MONTREAL - Jonathan Marchessault of the NHL's Vegas Golden Knights has paid $2-million for a lakefront house near his Quebec City hometown with the goal of tearing it down.
According to Quebec real estate records, the transaction closed last September when Marchessault and his spouse became owners of the luxurious residence on a 4,150-square-metre property on Lac-Beauport.
As first reported by Quebecor, the buyers had other plans for the imposing home built in 1918: demolishing it to build anew.
According to the most recent municipal evaluation, the two-storey, 1,200-square-metre building and the surrounding property are valued at a little more than $1.9 million.
Michel Beaulieu, the mayor of the municipality of Lac-Beauport confirmed that a demolition permit has been issued for the address.
Beaulieu said it is "peculiar" to see a beautiful property demolished, but the request respected the municipal bylaws in all respects and the town was obliged to issue the permit.
"There was no debate, but it always causes a little unease to see such a beautiful property levelled," he said.
It appears the owners want to rebuild from scratch. Government records show there is a $5-million mortgage attached to the property.
A real estate agent involved in the transaction said he has seen architectural drawings of the plans for a new house. "It is completely in harmony with Lac-Beauport," Marc Bonenfant said. "It resembles a little the style of the property that was there."
Beaulieu said he heard renovating the existing 24-room building would have been complicated because of its age.
Marc Bonenfant, owner of the Royal Lepage office in nearby Stoneham, said the building is in good condition but is perhaps not to the taste of a young family.
"They definitely looked at the possibility of renovating," he said. "These were people who were very serious in their actions. They came with an architect, and engineer and so on, but often renovating is more expensive than building."
The mayor said demolitions are more and more common in his municipality, with cottages being replaced by lavish homes. While upsetting to some residents, the permit fees and the resulting increase in property evaluations mean more revenue for the municipality, he acknowledged.