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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Ontario > SSP: Local Hamilton > Downtown & City of Hamilton

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  #181  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2011, 2:58 AM
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What's going on? Progress seems to have been halted entirely since a few residents got up-in-arms about another 'heritage' building being torn down.
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  #182  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2011, 6:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Johio View Post
What's going on? Progress seems to have been halted entirely since a few residents got up-in-arms about another 'heritage' building being torn down.
What progress? Nothing has started on that site yet.

Typical demolition resulting in empty parking lot, except in this case a portion of the older building was saved.

I don't think this has anything to do with heritage issues.
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  #183  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2011, 1:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Johio View Post
What's going on? Progress seems to have been halted entirely since a few residents got up-in-arms about another 'heritage' building being torn down.
There was a post on here somewhere (can't find it now) outlining Vranich's plans for all his properties. If I remember correctly, he's not planning on building there for another six years (assuming everything goes to plan).
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  #184  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2011, 4:13 PM
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From the August 17th Spec.com

Quote:
Farr points to the larger project, which he describes as a $150-million, five-phase investment, as a big step for Hamilton’s downtown. Farr said he learned at his Tuesday meeting with Vrancor staff that the project would be completed in six to seven years.
He has to finish the Staybridge Hotel first and it is expected to be open in June if 2012. Then we will see how long for the next building.
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  #185  
Old Posted Dec 15, 2011, 3:18 PM
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Massive renewal project under way downtown

http://www.thespec.com/news/business...r-way-downtown

A much anticipated multimillion-dollar development project in Hamilton’s core is under way.

The first of four new buildings that will bring as many as 600 condo units, two hotels and 20,000 square feet of retail space to the core has been rising on George Street near Caroline since the summer, bringing a swell of hope for the core with each new floor.

The brain child of developer Darko Vranich, the $125-million project has been on the drawing boards for the past decade as he slowly assembled a huge chunk of the city’s core.

“You can’t help but notice there are construction cranes on the skyline downtown now,” said Jason Farr, the city councillor for the core. “Darko has a sincere desire to get going faster than anyone realized. He didn’t want to wait any longer, he wanted to get going.”

Over the past decade, Vranich has acquired most of the land roughly bounded by King, Main, Bay and Hess streets with tiny George Street running through the centre. The plan calls for two extended-stay hotels — the 129-room Staybridge under construction at the northwest corner of George and Caroline streets and a 182-room Homewood Suites inn at the southwest corner of George and Bay streets.

The plan also includes three condo towers in two buildings reaching as high as 20 storeys.

The buildings are to be completed in five phases over the next six or seven years. The entire project is seen as a way of linking the restaurant-bar hub of Hess Village to the rest of downtown.

Two of those condo towers will rise on the site of the former federal government office building at the north-east corner of Main and Caroline streets. Vranich bought the structure in 2004 and started demolishing it in August.

The plan to demolish that building sparked a brief controversy over the fate of eight friezes surrounding the main entrance of the structure. They were created by noted local artist Elizabeth Holbrook and the chance they would be destroyed ignited protests from the local arts community. Vranich eventually agreed to have the art work detached from the building and donated to the city. Later he unveiled a plan to preserve the seven-storey west portion of the building, including the main entrance, as the base for an additional three storeys of condos. An attached east tower will be up to 15-storeys tall.

Tyler McDiarmid, chief financial officer of Vrancor Group, said the decision to preserve the part of the building with the art work was seen as the best way to ensure their preservation.

“There was talk about donating the friezes to the city, but detaching them from the building always carries the risk of destruction,” he explained.

Mayor Bob Bratina also praised the start of the Vranich project, noting the revival of land in that area will be a helpful boost to the city’s coffers as well as a clear sign of life returning to the heart of the city.

He noted that the site where the Staybridge is now rising generated only $18,000 a year in city taxes as a parking lot. As a hotel, however, the tax payments are expected to rise to more than $280,000 when it opens in June. It will be the second time that nameplate has appeared in the core. In 2004, Vranich built a Staybridge hotel in a former Canada Post garage on Market Street at Caroline. He later sold his share in the building and it was converted to a seniors’ residence. In that case, the city’s $40,000 tax bill for the empty garage rose to $340,000 for the hotel.

The city’s benefit will be delayed slightly because property tax incentives it has provided allow tax increases due to redevelopment to be phased in over five years.

Bratina said projects like Vranich’s and the condo towers rising at the site of the former Thistle Curling Club between Charlton Avenue and Robinson Street, are “undeniable evidence that things have changed for Hamilton.”

Such projects, he added, provide an immediate return for the city, where visions such as the Airport Employment Growth District require decades to develop and up to $1 billion to provide water and sewer pipes and other services.

“It sounds exaggerated, but significant tax growth is being achieved in the core,” he said. “That’s how important projects like this are to Hamilton.”

New hotels in the core are also important to the city to develop tourism as an economic development tool. The most recent annual report of Tourism Hamilton concluded the city needs up to 700 more hotel rooms if it hopes to draw major conventions in the future. Currently the city has an inventory of about 1,350 hotel rooms and should have 2,000 to have a chance of drawing the mid-level convention business it has been seeking. The Vranich hotels, combined, will bring 311 rooms to the core.

In addition to new buildings, Vranich has also been pouring money into refurbishing the core’s Sheraton hotel. The building has just undergone a $12-million renovation and Vranich plans more work as he pushes the property to a 4.5-star rating.

Vranich rarely does interviews, but said through a spokesperson he hopes the Sheraton project will be a major contribution to the core.

“The Sheraton’s main role in downtown renewal is to help attract more tourism, conventions and business travellers to our community,” he said. “We are pleased to contribute to the rebirth of this great city.”
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  #186  
Old Posted Feb 15, 2012, 2:26 PM
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Seems like a lot of movement is happening at the former federal building site. Seems like they have started digging for the underground parking.
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  #187  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2012, 6:21 AM
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I just heard from a trustworthy source that Vrancor intends to move the crane from the Staybridge Hotel straight to the Federal Building site and start construction immediately on this project. This would save on transportation costs. No building permits have been issued yet, but that is what they are planning on. If the city moves to approve building as quickly as it did to approve demolition, I could see this happening!
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  #188  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2012, 4:00 PM
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We’ll see if he starts with or without a permit. The city really drags their butt on building permits. Talking to a friend at MIP, the city is taking so long to issues a building permit on the new MARC building that their check for the permit stale dated.
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  #189  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2012, 3:12 AM
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I drove pat the site at 7ish am this morning and there were a dozen dump truck lined up in paris waiting to be loaded with dirt from an excavator.
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  #190  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2012, 12:01 AM
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Looks like they've dug up all around the edges first. Got a large construction trailer for the workers on site too.
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  #191  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2012, 10:51 PM
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Has the crane been relocated? From Westdale I can see a crane in front on the Standard Life building. Which would make sense if it's been relocated near Main St.
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  #192  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2012, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by SteelTown View Post
Has the crane been relocated? From Westdale I can see a crane in front on the Standard Life building. Which would make sense if it's been relocated near Main St.
No. I drove by around 3 pm today.

However there is another crane in the corner of the Hamilton Grand lot.
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  #193  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2012, 6:13 PM
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Lots of digging and excavating going on east of the remaining building. It doesn't look like there have been any new permits issued since the demo permit though.

Anyone else have more details?
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  #194  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2012, 7:45 PM
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I talked to the site foreman a couple of weeks ago and said that the plans are not near ready and they where just taking the opportunity to clean the site.
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  #195  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2012, 8:24 PM
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Here's some picture I took on March 18.


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  #196  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2012, 5:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Dalton View Post
I just heard from a trustworthy source that Vrancor intends to move the crane from the Staybridge Hotel straight to the Federal Building site and start construction immediately on this project.
Drove by just now and they've started moving the crane over.

Parts of the crane are down from Staybridge, and sections of it are lying on the Old federal building site.

There are two portable cranes on George Street, one in front of each site moving the crane pieces.

Last edited by CaptainKirk; Mar 27, 2012 at 5:22 PM.
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  #197  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2012, 3:41 AM
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If they are planning on putting it up at the Federal site I will be curious to see what they attach it too. Also Unless they have lowered the building height for that site, that crane isn't tall enough.
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  #198  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2012, 10:48 AM
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For highrise construction, cranes usually start at a low height and are raised as the building under construction increases in height. Having said that, I don't think the crane is there for construction of the condominium planned for that spot, seeing as sales haven't even started for the project.

From what I understand, it is there for construction of the underground parking garage, which is to be a common parking facility for the hotels in the project. The parking garage is going where the demolished east wing of the Federal Building once stood. That would explain the height of the crane. The condo is a later phase in the project and will be built above the underground parking garage.
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  #199  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2012, 2:58 PM
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This still doesn't explain where the footings are for it.
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  #200  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2012, 4:39 PM
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The crane will probably remain laying there until the footings are placed, whenever that will be.
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