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Old Posted Nov 13, 2009, 12:08 PM
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95 King St. East | ? | 3 fl | Approved

From strip club to arts centre

November 13, 2009
Eric McGuinness
Special to the Hamilton Spectator
http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/671985

CityHousing Hamilton boss Keith Extance wants to convert a boarded-up former strip club at 95 King St. E. into an arts centre featuring a two-storey, glass-fronted entry court with 10 artist studios upstairs.

Extance recently persuaded his agency's board of directors to approve spending $3.5 million to turn the building into a "creative catalyst" on the rundown north side of King between James and Catharine streets. It would also complement CityHousing's new Gore Building next door.

CityHousing bought the building last December and cancelled the adult entertainment licence. A study found it's structurally sound and worth saving.

Extance sees an opportunity to create a high-profile home for a local arts group and affordable live-work space that might entice graduating McMaster University fine arts students to stay around.

He says: "The city is trying to promote the creative industry and this could be a catalyst. It's been fully endorsed by the board, but we're still looking for that last little bit of funding before we go ahead."

CityHousing has already met with a group of artists to get advice on what would attract them -- slop sinks, for one, a feature not included in most apartments.

"We want to build it to make sure they come," he says. "The last thing I want is vacant units."

Extance is also working with city culture manager Anna Bradford to identify prospective tenants for the first floor and basement.

When the centre is up and running, CityHousing expects either to mortgage it or sell it, and possibly the Gore Building as well, to raise money for other projects.

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  #2  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2009, 1:54 PM
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1. Since they are using the term "Creative Catalyst". Is this the plan we paid consultants $150,000K to come up with, http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...ight=150%2C000? Or is "creative catalyst" now just one of those annoying catch phrases?

2. In my opinion, it should have been used for a CSI type (or Cossart Exchange from what I understand of it) office space, http://socialinnovation.ca/. We need space downtown that brings many young, artistic, energetic people downtown to work and create wealth. Not residential space for 10 people (20 if they are couples). Starving artists need to sell their work, that means you need people in the area who have jobs.

I recall Emge mentioned in one thread that Freeway Cafe was pretty dead this past summer. Slow except for BizClip employees, who worked just up the street. I am now convinced our politicians don't understand there is a connection between employed people, and them spending money in businesses local to their workplace.
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Old Posted Nov 13, 2009, 2:32 PM
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This is a cool project. Together with the Connaught renovation across the street, it could indeed become the creative catalyst for that stretch of King St. Add Rapid Transit to the mix for easy accessibility to and from Mac, and I am getting excited about it. I think Harry Stinson's contrarian position on Connaught makes sense now in light of this new development.
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Old Posted Nov 13, 2009, 2:59 PM
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.... trust me there will be nothing creative about it... It;s a Housing Project... one to match the Connaught across the street,
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Old Posted Nov 13, 2009, 2:59 PM
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I'd rather it be a strip joint
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Old Posted Nov 13, 2009, 3:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realcity View Post
.... trust me there will be nothing creative about it... It;s a Housing Project... one to match the Connaught across the street,
Quote:
When the centre is up and running, CityHousing expects either to mortgage it or sell it, and possibly the Gore Building as well, to raise money for other projects.
It's not an affordable housing project.
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Old Posted Nov 13, 2009, 5:13 PM
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I can't believe some of you can't see anything positive in this proposal. Sure it does not bring any businesses to the core, but think about what it does to transform the streetscape. It's contributing art to the core in conjunction with urban design principles. Furthermore it's attracting artists to live there, and it is in close proximity with James North. Artists could live on King and have a gallery or shop on James North.
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Old Posted Nov 13, 2009, 5:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realcity View Post
I'd rather it be a strip joint
Seriously, what's with your pessimism on this site? This is a wonderful project and beside being funded by CityHousing, it isn't anything like what is proposed for the Connaught. I mean, look at the design. It's not exactly Toronto quality but it certainly breaks out of the usual generic mould for Hamilton building designs.
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Old Posted Nov 13, 2009, 6:09 PM
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Furthermore it's attracting artists to live there, and it is in close proximity with James North. Artists could live on King and have a gallery or shop on James North.
And who's going to buy the art that will keep the galleries open and the artists in groceries? FairHamilton's right. We need more businesses downtown so there will be more people with disposable income to support the arts. We're planting artists downtown and forgetting to water them.

I predict an exodus of artists in the next 5 - 10 years if we don't get more private sector economic development in this town. What good is cheap live/work space if there's no one who can afford to buy your work?
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Old Posted Nov 13, 2009, 6:38 PM
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Since the Stelco smokestacks have switched back online the Debbie the Downer syndrome has come in full swing.
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Old Posted Nov 13, 2009, 6:52 PM
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My point is that we need operations that bring 50, 75, 100+ people into the core every day to do business, and spend money.

That building could easily have 50+ people working out of it, maybe 100+. They wouldn't all be there full time (though some would). They would come and go at different times of the day, and different days of the month. This provides people on street, activity, vibrancy.

Live work spaces are really, really cool. But also very insular, artist will work where they live, and live where they work. This limits the need to venture out as often.

The arts scene in Hamilton have been very grassroots and has established with limited city involvement. In fact, in some instances it's established in spite of city involvement (i.e. The Pearl Company).

The city needs young, vibrant people who work to create jobs & wealth in our core. In short, the city needs people who'll support the arts & the artists.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy Freiburger
The starving artist image is not a joke or cliché. Artists in Canada on average earn something like $13,000 – well below the poverty line. So over the years I’ve covered peoples rent, cut them breaks, let them pay late, and in some cases had to ask people to leave because it simply wasn’t going to happen. I hate doing that – only had to do it once actually.
Source: http://www.thehamiltonian.net/2009/1...th-jeremy.html

IMO, the city missed an opportunity with this building. I'm sure that Jeremy Freiburger wouldn't need to think twice at launching his Cossart Exchange in that building.
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Old Posted Nov 13, 2009, 7:07 PM
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BTW, I'm not being negative on the buildings use. I think it will be a positive, it's just I think my suggested use would be a greater positive.
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Old Posted Nov 13, 2009, 7:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FairHamilton View Post
My point is that we need operations that bring 50, 75, 100+ people into the core every day to do business, and spend money.

The city needs young, vibrant people who work to create jobs & wealth in our core. In short, the city needs people who'll support the arts & the artists.

Yes the city needs a young pro business leader to take the top job. Someone not associated with the unions or the old club.
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Old Posted Nov 13, 2009, 8:01 PM
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Who's to say it will only be artists living there? Are you going to have to produce 5 samples of work to be able to buy a unit.

this is so bogus. Rember Terraces on King started out as high-end condos. Connaught was going to be redeveloped into a 5-star hotel. Trust me. this will not look like that rendering and it will be public housing.
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Old Posted Nov 13, 2009, 10:38 PM
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This is a very important area, right around the gore in the heart of the downtown. With the new farmer's market and library, redone gore park, this area is definitely going to attract some forward thinking creative types. We can't snap our fingers and expect things to happen the same way they do in a 1 hour tv show, change is slow, it is in fact happening, however.
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Old Posted Dec 3, 2009, 8:15 PM
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It's actually going forward in 2010, part of the 2010 Budget.. I'll change this from Proposal to Approved.
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Old Posted Feb 26, 2010, 4:46 PM
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Are there any signs this is starting soon? Does anyone know?
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Old Posted Jun 25, 2010, 5:27 PM
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Former strip club to become artist live/work space

June 25, 2010
BY PAUL MORSE
http://www.thespec.com/News/BreakingNews/article/796375

A former downtown strip club is about to be transformed into a place for artists to live and work.

Hamilton councillors, sitting as committee of the whole, have just agreed to spend a further $900,000 to turn the defunct Maxim's and Foxes Den strip club at 95 King St. E. into rental units and commercial work space. About $2.6 million has already been committed to the project.

"This is the first of its kind in Hamilton," CityHousing Hamilton director and CEO Brenda Osborne told The Spectator earlier this week.

Councillors, in committee of the whole, recommended the $900,00 be released from council's strategic capital initiatives fund.

The city bought the building, at 95 King St. E., in late 2008 and cancelled the adult entertainment licence. Last year, CityHousing Hamilton developed a $3.49-million plan to turn it into an arts centre with a two-storey glass fronted entry court with 10 artist studios above.

The city has been keen to revitalize the rundown north side of King between John and Catharine streets, and to help protect the neighbouring Gore Building.
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Old Posted Jun 25, 2010, 6:30 PM
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That's good news, but I have to wonder about the cost effectiveness. 3.5 million for ten units? That's a lot per unit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelTown View Post
Former strip club to become artist live/work space

June 25, 2010
BY PAUL MORSE
http://www.thespec.com/News/BreakingNews/article/796375

A former downtown strip club is about to be transformed into a place for artists to live and work.

Hamilton councillors, sitting as committee of the whole, have just agreed to spend a further $900,000 to turn the defunct Maxim's and Foxes Den strip club at 95 King St. E. into rental units and commercial work space. About $2.6 million has already been committed to the project.

"This is the first of its kind in Hamilton," CityHousing Hamilton director and CEO Brenda Osborne told The Spectator earlier this week.

Councillors, in committee of the whole, recommended the $900,00 be released from council's strategic capital initiatives fund.

The city bought the building, at 95 King St. E., in late 2008 and cancelled the adult entertainment licence. Last year, CityHousing Hamilton developed a $3.49-million plan to turn it into an arts centre with a two-storey glass fronted entry court with 10 artist studios above.

The city has been keen to revitalize the rundown north side of King between John and Catharine streets, and to help protect the neighbouring Gore Building.
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Old Posted Mar 18, 2011, 3:39 PM
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Stinson questions city’s $3.4-million plan
Andrew Dreschel

Developer Harry Stinson wants to turn a former downtown strip club, now owned by the city, into a hotel and showcase music venue.

Problem is, the city has its own plans for the joint. CityHousing is planning on spending $3.4 million to build 10 rental units for artists and a commercial work space.

Stinson questions whether that’s good use of taxpayer money.

“It’s a public entity and I think there’s a responsibility to ask if this is the best and highest use of city funds,” he says.

According to Brenda Osborne, CEO of CityHousing, Stinson approached them with a purchase offer for 95 King St. E. — formerly home to Maxim’s and the Foxes Den — about a month ago.

Rest: http://www.thespec.com/opinion/artic...4-million-plan
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