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Old Posted May 9, 2019, 3:07 PM
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HAMILTON | Connolly Condos | 105.1M | 31 FLOORS


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- Located at 98 James Street South, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
- 315 residential units
- Ground-floor commercial units
- The first Canadian development by Vietnam based Hue Developments
- The tower incorporates part of the James Street Baptist Church (built 1878)
- The development will have Hamilton's first stacked parking facility


A similar development by another developer was proposed for the site a few years back before eventually being cancelled last year. The thread for that project can be found here: HAMILTON | The Connolly | 105.8M | 30 FLOORS
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Old Posted May 9, 2019, 3:08 PM
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Old Posted May 13, 2019, 4:05 PM
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May 10, 2019
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Old Posted May 15, 2019, 2:08 PM
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Quote:
$5M needed to repair church frontage of Connolly project in Hamilton

The new owners of the development on James Street South say they’re committed to saving remains of James Street Baptist Church.

by Mark McNeil | May 5, 2019

Developers of the downtown Connolly highrise project say it will cost $5 million and take one-and-a-half years to restore the remains of the former James Street Baptist Church at the front of the property.

But they are committed to doing the work as part of a $100-million, 30-storey condo tower at James and Jackson streets. The former 135-year-old church will be a major part of the overall design.

"This isn't just a facade. We have kept a significant portion of the church," said Drew Hauser of mcCallumSather architects. "It's not just decoration. In the end it will be part of a wonderful blending of the old and the new."

But Luke Wywrot of LCH Developments, the chief engineer on the project, says the restoration of the church section — that is about six metres deep and 10 metres wide — will not be easily accomplished.

"There is extensive work required to stabilize the foundation," he said.

The foundation repair is expected to take more than two months. Once that's done, the construction on the tower can begin while further above ground repairs are done to the church. That work is expected to take up to one-and-a-half years, with the entire project being completed within two-and-a-half years.

"Over the years, the church wasn't properly maintained," said Wywrot. Restorative work was done in the 1970s, "but they used the wrong kind of grout. ... It made things worse."

Once the grout is replaced, he said, they plan to connect the outer and inner brick walls with engineered screws to add stability. This will be followed by a restoration of the stained glass and other features.

"Everything will be restored to its glory days — all the ornaments on the outside. Everything will be addressed. It is going to look spectacular," Wywrot said.

The project to convert the church goes back to 2013 when Toronto developer Louie Santaguida of Stanton Renaissance bought the historic-but-crumbling building to explore building a potentially "dramatic" redevelopment.

Shortly after, his company announced that two-thirds of the church was unsalvageable and even unsafe. Amid controversy with heritage advocates, that portion of the church was demolished, leaving the iconic stone entrance and tower at the front.

But before new construction began, the developer went into receivership in June 2017.

Last year a new developer emerged to buy the property and take the project forward.

Allen Le Nam, CEO of Hue Developments, a subsidiary of the giant Vietnam-based Hoa Binh Corp., said he wants to enhance the heritage features and overall design with a budget $20 million more than his predecessor.

Le Nam was born in Vietnam but moved to Canada as a refugee in the early 1990s.

"Having lived in Hamilton, I've always admired the heritage buildings preserved in this city, so the church's facade was a natural draw," he said. "Connolly presented the perfect opportunity to bring our expertise to Canada by creating a sophisticated building that complements its surroundings."

In 2004, Le Nam moved back to Vietnam to work in the development industry and has been working at Hoa Binh for the past five years. More recently he pushed for the company to develop projects in Canada and, because of his familiarity with Hamilton, he wanted the first one to be here.

Hoa Binh has more than 45,000 employees around the world with more than 80 ongoing projects in six countries. The company is one of the biggest developers in Southeast Asia.

Le Nam says he hopes the Connolly — a name conceived by the former developer but kept by Le Nam — is the first of many future development projects he does in Hamilton.
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