News > 2016 > Construction of a building in the business district: a new milestone is reached

Construction of a building in the business district: a new milestone is reached

October 17, 2016

Nouvelle étape franchie vers la construction d’un édifice au centre-villeThe Quebec government has authorized HEC Montréal to develop a business plan for its proposed new building in downtown Montréal after the Cabinet accepted its opportunity study.

“This is a great day for HEC Montréal and for Quebec’s economic development”, says HEC Montréal Director Michel Patry. “The School is delighted that Ministers David and Coiteux are joining us today to announce that HEC Montréal has received authorization to start preparing its business plan for the construction of a building in Montréal’s downtown business district. Our School is now embarking on a new phase aimed at keeping education and innovation at the top of our priorities.”

The new building is to be erected in the heart of the business district, on part of a property adjacent to the St. Patrick Fabrique, between côte du Beaver Hall and rue Saint-Alexandre.

The location will allow the School to further strengthen its relations with its partners and alumni, the business community and the 300,000 professionals and executives who work downtown. Offering training in French in downtown Montréal will meet their needs in terms of new management knowledge and skills.

“Since it was founded over a century ago, the School has been a source of pride for Quebec and Quebecers,” says Hélène Desmarais, Chair of the Board of Directors of HEC Montréal. “With each generation, it has adapted to the evolving needs of our society. It has always stood out thanks to its commitment and determination to train exceptional future business leaders. That was true on the day it opened. And it is true today, more than ever.” 

HEC Montréal’s downtown presence will also benefit research. The School plans to step up its knowledge transfer activities to benefit companies and organizations, in addition to promoting co-creation between companies and the university community.

The new building will make it possible to address the shortage of space – nearly 18,110 square metres – recognized by the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur du Québec (MEES).

Over the years, the School implemented several solutions in response to this serious problem, such as adding a fourth teaching slot I the schedule, increasing the number of office rentals and reducing certain long-term developments.

The business plan should be ready within 12 to 18 months and will also have to be approved by Cabinet before the School can break ground for the new downtown building. During this time, the School intends to initiate a dialogue with neighbours around the site to ensure that the project is well integrated in the community.


Reactions from the business community


"I am delighted that HEC Montréal is returning to the city’s business district after an absence of four decades. The vast majority of prestigious business schools or management faculties around the world have a campus in the heart of their cities—take for instance the University of Chicago or Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. The proximity of this new educational offering will benefit the business community and, more specifically, decisional centres located in downtown Montréal. This is good news for the city and good news for society in general, as everyone reaps the rewards from rich and diversified training opportunities."

Michel Leblanc, President and CEO, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal

"I am very excited that HEC Montréal is coming back to the heart of the city after an absence of more than 40 years. By physically moving closer to the business community, this jewel of Quebec’s economic and social history will enhance the French-language educational offering for our entrepreneurs and managers in downtown Montréal. That’s very good news for the economic vitality of Quebec society as a whole."

Robert Parizeau, HEC 1957, Officer of the National Order of Quebec, Chairman of the Board of Fonds de solidarité FTQ

"Large organizations operating on a global scale need to rely on managers who understand the specific features of international trade. HEC Montréal has earned a reputation for excellence in this respect. With the School’s new presence downtown, a large pool of professionals will now have greater access to cutting-edge education and innovative activities. The distance between the place of work and the place of training is a key factor in the decision to sign up for a course. Closer proximity is therefore a powerful incentive to seek out new knowledge and skills."

Serge Godin, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board—CGI Group

"This is excellent news. More than ever, the need for HEC Montréal’s presence downtown goes without saying to facilitate and increase interactions between the School and the business community. Also, having an academic institution very active in the areas of transfer and innovation in the heart of the city will no doubt help boost entrepreneurship in Quebec. Access to experts in this field will be easier and will foster new entrepreneurial careers."

Eric Boyko, President, Co-Founder and CEO – Stingray Digital Group Inc.

"The business world is evolving at top speed. To take on disruptions boldly and confidently, business people need access to leading-edge professional development activities. The School’s new campus will provide, right in the heart of Montréal, an innovative environment conducive to learning and sharing so they can better prepare for the challenges ahead. The place of women in the business community means a lot to me. This forward-looking project will help give them the means to fulfill their ambitions."

Sophie Brochu, President and Chief Executive Officer – Gaz Métro

"Training a highly qualified workforce is a key lever for making our businesses more productive and competitive. With its location in Montréal’s business district, where there is the highest concentration of management professionals in Quebec, HEC Montréal’s new building will enrich the talent pool and make our region more economically attractive."

Hubert Bolduc, HEC 2004, President and Chief Executive Officer, Montréal International

"The new HEC Montréal building will mean more management training in French downtown, especially for business leaders and executives. In addition, the new Centre de transfert et de co-innovation, also to be located downtown, will considerably enhance the School’s interactions with its partners in both the public and private sectors. And the Alphonse and Dorimène Desjardins International Institute for Cooperatives will boost the co-operative movement through better networking among its different stakeholders."

Monique Leroux, President of the International Co-operative Alliance and Chair of Board of Directors Investissement Québec


Photo: Michel Patry (HEC Montréal Director), Hélène Desmarais (Chair of the Board of Directors of HEC Montréal), Hélène David (Minister of Higher Education), Martin Coiteux (Minister of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy, Minister of Public Security and Minister responsible for the Montreal region).