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  #1  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2012, 10:26 PM
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18-30 King St East | ? | 5 fl | Approved

Downtown history has a date with the wrecking ball

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/ar...-wrecking-ball

One of the city’s most powerful downtown property owners is planning a massive new development in the core.

David Blanchard hopes to create a new block of commercial, retail, and residential space in the block between Gore Park, Main Street E., James St. and Hughson St. His firm, Wilson and Blanchard, already owns most of the property within that block.

Blanchard envisions a two-storey grocery store opening off the South side of Gore Park, an office tower, hundreds of underground and above-ground parking spots, and a condo tower fronting onto Main Street.

If the project moves forward, Blanchard says it will be the largest downtown development since Jackson Square was built in the sixties.

However, there are still many obstacles that lie in front of the project. Several buildings of historical interest on King St. are slated for demolition in order to make way for the development. Blanchard also stresses that the project is still in early days and the exact details could still change.

Still, Blanchard’s property manager Rob Miles said they hope to begin demolition June 1
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  #2  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2012, 10:27 PM
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Old Posted Oct 23, 2012, 10:40 PM
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Keep the building facades and make the condo and office tower 2 of the tallest in the city (no shorter than the Olympia Apartments) and I am fine with the proposal.
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  #4  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2012, 11:57 PM
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If those buildings go it will be a disaster for downtown...an unmitigated disaster.

Only an a**hole would suggest tearing them down.

Last edited by Dr Awesomesauce; Oct 25, 2012 at 12:14 AM.
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  #5  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2012, 1:41 AM
coalminecanary coalminecanary is offline
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What this guy has done should be illegal. I don't care who he is, how much money he has or what else he's done here.

I'm sorry but if you buy a bunch of buildings and sit on them, waiting for leases to expire and keeping them vacant then you are a part of the problem.

Sell them to people who want to do something with them and go buy a parking lot to build your stupid vanity tower on.

What an asshole.
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Old Posted Oct 24, 2012, 2:11 AM
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There's no reason we should be demolishing anything downtown given the multitude of surface lots and underutilized land in the core. If this goes through I would be willing to bet a lot that nothing will be built on the land for many years to come and if it is I'm sure the plans will be scaled down a hell of a lot from what they are now. We'd be lucky if it ended up being one 3 story building with a sea of parking.

This is the wrong we to go and we should have learned it by now.
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Old Posted Oct 24, 2012, 2:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt602 View Post
There's no reason we should be demolishing anything downtown given the multitude of surface lots and underutilized land in the core. If this goes through I would be willing to bet a lot that nothing will be built on the land for many years to come and if it is I'm sure the plans will be scaled down a hell of a lot from what they are now. We'd be lucky if it ended up being one 3 story building with a sea of parking.

This is the wrong we to go and we should have learned it by now.
Well said.

What is wrong with Hamilton?
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Old Posted Oct 24, 2012, 1:58 PM
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Old Posted Oct 24, 2012, 2:17 PM
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I count 23 stories for that condo tower. When's the last time something that size was built in this city? Not in my lifetime, I don't think.

As others have said, if he keeps the facade along Gore, I'm all for this.
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Old Posted Oct 24, 2012, 3:28 PM
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If I'm not mistaken, the parking lot between One James South and the (freshly stucco'd) Landing Bank -- the western wing of the a teal and yellow grocery/retail mid-rise in the mock-up -- was a Blanchard byproduct around the time that the Pigott Building was redeveloped in the mid-1990s.
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Old Posted Oct 24, 2012, 3:37 PM
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This is fishy. Who can justify another office tower when half the stelco building sits empty? Who can justify a highrise condo development when the connaught is not economically viable for adaptive reuse?

How can we guarantee that any and all demolition is immediately followed by development and not left empty for another 10, 20, 30 years waiting for "investors"?

I'm tired of the tried and true hamilton method of smash first and work out the details later - "oops it wasn't possible after all, sorry folks!"
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Old Posted Oct 24, 2012, 4:25 PM
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If anything is sacred at all in Hamilton, it has to be Gore Park - the historical centre of the city.

Obviously this developer has a great record and knows what he's doing, but there is so much 'WTF' about this project.

1. Office space, really? There is so much oversupply as it stands, even in other Blanchard owned properties!

2. Why buy a strip of buildings for 10 years just to knock down? Surely a parking lot would have been cheaper?

3. Grocery stores have refused to set up here for 10 or 20 years, now all of a sudden we have room for 2?

4. Why oh why not the ugly north side of Gore Park instead?
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Old Posted Oct 24, 2012, 4:39 PM
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I guess the dilemna that developers who want to develop in this city is the backlash they get if the word demolition is included in their press release. Blanchard can only develop on property he owns. Yes, there are a lot of parking lots ripe for development, but this means nothing if the people who own those lots are not prepared to build on them. But let's not lose sight of the fact that most of the property for this proposed development is in fact currently surface parking.

I am fine with this development if the facade along the south side of King is retained. My comfort level drops if there is no facade protection as these are pretty significant buildings from a historical perspective.
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Old Posted Oct 24, 2012, 4:56 PM
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Taxes need to go UP when you tear a building down and DOWN when you build. Problem solved, lots of empty lots will become available for development overnight.
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Old Posted Oct 24, 2012, 5:06 PM
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I count 23 stories for that condo tower. When's the last time something that size was built in this city? Not in my lifetime, I don't think.

As others have said, if he keeps the facade along Gore, I'm all for this.
Isn't Vranich's condo 25 stories?

Anyway, if they can keep the facades I suppose its fine, but it's depressing how the city has so many paking lots, yet few people seem to want to building unless they get to tear something down first.
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  #16  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2012, 5:46 PM
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Hmm...

I see a lot of people complaining about the fact that "there are loads of unused parking lots which could be turned into buildings instead of tearing down current buildings", which I do agree with; but what if you CAN'T build on those lots?

I'd assume that a developer can only tear down/build up what he owns? And what if the owners of these lots don't want to sell/build... then what choice does the developer have?

I'd assume that we'd have to know that first, before we complain about something that is completely out of his hands.
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Old Posted Oct 24, 2012, 6:15 PM
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Well, everything's for sale at the right price
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  #18  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2012, 7:34 PM
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Does anyone else think that there is way to much parking garage and not enough buildings? There is 2 stories of retail on King and James with 3 stories of parking garage above it which looks awful. I know it is still in the very early stages of development but it seems to be too small of a development for such a large peice of land in such a prime location in the very center of the city. The office block should extend right across the parking garage so it lines up with the eastern wall of the Scotiabank and fills in the gap on top of the parking garage.

Or, add more condos on top of the parking garage so it isn't such a huge empty space up on top of the parking garage just like the space on top of Jackson Square is. I edited the render and added more condos to fill up the space...one can dream.


I hope that if they do end up building with a lot of empty space on top that they build it with plans that buildings can be added on top later...

Last edited by thomax; Oct 24, 2012 at 10:46 PM.
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Old Posted Oct 24, 2012, 7:37 PM
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The city could offer or assist in entertaining trades of vacant current parking lots between its owners to maintain the our historic values.

My first reaction to this was 'Oh phew it has a parking garage hahaha'. I don't know if I would want to see it from the downtown Gore Park though, parking garages are usually ugly.
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Old Posted Oct 24, 2012, 8:36 PM
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It looks like there's enough room for a decent grocery store without affect the Gore Park side. I also thing it might be better to have the condo over the historic part and looking onto Gore Park and put the offices and parking garage along Main.
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