge Goulet and Mr. Mathieu Jobin, a long-time collaborator and ex operations manager at Devimco.
The goal now for Devimco Immobilier is to stay away from conventional and simple real estate concepts in order to concentrate on more sophisticated and ambitious projects. It is essential now to be on the leading edge of the industry and meet our clients’ expectations, which are rapidly changing. Devimco Immobilier wants to create living environments that offer unforgettable and incomparable experiences.
Through these 15 years of evolution characterized by the desire to answer the needs of people involved, the customer always came first for Devimco.
Throughout this evolution, the Devimco team has stayed connected to communities; each of its accomplishments has been able to come to life because of the people who have been part of this great adventure…