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  #1  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2012, 7:08 PM
arch100 arch100 is offline
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123 James St North | ? | ? | Complete

The vacant property beside Leon's Furs on James North has a SOLD sign on it! Equipment was on site earlier in the week doing some bore hole testing to guage the bearing capacity of the soil. That could mean that something fairly tall is being planned!!

Anyone else have more info???

Last edited by arch100; Dec 17, 2013 at 4:23 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2012, 7:27 PM
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could mean that something fairly tall is being planned!!
Having a five-year flashback....
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  #3  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2012, 4:16 AM
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Let's not draw too many conclusions quite yet. How do you know they were testing bearing capacity? And besides, even if something's in the works, in this city things progress at the speed of molasses in January; it'll be five years before we see anything being done...and that's a BIG if.
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Old Posted Jul 3, 2012, 1:32 PM
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A giant for lease sign just went up this morning on the property. Advertising for office and retail. I've heard rumours that an anchor tenant has already been secured, can anyone confirm?
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  #5  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2012, 5:00 PM
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You can see the rendering on the new sign. Three storey and glass corner piece at Vine and James.
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Old Posted Jul 3, 2012, 9:08 PM
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Not too interesting:


Photo: Dave Kuruc
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Old Posted Jul 3, 2012, 11:32 PM
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Would have looked better with different windows and an additional glass and steel top floor or rooftop space. I think a 5 or 6 story building would look better on that corner.
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Old Posted Jul 4, 2012, 12:56 AM
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It's probably a very early conceptual drawing based on the lack of detail. My gut tells me if this is ever built it probably will not look like the drawing.
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Old Posted Jul 4, 2012, 4:35 AM
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Quote:
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Would have looked better with different windows and an additional glass and steel top floor or rooftop space. I think a 5 or 6 story building would look better on that corner.
I was thinking it could have some stuff added to it too so I edited it to add an extra glass and steel floor and rooftop space:
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Old Posted Jul 4, 2012, 6:20 AM
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That's pretty much exactly what I was thinking though without that glass round corner piece.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2012, 9:06 AM
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I don't wanna be a d*ck here but the situation at that corner is completely speculative at this point. It's exactly what I'd do if I owned the property and was trying to either a) get investors or b) unload it.

I will happily eat crow if I'm wrong but I can't imagine any other scenario.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2012, 1:36 PM
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May or may not be speculative. They've hired a real architect (Rick Lintack), have conducted bore hole testing, and had a large mature tree cut down at the back of the property a couple weeks ago. They are certainly spending some coin to either develop it themselves or make it attractive for someone else.
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  #13  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2012, 1:53 PM
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Downtown Hamilton could get a boost if corner complex developedBy Kate Adach, special to CBC News Posted: Jul 4, 2012 9:50 AM ET Last Updated: Jul 4, 2012 9:48 AM ET

Real estate developer Jack Beume has three-storey-high hopes for downtown Hamilton. He aspires to build a retail and office space that could provide a big boost to the downtown core. He just needs to secure its financing.

The proposed building would sit at the northwest corner of James Street North and Vine Street, replacing an old parking lot he has owned for about 20 years. It's a spot known by some local shopkeepers as a “hole” among the storefronts on the street.

Filling the gravel-covered corner with shops and office spaces could be a boon to James Street North's retailers. But Beume, president of J. Beume Real Estate Ltd., won't go ahead with the $8.5-million project unless he has enough commitment from tenants willing to lease the space.

“It must be 70 per cent pre-leased come Christmas,” Beume said. Currently, with one tenant on board, he has 33 per cent covered.

Marvin Ryder, a professor at McMaster University's DeGroote School of Business, has “no doubt” that Beume will be able to fill the space.

“If Jack wants a building and wants tenants,” Ryder said. “He's the kind of guy who will do just that.”

Beume, 75, owns 12 properties in Hamilton “of all different kinds” and has been in real estate for the bulk of his life. His most recent project is the Burton Gardens townhouse complex on the north side of Burton Street, which opened this spring.

The residential townhomes “proved to be a success,” said Jason Farr, Ward 2 City Councillor. Beume's housing property gave Farr faith in the developer's new James Street real estate venture. “I'm pretty optimistic that [Beume] will realize his dream.”

A “Dream” for James Street North
When local shop owner Dave Kuruc saw the sign Beume had had erected on the parking lot grounds Tuesday morning, he snapped a picture of it and tweeted the news.

“If it looks anything like the pic,” Kuruc said, “I think people will be happy.”

The proposed building is a three-storey, red brick structure with five windowed shop faces on the James Street side and a rounded, glass-pillar corner. The main level will be a retail and commercial space, with offices on the upper levels. Parking will be available for merchants behind the stores, and underground for tenants.

Rick Lintack, of Lintack Architects Inc., designed it as an “elegant little building” based on what was there in the 1940s, Beume said. “I'm trying to accommodate the street.”

The design “excites” Kuruc, who has owned Mixed Media, an art supply store, with his wife since 2005. Their store is one of only a few shops within the block north of the proposed building.

“Anything that'll get rid of a parking lot on our main drive is a positive thing,” he said. “And it isn't just a box on the corner.”

Glen Norton, who manages the city's urban renewal department, is also optimistic about turning over the parking lot.

If this project goes ahead it “benefits everybody.” People will be more likely to shop downtown, Norton believes, than go to the big malls or out of the city.

Beume's project “speaks to the future” of Hamilton, Norton said, as well as its current conditions. “The economy is finally improving. We're now getting the right economic environment.”

James Street North has seen other recent restoration projects such as the Lister Block project across from the proposed building, and the Hamilton Artists Inc. building one block north. These may have been “a catalyst” for the new retail development, Ryder said.

New Neighbours
Any prospective tenant Beume entertains has to be “pro-Hamilton,” the developer said.

“Certainly you're not going to see a strip club or a sleazy type of operation of any kind, I won't do it.”

And although he won't say much about his current tenant, “he's a man who cares about the city,” Beume said.

Kuruc hopes his new retail “neighbours” will match his art supply store by being small, local and independent shops.

However, small business owners may have to compete with larger corporations.

Beume said he would like “a better-quality coffee shop.”

A Starbucks “would be nice,” he said. “There's only two or three in town that I know of.”

Either way, Kuruc is thrilled that others have spotted opportunities in the same area that he has invested in.

“I think people see something has been here happening for 10 years,” Kuruc said, “but now it's a critical mass.”

Beume had held onto the parking lot for decades waiting for the area to slowly gentrify. If it goes forward, the new building would open around March 2014.

“I hope it doesn't break by other economics,” Beume said, “but there's enough momentum building that this should become a real, live street again.”

.
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  #14  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2012, 3:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arch100 View Post
...
Beume said he would like “a better-quality coffee shop.”

A Starbucks “would be nice,” he said. “There's only two or three in town that I know of.”
If Mr. Beaume demands reasonable rent, he can attract a 'better-quality coffee shop" and exclude Starbucks.
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  #15  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2012, 8:14 PM
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Reduced Ambition

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Originally Posted by matt602 View Post
Would have looked better with different windows and an additional glass and steel top floor or rooftop space. I think a 5 or 6 story building would look better on that corner.
I think the only post-1930 new build to surpass three storeys on James North is the former Bank of Montreal at 1 James North (completed 1972), and if you exclude the mall-level component it's essentially a 3-storey.

Maybe that explains the enthusiasm for this rendering as opposed to the developer's previous proposal. (And has nobody remembered Beume's CentrePoint Plaza?)

Feb 2007: 5 storey = too tall

July 2012: 3-storey = just right

Coming soon: A split-level Tivoli Theatre (originally unveiled as a 3-storey in Aug 2006) and a four-storey Acclamation Lofts (announced as a 7-storey in July 2009).
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Last edited by thistleclub; Jul 4, 2012 at 8:48 PM.
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  #16  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2012, 8:35 PM
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Originally Posted by arch100 View Post
May or may not be speculative.
Quote:
Originally Posted by arch100 View Post
Beume had held onto the parking lot for decades waiting for the area to slowly gentrify.
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  #17  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2012, 12:24 AM
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  #18  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2012, 8:40 AM
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I can't be absolutely sure but that corner (James and Vine) has been empty for at least 40 years. The Bank of Upper Canada once had its head office on that spot.

courtesy: archives of Ontario

Bottom line: something decent has to get built on that corner cuz it's ghastly in its current state. Let's hope this proposal has some legs.
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  #19  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2012, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by pEte fiSt iN Ur fAce View Post

courtesy: archives of Ontario
Presumably the inspiration for the 2007 proposal, whose "conceptual plans... [were] based on the original bank building (circa 1880′s)"

IMHO, the new one looks more like an service road industrial condo than a Victorian bank but I agree that it's better than a perpetual gravel lot.
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Old Posted Jul 5, 2012, 5:08 PM
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I think it's that curved glass section on the corner which makes it look so bland and suburban. If it were more squared off sort of like the corners of the reclad/renovated First Canadian Place it would look better (I know thats an absurd comparison but its the only example of squared corner glass I can think of)
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