Condo projects showing promise in the core
Hamilton’s core is on the cusp of a condo boom.
Two developers are working on new projects that are expected to add more than 20 storeys of condominiums to the downtown and Stinson neighbourhoods.
One is a proposal for a $20-million condo development at the site of the Hamilton Cab headquarters on Charlton Avenue East, at the foot of the escarpment. Ron Van Kleef, the president of Hamilton Cab, aims to create 160 units in three, six-storey buildings.
The other is developer Harry Stinson’s Hamilton Grand building on the corner of John and Main streets. The project, which had been stalled due to financing issues, is moving ahead as a six-storey structure incorporating a mix of commercial and retail, office space, hotel rooms and condos.
Combined with Stinson’s redevelopment of the former Stinson Street School, the projects should give a much-needed boost to central Hamilton, said Councillor Jason Farr.
“Look out, southern Ontario — the next big neighbourhood is right next door to Corktown,” he said.
Van Kleef says he’s been working on his condo project for more than three years. He has had formal consultation with city staff, Farr, and Mayor Bob Bratina and is in the process of finishing the environmental and traffic studies required before construction.
“It’s a site that the city really is supporting,” Van Kleef said.
Van Kleef’s planner, Ed Fothergill, estimates construction will begin in a year and a half.
The site — the former home of a bowling alley — had been vacant for several years before Van Kleef bought it in 1997. The property had fallen into disrepair and Van Kleef said he invested a significant amount into its remediation.
The condo plans include penthouses, and an outside link to the nearby rail trail and its new rest area.
Van Kleef said it’s too early to give a price range for the condos, but said the community’s interest has already been piqued.
“We’ve already got people looking to invest in the area,” he said. “When you look at our site, there’s a great view.”
Stinson’s Hamilton Grand project has been in the works for several years, starting as a 15-storey tower that has been slowly scaled back to six storeys.
The main floor will be retail and commercial units, while the second and third floors will house offices. The fourth to sixth floors will be condo units and hotel rooms.
Stinson says prices will start at $79,900.
“This isn’t Trump Tower,” he said. “The numbers make sense here in practical Hamilton, whereas the price tags in Toronto just don’t make sense anymore.”
Stinson says the updated plans for the Grand are “less elaborate than before, but more financeable.”
Stinson also says he’s aware that some associate him with past projects that have fallen through, including previous iterations of the Grand.
“I do realize there will be the usual skepticism, but I don’t give up,” he said. “I’m used to the concept of having to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and take another run at it. This particular process has required a little more dusting off than I would hope.”
The scaled-down project can be “finished and operable” by next summer, he added.
“The sales were always there. People have been very patient. They believe in the location,” he said.