Mathieu Jobin, General Director and Partner at Devimco Immobilier Inc.
Mathieu Jobin, a lawyer by profession, began his career in private practice in Quebec City. He represented several financial institutions and real estate developers before joining Devimco Immobilier in 2003 as Director of the Legal Department. He has been General Director and Partner since 2012. He contributed to the development of several mega centres in the Quebec City, Laval and Bromont regions and was one of the key players in developing the Quartier DIX30 project in Brossard and the District Griffin project in Griffintown just outside of downtown Montreal.
What motivated you to get into real estate development?
Being a real estate developer means always being in problem-solving mode to improve the area and create value for communities, the city and investors. You also have to be innovative, especially when it comes to complex mixed projects, such as those of Devimco Immobilier. I really enjoy both of those aspects.
Devimco Immobilier specializes in developing multipurpose complexes in urban areas. Why?
Central neighbourhoods are intended for various clienteles including residents, people who come to work during the day and businesses. People have fun, work, sleep and go out within a single perimeter. A developer like Devimco Immobilier can allow all these people to coexist in a harmonious living environment. Of course, this means overcoming many challenges. Devimco Immobilier is a pioneer in the construction of multipurpose buildings, particularly around Griffintown. We are doing similar work with projects such as Square Children’s, which combines commercial, institutional and residential projects, and Solar Uniquartier on the South Shore, which combines hotels, retirement homes, offices, condos, rental apartments and businesses. These types of mixed projects require a great deal of thought in order to offer a friendly living environment to groups with various needs, schedules and concerns. It’s exciting.
“Devimco Immobilier is a pioneer in the construction of multipurpose buildings.”
Mathieu Jobin, General Director and Partner at Devimco Immobilier
How do you see the residential real estate market in Montreal in the short and medium term?
The market is excellent. Condos and rental apartments, our two main segments, show steady demand. Our market analysts, who work for leading national firms, don’t foresee a slowdown in the short to medium term. Apart from land prices, downtown Montreal isn’t experiencing inflation like Toronto and Vancouver. Instead of thinning out, it’s repopulating.
What services and facilities are buyers looking for?
Over the past four years, the amount of space we have to devote to common areas has increased significantly. People are looking for a certain quality of life. They want shared spaces with pool tables, a home theatre, exercise facilities, work spaces, terraces and more. The challenge is adapting to our clientele, which is often varied.
What new challenges do you face as a real estate developer?
Quebec’s economy is doing very well and has almost full employment. Full employment means increased purchasing power, of course, but it also means inflated construction costs. Devimco Immobilier faces two major challenges: the lack of labour for its huge construction sites and the increase in construction costs. Developers must also deal with our industry’s regulations, which are strict and can result in significant costs.
What is your approach to sustainable development?
Every project has its challenges. For one, some land needs to be decontaminated. Our eco-friendly practices also apply to construction—some scrap materials are sent to a recycling centre—and design. We are constantly in research and development for design. Green roofs have been the focus of attention for several years now, but there are many other issues at stake today. For example, if we want to build a compost chute in one of our towers, we need to analyze how to manage odours and pests all the way up. There’s a lot of planning to be done. Eco-friendly goals aren’t like a simple grocery list—they require constant reflection to find innovations to construct eco-efficient buildings, both in terms of energy and sustainability.
Photo: © Xuana César