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Old Posted Apr 8, 2016, 3:52 PM
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St. Elizabeth Village | ? | ? | Under Construction

Theme park designer planning $800-million redevelopment of St. Elizabeth Village

http://www.thespec.com/news-story/64...abeth-village/

The designer behind theme parks such as Universal Studios Florida and Canada's Wonderland is bringing its flair for entertainment to an $800-million reimagining of St. Elizabeth Village.

But don't expect to see a roller-coaster winding through the Hamilton Mountain retirement community aimed at the 55-plus crowd.

Forrec has been hired to transform the 114-acre site into a themed lifestyle complex with a proposed town square, restaurants and shops at the corner of Garth Street and Rymal Road West that would be open to the public.

The idea to bring on an amusement park designer to revamp the gated community and give it a small-town atmosphere came to St. Elizabeth Village president Tony DiFruscio after South Mountain Inc. took over the property in 2014.

After working with residents to see how they could upgrade the more than 30-year-old village while preserving its "feel," he said his mind turned to Disney's BoardWalk, a quarter-mile district of shopping, dining and nightlife in Florida.

"I really love the concept of theme parks," said DiFruscio, who is also president of South Mountain Inc. "Not so much the … rides and things like that but those gathering areas."

Plans for the revamp started to take shape, including new four-storey buildings and remodelled townhouses in the residential portion of the property and more attention drawn to natural amenities like ponds and walking trails.

While it's still in the planning stages, DiFruscio said $800 million is the "high level" estimate for the project, which includes costs to design and construct new buildings, renovate existing buildings and for site servicing and landscaping.

The city's chief building official Ed VanderWindt, who was not previously aware of the redevelopment, said he couldn't think of a project of this magnitude in Hamilton.

Forrec was a natural fit for the project because of the company's work on The Villages in central Florida, three themed retirement communities inspired by small-town U.S.A.

Keeping to its Ontario roots, the St. Elizabeth redevelopment will be founded on a fictional storyline based on how local rural towns were developed.

"We're not taking you to Miami or San Francisco or London. We're taking you to Hamilton," said Forrec's executive vice-president, Steven Rhys. "But imagine what the legacy of that area was, so there's a bit of history to it, there's a bit of fantasy, there's a bit of story."

The made-up story goes that a merchant landed above the escarpment in the early 1800s and opened a gristmill. He set up shop for his family, and eventually so did others, after a tavern, small inn, shopping street and workshops came along.

The community's quaint way of life was preserved by a bypass redirecting traffic from the settlement constructed in the 1930s.

ST ELIZABETH VILLAGE

Renovations have already begun on the interior of some of the 558 existing townhouses on the property, and a design laying out their exteriors is complete.

The goal is to have the first exteriors revamped to match the theme within the next three months, DiFruscio said.

Planning has also started for mid-rise buildings, which DiFruscio hopes will be ready by next year.

This part of the complex will remain gated, and residents will still have access to some private amenities, including an indoor pool and bocce courts.

So far, studies have been undertaken to help determine exactly what will be included in the entertainment district and town square — potentially rebranded as St. Elizabeth Mills — which "optimistically" will be open by late 2017, DiFruscio said.

"You're not going to put people in that demographic out to pasture anymore," he said. "They're active, they're younger, they're healthier.

"I think these types of communities are the way of the future."

Ward Coun. Terry Whitehead has been briefed on the plans for St. Elizabeth Village, which he calls "exciting."

The fact that the complex will be themed is part of what Whitehead thinks will make it an attractive destination for community members who live outside of the complex to visit.

"The fact that it's going to give you a sense of time stopped, and it's a village atmosphere — you really don't have that expression or that experience anywhere on the Mountain," he said.

At this point, he said he doesn't see any "major barriers" with the project from a zoning or administrative perspective.


An aerial sketch of the proposed redevelopment of St. Elizabeth Village.
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  #2  
Old Posted Apr 8, 2016, 4:30 PM
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I was looking at this area on google maps a few months ago and I imagined it being redeveloped exactly like this. Weird. I'm excited, it looks like it's gonna be pretty awesome. I like these kinds of new themed villages built in the middle of suburban areas, I'd love to see more of them in Hamilton.
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2016, 5:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelTown View Post
Theme park designer planning $800-million redevelopment of St. Elizabeth Village

...Keeping to its Ontario roots, the St. Elizabeth redevelopment will be founded on a fictional storyline based on how local rural towns were developed.
I'm cherrypicking quotes from this article. There are so many to tear into. I'm gobsmacked. And not in a good way.
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2016, 6:02 PM
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All the power to them , although do the math on the income required to cover $800MM pricetag, and 558 units will need to grow by factors of 5-10x
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2016, 6:44 PM
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All the power to them , although do the math on the income required to cover $800MM pricetag, and 558 units will need to grow by factors of 5-10x
Will that growth preserve the "village" intensification?
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2016, 7:42 PM
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"Renovations have already begun on the interior of some of the 558 existing townhouses on the property, and a design laying out their exteriors is complete.

Planning has also started for mid-rise buildings… This part of the complex will remain gated.…

"You're not going to put people in that demographic out to pasture anymore," he said.
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2016, 7:44 PM
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The Villages

Spanish Springs, Sumter Landing and Brownwood are all inspired by the best of 19th century small town America. For instance, we discovered that Florida has a surprising cowboy heritage and that immediately opened up the design possibilities. Particular attention was also paid to maintaining a healthy flow of visitors from neighbouring areas to keep the villages prospering and active. Vibrant town squares featuring exciting programming, restaurants, cafés and shops have helped to make The Villages one of the most successful lifestyle communities in North America.

Spanish Springs (1995)
Lake Sumter Landing (2004)
Brownwood (2012)
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2016, 8:50 PM
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"The made-up story goes that a merchant landed above the escarpment in the early 1800s and opened a gristmill. He set up shop for his family, and eventually so did others, after a tavern, small inn, shopping street and workshops came along. The community's quaint way of life was preserved by a bypass redirecting traffic from the settlement constructed in the 1930s."


Neighbouring history, via Henley's Hamilton: Ryckman’s Corners – 1952

Elsewhere: Ryckman’s Corners – 1956 and origin story.
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Last edited by thistleclub; Apr 8, 2016 at 9:33 PM.
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2016, 11:24 PM
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Bigger rendering:


St. Elizabeth Village Rendering by TheSpec, on Twitter
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Old Posted Apr 8, 2016, 11:26 PM
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The lack of roller coaster is dissapointing.
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Old Posted Apr 9, 2016, 6:02 PM
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Interesting proposal.

If it's built with quality construction and attention to detail, and that despite the "made up story" the new "town square" has a more organically-developed feel to it, this could turn out well. We'll see.

Going from 900 to 3,000 residents would be a huge change in density... just estimating from a map but it's probably close to 0.5 sq.km in area.
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Old Posted Apr 10, 2016, 1:58 AM
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St Elizabeth is such a peculiar place.

Until recently, residents paid a below market price for their unit and were allowed to live there in perpetuity. They were not allowed to sell because they didn't truly own it. When they 'passed on' the unit would simply go back on the market.

It was an attractive proposition for those who wanted that lifestyle but who didn't have $300-$400 grand to blow on a home in a gated community. It may have been a cash deal as well - the details are a little foggy.

Oh well, that's done. I wish I'd bought one of these places a year or two ago when they went on the market...
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Old Posted Jun 30, 2016, 6:15 PM
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Some sneak peak sketches from the architect...


source


source


source


The development is being designed by FORREC Ltd.
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Old Posted Feb 11, 2017, 2:23 PM
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Last edited by thomax; Feb 11, 2017 at 2:43 PM.
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Old Posted Feb 11, 2017, 3:22 PM
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I bet it'll feel like you're in a game once you get to see it irl, it looks pretty much like Fable lol or any medieval town type game. That first picture reminds me of Prontera in Ragnarok Online
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Old Posted Feb 11, 2017, 10:14 PM
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It kinda reminds me of Barefoot Landing in South Carolina. Basically all retail built on a marsh.


http://www.gotomyrtlebeach.com/baref...s-attractions/


https://www.pinterest.com/explore/ba...-myrtle-beach/
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Old Posted Feb 12, 2017, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelTown View Post
It kinda reminds me of Barefoot Landing in South Carolina. Basically all retail built on a marsh.
^ Definitely similar.

I was also thinking it reminds me of the Blue Mountain Village in Collingwood...

Blue Mountain Village by Jeffsphotoart, on Flickr


Blue Mountain Village by Trevor Pottelberg, on Flickr


Blue Mountain Village by Jeff S. PhotoArt at HDCanvas.ca, on Flickr


Blue Mountain Village by Jesse Brenneman, on Flickr


Blue Mountain Village by Jesse Brenneman, on Flickr
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Old Posted Feb 12, 2017, 1:23 AM
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HA I've been to both, seems like I have a fondness for these kind of things.

Though seriously hope this gets built, would be a sweet spot to take a walk.
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Old Posted Feb 12, 2017, 5:23 PM
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it's a good thing they are expanding Rymal Road because this could create a lot of traffic.

Last edited by NortheastWind; Feb 12, 2017 at 6:16 PM.
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Old Posted Feb 14, 2017, 7:41 PM
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Shared it on my blog! I might do that with all the new developments - give them more exposure that way, easier to navigate etc - I will source them all to back here

https://niume.com/post/257032
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