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Old Posted Jul 22, 2009, 11:28 AM
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181 James St. N. | ? | 7 fl | U/C

Looking up on James North
Seven-storey, $20-million condo development the latest project planned for Hamilton's downtown area

July 22, 2009
Meredith Macleod
The Hamilton Spectator
http://www.thespec.com/News/Business/article/604247

Another transformation is in the works for James Street North.

The owners of the Acclamation Bar and Grill at Mulberry Street are planning a seven-storey, $20-million development on a now-vacant lot beside the restaurant. The project would include 55 condo units, a 500-seat banquet hall, office space, a ground-floor storefront and underground parking. Acclamation would be expanded on the ground level.

The Roque family, which also owns roofing and property management companies, has owned the Acclamation building since 1999.

They are currently finalizing financing for the new project. Drawings for site plan approval will soon be submitted to the city, said architect John Mokrycke.

The goal is to have construction begin next spring, said Cristina Roque, whose father, Manuel, began the roofing company 30 years ago.

Occupancy could begin 18 months after that.

Roque says she and her siblings grew up in the North End and the family has deep ties in the neighbourhood. "We really like the area and there is a need for a banquet hall downtown."

Mokrycke, who also designed the Acclamation property and a number of other James Street sites, says this development will be unique in the city.

It will feature a private garden for office tenants, and rooftop vegetable gardens and barbecue facilities for condo owners.

"The condos will be very carefully designed in a loft style. Each one will have indoor/outdoor fireplaces that go out to the balconies," he said.

"The Roque family is an amazing family. They are very, very meticulous in whatever they do. This building will be extremely well-crafted."

The condo units will range from 700-square-foot to 2,500-square-foot penthouses and will be priced for Hamilton's market, says Mokrycke.

Transit running along James will be a big draw, says Mokrycke, who lives on James Street North.

"We're expecting it will be young professionals, urban lovers and transplants from larger cities.

"It's a lot of fun to live there. The summertime is great with all the flowers and vegetable stalls. In the winter, everything is close by. I never have to drive."

It's also historic and was once the pride of the city. City hall was there, along with grand homes and businesses. From the CNR station (now Liuna Station), soldiers went to war and immigrants first cast their eyes on their new city.

Two buildings once sat on the site of the new project. The first, immediately south of Acclamation, held offices and apartments. It was demolished several years ago.

The second had been home to the Threshold School of Building and included a dormant banquet hall upstairs.

It was torn down a few months ago.

Morty Morgenstern, whose family has owned the nearby landmark clothing and housewares emporium Morgenstern's for 40 years, says he's thrilled by what's happening on his stretch of James.

His family arrived on the street when it was populated mostly by Jewish merchants. Then waves of Italian and Portuguese immigrants moved in.

Now, another swing is in motion.

"It is nothing but positive," he said. "The arts community is bringing a lot of energy to this area. People are fixing up their buildings ... As a businessman, it's very good for me."

In a small storefront just south of Morgenstern's, a trio of young entrepreneurs: Jeremy Greenspan, Heather South and Brad Chichakian, are behind a plan to open a cafe called The Brain.

They see great hope for the burgeoning nightlife and live music scene along James Street North.

Like many, Morgenstern believes that James Street is the key to Hamilton's downtown turnaround.

"To take its rightful place among Canada's great cities, Hamilton has to have a vibrant, healthy, clean and safe downtown," he said.

"I feel this might be the turning point."
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  #2  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2009, 11:29 AM
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If someone has the address of this proposal could you let me know? I'll change the title.
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Old Posted Jul 22, 2009, 11:33 AM
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Holy crap, wow. That is one hell of a nice building. Fits in perfectly.
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Old Posted Jul 22, 2009, 3:02 PM
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nice
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Old Posted Jul 22, 2009, 4:06 PM
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nice. but hasn't there been a lot of promises over the years about something always about to happen here?
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Old Posted Jul 22, 2009, 5:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelTown View Post
Looking up on James North
They are currently finalizing financing for the new project.
another one waiting for financing. I'm waiting for financing too for my tower at Wilson and John.

That lot has been vacant for what? 4 years. You don't pay taxes on a vacant lot right?

add this to list of

Hilton Hotel
Old Federal Bldg
Bay & Main Hotel
Indian Buffet Hotel
York and Hess condos
Port Authority bldg tower addition
Connaught 1 and 2
Hamilton Grand
Trinity Landing
Hughson and Main twins
Thistle Club
Condo tower in Durand (the one where the boer war canon was)
Tivoli
The Century

with the exception of a couple small private developments that actually happened (Core Lofts, Royal ? condos, Rebecca Lofts, London Taps, Crown Plaza, -- even then these were building improvements or conversions) the ones that happen are public funded. Library/market, Lister, City Hall, Fed Bldg. Even the Spallacci building was financed with government $ affordable housing money.
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Last edited by realcity; Jul 22, 2009 at 5:54 PM.
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Old Posted Jul 22, 2009, 5:14 PM
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don't be so negative Realcity

i think this has a good chance of happening given the family that is behind it, getting this building up will improve their business.
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Old Posted Jul 22, 2009, 6:23 PM
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Don't worry about me. I took today off and now im bored. I'm actually cooking up some real recipes and looking around for stuff to do. Maybe I'll go the mall....

actually

My suspicion/negativity lies with the wording of the article. That smells like a press release to me. Meredith Macleod didn't write a lick of that, its copy and paste.... no reporting on her part at all. The street has known about this project for months. The press release is intended to pump momentum into property values by getting the attention of other speculators. A 'pump-and-dump'. And as a large landowner the family has a lot to gain -- a quick buck -- with a sharp increase in land values, maybe even a buy-out. Or the land value increase is used for leverage on financing. Which is better because it means it's more likely to happen.

I hope Mokrycke already got paid.

And I hope I'm wrong.
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Old Posted Jul 22, 2009, 6:46 PM
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i see why one would be skeptical about this project.

and value-wise, condos in this very-specific location look like they could either sit, or they could increase in value a great deal - it depends on how the next decade goes.

there's still enough proximate low-value property it could be a problem, but condos right on James could really appreciate. and a banquet hall there of that calibre would be nice.

(speaking of stuff to do and recipes - i had the day off also, and tried a recipe for fresh brussels sprouts cut into shreds and sauteed with bacon and crushed caraway seeds- phenomenal.).
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Old Posted Jul 22, 2009, 7:19 PM
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i didn't know anyone ate brussel sprouts anymore... sounds exotic tho....

i'm going with a good piece of sirloin beef. 1. stew and 2. cut into half fist sizes and I'm going to breathe some heat on them and that's it and pour over this cream and anchovy curry sauce with carmelized onions. I think its french (because of the sauce). Accompanied with grilled zuchs and another brown sugar hard sauce.

Steel is going to give us crap for talking about food.
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Old Posted Jul 22, 2009, 10:24 PM
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^ Don't really care, expect for the beef part, all vegetarian here.

Bigger rendering.......
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Old Posted Jul 22, 2009, 10:53 PM
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Steel is going to give us crap for talking about food.
Oooo. I love food (and drink) related posts. Maybe we should start a thread - "What's for dinner". We could give it a thin veneer of relevancy by talking about where/how we got the ingredients, rate grocery stores, markets, farms etc.

We're having leftover vegetarian chili chez highwater tonight, along with cilantro from the garden and sauteed kohlrabi from Manorun farm, preceded by appropriate libations.
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Old Posted Jul 22, 2009, 10:59 PM
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^ Do it!
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Old Posted Jul 23, 2009, 2:03 AM
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Roque says she and her siblings grew up in the North End and the family has deep ties in the neighbourhood. "We really like the area and there is a need for a banquet hall downtown."
Not that a mid-sized facility isn't welcome, but isn't there a banquet hall three blocks north?
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Old Posted Jul 23, 2009, 3:07 AM
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Oooo. I love food (and drink) related posts. Maybe we should start a thread - "What's for dinner". We could give it a thin veneer of relevancy by talking about where/how we got the ingredients, rate grocery stores, markets, farms etc.

We're having leftover vegetarian chili chez highwater tonight, along with cilantro from the garden and sauteed kohlrabi from Manorun farm, preceded by appropriate libations.
thats funny..
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Old Posted Jul 23, 2009, 3:08 AM
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Not that a mid-sized facility isn't welcome, but isn't there a banquet hall three blocks north?
and a mid size banquet hall at the Venetian Club about 2 blocks north east.
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Old Posted Jul 23, 2009, 12:31 PM
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and a mid size banquet hall at the Venetian Club about 2 blocks north east.
Love that place.

...and of course the facilities at the Convention Centre, Sheraton, Crowne Plaza, Staybridge Suites...

...and isn't there a hall upstairs at Vasco da Gama?
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Old Posted Jul 23, 2009, 1:35 PM
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^ I've had the best porchetta in my life there.

Exactly, and those larger facilities can be partitioned for smaller events.
I was thinking Vasca too but I couldn't picture it. It was the Orange Order Hall so it's very likely there's a room but probably not wheelchair accessible.
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Old Posted Jul 24, 2009, 4:17 PM
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It's a nice looking building, but in is kinda in the wrong place. It's too tall for James North, it doesn't quite fit with the existing rooflines in the way the lofts on king does with its step back before it goes up additional floors. If they build it, I'm sure it will look nice, but I kinda agree with this article:

http://stephanievegh.ca/blog/2009/07...n-james-north/
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Old Posted Jul 24, 2009, 4:36 PM
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OMG ....... 7 stories now scares people... make 17 stories then
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Last edited by realcity; Aug 6, 2009 at 1:39 PM.
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