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  #221  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 12:18 PM
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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
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  #222  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 12:33 PM
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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.
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  #223  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 12:58 PM
markbarbera markbarbera is offline
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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?

Quote:
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
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  #224  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 2:36 PM
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They just want the velodrome to have a business case as well.
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  #225  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 2:56 PM
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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.

Last edited by realcity; Jan 31, 2011 at 10:06 PM.
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  #226  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 4:50 PM
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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.
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Last edited by thistleclub; Feb 21, 2010 at 5:46 PM.
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  #227  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 4:54 PM
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Plus the stadium will be next to Central Park.
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Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 5:12 PM
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  #229  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 6:11 PM
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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.

Last edited by realcity; Feb 19, 2010 at 6:39 PM.
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  #230  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 6:13 PM
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Also note: The railyards aren't going anywhere. CN has been very clear about that.

Last edited by realcity; Feb 19, 2010 at 7:28 PM.
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  #231  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 6:18 PM
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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.



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

Last edited by realcity; Feb 19, 2010 at 6:44 PM.
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  #232  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 6:46 PM
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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.

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Also note: The railyards aren't going anyway. CN has been very clear about that.
And it's insanely difficult to build pedestrian bridges.

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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.

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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.
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  #233  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 7:25 PM
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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.

Last edited by realcity; Jan 31, 2011 at 10:07 PM.
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  #234  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 7:30 PM
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Ya you're right, Foxcroft knows nothing about owning and the operation of pro sports franchises.
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Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 7:35 PM
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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.


walkable distance? next to Central Park?




"waterfront" view
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  #236  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 7:42 PM
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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.
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  #237  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 7:48 PM
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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.
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  #238  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 7:51 PM
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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.
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  #239  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 8:03 PM
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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.


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.
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  #240  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2010, 8:38 PM
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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.

Last edited by realcity; Jan 31, 2011 at 10:11 PM.
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