Groupe Mach sets itself apart from other real estate firms in Quebec based on its unique vision of urban development, which has led to significant growth for the Montreal-based company. Much of its success can be attributed to its strategic focus to develop, construct and manage projects in areas where it sees a need for developments of a certain caliber. “The development of properties has become the spearhead of the company that emphasizes quality, long-term vision and integrity in every project,” it says.
Groupe Mach is led by real estate visionary Vincent Chiara, whom the company touts as “a true leader in property development.” Chiara began his real estate career in 1984 as a lawyer specializing in real estate transactions and corporate litigation. In 1999, he discontinued practicing law and has since committed himself to acquiring and developing world-class real estate through Groupe Mach whose holding company is the sole shareholder, according to the company.
Chiara heads a multidisciplinary team of highly skilled industry experts. They include architects, engineers, planners and managers “able to innovate and develop a relationship of trust with [their] tenants,” Groupe Mach says.
“They are involved in every [aspect of a] project with [an emphasis on] integrity by putting their whole heart [into their work] and staying [in] tune [to the market]. That’s why they are trustworthy.”
Having a broad mix of experienced professionals competent in all aspects of real estate enables Groupe Mach to cohesively carry a project from conception through completion, the company adds. This has become especially beneficial in today’s competitive marketplace where tight budgets and fast-track schedules are now the norm.
Having a diverse project portfolio representing a variety of real estate sectors strengthens Groupe Mach’s position in the marketplace. Groupe Mach and its industry partners have significant investments representing more than 4.5 million square feet of office buildings in Montreal and the surrounding communities. It also has renovated more than 700,000 square feet of office space in the area.
In the past five years, Groupe Mach has developed and constructed shopping centers in Montreal with a leasable area of more than 1.5 million square feet. In addition, it has acquired nearly 2,000 homes in Montreal since 2004, including 750 in Westmount, Quebec. Also, Group Mach owns and operates more than 1.5 million square feet of industrial space and has 5 million square feet of land yet to be developed.
In November 2003, Groupe Mach and its partner, Jolina Capital Inc. – a private holding company controlled by Lino Saputo and his family – acquired two office towers on the corner of University Street and Boulevard Rene-Levesque encompassing approximately 500,000 square feet. The following year, the partners acquired 80 percent interest in a 49-story, 1.15 million-square-foot office high-rise known as Exchange Tower or Victoria Place. In 2007, Groupe Mach and Jolina Capital acquired the 45-story, 565,000-square-foot CIBC Tower on Boulevard Rene-Levesque at the corner of Peel Street.
“If each of our projects gives us great satisfaction, some of them make us particularly proud,” Groupe Mach says. “The first of these is undoubtedly 780 Brewster, which was nominated for the 25th edition of the Award of Excellence in Architecture from the College of Architects in Quebec.”
Groupe Mach renovated the former mill into one of the first LEED-certified buildings in Quebec. “It is now home to prestigious tenants such as Gemalto, world leader in digital security, and Lemay & Associates, [an] architectural firm working across North America [that has] won several awards,” it says. “780 Brewster also houses the city hall of the district southwest of Montreal. The style is industrial loft, and the nobility of the materials of this building make it a gem.”
Groupe Mach also renovated a former television studio to create 405 Ogilvy, which it considers another major accomplishment. “This building [was] dilapidated and outdated, [but] received a masterful transformation,” the company states. “Nearly 100,000 square feet have been converted to upscale offices, which were [custom designed] for our tenants, PIXCOM, and the National Animation and Design Centre, partner of the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi [that] occupies 23,000 square feet of open and dynamic spaces. As for Sogique – the operational arm of the Department of Health and Social Services – its offices were built in a more conventional [way, but are] equally trendy and upscale.”
Groupe Mach cannot have gotten where it is today without the assistance of first-rate contractors and suppliers, which work with the firm on a regular basis. “Groupe Mach takes great care to select reputable partners [based on] their experience and professionalism,” the company says. “Each in their [own] way brings to our properties increased value. We are proud to partner with them.
“The excellence of our property management is the result of many years of experience and synergy that has developed between our suppliers and our staff,” Groupe Mach continues. “With the expertise of [our] staff and [collaboration] with handpicked suppliers, [we] developed a comprehensive strategy for each of [our] properties to become a quality environment in harmony with the urban landscape and a privileged space to meet all needs.” Groupe Mach’s key partners include Les Batiments PRO Inc. and Cushman & Wakefield Inc.
Pillar of the Community
“Because we believe in the possibility of changing the world one step at a time, Groupe Mach wishes to share and contribute to improving [the] health and quality of life of the community,” the company states.
“At Groupe Mach, we firmly believe in the values of sharing and generosity,” it adds. “Each year, Groupe Mach contributes to many fundraisers and regularly partners with fundraising organizations that work tirelessly for the good of the community.”