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  #1  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2008, 5:13 AM
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City Square Parkside Condominium | ? | 9-17 storey | U/C

Developer eyes Thistle Club site
Proposal for green building being studied

BY ERIC McGUINNESS

The company that opened the energy-efficient West Village Condos student residence on Main Street West last fall now proposes to build 148 condominium apartments in three buildings on the vacant site of the historic Thistle Club in Hamilton’s Durand neighbourhood.

Carlo Di Gioacchino, a partner in Dundurn Property Management, says both projects are designed to achieve LEED platinum status, the highest rating for green buildings.

The nine-storey west Hamilton tower is expected to receive its LEED certification soon.

The Thistle Club, which began as a curling club and later added racquet courts, closed in 2002, a year shy of its 150th birthday. The building at 85 Robinson St., including a rink built in 1889, closed in 2002 and was demolished in 2004.

Developer Vince Molinaro first proposed to replace it with 37 condominium townhouses with underground parking, then with 44 townhouses with surface parking.

Lack of buyer interest scuttled both plans and the property was sold.

Di Gioacchino says his company found that “people in that area don’t want to have stairs anymore. We expect buyers will come from the neighbourhood and they prefer apartments.”

Dundurn Property Management, working with Armstrong Hunter & Associates, has applied to the city for zoning amendments to allow a four-storey, 24-unit building on Park Street South and two 62-unit, nine-storey buildings, one fronting on Robinson, the other on Charlton Avenue West. There would be 175 underground parking spaces, with 26 on the surface for visitors.

Di Gioacchino says the buildings on Robinson and Park would have four storeys closest to the street, stepping up to the rear. Each would have two, two-storey units on top with open terraces. The other apartments would have recessed balconies.

“They’re designed to fit with the surrounding community, with lots of green space around the building.

There will be hidden solar arrays to supply domestic hot water, probably white roofs to reflect the sun, lots of recycled materials, nontoxic paints and glues and a rainwater collection system.”

Prices and completion date haven’t been announced. The company held a neighbourhood meeting, and city planners are now circulating notices seeking public comment on the plans before submitting a report to city council. The application seeks changes in the maximum height allowed, minimum yard setbacks and parking location rules.

For more information, contact Cam Thomas in the planning and economic development department at cthomas@hamilton.ca or 905-546-2424, ext. 4229.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2008, 11:02 AM
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Sounds nice.
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Old Posted Jul 24, 2008, 11:30 AM
DC83 DC83 is offline
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I'm glad the land was finally snagged up, but I'm not sure about this proposal.
First of all, Dundurn Property Management LOOOVES stucco...
Secondly, their application to change the bldg set-back and parking location scares me.

I found the Armstrong Hunter & Assoc website, but there aren't any renderings or anything. Anyone know where we can find any?
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  #4  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2008, 11:38 AM
raisethehammer raisethehammer is offline
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I think the setbacks are a good idea. Instead of a straight-up 9 story wall, it softens the look of the building.
I prefer this density and style of development downtown far more than the previous proposal for more townhomes.
I'm sure the Durand Neighbourhood Association won't like this, but who really knows.
They're the same folks who wanted to demolish heritage homes, so you're guess is as good as mine. If I lived in that area, I'd welcome this. More people means more eyes on the street, more business on James South and finally getting rid of that huge empty eyesore of an abandoned lot.

These guys are one of the few local developers who build quality stuff. and they are huge into LEED as indicated in this article.
I'm excited that they're back downtown wanting to do more.
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Old Posted Jul 24, 2008, 11:40 AM
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i wonder what the reaction is in the neighbourhood. they kinda have a thing about height don't they?

for the most part, i like their previous projects so it gives me hope that this one might be decent. it's such a great property...too bad about the thistle club, though.
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Old Posted Jul 24, 2008, 1:04 PM
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I think the DNA will accept this proposal as it's a suitable 9 storey. The DNA will like the idea of having green space along the property.

The DNA feels that their neighbourhood is too saturated with high rises. That's their main concern.
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Old Posted Jul 25, 2008, 3:00 AM
raisethehammer raisethehammer is offline
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I think their biggest issue is old homes being demolished for highrises.
9 stories isn't a highrise anyhow, so this shouldn't be a problem.
Whatever happened to the proposal for a condo at Hunter and Bay.
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Old Posted Jul 25, 2008, 11:51 AM
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This project seems promising. I don't see any problem with more density. A nine story development with a tower that is setback would be fine for the area. Possibly 16 stories for the tower.
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Old Posted Jul 25, 2008, 1:10 PM
raisethehammer raisethehammer is offline
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where did you see 16 stories??
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  #10  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2008, 1:52 PM
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However, Londonderry also ended up abandoning the project and sold it on to Dundurn Edge Developments (headed by Robert Manherz). This is where we are today.

Manherz has been in the news recently as the developer of the new private McMaster student residence on the old CNIB site on Main Street West. Manherz is aiming for this building to be LEED (leadership in environmental design) certified because of its high energy efficiency. It would be good to see a high-quality environmentally sustainable development built on the Thistle Club site! The proposed design is still in its early stages, but it will likely involve a combination of a mid-rise building (6 to 8 storeys) and townhouses around a central courtyard.

The DNA Board is committed to staying on top of the situation and will keep you informed of any developments as we become aware of them.
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Old Posted Jul 25, 2008, 1:53 PM
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So it appears that the DNA supports the proposal.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2008, 2:04 PM
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they'd be crazy not to. this is exactly what all downtown neighbourhoods need to see more of.
This ain't the west mountain.
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Old Posted Jul 28, 2008, 12:50 PM
raisethehammer raisethehammer is offline
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I really fail to see the logic of the DNA sometimes.
An above poster made the comment that the DNA is concerned with highrises.
Why?
They are in the most dense downtown neighbourhood in the 6th largest city in Canada.
This project at 9 stories is fine with them, but why wouldn't 29 be fine?? Wouldn't 29 be more desirable? More people, more shoppers, more eyes on the street etc.....
Heck, an 11 storey condo is being built on King West on the entrance to Westdale. Another was just built on Mountain Park.
Durand should focus on preserving their heritage, but when a new tower is going up, they should be on the front lines asking for more density, not less.
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Old Posted Jul 28, 2008, 1:03 PM
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I suspect that DNA is not representative of the entire neighbourhood. Quite often neighbourhood associations are controlled by a clique of activist residents only interested in their specific agenda of interest. In this case, I suspect the DNA is made up of single-family home owners and has no representation from the apartment and condo dwellers, who actually make up the majority of residents in this area.
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Old Posted Jul 28, 2008, 1:06 PM
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They are already one of the most dense neighbourhoods in Canada, not just Ontario but Canada, probably the middle pack of the top 10.

They would probably have liked to see the Thistle site turned into a park.

I believe the reason the DNA was formed because a developer in the 70s wanted to demolish a bunch of houses along Hess Street, which later evolved to Hess Village. Fortunately that never happened and DNA has a lot to do with that.
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Old Posted Jul 28, 2008, 4:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raisethehammer View Post
I really fail to see the logic of the DNA sometimes.
An above poster made the comment that the DNA is concerned with highrises.
Why?
They are in the most dense downtown neighbourhood in the 6th largest city in Canada.
This project at 9 stories is fine with them, but why wouldn't 29 be fine?? Wouldn't 29 be more desirable? More people, more shoppers, more eyes on the street etc.....
Heck, an 11 storey condo is being built on King West on the entrance to Westdale. Another was just built on Mountain Park.
Durand should focus on preserving their heritage, but when a new tower is going up, they should be on the front lines asking for more density, not less.
Adding more residential won't add to the street life in Durand... there are almost no amenities at all in the area.. The majority of people on the street are dog walkers. Don't get me wrong, people love taking walks in Durand..

Mixed use is the key I believe.. Convert the Thistle site to a grocery store or restaurant main floor with condos above. This will give the area more street life.

Last edited by adam; Jul 28, 2008 at 4:43 PM.
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  #17  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2008, 4:24 PM
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Thistle Square Condominiums | ? | 4 - 9 fl | Approved

The proposal is for the rezoning of property located at 85 Robinson Street to permit an apartment building complex consisting of 156 units in 3 buildings on the former Thistle Club site.
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  #18  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2008, 4:31 PM
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  #19  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2008, 4:34 PM
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not a bad looking elevation
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  #20  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2008, 7:12 PM
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It looks like it could be pretty nice. Let's hope it gets started sometime this century
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