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  #1  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2007, 5:21 PM
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193 King Street East | ? | ? | 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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Old Posted Nov 9, 2007, 5:45 PM
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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.
Sweet!! Will retail face King William then?

And seeing as (Dennis) Vranich has so much time of his hands for the next 6 months, let's hope he spends his time wisely and gets this deal done ASAP!
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Old Posted Nov 9, 2007, 6:19 PM
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Sounds very good indeed.
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Old Posted Nov 9, 2007, 11:02 PM
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yup, retail at Walnut and King William.
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Old Posted Nov 9, 2007, 11:27 PM
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yup, retail at Walnut and King William.
Sweet! Hopefully they put a nice restaurant or something in the retail. there's lots of nice places to eat along Walnut. Another one would be welcome!
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Old Posted Nov 10, 2007, 2:54 PM
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Here's the rendering!!


You're looking at it from King William not King St E

A city-owned parking lot at King William and Walnut streets is set to become a mixed-use parking structure. The draft design features six levels above ground and another two below. The complex, which would incorporate the old Sandbar, would also have retail and residential features.
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Old Posted Nov 10, 2007, 3:37 PM
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Very nice.
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Old Posted Nov 10, 2007, 4:30 PM
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Shouldn't the Lyric Theatre be behind there somewhere?
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Old Posted Nov 10, 2007, 6:17 PM
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this new building blocks the view of Lyric. it is behind it.
this looks great...similar to the drawing I saw a year ago, except now they've moved 2 floors of parking underground. good idea IMO.
IF all this stuff goes ahead, downtown will be radically different in a few years.
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Old Posted Nov 10, 2007, 6:58 PM
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I'm looking forward to this project.

But one thing I find a bit odd is that the development corporation, think it's called something like Bank of Hamilton, is making an offer on a CITY owned parking lot. Shouldn't the city be giving the city owned parking lot for a dollar or something to it's own development bank?
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Old Posted Nov 10, 2007, 7:16 PM
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I really like it, too. it really fits in scale-wise with the rest of the street.

And ya, you'd think the city would be so happy to have a downtown lot developped they'd hand it over for nothing!?
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Old Posted Nov 14, 2007, 9:50 PM
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here's the old sandbar. really looking forward to seeing this project get underway but i'm guessing the lyric would have to go. not that it would have ever been developed anyway.
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Old Posted Nov 15, 2007, 4:39 PM
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just found out that the city is waiting on the Police to decide if they want office space in this project. If so, it will go ahead.
Then, the plan is for the city to close the parking lot across from Central Fire Hall on John and develop that lot into an urban park. This new parking garage will make up for the lost spaces on John.
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Old Posted Nov 15, 2007, 4:59 PM
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we're so obessed with parking. somebody should let city hall know that we've got enough, thanks.

as a nature lover this may sound strange but i think city parks are highly overrated. creating a proper park in an appropriate location is a real science. do it wrong and it's a nightmare. that said, i think the proposed location blows. i walk along rebecca fairly frequently and it's a sketchy street, especially at that location. tonnes of mentally ill, drug addicted dudes staggering up and down the street using the services in the area. that park will just fill up with these people rendering it unfriendly or even unsafe for others. i've seen people shooting-up and smoking crack next to the treatment centre on john and rebecca. i'd prefer the city focus on providing more park benches and generally beautifying our downtown streets.
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Old Posted Nov 15, 2007, 5:05 PM
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the new park location fits in with the long term plans to see all the empty lots around it redeveloped into housing.
It could be a great urban park like the little ones all through Montreal...even in TO, there are a couple that I like - one on Jarvis/Sherbourne area?? lots of homeless and the like, but lots of other people too. Montreal's little downtown parks were awesome...every type of person you can imagine all sharing a nice, treed spot.
The only spot downtown that I don't like the vibe of is Ferguson North by Wesley Centre...that's crazy. not like Vancouver, but bad enough.
And the fed halfway house on York has to go....otherwise, I'd like to plop in another 10,000 'middle' class folks to downtown and then the percentages of 'crazy' looking types will diminish a little.
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Old Posted Nov 15, 2007, 5:16 PM
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i'm looking only at that specific part of downtown, not the whole thing. in other parts of downtown crazies mingle with others, so the effect is not that profound. but the ratio of crazy to not-crazy in the john-rebecca area is about 10:1. rebecca acts as a magnet with its health facilities, drug treatment and mental health centres. so you are correct that we'd need to add thousands of new middle class residents downtown. perhaps one day that will be the case.
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Old Posted Nov 15, 2007, 5:30 PM
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Hamilton's got so many messed up people. What do you do with them? Not a rhetorical question, really, what do you do with them? They definitely scare middle class people and are a problem as far as downtown's image goes, but they're here.
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  #18  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2007, 5:36 PM
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Need to spread them out, not placing them all in one area, mainly the downtown core. But you get NIMBY like Salvation Army at King St. Put some in Stoney Creek, Mountain and Ancaster they all have decent HSR coverage.

I do see King William being a hotspot in the future for condos.
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Old Posted Nov 15, 2007, 5:51 PM
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^^ Beasly is full of these types.
I think that's why the city is trying to "beautify" the area.

You think Rebecca is bad at night? Ever walk Ferguson bet Cannon/Barton!?!?!
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Old Posted Nov 15, 2007, 9:40 PM
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i'm looking only at that specific part of downtown, not the whole thing. in other parts of downtown crazies mingle with others, so the effect is not that profound. but the ratio of crazy to not-crazy in the john-rebecca area is about 10:1. rebecca acts as a magnet with its health facilities, drug treatment and mental health centres. so you are correct that we'd need to add thousands of new middle class residents downtown. perhaps one day that will be the case.
this is the problem...the ratios. middle class folks don't feel to comfortable if they look around and see nobody that looks 'like them'. All homeless or druggies etc....
I'm not sure what the solution is...take care of them as best as we can, spread their services through the city a little better in an effort to re-integrate them back into society instead of cramming them all in one area like a mini-ghetto.
Most of all though, I think we need more middle class folks downtown 24-7.
Homeless and poor will always be here...they always have existed through history and I don't see that ever changing. Let's welcome them and accept them.
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