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Old Posted Jan 4, 2012, 2:29 AM
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467 Charlton Ave E | ? | 6 fl | Under Construction

Condo projects showing promise in the core

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/ar...se-in-the-core

Hamilton’s core is on the cusp of a condo boom.

Two developers are working on new projects that are expected to add more than 20 storeys of condominiums to the downtown and Stinson neighbourhoods.

One is a proposal for a $20-million condo development at the site of the Hamilton Cab headquarters on Charlton Avenue East, at the foot of the escarpment. Ron Van Kleef, the president of Hamilton Cab, aims to create 160 units in three, six-storey buildings.

The other is developer Harry Stinson’s Hamilton Grand building on the corner of John and Main streets. The project, which had been stalled due to financing issues, is moving ahead as a six-storey structure incorporating a mix of commercial and retail, office space, hotel rooms and condos.

Combined with Stinson’s redevelopment of the former Stinson Street School, the projects should give a much-needed boost to central Hamilton, said Councillor Jason Farr.

“Look out, southern Ontario — the next big neighbourhood is right next door to Corktown,” he said.

Van Kleef says he’s been working on his condo project for more than three years. He has had formal consultation with city staff, Farr, and Mayor Bob Bratina and is in the process of finishing the environmental and traffic studies required before construction.

“It’s a site that the city really is supporting,” Van Kleef said.

Van Kleef’s planner, Ed Fothergill, estimates construction will begin in a year and a half.

The site — the former home of a bowling alley — had been vacant for several years before Van Kleef bought it in 1997. The property had fallen into disrepair and Van Kleef said he invested a significant amount into its remediation.

The condo plans include penthouses, and an outside link to the nearby rail trail and its new rest area.

Van Kleef said it’s too early to give a price range for the condos, but said the community’s interest has already been piqued.

“We’ve already got people looking to invest in the area,” he said. “When you look at our site, there’s a great view.”

Stinson’s Hamilton Grand project has been in the works for several years, starting as a 15-storey tower that has been slowly scaled back to six storeys.

The main floor will be retail and commercial units, while the second and third floors will house offices. The fourth to sixth floors will be condo units and hotel rooms.

Stinson says prices will start at $79,900.

“This isn’t Trump Tower,” he said. “The numbers make sense here in practical Hamilton, whereas the price tags in Toronto just don’t make sense anymore.”

Stinson says the updated plans for the Grand are “less elaborate than before, but more financeable.”

Stinson also says he’s aware that some associate him with past projects that have fallen through, including previous iterations of the Grand.

“I do realize there will be the usual skepticism, but I don’t give up,” he said. “I’m used to the concept of having to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and take another run at it. This particular process has required a little more dusting off than I would hope.”

The scaled-down project can be “finished and operable” by next summer, he added.

“The sales were always there. People have been very patient. They believe in the location,” he said.

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  #2  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2012, 12:51 PM
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Enough Condo Interest?

I'd love to see more development but I am always curious if there is enough interest in condos in Hamilton. In Toronto home ownership is simply out of reach for a lot of people unless you have half a million dollars so condos make sense but in Hamilton houses are pretty cheap, especially in Corktown/Stinson where this is being talked about.
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Old Posted Jan 4, 2012, 12:59 PM
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^^I think there may be some demand for clean and modern accommodations. It's true you can pick up a beautiful Victorian home for cheap, but you may have to put a lot of work and money into it. I think there is also a trend for people to spend less time at home and want something easier to keep up, both among younger and older adults (ie, people without kids).
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Old Posted Jan 4, 2012, 2:14 PM
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Exuberant pitchwork is apparently in Councillor Farr's DNA.

I wish that Hamilton's "condo boom" weren't trading so heavily on the development prowess of the president of Hamilton Cab, but at least he and Fothergill are locals, and suburban at that. (Trivia: Van Kleef's also a junior hockey magnate.)

Splitting hairs, it's somewhat generous to describe Corktown as "the core" -- it's not even the core of Ward 2. It's about as downtown as Locke South.
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Last edited by thistleclub; Jan 4, 2012 at 3:47 PM.
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Old Posted Jan 4, 2012, 5:00 PM
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There's no middle ground in Hamilton. You either get expensive condos at $250,000 or above or get really cheap vinyl covered 1960s built condos.
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  #6  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2012, 7:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankenrogers View Post
In Toronto home ownership is simply out of reach for a lot of people unless you have half a million dollars so condos make sense but in Hamilton houses are pretty cheap, especially in Corktown/Stinson where this is being talked about.
Well condo prices in Toronto have skyrocketed, making it insane to spend all that money on a shoe-box with high monthly maintenance fees.

Around 80% of Toronto condo sales are to speculators - which you can even tell when looking at how few lights in these condos are turned on in the evenings. There's a major correction coming in that market soon - it'll get pretty ugly.

As for interest in the Hamilton condo market... I have a hard time figuring it out. Houses are cheaper here (compared to Toronto) but anything half-way decent (which doesn't require major renovations) near the downtown area goes for 400K+ - which is ridiculous for this city.
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Old Posted Jun 13, 2012, 11:05 AM
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I asked this in the Downtown Update thread because I didn't see this thread somehow (Thanks SteelTown!)

What are the odds of this being built? It seems like to build this it would require a tonne of EAs. They're going to have to dig down deep to build the parking, which will take out the roots of a lot of the the trees. It's a really narrow piece of property...

It seems unlikely to me.
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Old Posted Jun 13, 2012, 3:13 PM
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Corktown is definitely part of the "core".
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  #9  
Old Posted Jun 13, 2012, 10:14 PM
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Corktown is definitely part of the "core".
I agree. It may not be recognized as being part of the core officially, but ask anyone in the city and they will say it's part of the core.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2012, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by bigguy1231 View Post
I agree. It may not be recognized as being part of the core officially, but ask anyone in the city and they will say it's part of the core.
A matter of perspective. A Ravencliffe mansion is technically "downtown" to most Hamiltonians. Like I said, splitting hairs.

Corktown (which I love, BTW), is "core" in relation to the city's 1,100 sq km of real estate, obviously, and certainly "urban core" in the census sense (ie. the innermost 50K residents). By the city's measure, "downtown" is much more clearly defined (the unbroken-quad-of-concrete-on-GoogleMaps method gives you a slightly looser version, but it's basically "down" in the topographical sense: Queen/Wellington/Hunter/York). And to me, if you say "downtown core," to me that's putting a much finer point on it -- a centre within a centre. Sematics, ultimately. I freely concede that to most Hamiltonians, "downtown" is far broader -- 403 to Victoria, Escarpment to the CP rails, probably. Again, splitting hairs. (I mostly chafe when there's talk about a shooting or stabbing "downtown" and it turns out to have taken place at Barton and Emerald or thereabouts.)

As far as this condo goes, the changes to the Glenside bike path raise questions about the practical hurdles that would have to go into building a mid-rise condo in what is arguably the middle of the Escarpment.
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  #11  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2013, 2:03 AM
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Meeting called over escarpment condo project

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/ar...-condo-project

A prominent community activist is raising concerns about a proposed condominium development at the former Sportsman’s Lanes site and has helped organize a meeting for Monday night.

Brenda Mitchell, former president of the Stinson Community Association, has arranged the meeting with developer Ron Van Kleef and city staff at the Central Memorial Recreation Centre, 93 West Ave. S. The meeting gets under way at 7 p.m.

Mitchell is now chair of Committed to Responsible Escarpment Development Committee, which is hosting the meeting. She says it consists of “six people who have been working on this for a year. It’s just a group of residents.”

Van Kleef, president of Hamilton Cab, is proposing a $20-million project for 467 Charlton Ave. E., just below the Niagara Escarpment and west of Wentworth Street South and the entrance to the Escarpment Rail Trail.

It is proposed to have 153 units in three, six-storey buildings.

Mitchell said Sportsman’s Lanes, a once popular bowling alley, was bought by Van Kleef in 1998. It is the depot for his cab company, a limousine company and ambulances used by Ontario Patient Transfer.

Councillor Jason Farr, who will also attend the Monday night meeting, says Van Kleef is submitting a rezoning application to the city after meeting with staff over the last year to answer questions about the project. He wants to rezone the site to residential from light industry.

Van Kleef could not be reached for comment.

Mitchell, who has been involved in such issues as GO trains parking on the CP line behind her Alanson Street home, just north of the condo site, said the project raises many questions, including impact on roads, the environment, noise, quality of life, and the view of the escarpment.

“It’s not that we are against or for it,” Mitchell said Friday night. “Nothing in neighbourhood planning is in black and white. We’re not saying, ‘Go away.’ We’re saying, ‘What’s in everybody’s best interest?”

Farr, who supports the project, terming it “a development in a developing neighbourhood,” believes the developer and city staff will be able to answer all of Mitchell and her group’s concerns.

He says, however, he does not have “a massive sense of protest” against the project. He notes a light industrial project could rise on the site.

Mitchell could not say how many will attend the meeting. She wouldn’t be as “generous” as Farr in his description of support for the project and said, “I would say quite a few residents are quite angry.”
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  #12  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2013, 2:11 AM
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Sounds like some pointless NIMBYism.
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  #13  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2013, 2:31 AM
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How dare he build a condo on a parking lot...how dare he?!?
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Old Posted Mar 23, 2013, 1:17 PM
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How dare he make that area a more desirable neighbourhood!

How dare he increase property values!
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Old Posted Mar 23, 2013, 1:27 PM
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Hey, I'm all for intensification, but I don't think building several stories & a sound barrier directly beside the Rail Trail is the best way to do it.
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Old Posted Mar 23, 2013, 3:27 PM
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I don't know...I don't live in the neighbourhood so perhaps I shouldn't pass judgement. However, I'm sure a compromise can be found without everybody getting too worked-up about it.
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Old Posted Mar 23, 2013, 7:12 PM
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Nimby

What a nimby. They're lucky those towers aren't 16-floors, measly 6-storey condos get nimby'd?
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Old Posted Mar 24, 2013, 3:27 AM
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I hadn't heard of these. These could be incredible, with stairs nearby to access Concession st, on the rail trail, a quick trip down Charlton to Corktown. Grandfathered location on escarpment lands. Hope it gets built.
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Old Posted Oct 10, 2013, 8:13 PM
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There is a new "City of Hamilton-Public Notice" sign on the site. It looks like there is a very detailed site plan on it.
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  #20  
Old Posted May 16, 2014, 8:26 PM
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Does anyone have any updates on this project? Is it still going through?
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