Building on success
Founded in 2012 by Simon Boyer and Charles-Antoine Gosselin, KnightsBridge projects are known for their architectural beauty in a city revered for its architecture. From the beginning, KnightsBridge set out to be purveyors of beautiful design and high-quality materials and design. Undoubtedly, KnightsBridge projects are beautiful to look at. Most projects share a modern design with elements of wood and black detailing, spectacular finishes and large windows and living spaces. “We have an eye to create spaces that are integrated to their environment and neighbourhood,” says Gosselin. But the value for the customer goes beyond aesthetics, says Gosselin.
KnightsBridge’s success business is due in part to a unique, three-tiered business model. KnightsBridge is a unique real estate development team with in-house contractor, marketing, and real estate divisions to create a fluid customer experience. Faster communication, and the integration of clients’ input from the very onset of the development process, makes for a cost-effective business model.
“KnightsBridge is real estate developer or promoter first,” says Gosselin. “We finance and do sketches and concept with architects and take the risk of the project. Then we also have a general contractor business called Core Construction that manages the day-to-day operation of construction site for KnightsBridge but also for other real estate promoters. Third, C2 Immobilier acts as a brokerage team for KnightsBridge and for external projects as well.”
The result is brand new buildings—from the foundations to the roof—that contain the most efficient design and materials to reduce common expenses, says Gosselin. KnightsBridge signature design brings clients reduced maintenance and condo fees thanks to innovative technologies and systems to maximize energy efficiency.
“The value is in buying a project that is unique in architecture and quality of materials, of course. But more importantly, KnightsBridge projects are designed with environmental sustainability at top of mind,” says Gosselin. KnightsBridge has the most LEED Platinum certified projects—the international mark of excellence for green and sustainable buildings—a rarity for projects of this size in Montreal.
To establish its goals, KnightsBridge takes a holistic approach to an integrated sustainable project. From the building’s conception, to its water and energy consumption, type of materials used, the project’s location (near community resources and public transportation), and even the landscaping around the building, the environment is prioritized at every step. KnightsBridge has perfected our construction methods so that each new KnightsBridge project systematically reaches the LEED® Gold or Platinum grade, the highest levels of the certification.
“Because of our experience in eco-friendly buildings, we offer it to our industry peers,” says Gosselin. The industry benefits from buildings built with longer average lifespans, cost less expensive to maintain, and have a higher resale value. In short, KnightsBridge projects makes sense for the owner and the environment.
The industry has responded, with multiple awards, including six Domus awards such as the Domus Prize Best quality-price ratio (2016, APCHQ – Metropolitan Montreal) and the Domus Prize Residential Transformation Project – Le Treehouse (2016, APCHQ – Metropolitan Montreal).
The numbers unequivocally back up this claim. A recent survey of the Montreal real estate outlook shows KnightsBridge projects outperform the market in resale, negotiations and investment.
The survey indicated KnightsBridge projects took 19 days average to resell, while the Montreal average is roughly 120 days. Clients resale averaged an increase of 6 per cent annually, compared to the average increase city-wide of 2 per cent. Clients also make more money, sell faster, and negotiate less.
“Yes, we use high-quality materials and methods in the construction of our buildings,” says Gosselin, “but the integration of our business model allows us to remain competitive in the market.”
Setting Sights on Larger Projects
With the team now at 32 employees, KnightsBridge has the capacity for larger projects. The agency recently announced that a new multi-residential project will be launched in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce in 2017. Designed by the renowned ADHOC Architects firm, this project of 11 condominiums will feature high-end architectural design for unmatched durability, insulation and energy efficiency.
With so many KnightsBridge projects beautifying Montreal, Gosselin takes a moment to reflect when he sees his buildings. “It is quite satisfying,” says Gosselin. “Every time I see one I am reminded of all the efforts, all the risk, and the communication that we had from the first time we say the land, got financing, got permits from the city. It is very nice and satisfying that we have had an impact on some neighbourhoods.”
Gosselin says the Verdun neighbourhood, for example, has been transformed in the past five years, and believes KnightsBridge projects ushered in that change. “We started our business in Verdun,” he says. “At the time, there was no mid-range or high-end project there. We invested same architecture and quality and now you see other high-end projects. We can see we had an impact in Verdun. It is excellent to change the perception of an old neighbourhood, and bring clients a wonderful quality living space.”