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Old Posted Aug 3, 2011, 2:23 PM
Nords Nords is offline
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68 George Street - Staybridge Hotel | ? | 6 fl | Complete

There were some construction workers this morning putting up metal construction fencing along the Caroline and George Street sides of the old federal building. Not sure if this is an early stage in the planned demolition or just to keep the building more secure?
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Old Posted Aug 13, 2011, 2:55 AM
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There appears to be some demolition equipment parked on the east side of the building. There is now fencing all around the building.
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Old Posted Aug 13, 2011, 3:28 AM
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It also appeared as though some site preparation work was happening today on the lot across the street from the Federal Building on the west side of Caroline Street.
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Old Posted Aug 15, 2011, 12:23 PM
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Staybridge Hotel | ? | 6-7 fls? | Approved

It looked like some excavation had begun at the lot on the North-West corner of Caroline & George (kitty corner to the Federal Building).
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  #5  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2011, 12:47 PM
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Red dot - Homewood hotel
Yellow dot - Old Federal building
Blue dot - condo building
Purple dot - Staybridge hotel
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Old Posted Aug 15, 2011, 12:50 PM
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This article explains a few things....

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Originally Posted by SteelTown View Post
Historic Holbrook sculptures to stay on former federal building

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/ar...deral-building

Plans for the former federal government offices at Main and Caroline streets no longer call for razing the entire building — a change that will keep six relief sculptures by Hamilton artist Elizabeth Holbrook in place.

Downtown Councillor Jason Farr says the newest designs include keeping the facades along Caroline and Main streets intact and demolishing the remainder of the building.

“There’s been somewhat a change of heart, and I think that change of heart will appeal to those who protested the demolition in the first place,” said Farr.

However, the federal building project, led by high-profile developer Darko Vranich and his company, Vrancor, is still in its conceptual stages and is closely tied with the same company’s plans for a Staybridge hotel development at George and Caroline streets.

Vrancor spokesperson Tyler McDiarmid says the hotel project — expected to break ground this summer — is the first priority.

“When we have renderings of the completed plans, I very much look forward to sharing them,” McDiarmid wrote in an email. “Until then, our focus will be working with the city to get construction of the new Staybridge started this summer.”

Gunther Bluesz, a designer working with Vrancor on the project, said initial plans called for a joint underground parking lot between the hotel development and the federal building. This would have required the building to be totally demolished.

“At that point in time, we thought tearing it down was the best thing,” Bluesz said.

The new plan will allow Vrancor to maintain the heritage facades of the federal building while creating underground parking in the areas where the remainder of the building will be demolished.

The future of the bas relief sculptures and of the building itself caused contention among arts and heritage advocates earlier this year after Vranich filed a demolition permit for the building.

In late January, the municipal heritage committee tried to block the demolition by endorsing an 11th-hour proposal to designate the building under the Ontario Heritage Act. However, the planning committee rejected the request, arguing it sent the wrong message to the development community.

In February, the Ontario office of Public Works and Government Services Canada sent a letter to Vranich reminding him that he signed a covenant when he bought the building from the feds in 2004. In the document, Vranich promised to “conserve, protect and maintain” the heritage features of the building.

Vranich had agreed to protect the sculptures and vowed to foot the bill for removing and storing the art.

Holbrook was born and raised in Hamilton and died in 2009. She has sculptures in more than 50 public collections around the world, including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and the Parliament building in Ottawa.
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Old Posted Aug 16, 2011, 12:25 PM
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Will be gone in the week

Saw the crane this morning, so so sad. Welcome to Hamilton, land of parking lots. This City is just so sad. The developer prevails again - typical. Lets hope the reliefs are at least saved and not accidentely demolished as well.
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Old Posted Aug 16, 2011, 1:51 PM
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Old Posted Aug 16, 2011, 1:56 PM
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This is seriously depressing. What a sad day for Hamilton. Yet again.
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Old Posted Aug 16, 2011, 2:07 PM
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Staybridge Hotel | ? | 6-7 fls? | Approved -> Staybridge Hotel | ? | 6-7 fls? | U/C
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  #11  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2011, 2:13 PM
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How much you wanna bet it's gonna look something like this:

http://www.familyvacationcritic.com/...o-natomas/htl/
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  #12  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2011, 2:17 PM
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Got more information. It's 6 floors and I'll post the site plan soon.
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Old Posted Aug 16, 2011, 2:22 PM
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Old Posted Aug 16, 2011, 2:28 PM
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6 storey with 127 hotel suites and ground floor commercial uses. The City allowed them to increase the height from 4 to 6 storey.
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2011, 12:55 AM
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6 storey with 127 hotel suites and ground floor commercial uses. The City allowed them to increase the height from 4 to 6 storey.
So does that mean the lot was only zoned for four stories? That seems almost an absurdly low number for that area.
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2011, 2:09 AM
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Yep, they had to get an approval to increase the height.
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2011, 3:35 PM
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Originally Posted by drpgq View Post
So does that mean the lot was only zoned for four stories? That seems almost an absurdly low number for that area.
Thats probably the size of the building that was originally there. The city normally doesn't change zoning or the height limitations of properties without a request from the owners.
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  #18  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2011, 2:01 AM
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  #19  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2011, 3:43 AM
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I like it! Very cool addition to Hess Village. It is becoming a real destination.
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  #20  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2011, 3:49 AM
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Wow. I was gearing up to get my hate on over this demolition, but the rendering and the revised plan to build on top of the existing west wing look really good. Some of the best buildings in this city are modern extensions to old buildings (The CHCH building, the old Bank of Montreal / Gowlings building, the GO center, both court houses). I hope this one works well too!
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