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highwater
Feb 16, 2010, 3:26 PM
My original suggestion to build a new Sir John A. MacDonald high school came in 2005, long before the Pan Ams were considered. First consideration....the sad architecture of a failed building, reminiscent of the Barton Street Jail. This is not a building that inspires pride in its students, many of whom face challenges in their personal lives. Sitting outside to have lunch or kick a ball around puts them between two major arteries, Cannon and York. The athletic field is to say the least sub-standard. Beneath it is the rubble of the old McCoy Foundry which means it is never level, and poorly sodded. The ideal location is on City-owned property a block north on Bay at Scheaffe, or on the north side of Central park which is also City property. This places the school in a less-travelled residential area, adjacent to a green space, Central Park. A school on the Barton street property could have great classroom views of the Harbour and a safer, quieter cleaner environment for Sir John
A. students. In fact most of the teachers with whom I've discussed this idea are strongly supportive, understanding that the current school and grounds are less than ideal.

This creates another positive element for Downtown development. Whether its a stadium, hotel, conference centre, the site presents what is so difficult to find in dense urban areas, namely a substantial parcel of land.
So I will continue to advocate for a new Downtown high school. The comment by "highwater" is beneath contempt and is the probable indicator as to why most of my colleagues avoid making any contributions to forums such as this.

I was involved in the board's 'revitalization' process of its elementary schools. It is disingenuous to suggest that SJAM will somehow be lifted wholesale and placed in a prettier building in a prettier spot in the same neighbourhood. This process is about one thing and one thing only: eliminating spaces for students in our established neighbourhoods in order to expand on the fringes. SJAM won't simply be relocated in the same neighbourhood, it will be amalgamated with other schools putting its unique programs at risk and damaging the city's efforts to densify and revitalize these neighbourhoods.

With the exception of Saltfleet, Waterdown, and Westmount, all our high schools, including the venerable Westdale with its IB and celebrated Media Arts programs, are on the chopping block. This is not cause for celebration, this is cause for panic.

The board's actions run counter to everything we know about economic development and sustainability. You and your colleagues should be madly lobbying the Ministry of Education to change their funding formula, or at least urging them to have a chat with their colleagues at the Ministry of Energy and Infrasructure. https://www.placestogrow.ca/index.php?lang=eng.

I realize I'm straying a little off topic, but much of your justification for your choice of the SJAM site revolves around the idea that you can convince the board to move SJAM to a nicer building in a nicer location without sacrificing spaces, programs, and other schools. The teachers you've spoken to have little say in the matter, and there is absolutely no reason to believe that the administration would go along with this.

I find it telling that you dismiss my pointed, but otherwise perfectly civil comments as "beneath contempt". While you complain on the one hand about "hokey anonymous tirades", the relative anonymity of the internet also conveniently allows you to mischaracterize and dismiss the legitimate points of view of your fellow citizens. No doubt you have given credence to far less civil rants simply because they were uttered at public meetings.

SteelTown
Feb 16, 2010, 3:30 PM
The bid committee took out a downtown option, not council. Why was it taken out? Why doesn't council have the guts to say 'no, it's our dime on the line here, give a downtown location proper consideration'?

'Consultants' should not be the ones calling the shots at City Hall. How did this become an acceptable norm?





Bratina is a minority at council when it comes to building the stadium at the downtown area. The consultant finalized the waterfront or the Airport. It's now up to council to finalize the site. The consultant ruled that the downtown would be too complex, which I agree. It would be difficult to find 20 acres of open space for a warm up track and a stadium in the downtown area. I wouldn't want another York Boulevard massacre happening again with demolishing tons of buildings.

You would think Toronto's pub district would have closed up with BMO Field and Rogers Centre built.

Bratina should work as a team player and make the difference to fine-tune the stadium plan instead of doing what Merulla is doing, my way or the highway. We only have a few days to finalize the site or else the Pan Am committee will find a greenfield to build the stadium in perhaps Burlington.

markbarbera
Feb 16, 2010, 5:21 PM
You would think Toronto's pub district would have closed up with BMO Field and Rogers Centre built.



Seriously? You are comparing the site for BMO Field and Rogers Centre to the former Rheem site in Hamilton?

BMO Field is integrated into the Exhibition grounds, is serviced by several TTC routes including the Harbourfront LRT, has a GO Transit stop, is next to the QEW and has thousands of parking spots available to fans who come to the games. Similarly Rogers Centre has GO Transit, several TTC routes including the Yonge subway, immediate access to QEW and tens of thousands of parking spots within immediate walking distance - not to mention an extensive commercial district, and all these services were in place long before either of these were built.

Do you really want to start drawing parallels with Rogers Centre aka Skydome? Are you aware of its construction history and its cost overruns?

bigguy1231
Feb 16, 2010, 5:30 PM
Seriously? You are comparing the site for BMO Field and Rogers Centre to the former Rheem site in Hamilton?

BMO Field is integrated into the Exhibition grounds, is serviced by several TTC routes including the Harbourfront LRT, has a GO Transit stop, is next to the QEW and has thousands of parking spots available to fans who come to the games. Similarly Rogers Centre has GO Transit, several TTC routes including the Yonge subway, immediate access to QEW and tens of thousands of parking spots within immediate walking distance - not to mention an extensive commercial district, and all these services were in place long before either of these were built.

Do you really want to start drawing parallels with Rogers Centre aka Skydome? Are you aware of its construction history and its cost overruns?

I think he was responding to Bratina's statement that the stadium might have a negative impact on the present downtown economically.

SteelTown
Feb 16, 2010, 5:36 PM
Yes, I was talking about Bratina's insertion of the "Stadium Entertainment Precinct" would harm the downtown area.

markbarbera
Feb 16, 2010, 5:41 PM
I was involved in the board's 'revitalization' process of its elementary schools. It is disingenuous to suggest that SJAM will somehow be lifted wholesale and placed in a prettier building in a prettier spot in the same neighbourhood. This process is about one thing and one thing only: eliminating spaces for students in our established neighbourhoods in order to expand on the fringes.

That's not really a fair statement. Six of the ten new schools are rebuilds of existing schools in long-established neighbourhoods such as Beasley, Corktown, Gibson, Hillcrest, Lawfield, and Scott Park.

markbarbera
Feb 16, 2010, 6:02 PM
I think he was responding to Bratina's statement that the stadium might have a negative impact on the present downtown economically.

Yes, I was talking about Bratina's insertion of the "Stadium Entertainment Precinct" would harm the downtown area.

There is every likelihood that it will have no net positive impact on the downtown and in fact could act as a detriment to the core's revitalization. The core desperately needs an new anchor to draw people in. Locating a stadium in the downtown core may have been 'complex', but it would have had a significant impact on bringing people back into the core. The west harbourfront will drive new people past the core, maybe through the core, but not into it. New retail and service industries will locate in this new "Entertainment Precinct" rather than in the core, so the empty shops and restaurants downtown that could have been filled to complement a downtown stadium will instead remain empty.

Assuming of course that an 'entertainment precinct' would even be viable at the west harbourfront location. Barton Street never enjoyed any benefits from its proximity to Ivor Wynn, so why would this new location be any different? Rather than resolving the isolation problem of the Ivor Wynn site, it is being transplanted to a new isolated site, moving the stadium from one area surrounded by residential homes to another area surrounded by residential homes. This environment is hardly a catalyst for nurturing a vibrant new 'entertainment precinct'.

By the way, comparing downtown Toronto to downtown Hamilton is really comparing apples to oranges no matter what context you choose to use.

BrianE
Feb 16, 2010, 6:23 PM
I think Flar's point got lost in the shuffle but personally I think it's the most important one made so far.

1. The Rheem lands in their current state are unacceptable from every point of view. (Environmental, community, visualy etc, etc etc.)

2. Whatever the cost of remediation it's agreed that it will be held to a lower standard than for Residential development.

3. Residential development is the prefered option for the local groups in the North End and I believe it is designated as such in some proposed plans for the North End.

4. If it is too cost prohibitive to build a non residential building at this site then it stands to reason that this land will NEVER be of acceptable quality to build houses or apartments on.

5. Since it is very likely that a residential developer will be unable to make a business case for the remediation of this land. What other options are we left with?

SteelTown
Feb 16, 2010, 6:24 PM
Yes, the "Stadium Entertainment Precinct" shouldn't have any harm to Hamilton's downtown when the new stadium will probably sell out perhaps the most 15 times a year. That's not enough to support a pub or a restaurant to the West Harbourfront. So this can be disregarded by Bratina's own assertion.

The West Harbourfront site is largely surrounded by old factories and a large park. There's some residential but hardly the same amount compared to IWS.

highwater
Feb 16, 2010, 9:46 PM
That's not really a fair statement. Six of the ten new schools are rebuilds of existing schools in long-established neighbourhoods such as Beasley, Corktown, Gibson, Hillcrest, Lawfield, and Scott Park.

Not only is it fair, it is entirely accurate. Yes, a few new schools were constructed, but with a net loss of student places and the loss of some walkable, neighbourhood schools, and all to fulfill the Ministry's funding formula which is based on the number of students and therefore forces boards to close schools in established neighbourhoods in order to expand schools in the outer suburbs. Obviously the loss of neighbourhood schools, and the loss of places for students, seriously hampers the ability to attract families to these neighbourhoods in order to keep them stable, nevermind the possibility of densifying.

As I mentioned, I took part as a parent and representative for my children's school in the 'revitalization' or 'accommodation' process, or whatever Orwellian term it was they were using for school closures. It was divisive, high-handed, and heartbreaking. I imagine the board learned a few lessons and will handle the highschool closures more diplomatically, but highschools have been increasingly offering some very creative, specialized programs, and the closures will inevitably lead to the loss of some of these programs.

Clr. Bratina is being awfully cavalier with his suggestion that SJAM could simply be moved to another location in the same neighbourhood with no loss of places and programs, let alone the idea that the board would accomplish this in a timely enough manner to free up the current SJAM property to be a candidate for the stadium location.

SteelTown
Feb 17, 2010, 12:09 PM
Stadium vote ahead but questions linger

February 17, 2010
Andrew Dreschel
The Hamilton Spectator
http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/723196

And so we come full circle.

Tomorrow city councillors are expected to approve building the Pan Am Games stadium in the west harbour.

The show of hands comes almost exactly a year after they voted 12-3 to contribute $60 million to the Games from the Hamilton Future Fund, most of it earmarked for the facility supposed to replace the aging Ivor Wynne Stadium

A lot of good work has gone into stadium planning since then, but key details are still missing from the picture. Councillor Sam Merulla flagged them a year ago. No doubt he'll be sending out the same SOS signals tomorrow.

With good reason.

Costs are skyrocketing but the private sector still hasn't come to the table with anything but woolly promises of financial support.

Let's be blunt.

What we're really looking for in terms of private-sector involvement is a firm financial commitment from the Tiger-Cats, who will be the main tenant.

That was a significant issue a year ago and it remains so now for the same reason.

The city, province and feds have only committed enough money to build a 15,000-seat stadium.

To get a full-blown 25,000-seater capable of hosting Ticat games, the city needs to bridge a capital funding gap of some $66 million, which includes $16 million for land remediation and acquisition.

True, the Deloitte business plan suggests the existing $102 million from the city/feds/province might actually be able to deliver a bigger venue than the 15,000-seat stadium originally envisioned.

But tens of millions in extra funding for the full-size stadium still needs be nailed down.

Councillors made it clear last year -- and likely will again tomorrow -- they have no appetite to commit any more city money.

Nobody expects Tiger-Cats' owner Bob Young to pony up the full $66 million. But surely it's time to harden team president Scott Mitchell's vague promise of a year ago to contribute, along with other private partners, "millions to tens of millions of dollars."

Mayor Fred Eisenberger generously suggests the Cats are waiting for council to formally choose a stadium site before chipping in.

"The moment we pick a site, they're prepared to then weigh in and start looking at a business case analysis, and there's an expectation that they will contribute."

The mayor declines to attach a figure to that expectation but he thinks it will involve "significant millions."

As well it might.

As Deloitte points out, it's not uncommon for tenants to contribute financially to new stadiums. Among others, the report cites the Montreal Alouettes ($6 million) and the owners of a Toronto soccer franchise ($8 million).

Yes, there are other prospects for offsetting the $66 million other than tapping the Ticats. The Deloitte reports suggests naming rights could be sold for $5 million and up to $7.5 million could be raised from redeveloping the Ivor Wynne site.

Redirecting the city's current capital and operating subsidies for Ivor Wynne could raise almost $10 million and a ticket surcharge could pull in another $5.5 million. But that still leaves a funding gap of about $38 million.

Other potential sources include federal and provincial contamination cleanup programs and new property taxes from complementary developments near the stadium. But in the absence of a solid commitment from the Ticats, much of this is starting to sound uncomfortably like a big fat pie in the sky.

The truth is, until Young gets the ball rolling and shows some community leadership, Merulla's warnings should be echoing in all our ears.

SteelTown
Feb 17, 2010, 12:10 PM
Edmonton's advice: persuade stadium-goers to take transit

February 17, 2010
The Hamilton Spectator
http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/723199

Limited parking at a football stadium can bring heartache unless you find ways to get fans on public transit.

That's the lesson for Hamilton's Pan Am stadium from Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium, says general manager Brent McFarlane.

It has 800 on-site parking spots for a stadium that seats 60,000 and averages almost 40,000 for Edmonton Eskimos games. The Pan Am stadium plan has 600 spots for a 25,000-seat venue.

"It has been ugly at times," McFarlane said of fans parking on streets despite bans, stiff fines and towing charges.

The stadium, built for the 1978 Commonwealth Games and as home of the CFL's Eskimos, is served by light rail transit and buses.

But until a free ride program for ticket-holders was put in place, just under 40 per cent of ticket buyers used public transit.

McFarlane said some fans cynically defied parking bans.

"You get five guys in a van, they simply split the fine five ways."

But the "green and go" program offering a free ride has transit use shooting up -- 51 per cent the first year, 52.4 per cent the second and "we're hoping to hit 60 per cent this coming season," McFarlane said.

Conversely, parking violations have fallen, he said.

McFarlane said Commonwealth doesn't have as many nearby parking spots as Hamilton's west harbour site does, pointing out Eskimos fans often park and walk for 25 minutes to get to the stadium.

A parking study found about 5,500 spots within one kilometre of the proposed site for the Pan Am facility.

SteelTown
Feb 17, 2010, 12:11 PM
Pan Am costs on target: mayor

February 17, 2010
Stories by John Kernaghan
The Hamilton Spectator
http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/723240

Mayor Fred Eisenberger says the city can hold the line on its $60-million Pan Am commitment despite pressure on the city's 2015 Games budget.

Cost increases of $16 million for the Pan Am stadium, plus uncertainty about how much the Hamilton Tiger-Cats would chip in for the facility, were at the centre of Eisenberger's visit to The Spectator's editorial board yesterday.

The cost of land acquisition and remedial work at the preferred west harbour stadium site rose to an estimated $26 million from a previously projected $10 million.

That could soar to around $50 million if the worst form of toxic waste is discovered at the site, according to a preliminary environmental assessment report.

And it could be as low as $3.37 million if there's little contamination.

"I don't see the need for additional dollars" above the $60 million committed from the Hamilton Future Fund, a confident Eisenberger said as he prepared to put the stadium location before city councillors tomorrow.

He said the $16-million budget jump could be covered by $5 million from stadium naming rights, at least $4.6 million from a $1-a-ticket surcharge over the 20 years following the Games, and a minimum of $6.4 million from the sale of the Ivor Wynne Stadium site.

He expected Ticat owner Bob Young to stick to a commitment he made last year to provide "in the millions" for a new stadium.

But the city could be looking for $50 million from the private sector to bump the stadium from a 15,000-seat, $102-million facility to a larger home for the Tiger-Cats with at least 25,000 seats.

Eisenberger said the city would immediately sit down with football club officials, assuming city council confirms the west harbour location as the official site.

"The Ticats haven't been able to do an analysis of what the stadium means to them until they have a location," Eisenberger said.

Young confirmed the club's position yesterday in an e-mail.

"The Ticats cannot begin to estimate how big our contribution is going to be until we have a clearer idea of what we and our corporate partners are contributing to."

He added the club's primary contribution will be in attracting corporate support to the stadium project.

"We believe there will be lots of corporate support available," he said.

Eisenberger said the city may also be able to use its $60 million more efficiently by looking at something less than the Cadillac of stadiums.

A business plan analysis by Deloitte noted the Pan Am construction estimates used $6,800 per seat, much higher than Ottawa's proposed MLS Stadium ($5,500 per seat), the planned Winnipeg stadium ($4,500 per seat) and Toronto's BMO field ($3,140 per seat).

But the mayor stressed the stadium needs to be Hamilton's signature facility for a world stage, and also be flexible so it can get plenty of community use.

Costs

Stadium -- $102.3 million

Velodrome -- $11.4 million

Land -- $16 million

Remediation -- $10 million*

*could vary sharply

Total -- $139.7 million

Funding

Pan Am host company -- $63.7 million

Hamilton Future Fund -- $60 million

Naming rights -- $5 million

Ticket surcharge -- $4.6 million

Ivor Wynne Stadium redevelopment -- $6.4 million

Total $139.7 million

Source: Deloitte business plan

thistleclub
Feb 17, 2010, 2:52 PM
Whether or not the city pursues a stadium on the Rheem site, it owns the property, possibly in perpetuity. And it will be developed (and presumably remediated) regardless of what goes there. Reported at the time the land was snapped up (http://www.thespec.com/article/659011):

The Rheem land has been a key property for both the Pan Am Games and the city's plans for waterfront development. It's flanked by brownfields, industrial sites and residential areas. The city wants it, even without the Games, because it's close to downtown and could create a link between the waterfront and the core.

The deal has been "in the works" for some time, said Mayor Fred Eisenberger, adding the city started pursuing the land before the Pan Am bid as part of the Setting Sail plan.

"It's strategic to the waterfront redevelopment. I think that's the overall context, and the Pan Am bid just added additional value to it all."

SteelTown
Feb 18, 2010, 12:10 PM
West harbour site likely to win nod for Pan Am stadium

February 18, 2010
John Kernaghan
The Hamilton Spectator
http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/723814

Proponents of a west harbour Pan Am stadium seem headed to a victory today, but it won't be like a Canada-Norway hockey score.

In fact, a couple of former yes votes on city council have gone to the nay side.

So the 12-3 vote of last February which put Hamilton in the Games bid will be something like 11-5 or 10-6 today to confirm the land near Bay and Barton Streets as the 2015 Games site.

Councillor Dave Mitchell has switched to the no side and it appears Bob Bratina, whose ward encompasses the site, is solidly against it.

Also, Bernie Morelli is reserving judgment until he hears presentations today.

Brad Clark, Sam Merulla and Margaret McCarthy have consistently opposed spending on the Games.

That leaves Mayor Fred Eisenberger supported by councillors Brian McHattie, Chad Collins, Tom Jackson, Scott Duvall, Terry Whitehead, Maria Pearson, Lloyd Ferguson, Russ Powers and Robert Pasuta.

"There's lots of reasons," Mitchell said in an e-mail, that he "is not in support at this time." He did not elaborate.

Bratina doesn't like the west harbour site because he believes people won't walk to it from core parking lots and therefore it will put traffic pressure on residential streets near the west harbour location.

Clark will centre his opposition on escalating costs he believes could be understated, especially in terms of land remediation, and the lack of private sector money.

"That $37 million for remediation the environmental report cites may not be the extreme top end cost."

Clark noted that when he was the provincial minister of transportation, he was shocked that the soil remediation at the Go bus garage in Hamilton was $9 million for a half-acre site.

"What could it be for a site that is more than 20 acres?"

Meantime, Ferguson will back the stadium location despite concerns about parking.

He isn't worried about soaring soil remediation costs, noting his experience in the construction industry tells him it isn't likely to be excessive.

Jackson supports the site only if costs are contained.

"Not a dollar more on the municipal side for me. And I will be extremely disappointed if there are no private dollars for this project."

The city is still waiting to hear what the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and other private partners can bring to the table to build a larger, 25,000-seat, $150-million version of the stadium as the new home for the Ticats.

The Pan Am plan calls for a 15,000-seat, $102-million stadium to stage track and field, the premier sport of the Games.

drpgq
Feb 18, 2010, 11:12 PM
Awesome news.

http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/723814

City picks west harbour site for Pan Am stadium

February 18, 2010
Emma Reilly
The Hamilton Spectator
The city has approved the West Harbour as the future site of the Pan Am Games stadium.

The motion passed 10-5 with Councillors Bob Bratina, Brad Clark, Margaret McCarthy, Brian McHattie, and Sam Merulla voting against the location. Councillor David Mitchell was absent.

The city is still waiting to hear what the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and other private partners can bring to the table to build a larger, 25,000-seat, $150-million version of the stadium as the new home for the Ticats.

The Pan Am plan calls for a 15,000-seat, $102-million stadium to stage track and field, the premier sport of the Games.

SteelTown
Feb 18, 2010, 11:38 PM
Awesome news indeed.

I guess I can change this from "Planning" to "Approved".

During the council meeting it was suggested the Ti Cats would be willing to give $25 million.

Berklon
Feb 18, 2010, 11:59 PM
Excellent news!

markbarbera
Feb 19, 2010, 2:11 AM
I hope to be proven wrong, but with the costs already spiralling significantly higher than expected, and with no definitive dollar commitment from any private partners, I fear this stadium is destined to be known as the mistake by the lake.

urban_planner
Feb 19, 2010, 3:35 AM
I hope to be proven wrong, but with the costs already spiralling significantly higher than expected, and with no definitive dollar commitment from any private partners, I fear this stadium is destined to be known as the mistake by the lake.


Whats the worst that could happen, we get a cleaned up site, loose a dirty use beside a nice public area and have the ticats playing there. If this doesn't have an positive effect on downtown its not like its going to make it any worse.

I don't think it will be a mistake by the lake but I think is this went near the airport it would have been a its owuld have been a "civic low blow out near munro"

SteelTown
Feb 19, 2010, 12:18 PM
The west harbour it is for stadium

But organizers have back-up plan if city doesn't come through
February 19, 2010
John Kernaghan
http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/724419

Hamilton has a confirmed Pan Am Games stadium site, a wide-open plan B but lingering worries over parking and site cleanup.

This comes as the Pan Am host company CEO noted the Toronto 2015 plan will work on backup plans of its own for all sites in the Games footprint.

Ian Troop, who is currently putting his management team together, said he expects Hamilton to follow through with its commitment to be a senior partner in the Games.

But he added it was a logical step to be ready in case one or more of the 17 municipalities involved in the Games can't come through with a facility or event.

"That's just wise," Mayor Fred Eisenberger agreed. "They have to be ready if someone can't deliver."

Eisenberger was weary from seven hours of Pan Am meetings yesterday but delighted with the 10-5 vote endorsing having the Games track and field stadium northwest of Bay and Barton streets.

"This is a significant development and involved a lot of questions that had to be asked, as well as some theatrics."

He was surprised the stadium-site debate produced an amendment which left the city the option of a plan B if the west harbour site failed.

Councillor Bernie Morelli promoted an east harbour site on Windermere Road.

"We need a plan B in case west harbour blows up," he said.

The land Morelli identified is a slag site owned by Lafarge Canada. That location was one possibility offered two years ago when the Pan Am initiative began.

Morelli compromised with an open amendment for consideration of any option as Plan B.

One element that could force a move to another location is the cost of remediation at the west harbour.

A preliminary environmental assessment showed cleanup costs could range from $3.3 million to $37 million.

"I've never been thrilled about the Pan Am bid and I am concerned about the unknown condition of the site and remediation costs," said Brad Clark, one of the no votes.

Lloyd Ferguson said he couldn't back the site without the city looking at ways of getting more than 600 parking spots at the site.

That won him an amendment to the west harbour endorsement to look at parking, which pushed Brian McHattie to the nay side.

He said limited parking encouraged more public transportation and produced less traffic in neighbourhoods near the stadium site.

Persistent Games critic Sam Merulla said council was confusing "wants with needs," predicted costs would escalate and said "I hope I don't have to tell you 'I told you so.'"

Terry Whitehead summed up the yes vote with his thought that "this is a complex issue, there is no ideal location and there are always issues. But this provides a vital line between the harbour and downtown."

Council met in camera to discuss land acquisition and remediation.



TICATS: NO ONE CLEAR ON WHAT VISION IS

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats like the fact the city is moving forward on a Pan Am stadium site. Now they need to know what it means.

"It's another important step along the way and the city should be applauded for its initiative," said Ticat president Scott Mitchell.

"But the questions now are who is in this partnership, what should this development at this location be.

"No one is clear on what that vision is."

The city has funding for a $102-million stadium that could provide a stadium of 15,000 to 20,000 seats, but the football club needs at least 25,000 seats.

That could cost up to $50 million more, which the city wants the Ticats and private-sector partners to come up with.

But Mitchell said it is premature to come up with number until a vision for the stadium and developments around it are clear.

HOW THEY VOTED

Yes: Fred Eisenberger, Bernie Morelli, Chad Collins, Tom Jackson, Scott Duvall, Terry Whitehead, Maria Pearson, Lloyd Ferguson, Russ Powers, Robert Pasuta

No: Brian McHattie, Bob Bratina, Sam Merulla, Brad Clark, Margaret McCarthy

Absent: Dave Mitchell

SteelTown
Feb 19, 2010, 12:33 PM
Bratina takes a hit from his own BIA

ANDREW DRESCHEL

Almost four hours into the great stadium debate, I swear I felt a huge gust of air rush through the council chambers over and above the usual currents of windbaggery.

I think it was the wind being taken out of Councillor Bob Bratina’s sails.

It must have been released when the downtown councillor’s objections to building the new stadium in the west harbour were neatly punctured by the head of the downtown BIA.

Let me back up.

I knew from the get-go Bratina was on a mission yesterday when, moments after I walked into the room, he came over to give me his take on the stadium site.

“This is a grandiose scheme to create a waterfront empire,” he said.

Unfortunately, as intriguing as that assertion was, Bratina declined to elaborate on who he thinks is behind said empire building scheme.

As the meeting got under way, it soon became clear he had decided to focus his objections to the stadium on the proposal to build a commercial district around it.

Bratina suggested the so-called “development precinct” would have a negative impact on the downtown by siphoning away retail and hospitality business.

None of the stadium financing is predicated on establishing a commercial zone around the new facility. But the Deloitte business plan sees the idea as an opportunity to bring additional dollars to the area and generate up to $750,000 annually in new property taxes for the city.

Deloitte spokesman Ron Bidulka told councillors the precinct should consist of 150,000 to 200,000 square feet of commercial space near the stadium, comprising retail stores, restaurants, pubs and cafés.

“It’s a concept that will allow (stadium customers) to come earlier and stay later,” he said.

Bratina at first dismissed the idea, noting in his travels he’s never come across a stadium that generated that kind of adjoining development.

“Ivor Wynne in 80 years didn’t generate a variety store.”

But Bratina steered a different course after the consultant pointed out that spinoff commercial developments are part of the stadium-building mix in Ottawa, Winnipeg and Regina.

Arguing a new commercial district “can’t possibly have a positive effect on the old commercial zone,” Bratina said the stadium should be built in the
downtown where it would have a direct impact on helping the core.

“We need to build that core; this isn’t going to help build that core.”

Somewhat embarrassingly, his objections took a beating when Kathy Drewitt, executive director of the Downtown BIA, gave a ringing endorsement to the west harbour site.

Drewitt said the stadium will provide an “excellent bridge” between the waterfront and the downtown. She said it will enhance the core as a destination and provide positive spinoffs to businesses there.

Drewitt went on to say the BIA board thinks a commercial zone around the stadium will also help the core by creating a “wider downtown precinct.”

Only time will tell who is right, of course. But speaking against major redevelopment projects in his own ward is becoming something of a defining characteristic of Bratina’s time on council.

After all, before opposing the stadium, Bratina came out against the Lister Block deal and renovating City Hall. He even raised objections to turning the Royal Connaught Hotel into mixed housing.

Make of that what you will, but at least nobody can accuse him of blind ward heeling.

markbarbera
Feb 19, 2010, 12:58 PM
Whats the worst that could happen, we get a cleaned up site, loose a dirty use beside a nice public area and have the ticats playing there. If this doesn't have an positive effect on downtown its not like its going to make it any worse.

I don't think it will be a mistake by the lake but I think is this went near the airport it would have been a its owuld have been a "civic low blow out near munro"

Pay close attention to the 'Plan B' amendment to last night's motion. It was originally proposed by Councillor Morelli to have an alternate lower city site clearly identified as a fallback should the west harbourfront site development fall apart. It was approved, but with the part about an alternate lower city site removed. Which means, if things go pear-shaped with the west harbourfront site (and they could very well - they haven't even acquired all the required land yet), and with the firm 2015 deadline, and with no alternative site but the airport, we may very well get stuck with a stadium by Munro. How's that for poor contingency planning by our council!

As an aside, if the west harbourfront site is such an ideal site, why is the National Cycling Centre Hamilton already pushing to have the velodrome removed from the west harbourfront plans?


Velodrome group urges city to look elsewhere for Pan Am site

TheSpec.com - Local - Velodrome group urges city to look elsewhere for Pan Am site

Emma Reilly
The Hamilton Spectator

(Feb 19, 2010)
The west harbour is the new site of the Pan Am stadium -- but it's not necessarily the best spot for the velodrome, said one of the project's stakeholders.

Andrew Iler, president of the National Cycling Centre Hamilton, said his not-for-profit group is willing to work with the Bay and Barton streets site council approved yesterday for the stadium. However, he said the city should take a close look at other locations for the velodrome.

"The first thing we need to do is see if west harbour is the rational spot for it," Iler said. "Is this a spot that's going to provide good access to the people who are going to use it? I don't think that's been determined yet."

At a special committee of the whole meeting yesterday, council approved the site for the stadium, velodrome and warm-up track by a 10-5 vote. Council also passed a motion directing staff to create a comprehensive report on the velodrome, similar to the in-depth consultant's report about the stadium presented yesterday to council.

Tourism Hamilton executive director and Pan Am pointman David Adames said the report will examine other locations for the velodrome to provide a comparison to the west harbour site. However, it's too early to pinpoint specific spots in the city that will be considered, he adds.

If the velodrome is moved to a different site, it could provide extra space for parking at the west harbour location. Several council members expressed concern current plans only include 600 spots, which would accommodate about 10 per cent of the expected demand.

Adames said one of the options city staff will consider is the best alternative uses of that land, whether it's commercial, residential or parking.

"If we're going down the business plan path, then we want to give the best advice back to council on land use," he said.

Iler says since the stadium site is settled, it's time for the velodrome to start getting more attention.

His group is working to secure private funding to boost the $11.4-million structure to a more substantial facility that could host worldwide tournaments.

ereilly@thespec.com

SteelTown
Feb 19, 2010, 2:36 PM
They just want the velodrome to have a business case as well.

realcity
Feb 19, 2010, 2:56 PM
I hope to be proven wrong, but with the costs already spiralling significantly higher than expected, and with no definitive dollar commitment from any private partners, I fear this stadium is destined to be known as the mistake by the lake.

Fail by Pond


Build it at the Lake and it won't be a mistake


I agree with Bratina... it's too far from downtown to have benefits. I work down there and I've walked a few times to Jackson and it takes almost 40 minutes. Now I drive halfway and park off James and Canon.

Try it.. park at Main and Bay and walk down to Pier4. Do it this weekend and see what a lovely stroll it is. Are 25,000 people supposed to walk over to Williams after? Or maybe Hutches.. There's nothing to do down there, cept get back in your car... which will be 10 miles away. There's no place to tailgate, it's residential and they'll be complaining every game.

It's nice to think everyone will take transit, and will ride their bike to the game and pack a salad and a refillable water bottle of spring water and lemon and relax and sit quietly and enjoy the lovely sporting event..... but most people here are a small minority of the population.

Like it or not, that;s not the reality. Tailgating is half the event of a weekend football game. Maybe people on this forum don't drink and and eat BBQ

It's a horrible location. Foxcroft, Peter George, Braily all said build it at Confederation Park. And develop the real waterfront.

thistleclub
Feb 19, 2010, 4:50 PM
There's no place to tailgate, it's residential and they'll be complaining every game.

Ivor Wynne is residential. There are about 100 parking spots beside Brian Timmis and as many more along Balsam. The closest aside from that belong to Stadium Mall, a block away.

The Rheem site is an industrial property, not a white picket fence neigbourhood. It's a ten minute walk from Copps to Hess and Barton -- cut through Central Park if you feel like discreetly downing a traveller. After the game, it's a ten minute walk to Hess Village. Harbourfront Park is a block northeast of Hess and Stuart and offers 10 hectares of parkland, well over 300 parking spots, public bathrooms and a Hutch's next door -- plus whatever parking facilities and restaurant amenities they build into the actual stadium facility.

Edited to add: My initial estimate was incorrect. A weekend stroll from Crooks and Barton to the Farmer's Market took me 15 minutes, roughly the walking distance from Union Station to the Rogers Centre.

SteelTown
Feb 19, 2010, 4:54 PM
Plus the stadium will be next to Central Park.

thistleclub
Feb 19, 2010, 5:12 PM
Also, I don't think there's any room at Confederation Park (http://www.conservationhamilton.ca/Asset/iu_files/CP%20MP%20panel%207%20preliminary%20master%20plan.jpg).

realcity
Feb 19, 2010, 6:11 PM
Ivor Wynne is residential. There are about 100 parking spots beside Brian Timmis and as many more along Balsam. The closest aside from that belong to Stadium Mall, a block away.

The Rheem site is an industrial property, not a white picket fence neigbourhood. It's a ten minute walk from Copps to Hess and Barton -- cut through Central Park if you feel like discreetly downing a traveller. After the game, it's a ten minute walk to Hess Village. Harbourfront Park is a block northeast of Hess and Stuart and offers 10 hectares of picnic-ready parkland, well over 300 parking spots, public bathrooms and a Hutch's next door -- plus whatever parking facilities and restaurant amenities they build into the actual stadium facility.

I didn't say Ivor Wynne was a good location. But when it was built it wasn't a residential area.

realcity
Feb 19, 2010, 6:13 PM
Also note: The railyards aren't going anywhere. CN has been very clear about that.

realcity
Feb 19, 2010, 6:18 PM
Also, I don't think there's any room at Confederation Park (http://www.conservationhamilton.ca/Asset/iu_files/CP%20MP%20panel%207%20preliminary%20master%20plan.jpg).

They wouldn't have followed through with these plans if the Stadium were to built here.

this is how it is now? There is about 4x more space then the West Marshlands.
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b276/theshawsphotos/Confed-Park.jpg?t=1266603481


I forgot Football fans like to picnic and eat salads. Ask Foxcroft his choice. I think he knows a bit about professional sports.

thistleclub
Feb 19, 2010, 6:46 PM
You're dreaming Central Park is only halfway there from Copps. You have to walk another kilometer on Bay, then another kilometer on Stuart St

Never suggested that it was halfway there, just en route. As far as I know, stadium location hasn't been finalized, although some project mock-ups invite assumptions ( http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showpost.php?p=4553757&postcount=82
).

Also note: The railyards aren't going anyway. CN has been very clear about that.

And it's insanely difficult to build pedestrian bridges. ( http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showpost.php?p=4553757&postcount=82
)

They wouldn't have followed through with these plans if the Stadium were to be built there.

Confederation Park is owned by the city but controlled by the Hamilton Conservation Authority. I rather doubt it'd be a quiet compromise.

I forgot Football fans like to picnic and eat salads. Ask Foxcroft his choice. I think he knows a bit about professional sports.

If it's basketball or trucking I'll ask Foxcroft's two cents. As to "picnic," consider that Harbourfront Park is Wingfest country and that Burlington's Spencer Smith Park is as sedate as you could imagine but gets NASCAR'd up once a year for Ribfest. Parks are blank slates.

realcity
Feb 19, 2010, 7:25 PM
A 300 meter pedestrian SPANNED bridge over CN Rail yards. I guess it's possible. lol
it would cost as much as the stadium, if CN ever let it be built.
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b276/theshawsphotos/300meter-pedbridge.jpg?t=1266606503

realcity
Feb 19, 2010, 7:30 PM
Ya you're right, Foxcroft knows nothing about owning and the operation of pro sports franchises.

realcity
Feb 19, 2010, 7:35 PM
ill leave this alone now. But just a couple more pics to illustrate.....

I completely 1000% agree with Mr. Bratina. It took guts for him to come out on the location like he did.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b276/theshawsphotos/2-3kilometers.jpg?t=1266607959
walkable distance? next to Central Park?

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b276/theshawsphotos/carolineandstuart.jpg?t=1266608089

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b276/theshawsphotos/carolineandstuart2.jpg?t=1266608122
"waterfront" view

SteelTown
Feb 19, 2010, 7:42 PM
I acutally have design plan from the City to create a pedestrian bridge from the endpoint of Queen St to Bayfront Park. When I go home I'll try and find it.

SteelTown
Feb 19, 2010, 7:48 PM
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b276/theshawsphotos/2-3kilometers.jpg?t=1266607959
walkable distance? next to Central Park?

At the top left corner of Central Park is where they want to put 600 parking lot. So there's Central Park, parking lot (guess you call that tailgate party section), road and stadium.

thistleclub
Feb 19, 2010, 7:51 PM
Also clearly never been to a Bills tailgate party. they don't happen in parks. They happen where you can park your pickup and pull out the bbq and beer cooler. It's not a picnic in the park,, trust me

I have. I get it. I didn't realize we were talking about Ralph Wilson Stadium, and I didn't mean to piss on your poodle.

markbarbera
Feb 19, 2010, 8:03 PM
ill leave this alone now. But just a couple more pics to illustrate.....

I completely 1000% agree with Mr. Bratina. It took guts for him to come out on the location like he did.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b276/theshawsphotos/2-3kilometers.jpg?t=1266607959
walkable distance? next to Central Park?


Also, everyone take a good look at this overhead shot. Do you see what surrounds the site? Mainly single family home residential. The Ivor Wynn mistake is being recreated, and you are all cheering it on.

So folks, what happens while this sits in OMB? Because you just know it's going to end up there. Then you'll have the remaining property owners holding out for a deal, and you'll have to deal with the single family owners on the site who don't want to sell. With a tight time constraint for the Pan Am Games, council will have no choice but go with 'Plan B' if this gets mired in an OMB appeal. Can anyone tell me where Plan B is located?

And that's why this whole thing sucks.

realcity
Feb 19, 2010, 8:38 PM
I'm not even saying Tailgating is my thing>>it's irrelevant... Read anything I've said and show me where I said I want a place to tailgate, or I want a gigantic parking lot. I want anything but that. But I still know what the majority of fans want.

Im saying that is what the culture is. this is what football fans want and do. Lawyers by day and football fans on the weekend. So what? They want parking (or easy access) and a place to party, drink beer and eat meat. Sorry but they do. Even if during the week they eat salads and ride the elyptical for 45 minutes a day, A football game is when you let off steam and have a different kind of fun. Maybe not everyone's idea of fun. But that's what Football (and if Soccer) fun mostly is.

I want a successful stadium and I want it to benefit the city and preferably the core. To do that you still need to provide what people want. I've said this before and I'll say it again, be prepared to hear grumblings about parking and lack of tailgating space. It won't come from me, im just saying be prepared... this is after all a first and foremost football stadium.

I'm happy they chose this site over the airport but it wasn't the best option either. I think over the next few months we'll see the preferred location change to the airport anyway.

realcity
Feb 19, 2010, 8:43 PM
Also, everyone take a good look at this overhead shot. Do you see what surrounds the site? Mainly single family home residential. The Ivor Wynn mistake is being recreated, and you are all cheering it on.

So folks, what happens while this sits in OMB? Because you just know it's going to end up there. Then you'll have the remaining property owners holding out for a deal, and you'll have to deal with the single family owners on the site who don't want to sell. With a tight time constraint for the Pan Am Games, council will have no choice but go with 'Plan B' if this gets mired in an OMB appeal. Can anyone tell me where Plan B is located?

And that's why this whole thing sucks.

Bravo Mark... this is what I've been trying to say.... This site was chosen to go against the Airport deliberately to fail... and the default winner will go to the Airport.

Someone here gets it. This is a huge con job to finally have an excuse to break ground at the airport for more sprawl and to signal to the Province that the Greenbelt no longer can be applied to Mount Hope. And then it's party time, Meadowlands Part 3. And the only councilor that also 'gets it' is Mr. Bratina. The safe political choice was to select the West Harbour and then when it eventually goes to the airport, Eisenberger etc can say "aw shucks" "we tried". Why do you think Mitchell was absent? He totally wants it at the airport but politically it's a molotov cocktail to vote against the populist. Mitchell has survived as a politician for over 20 years by doing exactly these types of maneouvers. And everyone beats up Bratina because he doesn't play politics.

thistleclub
Feb 19, 2010, 8:54 PM
You have? You've tailgated at a Bills game? Okay so why do you think Hamilton football fans will have picnics in the park before a game then? Hamilton and Buffalo have similar cultures.

"Pissing on your poodle" was a reflection of how testy you were getting. Seemed a little dramatic. I was just illustrating that the new stadium seemed like it would have comparable or superior tailgating options as compared to those currently enjoyed by fans at Ivor Wynne. Admittedly, the "picnic" word was inflammatory. I meant it in the sense of nearly indestructable wood tables that are found around BBQs, not wicker hampers with nesting dishes, gingham blankets and croquet matches, pink lemonade and dainty sandwiches with the crusts cut off. As I pointed out, park spaces like Lakefront Park are blank slates that can host festivals like Ribfest and Wingfest, and under the right circumstances several thousand inebriated sports fans, if not all of the vehicles they'll be in no condition to operate.

I don't think that this is the ideal site for the stadium. I don't think the city has an ideal site. Maybe it should've been out in Aldershot where Bob wanted it. Who knows. Hopefully the team survives the transplant. (Also the league, which Hamilton millionaires may own wholesale by 2015 if things keep up at this rate.) ;)

thistleclub
Feb 19, 2010, 9:45 PM
Via the Strathcona mailing list, a message from Councillor McHattie:

Many of you have expressed interest in the Pan Am Games stadium location in the West Harbour (bounded by Barton, Queen, Bay, and Stuart streets) given its proximity to the Strathcona North neighbourhood just west of Queen Street.

Yesterday, City Council deliberated on the stadium location and received information on the costs and transportation plan for the area. The Transportation Plan was carefully prepared with a recognition that since the West Harbour site was within a neighbourhood, there must be a limit on the number of cars that could infiltrate the area. To this end, there were recommendations on the use of shuttle buses from downtown parking lots, improvements to walkability and cycling infrastructure to encourage pedestrians and folks to use their bikes, a discussion about the role of GO Transit and VIA Rail (with the new service planned shortly with a train station adjacent to LIUNA), no allowance of on-street parking during events (therefore spaces reserved for homeowners), and perhaps most importantly, a limit of 600 parking spaces in an off-street lot by the stadium.

Believing that the Pan Am Games were important to the City, and knowing that we needed to replace the aging Ivor Wynne Stadium, I went into yesterday's meeting prepared to support the West Harbour stadium location and comforted that a well-thought out transportation plan would protect our neighbourhood.

However, as Council discussed the plan, it became clear that many wanted to expand the car parking to a higher number than the 600 spots. As you know the neighbourhood streets in Strathcona North are narrow and not designed for a lot of vehicle traffic. I believed that the only way a stadium would work was to keep most cars out, and bring people in for events using other modes of travel (shuttles, walking, transit, cycling etc.). Therefore I reversed my earlier thinking and voted against the West Harbour stadium location.

As you may know, City Council voted in the majority to support the West Harbour stadium location. My job now is to ensure that the original transportation plan is followed and that, among other things, there is not an escalation of cars allowed to park in the area.

I am writing you today because I think it is important for you to know why I voted the way I did. I will be holding a community meeting shortly so all of you have the opportunity to see the West Harbour stadium plans as I have, and so we can work together to ensure that there are no negative impacts on our neighbourhood.

Brian

SteelTown
Feb 19, 2010, 9:49 PM
Now see that's a councillor that takes the proactive solutions instead of this my way or the highway attitude that some councillors take.

realcity
Feb 19, 2010, 10:14 PM
3% chance it gets built at West Harbour
97% chance it gets built at the Airport

adam
Feb 24, 2010, 2:21 AM
..... but it has been approved

SteelTown
Feb 24, 2010, 12:15 PM
Cats' partners not sold on stadium site

February 24, 2010
John Kernaghan
The Hamilton Spectator
http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/727236

The Tiger-Cats are getting a lukewarm response to the west harbour site for the Pan Am Games stadium from the team's partners, says president Scott Mitchell.

That could mean less investment in the location being touted by the city as an important link between the waterfront and downtown.

"It presents some legitimate issues and challenges for the private sector," Mitchell said.

The Ticats have about 40 corporate sponsors ranging from major businesses to local restaurants.

Mitchell said the team is committed to working with the city to make the site near Bay and Barton viable.

"That site isn't a great solution due to visibility and accessibility issues, but we're working with the city to put our best foot forward," he said.

His comments come as Councillor Bernie Morelli said the city can't lose sight of a Plan B site, specifically at the east harbour.

It has the visibility and accessibility west harbour doesn't, Morelli noted, but added he, too, will try to be part of a solution at the west harbour.

The city's committee of the whole voted 10-5 for the west harbour location last week but also held out the possibility of other options. The vote is expected to be endorsed by city council tonight.

Mitchell said it's important to understand that the funding to take a $102-million, 15,000-seat Games stadium to a $150-million 25,000-seat CFL facility is only one part of the equation.

"You have to consider the long-term operational costs for both the city and the Tiger-Cats."

Mitchell said the location of a stadium can mean a range in private-sector support from "millions to tens of millions."

To get the Cadillac of stadiums, up to $50 million of that support is required.

Otherwise, the city has to try to build a signature facility for less.

Both Mitchell and the city's Pan Am pointman David Adames said a timeline on creating a stadium vision will define how the process moves forward.

Both parties are eager to know when Hamilton has to deliver a concrete plan to the Pan Am host company.

Mitchell said taxpayers and football fans need to know conceiving a stadium plan that works will be a lengthy process.

The general 2015 Games timeline calls for site consideration this year, planning, design and awarding of contracts in 2011 with construction in 2012 and 2013 and completion by July 2014, a year out from the 42-nation showcase.

Hamilton is to get the stadium for track and field, an $11.4-million velodrome and $35-million pool at McMaster as part of the Games plan. Burlington is in line for a $23-million soccer facility.

coalminecanary
Feb 24, 2010, 1:24 PM
these guys can all keep fighting it, and we'll end up with our very own stadium....in oakville

JUST GET ON WITH IT

SteelTown
Feb 24, 2010, 2:57 PM
Wonder if they contacted people like Ron Joyce, Michael DeGroote, David Braley, the Juravinskis and Teresa Cascioli for donations.

I'm sure Labatt is on board.

thistleclub
Feb 24, 2010, 3:32 PM
Councillor Bernie Morelli said the city can't lose sight of a Plan B site, specifically at the east harbour.

It has the visibility and accessibility west harbour doesn't, Morelli noted, but added he, too, will try to be part of a solution at the west harbour.

True, the lot between Dofasco and the Woodward Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant does offer highway visibility.

realcity
Feb 24, 2010, 3:44 PM
So now velodrome users and Ti-Cats don't like the West Harbour... I know it's been approved, politically. There is very slim chance it will be built there

markbarbera
Feb 24, 2010, 11:28 PM
This city has an incredible knack for setting itself up for failure.

markbarbera
Feb 24, 2010, 11:31 PM
these guys can all keep fighting it, and we'll end up with our very own stadium....in oakville

JUST GET ON WITH IT

This isn't someone fighting it, this is the Ticats' partners saying they don't like it. Big difference. Huge difference.

This is what happens when you limit your choices to 'bad' or 'worse'.

thistleclub
Feb 25, 2010, 11:56 AM
This isn't someone fighting it, this is the Ticats' partners saying they don't like it. Big difference. Huge difference.

This is what happens when you limit your choices to 'bad' or 'worse'.

$25m gives you a voice but still makes you a minority partner. The private sector shortfall is about twice that. And didn't Mitchell want a $200m stadium at one point?

BTW, there's plenty of bumbling to go around.

NEC nixes Burlington's Pan Am soccer site (http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/728087)

Good thing it's a Toronto bid!

thistleclub
Feb 25, 2010, 12:01 PM
Bless this mess.

Hamilton council accused of secret Pan Am stadium talks (http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/727955)

John Kernaghan
The Hamilton Spectator
(Feb 25, 2010)

The Ontario ombudsman's office is looking into a complaint about a city council meeting on the Pan Am stadium that was closed to the public.

The ombudsman will assess the complaint, then determine if a full investigation is warranted, a spokesperson for the office said.

The ombudsman's office did not identify who lodged the complaint.

The Feb. 18 in-camera meeting followed an open council meeting that approved a west harbour site for the proposed Pan Am stadium.

Foes of that site say the secret session dealing with land acquisition at the brownfield site wrongly left the public in the dark.

Councillor Brad Clark was disturbed that a "heavy-handed request" to eliminate hearings in expropriation of properties at the proposed site was not discussed in public. It meant the city could ask the province to bypass the normal appeal process, he explained.

Councillor Bob Bratina, whose ward contains the site near Bay and Barton streets, said information revealed in the closed session dealt with the cost of site preparation and land assembly, elements the public should know about.

"The key piece of information the public should know from the in-camera session is the site condition is not known."

Mayor Fred Eisenberger said council voted to go into the closed session based on legal advice, as sensitive matters of land acquisition for the stadium site were contained in a report. He said the complaints look political, with west harbour opponents using the closed-session issue to continue their fight against the location.

Eisenberger said much of the content discussed was later brought into an open council session, save for information about land values.

The item dealing with expropriation hearings was a tactic he hopes the city can avoid.

"We want it to be a case of willing buyer and willing seller."

City council ratified the west harbour site last night, 9-6. In favour were Eisenberger, Bernie Morelli, Chad Collins, Tom Jackson, Scott Duvall, Terry Whitehead, Maria Pearson, Russ Powers and Robert Pasuta. Lloyd Ferguson, also in favour, was absent. Against were Brian McHattie, Bratina, Sam Merulla, Clark, David Mitchell and Margaret McCarthy.

Linda Williamson of the ombudsman's office said some complaints are resolved without an investigation. She added complaints about closed municipal meetings have sometimes ended in an investigation involving interviews with all the people in the meeting room.

thistleclub
Feb 25, 2010, 12:28 PM
Mitchell said the team is committed to working with the city to make the site near Bay and Barton viable.

"That site isn't a great solution due to visibility and accessibility issues, but we're working with the city to put our best foot forward," he said.

As far as naming rights go, highway access/visibility are obviously key considerations, since you're basically talking about the architectural equivalent of a billboard. And while it's maybe true that Highway 6 offers better optics than Barton or Burlington, the proposed but never ratified east harbour site would be miles ahead in that department (even if the industrial context would detract from the optics).

BTW, nobody wanted to consider Bob's trial balloon of Aldershot, but it's five minutes closer to Ivor Wynne than the Airport location, has a multimodal transit hub next door and would be highly visible to commuters every day of the year. Its only flaw is that it's not Hamilton. (It is in a "Hamilton sandwich," though -- between Waterdown and the old city.)

SteelTown
Feb 25, 2010, 3:44 PM
Gee I wonder who in council gave the ombudsman a call.

If the stadium is outside of Hamilton than Hamilton won't fund the stadium.

thistleclub
Feb 25, 2010, 5:00 PM
Gee I wonder who in council gave the ombudsman a call.

Can't be Brad Clark. He would've leaked it to the media.

If the stadium is outside of Hamilton than Hamilton won't fund the stadium.

Not suggesting Hamilton would pay for an Aldershot build, just that it might be a favourable site for a number of reasons. Might. Like I said, there are no ideal sites. And maybe the GHA will screw up all of the Pan Am projects.

markbarbera
Feb 25, 2010, 5:01 PM
As far as naming rights go, highway access/visibility are obviously key considerations, since you're basically talking about the architectural equivalent of a billboard. And while it's maybe true that Highway 6 offers better optics than Barton or Burlington, the proposed but never ratified east harbour site would be miles ahead in that department (even if the industrial context would detract from the optics).

BTW, nobody wanted to consider Bob's trial balloon of Aldershot, but it's five minutes closer to Ivor Wynne than the Airport location, has a multimodal transit hub next door and would be highly visible to commuters every day of the year. Its only flaw is that it's not Hamilton. (It is in a "Hamilton sandwich," though -- between Waterdown and the old city.)

I don't think Ti-cats have any more interest in the airport location as they do in the west harbour location, probably less of an interest.

Quite some time ago I suggested that Kay Drage Park be considered as a site for the stadium. IMO this is the most ideal site to meet the needs of all parties involved. It is already city-owned land and was recently remediated, so no acquisition prep costs to speak of. Geographically it is not in close proximity to any existing residential homes, so no worries about impact on residential communities. It lies right next to Highway 403, making for ideal visibility and accessibility. It also lies within metres of the proposed LRT, and GO transit already runs trains along the CP track running alongside the site, making it perfectly positioned for multi-modal transit service. Imagine a GO train that actually pulls in to a station built under the east side of the stadium!

I guess that site made too much sense to be given proper consideration...

thistleclub
Feb 25, 2010, 5:11 PM
Like Kay Drage and thought about it. Could be a snug fit, but it might work. Assuming a stadium the size of Ivor Wynne, it'd have to be tucked into the south end of the park next to the cathedral.

SteelTown
Feb 25, 2010, 5:15 PM
Needs to be 20 acres with a stadium and a warm up track.

markbarbera
Feb 25, 2010, 6:06 PM
:previous:

Kay Drage is over 50 acres in size

highwater
Feb 25, 2010, 7:03 PM
Not suggesting Hamilton would pay for an Aldershot build, just that it might be a favourable site for a number of reasons. Might.

If you think a few whining north end nimby's are bad, imagine the screaming from Aldershot residents if they thought their idyll was going to be invaded by a bunch of dirty Ticat fans from Hamilton.

Jon Dalton
Feb 25, 2010, 7:17 PM
I thought the Kay Drage location would be perfect from every angle except adjacent development. Imagine that as a 'gateway' feature from both the train and the 403? I ride past it every day and can't help but think it's a waste of space.

drpgq
Feb 25, 2010, 7:22 PM
I wonder which Ticat partners are actually complaining or if the Cats are just saying that rather than come out and say it themselves. Potentially whoever they have lined up for the naming rights might care, but I'm not sure whether the interior advertisers are really going to object to the West Harbour location.

SteelTown
Feb 25, 2010, 7:49 PM
I would support the Kay Drage site as well but I think it's too narrow perhaps?

geoff's two cents
Feb 25, 2010, 8:47 PM
I like the Kay Drage site's position along the GO track, and even its proximity to the freeway (much as I hate to admit this), but there's zero spin-off effects here for the downtown, where I'd personally like to see the city invest the bulk of its entertainment and cultural attraction investment dollars.

Furthermore, it's also too far from any of the expected Hamilton-based LRT lines, thus further isolating it from the downtown as a "macro destination," to adopt Ryan's turn of phrase.

Lastly, the West Harbour stadium proposal is located near 1) the north of downtown; 2) the upcoming James N GO station; and 3) two major N-S and E-W arteries (Bay and Barton). It's accessible as both a "macro" and "micro" destination. Though, in an ideal world, I'd prefer to have the stadium smack downtown, the West Harbour is the best proposal I've seen thus far.

I'd be interested to know how James N. businesses feel about this proposed location.

markbarbera
Feb 26, 2010, 12:17 AM
Geoff, just a couple of observations on your post. First off, with the B-Line LRT currently planned to run along King, Kay Drage is actually in closer proximity to the B;Line than the West harbour site is. With reference to access to major arteries, Kay Drage is easily accessible from Dundurn and King Streets, (as well as York Blvd via Dundurn), and is right next to highway 403. Besides the B-Line, HSR Routes 1, 5, 51, 6, and 8 all get you right to are in close proximity to Kay Drage.

I'd also have to question how much spin off to the downtown this stadium will have, be it at West Harbour or anywhere else for that matter. It cannot serve as a destination for downtown unless it is right downtown. Anywhere else and people will only be travelling through downtown to the stadium.

Most importantly is the cost. We can't take on a 'spare no expense' attitude for this stadium. With no remediation or acquisition costs, we can do a stadium up right at Kay Drage far less expensively than at the West Harbour.

realcity
Feb 26, 2010, 12:48 AM
I like Kay Drage and Confed Park... those would've been my shortlist

geoff's two cents
Feb 26, 2010, 3:26 AM
Geoff, just a couple of observations on your post. First off, with the B-Line LRT currently planned to run along King, Kay Drage is actually in closer proximity to the B;Line than the West harbour site is. With reference to access to major arteries, Kay Drage is easily accessible from Dundurn and King Streets, (as well as York Blvd via Dundurn), and is right next to highway 403. Besides the B-Line, HSR Routes 1, 5, 51, 6, and 8 all get you right to are in close proximity to Kay Drage.

I'd also have to question how much spin off to the downtown this stadium will have, be it at West Harbour or anywhere else for that matter. It cannot serve as a destination for downtown unless it is right downtown. Anywhere else and people will only be travelling through downtown to the stadium.

Most importantly is the cost. We can't take on a 'spare no expense' attitude for this stadium. With no remediation or acquisition costs, we can do a stadium up right at Kay Drage far less expensively than at the West Harbour.

Thanks for the comments, Mark. Let's not forget, however, about the A-Line (whether LRT or not) and the rather-more-set-in-stone James N. GO station (I could be wrong, but I highly doubt GO would consider another train station in such close proximity to James N. and, moreover, with only a seasonal destination). Also, for a city with such a beautiful waterfront, and that sprawls so extensively to the east and west, I think a waterfront stadium directly north of downtown could help provide a crucial north-end destination to help solidify the connection to the north.

As for spin-offs, they're obviously impossible to calculate in advance. A soccer team (all talk at this point, I realize), mind you, would attract additional pedestrian traffic to the area, making other eating, drinking and entertainment establishments a more viable investment.

I'd also be interested in knowing, however, if the city would be able or interested in selling off some remediated land surrounding the stadium to developers. (Again, it has to be cleaned up at some point, and at taxpayer expense). This would help bankroll the city's contribution to building the facility in the first place, as well as give the area a residential anchor. I imagine there would be more of a market for (and thus greater developer interest in) those types of waterfront views, as opposed to, say, the sightlines facing the 403.

In general, I also think a stadium positioned between the waterfront and downtown (and the television coverage that would entail) would do a lot more for the city's image than one located outside the sightlines of either.

In addition, I'll admit I have an unquantifiable and irrational preference for urban as opposed to suburban stadiums. As an outsider, however, I don't think I'm the only one that feels this way, and such an investment may just provide a welcome shot in the arm for reviving the north end of the city and its waterfront. When this much money is at stake, I think Hamiltonians should step outside the "what will make the grade for Hamilton as we know it?" bubble (a.k.a. "survivorship bias" - http://raisethehammer.org/article/1018/survivorship_bias_and_business_opposition_to_lrt_), and start thinking of how tourists, television viewers, and professionals thinking of relocating from Toronto would view their city.

If any of the above matters (and as an outsider, it matters to me), having the steel mills between the stadium and downtown (Confed. Park), putting it out of sight of downtown next to the 403 (Kay Drage), or putting it out by the airport would be an enormous loss of opportunity, and ultimately money less well spent.

SteelTown
Feb 26, 2010, 11:54 PM
Looks like expropriation for the West Harbour stadium will begin really quickly now that Gowlings has been hired.

waughste3
Feb 27, 2010, 6:28 AM
It's going to look good with a new stadium in that location. Lets hope they add the upper deck to the other side with the initial construction and not wait to add it later.

http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/5223/newpanamstadiumfullconfh.jpg

It's amazing what a little Paint and Corel PaintShop Pro Photo X2 can do.

bigguy1231
Feb 27, 2010, 8:09 AM
:previous:

That would be great if it ends up looking like that. But I am afraid that with the morons we have on city council, it may look more like a track with bleachers lining the sidelines.

Lets hope, they build it right and we get something closely resembling the rendering.

realcity
Feb 27, 2010, 4:13 PM
it won't at all look like that. where are the rail yards?

realcity
Feb 27, 2010, 4:15 PM
besides it wont be built here

markbarbera
Feb 27, 2010, 9:45 PM
just a coupe of comments on Geoff's posting
Let's not forget, however, about the A-Line (whether LRT or not) and the rather-more-set-in-stone James N. GO station (I could be wrong, but I highly doubt GO would consider another train station in such close proximity to James N. and, moreover, with only a seasonal destination).

A couple points here. First off, I won't be popular for pointing this out but, nomatter what format the A-Line rapid transit line ends up taking, it isn't planned to be built until 2028 at the earliest (A-line is part of the third and final phase of a 30-year plan), so it's not going to be in position to be an immediate or even short-term traffic feeder for the west harbour location. In contrast, Kay Drage is in close proximity to the B-Line rapid transit route, which is part of the second phase of the 30-year plan and is planned to be built for 2018.

As far as a GO station in the proximity of Kay Drage, this would be a viable station for GO regardless of its commitment to James North. A station here would serve the Innovation Park as well as the western portion of the city. It could also have a direct transfer connection to the B-Line rapid transit line here. This would definitely be used by the Hamilton GO Train service already running along the CP lines year-round, and certainly wouldn't be seasonal in nature.


As for spin-offs, they're obviously impossible to calculate in advance. A soccer team (all talk at this point, I realize), mind you, would attract additional pedestrian traffic to the area, making other eating, drinking and entertainment establishments a more viable investment.

Ivor Wynne certainly hasn't had an lasting effect on eating, drinking and entertainment establishments in its immediate vicinity. Neither has Copps Colliseum for that matter. I am still very skeptical on how different the impact on a west harbour site 1.5 km from downtown would be from a stadium at Kay Drage, itself just under 2 km from downtown.

I'd also be interested in knowing, however, if the city would be able or interested in selling off some remediated land surrounding the stadium to developers. (Again, it has to be cleaned up at some point, and at taxpayer expense). This would help bankroll the city's contribution to building the facility in the first place, as well as give the area a residential anchor. I imagine there would be more of a market for (and thus greater developer interest in) those types of waterfront views, as opposed to, say, the sightlines facing the 403.

This is kind of academic since all available industrial land at the West Harbour will be required for the stadium site (along with some residential properties). Regadless, I think you'll find open-air football stadiums actually have a negative impact on the market value of surrounding residential developments. Even harder to sell when in such close proximity to the CN freight yards. Besides that, the City of Toronto greatly regrets its decision to allow a wall of condos to be built, which has become a physical division between their downtown and waterfront. I really don't think we should be recreating that urban error.

In general, I also think a stadium positioned between the waterfront and downtown (and the television coverage that would entail) would do a lot more for the city's image than one located outside the sightlines of either.
Kay Drage is well within the sightlines of downtown, if you are referring to the aerial shots during the broadcast of games. And as far as image goes, the sightlines of Cootes Paradise, the high-level bridge and Cathedral Christ the King are far superior to sightlines surrounding the Tiffany location.

In addition, I'll admit I have an unquantifiable and irrational preference for urban as opposed to suburban stadiums.

Kay Drage is an urban location, not suburban.

If any of the above matters (and as an outsider, it matters to me), having the steel mills between the stadium and downtown (Confed. Park), putting it out of sight of downtown next to the 403 (Kay Drage), or putting it out by the airport would be an enormous loss of opportunity, and ultimately money less well spent.

I agree that the airport site would be a lost opportunity. I also am not a huge fan of a Confed Park location. However, Kay Drage certainly cannot be categorized in the way you have here. Kay Drage is not very much further from downtown as the Tiffany location is.

By the way, of all the locations you mention, the West Harbour is the one closest in proximity to the steel mills, well within its sightlines. But why should Hamilton hide its steel mills, anyway?

One final comment, for those who are encouraged by Mitchell's comments that they would work with the city to make the Bay and Barton site viable, please be aware that this is code for negotiating towards increased on-site parking, 'improved' road access (i.e. widening of Barton from Bay to Locke and Locke from Barton to York Blvd.), as well as a lower financial contribution to the project from the Ticats.

realcity
Feb 27, 2010, 11:05 PM
Why is it called Bay and Barton site? It's just as accurate to call it Caroline and Stuart. Standing at Bay and Barton you won't even know you're anywhere near water. It's ridiculous, it's barely downtown, it's barely waterfront and yet the location is being called both.

realcity
Feb 27, 2010, 11:09 PM
I can't wait until we name it... hehe... given Hamilton's track record on creative names.

realcity
Feb 27, 2010, 11:10 PM
Actually my guess for the name is
"Mount Hope Stadium"

drpgq
Feb 28, 2010, 1:10 AM
just a coupe of comments on Geoff's posting



Ivor Wynne certainly hasn't had an lasting effect on eating, drinking and entertainment establishments in its immediate vicinity. Neither has Copps Colliseum for that matter. I am still very skeptical on how different the impact on a west harbour site 1.5 km from downtown would be from a stadium at Kay Drage, itself just under 2 km from downtown.




The Prince Edward Tavern does pretty well off of Tigercat games, which I'm sure they'll miss when the Cats leave Ivor Wynne.

bigguy1231
Feb 28, 2010, 1:48 AM
I like the Kay Drage park location and always have. However there are some problems with that site that would have to be overcome.

The first problem is access. Macklin St. is a two lane residential street. There is no other access to the site, unless they plan on building bridges from the residential streets overlooking the property.

The other problem that I haven't seen mentioned is that it is a former landfill that has been capped. Once they start digging you never know what they are going to dig up. It may be worse than the remediation needed at the bayfront site.

The biggest problem with that site as I see it would be parking. Whether you like it or not people will want to use their cars and if they don't have a reasonable amount of parking within walking distance they will not go to the facility. Public transit is not an option that will entice people to go to the stadium. The majority of people, in this city, including myself will never use public transit.

adam
Feb 28, 2010, 4:53 AM
If the stadium is outside of Hamilton than Hamilton won't fund the stadium.

Obviously if it is outside of Hamilton rather than in Hamilton, THEN Hamilton won't fund the stadium.

SteelTown
Mar 11, 2010, 12:09 PM
Private group planning stadium coup
Don't think harbour site viable

March 11, 2010
John Kernaghan
http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/735522

A loose-knit group of city businessmen is hatching plans for an alternative to the city's Pan Am stadium site at the west harbour.

At least three sources confirm the group is crunching numbers on three possible sites.

They are: the Lafarge Canada slag site on Windermere Road; the former Studebaker property at Victoria and Burlington streets; and a parcel of land near the QEW and Centennial Parkway.

The site assessments have been driven by doubts the city's plans for the west harbour will make financial sense for the taxpayer or the stadium's prime tenant, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

If the plans come together, the businessmen propose a large developer handle the stadium construction and operation.

"They would take on the entire project using the public money and flip the naming rights to cover extra construction costs, plus develop other elements around the stadium through their own business plan, " said a source with knowledge of the private-sector initiative.

City council left the door open for a Plan B site when it voted 10-5 in favour of the west harbour location near Bay and Barton streets last month.

The B option was pushed by Councillor Bernie Morelli, who likes the Lafarge site at the east harbour. But first, he says, the west harbour should have every chance to pan out.

Councillor Brad Clark, a stadium opponent, says there's a certain fatalism around the west harbour location.

"In a perfect world, with lots of time available, it could work. But there isn't the time, from my experience."

Members of the private-sector group feel soil remediation costs that could run as high as $37 million, limited parking and poor exposure will limit private-sector contributions to build a 25,000- to 30,000-seat stadium at the west harbour.

The estimated cost of Hamilton's 2015 Pan Am Games track and field stadium is $102 million, $55 million of that coming from the city and the remainder from the provincial and federal governments.

But that would deliver a 20,000-seat facility at best, not enough for the Canadian Football League team. It would take up to another $50 million to provide a home for the Tiger-Cats.

While the football club is sitting down with the city in an effort to make the west harbour work, Ticat president Scott Mitchell said an early examination of the location "doesn't have a lot of money in it for us."

Earlier, he said the team's corporate partners were lukewarm to the location.

The club has consistently lost money over six seasons of ownership by Bob Young and is looking for a formula to provide long-term stability.

When the Games bid was announced last year, Young said he was prepared to put up "in the millions" for a larger stadium as home for his team.

A financial analysis by Deloitte Canada identified several sources of income for the city and the team, including an estimated $5 million for naming rights.

The private-sector group's analysis doubts that number due to what it describes as the west harbour's low-profile location and suggests only the prospect of thousands of motorists and commuters going past a stadium daily will elevate naming rights.

At one point in the bidding process for the Games, sources close to Toronto 2015 said a large development company offered up to $25 million for naming rights, but only if it could develop the stadium at Confederation Park. City council took that site off the table last year.

The private-sector scheme has two appealing points, another source said.

"This company would run the stadium for the city at no cost to the taxpayer and taxpayers wouldn't have to subsidize the Tiger-Cats."

According to the Deloitte analysis, the football club has the right to all revenue streams at its current home, Ivor Wynne Stadium, plus it costs the city around $1.5 million to keep the aging facility safe and operating.

But the man who oversees the city's Future Fund, which would provide $60 million for Pan Am facilities, said no other site delivers what the west harbour can.

"It will energize the city's downtown, " said fund chair Tom Weisz.

He pointed out a key element of the fund's mission statement is to use the money to support downtown redevelopment.

None of the three sites being investigated by the private-sector group is located in the downtown.

That city-building aspect is the key logic behind the west harbour site, says Mayor Fred Eisenberger.

He said he's not surprised "different people have different objectives" but stressed the stadium decision is a call that must endure for 50 years and needs to have a lasting legacy on many fronts.

In his view, only the west harbour site is capable of that.

The Toronto 2015 bid book promised the Hamilton track and field stadium "will have an extensive community legacy because of a plan to put the venue at the disposal of grassroots, youth and national-calibre athletes while also creating the opportunity for a variety of non-sport uses."

It's not clear what a private-sector initiative would deliver in terms of community use.

thistleclub
Mar 11, 2010, 12:38 PM
Love how the football backers had little to no interest in this discussion until after the city staked its $60 million. Now they have an opinion because the CFL is all about viable business models... although there's evidently no way the franchise could survive without huge amounts of municipal welfare. Addicted to handouts? Verily, Hamilton's team.

bigguy1231
Mar 11, 2010, 3:35 PM
They keep mentioning this group of "business people" but they never mention names or a concrete amount that they are willing to put up.

I am willing to bet that the leader of that group is Dave Braley. He wants the stadium at Confederation park and stated that many times. He is the type that likes to get his own way or he just won't play. I say this time the city should just tell him to go away.

If this group of "business people" wants the stadium in a certain location then they should put up their own money and build it. But don't expect the taxpayer to help in any way financially.

highwater
Mar 11, 2010, 3:54 PM
This makes me want to scream. No wonder Hamilton is in the state it's in when our self-appointed business 'leaders' are so devoid of vision.

Take the Spec poll:

http://thespec.com/

realcity
Mar 11, 2010, 3:55 PM
Please Confederation Park....it would actually distract people's attention from the industry and give another perspective of Hamilton. Don't forget the pedestrian bridge that will be built over the QEW.

realcity
Mar 11, 2010, 4:00 PM
highwater, yes I agree. But I don't think our elected officials have much more vision.

flar
Mar 11, 2010, 4:01 PM
If people are hoping that a stadium will uplift businesses and vibrancy in the surrounding area, that shouldn't be what determines the location. This kind of facility will probably not have more than 60 events per year even with USL and CFL playing out of it.

ihateittoo
Mar 11, 2010, 4:10 PM
well then, with the mission statement of the Future Fund, will they still be able to use that money for a stadium outside the downtown without causing political problems for themselves?

I am still on the fence, I still think I like the west harbour site, for one of the most costly reasons and thats the clean-up but like others have said if it isn't a project like this that goes there who is going to ever clean that area up? I still think it will have a positive impact on downtown. Downtown does not simply offer "herbal teas" there are so many restaurants that would cater to the wants of all types of footballers. But I do feel for the neighbourhood impact.

Also who is making the waves about wanting a hotel at confed? My guess is a look into that proposal may lead to the names of the business people.

drpgq
Mar 11, 2010, 4:27 PM
What spinoff benefits are there going to be at the Confederation Park site? We'll just end up having more teams staying at Burlington hotels than we already have now.

realcity
Mar 11, 2010, 4:36 PM
I'm sorry if I support private investment in Hamilton. We see very little of it so if there is going to be a hotel built there then great.

I'll tell you who will clean up the area even if the stadium is not built there. Us, Hamilton. the property is worth 1-2 million $ but do you think the owner will pay $37 for clean up on land worth 2$ million? They will go into tax default and the land will become Hamilton's anyway. Then we're still stuck with the $37 million clean up.

realcity
Mar 11, 2010, 4:46 PM
Spin offs like 10 more Barangas, hotels on the strip, condo towers... a break water, sea wall, marinas, a lively waterfront. Leave bayfront for the roller bladers and nature lovers, that way we can have two types of waterfronts.

http://blog.americanfeast.com/images/Portland%20Oregon%20Blues%20Festival.jpg
Portland with beach strip

http://realestate.alexcooper.com/images/thumbs/1605_exteriors_2.JPG
Baltimore former industrial wasteland waterfront

Probably the best example of what Hamilton's beach strip could be is the story of Baltimore's

highwater
Mar 11, 2010, 6:41 PM
Please Confederation Park....
But I've said all I could about Confed Park on this thread. I'm glad they are looking at new locations, because right now the two we have both suck.

Except none of the locations are Confederation Park. So you still won't get your wish. Also, two of them are brownfields so taxpayers would still be footing the bill for remediation with no public benefit. Who are these people?

bigguy1231
Mar 11, 2010, 7:30 PM
Spin offs like 10 more Barangas, hotels on the strip, condo towers... a break water, sea wall, marinas, a lively waterfront. Leave bayfront for the roller bladers and nature lovers, that way we can have two types of waterfronts.

Probably the best example of what Hamilton's beach strip could be is the story of Baltimore's

There wouldn't be any spinoffs in the local area at Confederation Park. It is a park run by the conservation authority. There is no room for condo's or more restaurants. The land around that area is industrial for the most part and already developed. We have a small group complaining about the West Harbour site, if they chose Confederation Park and indicated they wanted to develope the area commercially every environmental nutcase we have in this city would be protesting. It is never going to happen.

I am not critisizing your vision of the area, I would like to see the same sort of thing happen even without a stadium. However, the reality is, it is already being used as a park and any attempts to alter that status will meet huge resistance. The city would have CATCH and Environment Hamilton and all the other whack jobs in this city filing lawsuits and appeals to the OMB for the next ten years.

realcity
Mar 11, 2010, 7:30 PM
QEW/Centennial? I assumed Confed Park. I'm in favour only if it's on the Beach Strip, go cart area etc.

If they mean the south east area/Service Road off the cloverleaf, then that's Foxcroft's land.

realcity
Mar 11, 2010, 7:36 PM
Well the HCA should be about nature conservation and not operating waterslides, go-carts, batting cages. I think something could be worked out between HCA and the City. There's that land around the stubby observation tower and lakeland pool. All along Van Wagners could be developed. And outward into the water with break walls, piers, marinas

Expropriating all the private residences around the Rheem site is no easy challenge either. OMB and likely people that don't want the nature of Pier4 disturbed. There's some rare locusts that live there you know. :)

bigguy1231
Mar 11, 2010, 8:07 PM
Well the HCA should be about nature conservation and not operating waterslides, go-carts, batting cages. I think something could be worked out between HCA and the City. There's that land around the stubby green shed observation tower and lakeland pool. All along Van Wagners could be developed. And outward into the water with break walls, piers, marinas

Expropriating all the private residences around the Rheem site is no easy challenge either. OMB and likely people that don't want the nature of Pier4 disturbed. There's some rare locusts that live there you know. :)

Those recreational amenities that are located in the area such as the go carts and batting cages help the Conservation Authority pay their bills. Otherwise the taxpayers would be footing even more of the bill.

As for expropriating private residences in the area of the Rheem property, I believe the number was only twelve houses and that would only take place if the current owners refuse to sell. So it would not be a big problem. Most will sell given the opportunity and a fair price. As for Pier 4 it's still quite aways from the Rheem site and there is a railyard in between, so any environmantal concerns would be trivial at most. I would think that the environmental types would just be happy to see the area remediated and redeveloped into something other than an industrial wasteland.

geoff's two cents
Mar 11, 2010, 8:50 PM
Fifty years, folks. That's a long time to have a stadium in the middle of an industrial strip (unless the city eventually loses all of the industrial jobs there). It would also, as one commentator noted, feature Hamilton taxpayers subsidizing the profits of Burlington hotels. The private interests, here have advertising and naming rights in mind - much more so than community benefits, which would be dismal at best, or simply accrue elsewhere.

As for the beach pictures you provided, realcity, both are much closer to downtown than Hamilton's Centennial/QEW location would be, Baltimore's baseball stadium is smack downtown, and Portland's Rose Garden is an awful lot closer to their downtown (for a much larger city) than Hamilton's would be.

I recognize the difficulties, however, inherent in attracting private sponsorship to a location that isn't on the freeways - where private businesses know most Hamiltonians are much more comfortable. It's a shame (and something worth thinking about) that private sector support cannot be mobilized in favor of the long-term best interests of the city (when Hamilton will no doubt be very different, or face further decay), but must rely on relatively short-term returns on their investment.

highwater
Mar 11, 2010, 9:12 PM
If they mean the south east area/Service Road off the cloverleaf, then that's Foxcroft's land.

How much do you want to bet he's one of the anonymous business people?