Carmen's Hotel/Condo | ? | 44 fls | Proposed
Carmen’s proposes ‘wow factor’ for Hamilton
By Kevin Werner, News Staff
The Carmen’s Group is looking to become the Walt Disney of Hamilton and make the city’s dreams come true.
As part of managing the city-owned Hamilton Convention Centre, the Mercanti family is preparing to build a $200-million, 700,000-square-foot hotel complex, which will include an addition of 1,000 parking spaces, three “world-class” high-end restaurant and shops in the city’s core. The proposed building would be 44 storeys, with a 440-room hotel, with 150 condominium units.
“It’s our own vision to do it,” said Peter Mercanti. “This is a game-changer complex.”
Peter Mercanti, owner of Carmen’s suggested the structure could eventually be the future home of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. He suggested the project could be underway within five years.
Carmen’s is bidding, along with SMG, and Hamilton Entertainment and Convention Facilities Inc. to take over the Convention Centre. A decision could be reached in September.
“To get conventions, we need hotels. Our city is lacking hotels,” said Mercanti, flanked by his sons Joey, and P.J. You’ve got to bring people downtown. I will make it happen. I promise. I wish I could start tomorrow.
“We are committed,” added Mercanti. “We’ve had too many empty promises. We are not about that. This is a wow factor for us.”
Mercanti said there are four possible locations for the complex, but he needs assistance from the city get his preferred spot. He said a portion of the land the city owns
“We want to create a hotel downtown,” he said. “We will have to work with the city. We need council to support us.”
Mercanti conceded Carmen’s doesn’t have the $200 million to finance the project, but there have been discussions with investors about the project.
“There are a lot of people who can (raise the money),” said Mercanti.
PKF Consulting is currently preparing a feasibility study for the proposed project, and it’s expected the document could be ready in a few weeks.
Still, Mercanti didn’t guarantee to councillors July 18 during his presentation, his company will build the hotel complex. The feasibility study, they said, will help to assist their future plans.
Politicians praised Mercanti and his family for proposing such an ambitious project for the downtown.
“You are major league,” said Councillor Sam Merulla.
“This is quite exciting what is being proposed,” said Mountain councillor Terry Whitehead.
“This means a lot to council,” said Mayor Bob Bratina.
Mercanti only last year oversaw the opening of the company’s new $12.5 million, six-storey Best Western Hotel on the east Mountain.
“It is exceeding all expectations,” said Mercanti.
Carmen’s got its start in the 1970s as a small family-owned bakery onConcession Street. It soon expanded into a catering business and banquet hall.