Image rendering of Core Urban Inc. proposed redevelopment, courtesy of www.cbc.ca
In order to attract new residential and commercial tenants in downtown Hamilton, ON, significant redevelopment needs to continue. The opportunities are there and many areas have beautiful historic buildings that are being under-utilized.
One noteworthy possibility for redevelopment is the James Street North alley, located in the heart of downtown Hamilton. Some consider this area to be an eyesore, but the potential commercial redevelopment could transform the area; creating new jobs and attracting new businesses to this section of the downtown core.
An alleyway with a large impact
The key component of the area is an alleyway which runs between a duo of neglected buildings on James Street North. Unfortunately, the site ownership is complicated. Currently, 14 James Street has ownership under the alley, the City of Hamilton owns the alley at grade, while 10-12 James Street owns the buildings that extends over the alley. However, the City of Hamilton sees the sale of the alleyway as beneficial.
Costly option for the city
The alley represents a costly issue for the City of Hamilton, with the city estimating repair costs in the seven figure range. By selling the property, it relieves the financial pressure from the city and allows the area to be properly developed and redeveloped, which will assist in the city’s goal of downtown revitalization. The City of Hamilton is looking to sell their portion of the alleyway and all liability for fixing the alley. Local Hamilton developers, Core Urban Inc., have expressed their interest in ownership.
Redeveloping historic properties
Core Urban Inc. has submitted their proposal for their project, which would involve converting the existing alleyway into a pedestrian walkway, with an elevator to service new commercial office space in the adjacent buildings. While both of the buildings currently have commercial tenants on the ground floor, neither of the buildings’ additional floors are occupied. The space represents a total of 30,000 sq. ft. The ground store fronts would be redeveloped to house retail and a restaurant. Core Urban Inc. has an apt for taking on historic properties, restoring them, and making them profitable. Their developments in Hamilton have include the Empire Times building, the Witton Lofts, and the Herkimer Apartments. The developers have a knack for spurring life into downtown Hamilton. Currently, both Core Urban and any redevelopment plans will have to wait. A meeting was scheduled to take place on Monday February 9, but was rescheduled due to the storm.
Read more about the Community Improvement Plan for downtown Hamilton by clicking here or connect with me to learn about commercial development opportunities in Hamilton.