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  #1  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2007, 5:16 PM
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275 King Street West | ? | 4 fl | Under Construction

Concert hall, parking lot, hotel part of core revival

Nicole Macintyre
The Hamilton Spectator
(Nov 9, 2007)

Three major private projects promise to boost downtown Hamilton with lights, music and better parking.

The demolition of the old HMP dealership at the corner of Bay and Main streets is underway to make room for a new Hilton Homewood Suites. Developer Darko Vranich is behind the 15-storey hotel.

Just blocks away, Vranich's son Denis is planning to tear down a burned out apartment building at the corner of Hess and King streets to build a concert theatre the size of Toronto's Massey Hall.

"What it will do for Hess Village is huge," said Gord Moodie, the city's co-ordinator of downtown municipal incentives

He said the building's previous owner was proposing an 18-storey condo tower that didn't fit with the neighbourhood. The concert theatre, based on the House of Blues venue in Dallas, will make the village an attraction year round and help with noise complaints by bringing music inside, said Moodie. "I think we'll see a lot more restaurants instead of bars in the village."

Moodie expects the approximately $15-million project, which would qualify for a tax break, to start in the spring and take about 18 months to complete
. A new parking structure already approved between Hess and Caroline will be perfectly placed to serve concertgoers, said Moodie.

On the other side of downtown, the city's new development corporation has made its first offer on a parking lot behind the old Sandbar Tavern.

Moodie said the $15-million to $20-million proposal features multiple floors of parking combined with retail and residential units.

The activity is a boost for Councillor Bob Bratina.

After months of promising action on the Hilton hotel, he was pleased to see the bulldozers last week.

The hotel will bring life and light to a dark corner. "By 2010, the downtown should be radically different," he said.
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  #2  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2007, 6:20 PM
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Very excited about this one. A theatre hasn't been built downtown in decades now (although I have no idea how old Aquarius is)...
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  #3  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2007, 6:22 PM
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Think that was built in the early or mid 90's.

This is one demolition permit that I'm excited to see haha
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Old Posted Nov 9, 2007, 6:25 PM
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Indeed. It was wide open one day and I took a look in... the place is completely destroyed inside. No possible reason not to demolish it. I'm surprised it hasn't fallen over by itself.
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Old Posted Nov 9, 2007, 6:58 PM
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...

I think it was in the view, but I saw an ad a couple months ago for something called ROKBAR. I am pretty sure it was this new place. It spoke of high capacity and jazz. Horrible name. I don't have too much hope for this project other than it maybe turning into another large dance club, since I doubt it will fare well as a concert venue if it's expecting a high capacity (my guess is atleast 400-500) We have the westside theatre which is not used as much as it could and the smaller venues have their difficulties. Plus the bands that get that kind of crowd (400-500) in toronto can only usually fill the smaller clubs here, So if it's hoping to be able to draw bands and fill the hall it's either going to have to directly compete with toronto clubs or bring in some expesive and probably horrible canrock talent.
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Old Posted Nov 9, 2007, 7:10 PM
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canrock is not usually horrible, and competing with toronto clubs is actually not that hard... we need a medium size venue in hamilton!
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  #7  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2007, 8:13 PM
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Hopefully with this new Concert Hall it'll help kick in the redevelopment of King Street West, it's already good but it can always improve.

I like to know what moron in City Hall thought was a good idea to use asphalt instead of cement when it needed to repairs the sidewalks. It looks stupid having cement and asphalt mixed in with the sidewalks along King Street W along the north side. Probably was done to save money as King St W is supposed to get a new streetscape and go two-ways in 2010.
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Old Posted Nov 9, 2007, 10:00 PM
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Based on the House of Blues in Dallas....hmm....

http://www.hob.com/pics/venues/clubv...5Elev_Main.pdf




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  #9  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2007, 10:27 PM
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Anybody been to the Avalon ballroom theatre in Niagara Falls? That's a great theatre, so close and intimate. Something like that at Hess Village would be great.
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Old Posted Nov 9, 2007, 11:04 PM
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Rokbar was something else I've been told...probably where Vranich's building collapsed.
I've also been told that negotiations are underway to make this an actual House of Blues location. They were going to build one in TO, but the developer there is botching the deal. Apparently all the big sponsors - Labatts etc....have all signed on supporting the Hamilton proposal. that would be HUGE for the city.
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  #11  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2007, 6:07 PM
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wow an actual house of blues venue would be awesome for this city, esp this neighbourhood! Hess already has a great name for itself, this would now make it a destination! Something Hamilton lacks to lure Torontonians etc.

I know I'll be going to a lot more concerts if they're held here rather than like Arrow Hall in Sauga or something.
I hope the theater isn't TOO big. MOst of the best shows I've seen are in bar-like settings.
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Old Posted Nov 10, 2007, 6:21 PM
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I never really thought about a small concert hall in Hamilton... but this would be great for the city.

It's hard to get a grasp of how many seats there are for HOB. Massey Hall holds 2,700 - and it's a great setting for concerts. Looks like HOB would be smaller than that - which is fine as long as it's not too small.
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Old Posted Nov 10, 2007, 6:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berklon View Post
It's hard to get a grasp of how many seats there are for HOB. Massey Hall holds 2,700 - and it's a great setting for concerts. Looks like HOB would be smaller than that - which is fine as long as it's not too small.
Nah, it's not tough at all to get a grasp of seating capacity at HoB clubs:

From the press release announcing the Dallas location:

http://www.hob.com/aboutHOB/press/pr...ex.asp?pid=614

Quote:
ABOUT HOB ENTERTAINMENT, INC.

HOB Entertainment, Inc., a Los Angeles-based global entertainment company, is the definitive live music brand. Founded in 1992, this dynamic company with soul, spirit and vision is comprised of several unique businesses, including:

House of Blues Clubs, which operate 1,000 - 2,000 capacity venues located in New Orleans, Los Angeles, Chicago, Myrtle Beach, Orlando, Las Vegas, Anaheim, Cleveland, San Diego and Atlantic City .

House of Blues Concerts, Inc., which owns, operates or exclusively books 19 arena and amphitheatre venues throughout North America, including Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, Dallas, Seattle (The Gorge), Atlanta, Cleveland, Toronto and Vancouver.
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Old Posted Nov 10, 2007, 6:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCTed View Post
Nah, it's not tough at all to get a grasp of seating capacity at HoB clubs:
Well it is when you're only going by the pictures.

Thanks for posting the information.

1,000-2,000 is good, although I hope it's closer to 2,000 as it would draw some slightly bigger names but will still give that intimate feel.

Even if HOB falls through, a concert hall by any other name is still great.
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Old Posted Nov 10, 2007, 8:06 PM
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2,000 isn't really intimate. Hamilton Place holds just over 2,000.
Mind you, Massey Hall in TO has 2,750.
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  #16  
Old Posted Nov 10, 2007, 8:31 PM
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Hamilton Place was built for cultural shows like Opera and so the seats aren't close to the theatre that's why it's not intimate.

The Avalon Ballroom at Niagara Falls is 1,500 seats and it's very intimate. It's got super cool chairs and comfy.


Those chairs at the bottom aren't bolted down so it can be removed and turned into this...


Now with tables

Another great thing about it is that they serve you drinks, you don't have to go up and get a drink, they'll come to you and ask what would you like to drink.
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Old Posted Nov 10, 2007, 8:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raisethehammer View Post
2,000 isn't really intimate. Hamilton Place holds just over 2,000.
Mind you, Massey Hall in TO has 2,750.
Massey Hall is intimate to me, so anything with less seating should be as well. Hamilton Place isn't as intimate even though it holds 2,200, but that's because it's designed for accoustics and facilites different events such as symphonies, ballets and theatrical performances. The stage is larger and there's room for an orchestra pit - so the audience is seated back further.

*EDIT - basically what Steeltown said.... I got interrupted mid-reply.
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  #18  
Old Posted Nov 12, 2007, 2:25 PM
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Hamilton Place is definitely a great venue for orchestra and ballet type stuff. This new place is much needed for louder amplified type stuff. I hope they aren't blowing smoke and construction starts soon.
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Old Posted Nov 12, 2007, 2:27 PM
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just found out from city hall that this was released to the public WAY too soon.
nobody there even has any info on it, other than it's what he eventually wants to do on that piece of land.
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Old Posted Nov 12, 2007, 2:53 PM
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I don't believe this at all now. Just a rumour. The city probably won't even approve it because there won't be enough onsite parking and too much noise.
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