Nov 6, 2007, 1:31 AM
no renderings yet. apparently the inside of the old ramada is undergoing a fairly extensive renovation. what'll happen outside is anyone's guess. i did notice a bit of activity today. hard to tell if it's paint or stucco but it's something.
Nov 6, 2007, 1:34 AM
I think some nice things will be coming up. They've been busy like bees for the past while now. From that picture, looks like they're converting all the concrete pillars to stucco or some other kind of brown looking material. Normally I'm not a fan of stucco, but I think it could work in this case. I mean, the current look is just horribly dated. I don't know if my eyes are screwing with me but it also looks like they changed the top 4 floors of windows to the left side there.
Nov 6, 2007, 11:42 AM
Looks like it's just paint. If it's stucco you would see wood first and then stucco material on top of it.
Nov 6, 2007, 11:52 AM
Ya, those posts were stuccoed last year.
I actually saw workers doing something to the windows yesterday on my way home from work. So maybe they are replacing the windows?
imo, they should replace the little half-suns at the bottom parts of the windows... sooo 70's! haha
Nov 7, 2007, 12:58 AM
yea, it looks like stucco close up. the entire east wall is done and they've started on the front on those 2 columns. looks like a chocolate stucco.
A coat of paint is okay, any colour other than white will do. The main problem with this building is it looks so dirty.
Nov 7, 2007, 2:48 PM
yea, i think it is paint. i took a better look this morning.
Dec 9, 2007, 6:58 PM
i noticed lots and lots of stucco going onto the facade of the plaza hotel. soooooooo exciting!
Dec 9, 2007, 9:03 PM
it's more of a light cream colour too...not that crummy dark colour they were using originally.
is it stucco?? i can't tell.
Dec 10, 2007, 7:29 PM
It's not that bad actually.
Feb 4, 2008, 3:05 PM
In the Economic Development and Planning Committee Agenda for February 5, 2008
That Application EZ07/05 for the proposed redevelopment of the Plaza Hotel to a four (4) or five (5) star Crowne Plaza Hotel located at 130-150 King Street East, be approved as an eligible project under the 5 Year “Enterprise Zone Municipal Realty Tax Incentive Grant Program”.
Application EZ07/05 for the property located at 130-150 King Street East is for the redevelopment of the existing nine (9) storey Plaza Hotel into a four (4) or five (5) star Crowne Plaza Hotel with two hundred and nineteen (219) guest rooms. The redevelopment cost is estimated in excess of $3.3 million. The subject property is within the Enterprise Zone boundary outlined in the Downtown Hamilton Community Improvement Project Area.
Mar 13, 2008, 7:45 PM
I sure hope the exterior work isn't done on this place. looks weird.
they should cover the old brick/stone stucco spots with glass kind of like they did at the Downtown Arts Centre on Rebecca st.
Apr 18, 2008, 2:53 PM
Pictures taken 17 April 2008
They have been putting a cornice or “crown” around the building. The problem with the building is that it is owned buy “Effort Trust”. Nothing was being done to the exterior until they came on board with the project. I believe they are paying for all of the exterior renovations.
Apr 18, 2008, 5:09 PM
It is not looking nearly as bad with the cornices and exposed structure painted white. I think the thing that would really finish it off are some nice swank canopies at the base. Ones that stick out over the sidewalk a bit more possibly in black with Crown Plaza on them.
Apr 18, 2008, 5:19 PM
They need to accentuate the main entrance and play down the parking entrance.
Apr 18, 2008, 5:23 PM
The main entrance looked good with the rendering, mostly gold colour and gold framing. That part won't begin until the fall according to CH.
May 9, 2008, 1:32 AM
Most of the glass canopy in front of the hotel has been removed. There is now a temporary banner type "Crowne Plaza" sign hanging in front.
Jul 29, 2008, 5:07 AM
Taken July 27, 2008
Jul 29, 2008, 12:58 PM
what happened to the huge mural on the west wall of CP?
Jul 29, 2008, 4:04 PM
Hotel is looking much nicer though. I like the sign in the first picture. Really professional looking.
Jul 29, 2008, 4:05 PM
what happened to the huge mural on the west wall of CP?
There was a similarly scaled mural on the east face of One James South that was mounted on a one-year term -- part of a "public art" initiative to deress up bland office towers -- and removed thereafter. Possibly a similar situation? Seems a bit blank, but the worse-case scenario would see that wall used for ad space. (Speaking of which, for some reason the CP signage always makes me think of DuMaurier cigarettes.)
Jul 29, 2008, 7:48 PM
the one on 1 James South was removed due to age and upgrades to the building...it was installed several years ago.
The one on CP was installed about a year or two ago. It was brand new.
Jul 29, 2008, 8:21 PM
Newer, yes -- the 1JS mural had been left up much longer than had originally been intended and was in shabby shape. I seem to recall the Spec reporting that maintenance issues were at the root of the change but that there had been an agreed-upon one-year display term that had been indulged well past its "expiry date." (These are basically printed tarps affixed to the facade by bolts and grommets, and not really built for the ages.) If the CP mural arose from a similar initiative and went up a couple of years ago, it may be that the Plaza fulfilled its obligations. I can barely remember the art – was there a blue whale in there somewhere?
Jul 29, 2008, 9:30 PM
The buildings--1 James South and the Crowne Plaza both look infinitely better without those canvas murals.
Jul 29, 2008, 10:27 PM
I agree, fastcars. BTW, I trawled back through the last page and found the pic -- I'm a simpleton, give me a break -- and the blue whale I remember, seemingly lurking just below the harbour windsurfers at bottom left, is actually an oblique profile of the skyway, sandwiched in among the Ten Wonders of Hamilton.
Jul 30, 2008, 1:58 AM
I've always hated those murals too. The one on the north side of the Pigott building always ruins photos of that building.
Sep 4, 2008, 10:40 PM
I wonder if the banquet centre is completed because pretty soon there's suppose to be a gold and silver expo taking place at Crowne Plaza.
Sep 5, 2008, 3:32 AM
It's near complete. They finished the entryway today or yesterday. No more wooden boarding. It's nothing fancy, just automatic opening doors much like at the hotel.
Like at the beer store?! :blink:
Sep 18, 2009, 9:35 PM
Downtown hotel loses its Crowne
Kichi fighting to reclaim name, perks
September 18, 2009
The Hamilton Spectator
Oscar Kichi is fighting to reclaim the Crowne Plaza name for his downtown hotel.
The local businessman lost the right to use the brand in the spring, after failing to complete $1 million in required upgrades.
“We opened it up and we were hoping that with some cash flow we could finish everything up pretty fast,” said Kichi, also a partial owner of the Marriott Courtyard hotel on Upper James Street. “But obviously we didn’t have the occupancy and that didn’t happen.”
The hotel on King Street East was given six months to complete the projects when it reopened under the Crowne Plaza banner in May 2008.
But the economic collapse tightened access to credit and prompted customer volumes to plunge, making it difficult to borrow the money, Kichi said.
“It’s been difficult,” he said. “The banks don’t want to look at downtown.”
The hotel has also lost access to the Crowne Plaza’s central reservation system, its customer rewards program and certain marketing and sales promotions.
Though the Crowne Plaza logo remains on billboards in the city, the hotel is currently operating under its former name, the Plaza Hotel.
The InterContinental Hotel Group - owner of the Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Staybridge Suites and other brands - acknowledged that Kichi is no longer operating under their banner but declined to comment on the situation.
The company requires franchisees to meet a set of building standards in order to use the name, said Emily Brinkley, a spokesperson for the firm.
Kichi said InterContinental is seeking a variety of improvements including new audio and visual equipment for the conference centre, new furniture for some of the guest rooms, an improved fitness centre and pool and an electronic lock system for the parking garage.
About $500,000 has already been invested in the upgrades and Kichi expects to have the rest completed by the end of the month, allowing him to resume operations as a Crowne Plaza hotel. He has already spent about $11 million over three years to modernize the hotel, formerly the Ramada.
Oct 11, 2009, 3:29 PM
Crowne Plaza was probably too high-end a banner for Hamilton. Rather then not comply to CP standards just rebanner to an HI and it wouldn't need any upgrades.
An independent hotel will not work in Hamilton. We're not that type of tourist destination. A banner is def needed for the central web/1-800 bookings
Oct 11, 2009, 3:37 PM
Seems like they're being a bit unfair here, the guy has certainly sunk a lot of capital into the place.
Oct 12, 2009, 6:17 PM
Not surprised they lost their branding.
I stayed at this hotel a few weeks ago. I would say it's one of the worst hotels I've stayed at. I should have known right away when the internet reservation system wasn't working. Service was horrible and unprofessional (example: I requested a crib, they didn't have it ready, it took like 45 minutes to get one, and it had no sheets). The rooms were shoddy despite the renos, and the workmanship was terrible (example: no doorstop on the interior doors, so the door handles punched holes in the brand new drywall). It was not clean and very noisy throughout the night. The cable tv was not hooked up properly, there were only a few channels and they were fuzzy.
It's too bad, this was the only hotel near downtown other than Sheraton that was not booked solid. Hamilton could use some more hotels, but they also need proper management.
Oct 13, 2009, 8:15 PM
Next time you are in town just book the spare room at our house. You and family are welcome.
Sorry, at Chez FairHamilton there is no cable TV so we are about on par with the Crowne Plaza on that level. But we use glass insulators for door stops. And Deborah and I can be friendly.
Oct 14, 2009, 1:59 AM
wow that's surprising about the Crowne Plaza. no wonder they pulled the banner.
Oct 14, 2009, 12:44 PM
Thanks for the offer FairHamilton!
Oct 19, 2009, 3:04 AM
I see this property has been re-branded (re-named) Plaza Hamilton.
Oct 20, 2009, 12:31 PM
I saw them sticking the vinyl film over the original signs. These would peel off really easily if they needed them to.
Jan 6, 2010, 6:01 PM
In Paul Wilson's article from today's Spec (can't find the article online - "A year of goodbyes" GO, page 4), he mentions that the hotel will be again labelled as Crowne Plaza as of Monday. Sign will go up again soon apparently.
Jan 6, 2010, 6:23 PM
Yep, they are back on Crowne Plaza website - http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/cp/1/en/hotel/yhmcp?rpb=hotel&crUrl=/h/d/cp/1/en/hotelsearchresults
It says Crowne Plaza Hotel Hamilton - Now Open
I'll work on getting that article and posting it here later this afternoon.
Jan 6, 2010, 9:07 PM
Hamilton hotel regains its Crowne
Local businessman Oscar Kichi has reclaimed the Crowne Plaza brand name for his downtown hotel.
The InterContinental Hotel Group - owner of the Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Staybridge Suites and other brands - says the hotel rejoined their network on Jan. 4.
The King Street East hotel lost the right to use the Crowne Plaza brand last year after failing to complete $1 million in upgrades.
Though the InterContinental Group declined to identify the necessary improvements, Kichi has said they included new furniture for guest rooms and improvements to the fitness centre and pool.
“They have now completed all the requirements,” said Emily Brinkley, a spokesperson for InterContinental Group.
Kichi was not immediately available for comment.
The hotel had been operating as the “Plaza Hotel” while the upgrades were completed.
It will now regain access to the Crowne Plaza's central reservation system, its customer rewards program and certain marketing and sales promotions, Brinkley said.
Jan 6, 2010, 9:09 PM
good. they need the 1-800 booking a banner offers
Jan 22, 2010, 12:16 PM
Hotel and arts centre join forces
Art gallery debuts inside Crowne Plaza theatre
January 22, 2010
The Hamilton Spectator
A downtown hotelier and an arts promoter have teamed up to try to bring greater exposure to local artists and a new $4-million theatre that is virtually unknown to Hamiltonians.
Crowne Plaza hotel owner Oscar Kichi and Pearl Company co-owner Gary Santucci launched a new studio gallery last night at the Lincoln Alexander Centre, a 365-seat state-of-the-art theatre within the hotel that opened three months ago.
The gallery will feature local artists on a three-month rotating basis. Last night's grand opening featured the works of the Hamilton arts collective Tiger Group, which includes Bill Powell, Rick Cook, Rob Laffier, John Stirling and Eric Ranveau.
"One of the strengths Hamilton has is its arts community, and, because of the prices in Toronto, we have a very good opportunity to be a key city to work with artists," Kichi said.
A thriving arts community will bring tourists, he said.
Partnerships between businesspeople and artists are not a new phenomenon, but Kichi and Santucci are keenly aware of the growing arts movement in downtown Hamilton, centred on nearby James Street North.
Under the deal, Kichi will also sponsor the Art Bus, a rolling bi-monthly tour of the city's art hot spots run by Pearl Company co-owner Barbara Milne.
Kichi believes it is a natural fit to make local art available to businesspeople and convention-goers already coming to his downtown hotel.
As part of the hotel's redevelopment, Kichi said he spent $4 million to build the Lincoln Alexander Centre.
"The centre is not well known, but it is getting busier. It's a beautiful facility and, with arts groups coming to our centre and seeing what we have, it's going to bring business."
Santucci, an arts promoter and musician, said he hopes business professionals who work downtown "instead of rushing home could come in and see the centre and have more exposure to the visual arts and hopefully generate sales for our local artists."
He hopes the partnership will begin to duplicate some of the success of James North in the International Village BIA.
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