Revitalization

Stinson Targets Singles in Revived Hamilton Grand

By Jason Leach
Published April 07, 2010

Stinson might have it right this time.

The Hamilton Grand is a 'singles' building, providing an effortless, no-maintenance, full service, 'hotel' lifestyle in a central downtown location at a competitive price.

Frankly, there is nothing even close to equivalent in Hamilton.

Targeting young people, singles, students, professionals and so on with good prices would seem to be a smart move.

Hamilton Grand rendering (image source: hamiltongrand.ca)
Hamilton Grand rendering (image source: hamiltongrand.ca)

He's right - the youth are the ones who care about and enjoy downtown. Let's hope this thing gets built.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

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By synxer (registered) | Posted April 07, 2010 at 10:21:24

The Hamilton Grand lives: http://gallery.me.com/ntomkin/100033/web

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By Great Potential (anonymous) | Posted April 07, 2010 at 21:50:58

I personally like how striking the building is in terms of the different colours - it breaks up the monotony along that corridor. Hopefully this project will go ahead and that construction will begin soon as the location is fantastic! After looking at the web site, the "typical suite" is too small for my liking. I hope there will be properly sized one and two bedroom units for consideration.

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 07, 2010 at 22:15:10

Harry had the funniest (and truest) line in the Spec today while describing the Grand:

Stinson said he wants primary colours up there, lots of jewel tones. "We wanted to really stand out from all the grey and taupe and beige and more grey (that's in the core)."

Comment edited by jason on 2010-04-07 21:15:40

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 07, 2010 at 22:18:20

great potential, if by 'properly sized one and two bedroom units' you mean folding up your desk at night in order to fold down a bed, then this place is just for you:

http://www.hamiltongrand.ca/typicalsuite...

I'm no architect, but in those 3-D images it sure looks like you'd bash your back against the side of that table everytime you get up from your computer desk. But again, the units start at $80,000 so I suppose he may get away with this ultra compact design in order to cram the units in.

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted April 07, 2010 at 22:21:07

Two bedrooms will be available, but I think it's brilliant what he's doing -- sure, we get students and professionals and people who can afford this but want to buy a condo, not a co-op or the like - and it dignifies the use of small spaces as a choice, not as forced.

Also, by offering this size and price, he's also going to get people who aren't North American who understand this size, scale and use of space - and bring a better perspective on it to our downtown.

Now if we only had 10 of these buildings, each with 10% subsidized housing in them... (and don't think the worst of that, it could be truly integrated, lots of seniors and singles who are quiet and mind their own business but need a safe and beautiful place). I can dream.

Comment edited by Meredith on 2010-04-07 21:24:37

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted April 07, 2010 at 22:24:27

Stinson will build this, I firmly believe it. Harry did not come to Hamilton to do nothing. He believes in this city's downtown, which is more than any recent developer has in the last 25 years. The Stinson Lofts are selling well. I wished his vision for the 100-floor Connaught manifested. This is his second run at the Hamilton Grand and it seems solid. I'm glad we have Harry here believing in our city. I wish there was 10 more Harry Stinsons that could see the same potential.

All the best and my hopes that Stinson does well for with this project. Then his next project will be one that not only redefines our skyline, but also redefines our downtown.

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 07, 2010 at 22:35:25

I'm with you both Meredith and Trey. The guy gets urbanism and clearly wants to see downtown Hamilton become the great place that it could be.

I'm certain the place will sell to students, Mac residents, investors, young people buying their first condo, downtown workers etc..... it's a brilliant location despite Main St.
The exterior design is WAY nicer than the usual stuff we get around here. If this and the school lofts can make him some money, who knows, maybe he'll take a stab at the skyscraper again. You know he wants to. First he needs to finish these two projects and make them a success.

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By zippo (registered) | Posted April 07, 2010 at 23:57:18

Don't see how the unit as shown on their website meets the building code. The room that has the entry door into it has no window so under the code you can't legally describe it as a living room, dining room, or bedroom. That means that the "living space" and "dining space" (not including the kitchen and bath portions of the unit) must be within the left hand room shown on the drawing (the one with the window) At 120 sq ft for a shared living space and 85 square feet for shared dining space (the code minimums for a bachelor apt.) you get 195 sq ft which is certainly bigger than that left hand room. Maybe the "hotel" thing in the name is part of some legal bullshit to try to weasel around this?

Also the Municipal property standards bylaw stipulates that the kitchen needs at least 8 square feet of work surface, which does not seem to be the case after subtracting the area occupied by the built in cooktop shown, and space for a stove, which does not seem to be present.

Comment edited by zippo on 2010-04-07 22:59:17

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By zippo (registered) | Posted April 08, 2010 at 00:10:00

Correction: I should have said 205 sq feet, not 195 sq feet in my last post, site won't let me edit after 15 minutes.

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted April 08, 2010 at 00:16:21

If it's all one room without doors, wouldn't that entire space be counted as one? Otherwise I'm sure they can work around it, unless the city wants to totally ignore what works in other cities around the world...

Here's a home with an "entryway kitchen" that's a similar concept except for the extra room the Grand has (and the bigger size of this kitchen). http://www.flickr.com/photos/brentdpayne... - the light's certainly all enough for the "one room" concept even with the hallway kitchen.

In the Grand, work surface extends on either side and can likely be counted in for the kitchen (it could even be all one material - can you imagine an entire suite with a long concrete counter? Ooh.)

This image might help: http://www.hamiltongrand.ca/HamiltonGran...

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By Peter (anonymous) | Posted April 08, 2010 at 03:36:05

I really hope they go back to the drawing board with that design. It looks like it's meant to be a replica of the Connaught; if they miss the mark it'll look terrible. Something modern and shiny would also jazz up that stretch of Main. Otherwise, great news!

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By synxer (registered) | Posted April 08, 2010 at 11:17:04

A few scratches aside, Hamilton needs more of the Harry Stinson ethos. He sees something in Hamilton we all see.

Image is Hamilton's issue. All other issues are second in my opinion.

Hamilton's negative image is a strong and stable node-based and node-influenced sociological idea. People talk as if Hamilton, as an entity, had wronged them.

We need to let people like Harry Stinson re-engineer how people interpret Hamilton as a whole.

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By Henry and Joe (anonymous) | Posted April 08, 2010 at 13:14:57

Hey Snyxer,

Interesting comment on the Stinson effect. Could you elaborate on what you mean by node-based and node-influenced? I see the image problem as a huge obstacle too. I see it among co-workers in GTA. Although many statements I hear are based on ignorance and stereotype, and a fear of being associated with poor people, there is a perception outside the community that is holding us back. I hear it all the time - its dirty - it smells - its ugly - the downtown is dangerous - people are scary - it's run down etc.
I like the waterfall billboard idea that was used as promotion, but what I'd love to see is a sign with 4 pictures.. 1)RBG trail 2) waterfront or waterfall 3) a bakery, 4) a restaurant patio -The text would be: Hamilton SMELLS....AMAZING

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By frank (registered) | Posted April 09, 2010 at 09:52:55

Zippo, I don't believe a stove is a building code requirement and it's definitely not a necessity. While small, the typical suite is actually pretty sweet. Small is the way things are going these days in case anyone's been paying attention. It's an efficient use of the space that's for sure. If you look at the plans the only door is the bathroom door so the entire suite aside from the WC is actually a "room".

H&J, love the Hamilton smells amazing idea lol!

Comment edited by frank on 2010-04-09 08:58:49

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By zippo (registered) | Posted April 09, 2010 at 10:06:21

Frank: You are correct it's not the building code that calls for a stove, it is, as I stated the Property Standards Bylaw that requires space for one to be provided. I.E. there are 2 laws in play here, The Building code (Provincial) and the Property Standards Bylaw (Municipal)

Property Standards Bylaw Section 15:

"15. Every kitchen shall contain an area equipped with a sink, served with potable running water, storage facilities, a work area, and space for a stove and refrigerator and all areas and spaces shall be maintained in a good state of repair"

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By frank (registered) | Posted April 09, 2010 at 15:44:00

Zippo, I think you'll find that according to the definition of stove a cooktop is exactly that. What you're thinking of is actually called a "range".

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By alrathbone (registered) | Posted April 09, 2010 at 18:37:10

Nice project, but what an awful rendering....

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By dickens (anonymous) | Posted April 12, 2010 at 03:18:41

I applaud Stinson for his efforts but I think we should be cautious. When his track record is examined he has many more unfinished projects then completed projects.

I also understand he no longer has access to the Mirvish money.

We should do everything we can to help him complete his Hamilton projects but be vigilant that we do not end up disappointed if he fails again.

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By synxer (registered) | Posted April 13, 2010 at 10:02:34

@ Henry and Joe

Could you elaborate on what you mean by node-based and node-influenced?

Hating Hamilton is a religion; to the point where there can be a bit of a comradery associated with beating down Hamilton. That has to stop. Hamiltonians, in general, are to blame for our current image. We do little to exuberate pride about the vast uniqueness to our city. We have a beautiful escarpment that you can admire as you travel up the "mountain", a waterfront to envy, a state-of-the-art medical university. But we're known for filth and poor people.

A few hours in Toronto, London, Mississauga or Brampton and you will find an equally filthy street; yet none of these cities have the image problems Hamilton has.

Things that help Hamilton's image: City logo redesign "H", "Live" campaign, "City of Waterfalls" (excluding awful YouTube video).

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By Fan (anonymous) | Posted April 14, 2010 at 13:48:11

Thing that's wild about Harry: if this doesn't work he'll try that. And if that doesn't work, it doesn't get built.

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By woody10 (registered) | Posted April 14, 2010 at 19:13:14

I lived in Toronto for a few years in a very nice area, believe me, they have all the bad stuff we have and more. They just hide it better, and ignore it even more. If you believe it isn't there then I guess it isn't, just ask a Torontonian. Every thing's perfect there, lol.

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By TnT (registered) | Posted April 15, 2010 at 20:12:17

I love the concept of the micro appartment, but I wonder if there is a market for it. I think the problem that arises (and not being negative for negative sake) is that you can't just build it and they will come. You have to really do the research in the town and find what appeals to whom.

Sadly, I don't have the answers and it is nice to see someone dream large.

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By woody10 (registered) | Posted April 15, 2010 at 21:43:55

I'm a believer that in Hamilton, people like to see what they're buying before they do. So in that case, if it's built it will sell. Just my opinion but everyone I talk to does things that way.

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By toylibrary (registered) | Posted September 27, 2010 at 14:45:48

My brother has had the unfortunate experience of owning a condo at 1 King West in Toronto. It has been an absolute nightmare for all parties who purchased with Stinson. Quote from my brother: "I can tell you the product we bought, plans we signed off on never came to fruition. Every plan that he had for the hotel never happened. He had 3 types of plans for people to sign into and not one of them were true or ever happened". Check out the Trustees in Bankruptcy Ira Smith at: http://www.irasmithinc.com/case_studies/... for information about the bankruptcy proceedings. I wish that the City of Hamilton had never "struck a deal with the devil". Many people are going to end up being hurt by his deceitful ways.

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