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  #81  
Old Posted Dec 14, 2012, 12:39 PM
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Design and development planning work is underway and Forum anticipates that the project will be under construction through 2012.
http://www.forumequitypartners.com/i...lio/cannon.php
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  #82  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2013, 12:34 PM
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Cannon Knitting Mills project needs tenants to move forward

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In the plans, the Cannon Knitting Mills is known as “The Mills Innovation Exchange” — a historic building filled with workspaces for software developers and animators, and streetfront stores and coffee shops lining the lower floor.

There's just one problem. No one's moving in.

More than two years after developer Hamilton Reality Capital Corp. purchased the site, it is still trying to secure anchor tenants. Without them the project won't move forward, said Glen Norton, the city's manager of urban renewal.

“This is a $10- to 12-million project, and you don't do that on speculation,” he said.
http://www.cbc.ca/hamilton/news/stor...ing-mills.html
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  #83  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2013, 1:01 PM
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Definitely figured this would be the outcome. It sounds like a great project but I really don't think that area is ready for such a huge catalyst just yet, especially with 5 lanes of traffic roaring past on Cannon.
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  #84  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2013, 2:20 PM
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Here's a familiar story:

One obstacle is the availability of low-cost downtown office space, Norton said.

“We're competing with a downtown office vacancy rate of 12.8 per cent right now,” he said. “The rent on this is not going to be as cheap as someone can get in an office tower right now. Once that high vacancy rate goes away, this looks more attractive.”

Another challenge is parking. Before the Mills can be fully developed, there needs to be parking for about 100 cars, Norton said.

There is no deadline, Norton said. The developer — and those interested in economic development in the city — will keep looking.

“I'm always hopeful,” he said.


http://www.cbc.ca/hamilton/news/stor...ing-mills.html

Last edited by Dr Awesomesauce; Mar 22, 2013 at 12:59 AM.
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  #85  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2013, 5:42 PM
movingtohamilton movingtohamilton is offline
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Sounds like the site needs at least one solid brick-and-mortar tenant, who needs space. A micro-brewery would work. But then I haven't looked at the site's floor plan to see if it could be accommodated.
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  #86  
Old Posted Mar 22, 2013, 1:03 AM
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They're looking for hi-tech companies to move in but those guys are gonna get thirsty, so yeah, a micro-brewery would be a really nice fit.

Somebody will step up - I feel quite confident about that.
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  #87  
Old Posted Mar 22, 2013, 1:36 AM
movingtohamilton movingtohamilton is offline
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Originally Posted by pEte fiSt iN Ur fAce View Post
They're looking for hi-tech companies to move in but those guys are gonna get thirsty, so yeah, a micro-brewery would be a really nice fit.

Somebody will step up - I feel quite confident about that.
I work in the "digital space", and companies in this world need far less space than ever before. An anchor tenant or two must be serious players with long-term prospects, whose space requirements can be met over a few years of growth and expansion. Hamilton is a buyers market for commercial space, and Cannon Knitting Mills is not immediately attractive.

A micro-brewery would fit the bill.
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  #88  
Old Posted Mar 22, 2013, 11:02 AM
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There was a recent influx of the type of companies the owner's looking for: Chuck Gammage Animation moved into the CBC building on James North and the other, Pipeline Studios, ended up at Main and Queen. I wonder how the prices at 'The Mills' compare with those two locations - perhaps it's a lot more.
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  #89  
Old Posted Mar 22, 2013, 1:14 PM
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I also wonder if location of the CKM site is perceived as "convenient"? Is it close enough to urban amenities, so that a lunch-hour walk to run a couple of errands is do-able? Can a company owner take a client to lunch without driving somewhere?

The site can be self-sufficient over time (a restaurant opens, some retail moves in) but being in the first wave of tenants takes a leap of faith.

Of course I could be completely wrong about this. Is there any comparison to be made with 270 Sherman? It feels quite isolated from the core.

http://www.270sherman.com
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  #90  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2013, 1:38 AM
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Originally Posted by movingtohamilton View Post
I also wonder if location of the CKM site is perceived as "convenient"? Is it close enough to urban amenities, so that a lunch-hour walk to run a couple of errands is do-able? Can a company owner take a client to lunch without driving somewhere?
3 short blocks to the west is James St. N
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  #91  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2013, 2:36 AM
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Yeah, in spite of the fact that it's got Cannon on one side and a sea of parking on the other, the location is quite good. Another reason why there's no need for a 100 parking spots on site. Ridiculous.
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  #92  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2013, 2:02 PM
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There’s Mattina virtually next door and Pane Del Sole two blocks west. It’s a five-minute walk from the International Village and James North, a Food Basics, a Shopper’s Drug Mart as well as a handful of "old Hamilton" fixtures. A 10-minute walk gets you to King and James. It's reasonably convenient.

270 Sherman, meanwhile, is a 10-minute walk to Tim Hortons, Frank's Sicilia Bakery, Staropolskie, Karolina's and Karlik and a 15-minute walk to the mouth of the Sherman Inlet. The relative isolation is a selling point -- this is a place people go to get work done, free of distraction. It’s an industrial facility in an neighbourhood of factories. North of the tracks from Sherman to Parkdale, the population density is roughly 20 times lower than south of the tracks... and roughly 30 times lower than Beasley. (Incidentally, the 270 Sherman tract had the distinction of being home to Hamilton’s lowest housing values -- $87,438 on average -- as of the 2006 census.)
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Last edited by thistleclub; Mar 23, 2013 at 3:08 PM.
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  #93  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2013, 2:22 PM
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Parking

There is a municipal lot just to the SW. There is the City Motors lot that would surely rent out some footage or sub-divide. There is parking in the immediate area. I would just worry about the security of my vehicle even with the Central Police Station less than 2 blocks away.
Maybe get Lockwood to move to a more industrial area and it would be a short walk across the park.
As for restaurants there is the chip wagon at the beer store. Or the little cafe just one block south, behind the police station.
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  #94  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2013, 2:42 PM
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Thought of City Motors as well. It's a Blair Blanchard Stapleton holding, though it doesn't appear in the firm's listings. I seem to recall it being listed at something like $1.6 million.
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  #95  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2013, 2:46 PM
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The Tregunno purchase plus McCallum Sather is a good precedent for the building. One problem is the food bank next door always has a horde of visitors lolling around outside....first thing you notice as you drive past. Also the sea of parking to the south is unnerving, yeah you're 5 minutes from James and King but it feels like 15. Are the cops still demanding one of those lots?

I also wonder if this private-public partnership is a good thing. Just like the Lister it becomes a way for the public purse to take all the risk...the private 'partner' seems to just get the profit. On the other hand the city can't seem to bid for a birdhouse without it costing half a million dollars.
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  #96  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2013, 1:12 PM
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Developer needs 'way more vision' on Knitting Mills revitalization, neighbour says

A north Hamilton resident is decrying the lack of progress on the redevelopment of a shuttered north Hamilton industrial site.



Sylvia Nickerson, president of the Beasley Neighbourhood Association, says Forum Equity Partners, the company purchased the Cannon Knittings Mills in 2011, has not shown enough “vision” to attract anchor tenants.

The delay, she says, represents a “missed opportunity” for the Beasley, a low-income neighbourhood just northeast of downtown, and leaves the community with a large, dilapidated white elephant.

“I think Beasley deserves better than this and deserves the opportunity to provide a vision for what a building could be,” says Nickerson. “[The developers] need to put their money where their mouth is and I don't see that happening with this project.”

Purchased in 2011
Forum Equity Partners purchased the Cannon Knitting Mills in 2011 for about $200,000. About 50 per cent of that came in the form of a loan from the city's economic development office, which is a partner on the project.

The plans for the redevelopment, dubbed “The Mills Innovation Exchange," boasted illustrations of a cleaned-up brownfield site filled with cutting-edge tech startups and chic stores on the ground level.

But the developers, Nickerson says, need to do more than project a hip, modern image to get the project off the ground.

“I'm so tired of developers slapping the words 'creative' or 'innovative' on a building and expecting businesses to line up to move in,” says Nickerson, who lives near the site. “In a neighbourhood like Beasley, a building developer needs way more vision than that.”

Jeremy Freiburger, executive director of the non-profit creative consultancy firm Cobalt Connects, also expressed disappointment about the state of the project.

Forum Equity Partners, he says, tapped his company to help create a plan for what the Knitting Mills could become.

“We can't just say, 'We've got an empty box, move into this empty box.' We have to ask, 'What's this box about?' “ says Freiburger. “Our job was intended to be to help them go through that process.”

But the developers, he says, didn't keep in touch.

Other factors
Forum Equity Partners declined to comment for this story. But Glen Norton, manager urban renewal and planning with the city's economic development office, says other factors — not a lack of effort on the part of the developer — are causing the holdup.

In March, he told CBC Hamilton that low-cost office space downtown makes the Knitting Mills project a tough sell.

“We're competing with a downtown office vacancy rate of 12.8 per cent right now,” he said. “The rent on this is not going to be as cheap as someone can get in an office tower right now. Once that high vacancy rate goes away, this looks more attractive.”

Another challenge is parking. Before the project can go ahead, Norton said, there needs to be spaces for 100 cars.

In an April email to CBC Hamilton, Norton wrote that the city “[continues] to assist the developer in attempts to attract and locate anchor tenants.”

However, he noted the city “cannot, nor would we, force this developer (nor any other) to develop a project on a schedule that did not make sense from an economic feasibility basis.”

In the meantime
Nickerson did laud the city for arranging for film crews to shoot on the site, and hopes community members will be allowed to use the space in other ways while it's awaiting redevelopment.

“On James Street, before James had become rejuvenated, a lot of buildings that were in disrepair or under construction hosted art events and parties to bring people into the space and use it for its cool, post-industrial [aesthetic].”

“Even from that, you're getting people into see the space," says Nickerson, suggesting that turning the Knitting Mills into a venue for downtown arts events could attract potential investors.

“You never know who those people are, what connections they have or what ideas they might have about that space. And you're letting people inside, building a kind of buzz and a new history.

“Something good could come of that.”

http://www.cbc.ca/hamilton/news/stor...ing-mills.html
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  #97  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2014, 3:26 PM
interr0bangr interr0bangr is offline
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It's been over a year since the last post on this. Anyone know the latest? I walk by it every single day and salivate at the potential for the gorgeous buildings.

Last edited by interr0bangr; Jun 16, 2014 at 5:25 PM.
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  #98  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2014, 6:10 PM
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I haven't heard anything so I'm assuming there is no news. The Cannon Street cycle track is coming soon and there's a group pushing for Mary Street to be re-designed as a complete street (and probably converted to 2-way) so that might push the project forward.
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  #99  
Old Posted May 9, 2015, 1:59 PM
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Arrested development
(Hamilton Spectator, Steve Buist, May 9 2015)

At the corner of Cannon and Mary streets in downtown Hamilton stands a forlorn building that, to this day, wouldn't look out of place in a Charles Dickens novel.

Once upon a time, it was known as Cannon Knitting Mills, a former textile manufacturing plant, parts of which were built before Canada was even a country.

Now, it's an empty shell with an uncertain future. What was touted as a potential success story for the city four years ago still seems to be a long way from its happy ending.

The purchase of the Cannon Knitting Mills property in 2011 has been the one and only transaction completed in the past nine years by the Hamilton Realty Capital Corporation (HRCC), a somewhat mysterious creation of the city that has operated with little fanfare for nearly a decade.

The city likes to refer to HRCC as a joint venture, but the company is, in fact, a privately owned, for-profit subsidiary of Forum Equity Partners, a Toronto-based investment and development firm.

So far, the city's role in this public-private marriage has been limited to writing cheques and approving grants and loans to Forum, its private-sector partner, with little to show for the millions of dollars that have been spent or promised by the city since HRCC's formation in 2006.

The city paid half of the $200,000 purchase price for the Cannon Knitting Mills as part of the agreement, which sees HRCC's costs split down the middle with Forum. The property, however, is owned 100 per cent by Forum through a subsidiary.

On top of that, the city has agreed to pay Forum 15 per cent annually in interest for its share of any money injected into HRCC once a project is completed as well as a full return of all of Forum's principal. After that, the city gets its portion repaid with anything left over going completely to Forum.

When it was created nearly a decade ago, Hamilton Realty Capital Corporation was supposed to spur tens of millions of dollars in downtown redevelopment and generate hundreds of thousands more in new tax revenue by bringing neglected properties back to life.

It hasn't happened, and likely never will.



Read it in full here.
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  #100  
Old Posted May 9, 2015, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by thistleclub View Post
Arrested development
(Hamilton Spectator, Steve Buist, May 9 2015)

The city paid half of the $200,000 purchase price for the Cannon Knitting Mills as part of the agreement, which sees HRCC's costs split down the middle with Forum. The property, however, is owned 100 per cent by Forum through a subsidiary.


Read it in full here.
Is that right? $200,000???
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