Revitalization

Lofty Goals in Sight

By Jason Leach
Published October 14, 2010

The Herkimer at Bay condo developers have posted a notice saying they're 100% sold and are directing interested condo buyers to the Witton Lofts at 50 Murray Street between Park and MacNab in the West Harbour neighbourhood.

The Witton Lofts are named after architect William Palmer Witton (trained by John Lyle), who designed the James Street Armouries, Central Fire Hall, the Vasco da Gama Club on James North and the Herkimer Apartments at Herkimer and bay. Witton also designed the Mcilwraith School on Murray, which will now bear his namesake.

In related condo news, the Hamilton Grand at 64 Main St. E. just announced that its residential suites are now 70% sold out.

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

27 Comments

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By James (registered) | Posted October 14, 2010 at 09:14:18

I used to live across the street from Herkimer at Bay. It's a lovely building and Herkimer Street is among the nicest parts of Hamilton.

I'm super excited about the Hamilton Grand! I've never seen anything in that vacant lot in my life aside from a set for the Hulk movie. More people living downtown > surface parking lots, right?

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By peter (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2010 at 10:24:09

I'm pleasantly surprised by those numbers from the Grand project. Now, I'd be even happier if I saw some foundations being poured...

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By MattM (registered) | Posted October 14, 2010 at 11:47:25

I love reading this stuff. It's great to see condo's and lofts really taking off in Hamilton now. Stinson, Hamilton Grand, Herikmer/Bay, Witton, Film/Work are all selling like nuts. The buzz is being created and developers are noticing.

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted October 14, 2010 at 11:58:35

In this regard, Hamilton is totally different than it was three years ago when I moved here. There's publicity and momentum now to these projects, and I'm optimistic about where we'll be in three more years!

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2010 at 13:08:26

Hopefully next up is the Royal Connaught.

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted October 14, 2010 at 13:16:46

I can't believe how many condos are being developed currently. It's great to see.

Anyone know when Hamilton Grand is expected to be completed? I'm guessing it wouldn't be until 2012, right?

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2010 at 13:28:19

As of October 9th Stinson School Lofts 65% sold out.


http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hamilton-ON/Stinson-School-Lofts/158307566997


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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2010 at 14:28:04

Great news! However, i will believe the Stinson projects once I see construction underway.

New residential is what dt needs. Not welfare housing!!!

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 14, 2010 at 14:32:07

I really wish that more of this was happening in the north end. Herkimer and Bay is not an area in need. sigh... This is very similar to ward 3. There is lots of activity in the ward but its really not happening north of King where its needed

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 14, 2010 at 14:39:27

FYI, north end projects on the go:

http://raisethehammer.org/blog/1955/prop...

http://wittonlofts.com/

A bunch more were planned with the WH stadium until the Cats got in the way...but if we elect the proper mayor I'm confident we'll see WH development stay front and centre.
If we elect the wrong mayor, prepare for many more years of emptiness at the WH.

Comment edited by jason on 2010-10-14 13:39:55

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 14, 2010 at 14:44:58

Thats not too many. The majority are going south of King where they really aren't even needed. BTW the stadium debate has no bearing on investment in housing either positively nor negative. People who bring that up no matter what the issue have no interest in honest debate IMO

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 14, 2010 at 14:52:09

BTW the stadium debate has no bearing on investment in housing either positively nor negative. People who bring that up no matter what the issue have no interest in honest debate IMO

http://ourcityourfuture.ca/posts/28-deve...

Comment edited by jason on 2010-10-14 13:52:53

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2010 at 16:10:00

"A bunch more were planned with the WH stadium until the Cats got in the way..."

Jason, could you please provide some evidence for this?

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 14, 2010 at 17:01:21

I just did in the previous post. That is one link of several that can be found online showing the tremendous interest from private builders who were itching to build around the stadium.

There is hope behind the scenes that council will maintain WH as important to redevelop, even without the stadium, and along with the velodrome and other land clean-up, the builders may still do their thing.

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By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2010 at 18:56:13

Worth factoring in Molinaro Group's 11-storey going in at 121 St. Joseph's Drive, a condo-in-name that could lead to bigger things. And considering how much of Burlington's skyline they're responsible for, I'm personally more interested to see where they go in the coming year or two. If they start getting serious, you'll see interest from established condo developers follow. The rest is just prologue, IMHO.

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By anonymouse (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2010 at 19:35:25

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

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By TnT (registered) | Posted October 14, 2010 at 20:37:15

Is this the reason Ward 3 is not being targeted for redevelopment? Is is because they are going to need somewhere to dump all the displaced renters when the other areas improve?

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted October 14, 2010 at 22:43:25

While I agree the majority of development seems to be happening South of King, I'm not too concerned. Give it time. As developments proceed they'll be looking further afield for new space along the exisiting corridors.

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By NEVER AGAIN (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2010 at 11:40:16

I have to say after living in a condo I would never do so again. You can hear your neighbors talking through the walls, you can hear them taking a bath and even having sex. I would never even consider living in a place like that again. I makes it hard to resell too when people come to look at the house and they can hear music coming through the walls. Also the atmosphere feels like you are living in a hospital or a mental institution. It's like having strangers living in the next room. I now live in a single family home detached and it was cheaper than any condo and it's fantastic. Tired of living in a sardine can. Also condos tend to attract crime. Never again. I am not excited for these neighborhoods because these kinds of places only attract crime and crowded environments. If you are thinking about this kind of residence please consider all your options first.

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 15, 2010 at 11:57:05

I wonder which local homebuilder posted that message?

Just imagine the crime living here:

http://i1.trekearth.com/photos/103804/fa...

Comment edited by jason on 2010-10-15 10:58:29

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By MALEX (anonymous) | Posted October 15, 2010 at 12:07:44

Not sure what sort of condo you lived in, but my wife and I lived in one next to the CN Tower for a few years (CityPlace) and it was like a concrete bunker, you couldn't hear a thing.
I agree it was crowded, it would have to be with that sort of density, but attracting crime? Or the atmosphere of a mental institution? Seriously? Like I said, not sure what sort of development yours was, but it obviously wasn't done to a high enough standard...

Having said that, condos aren't for everyone, and they weren't for us, but it's all about lifestyle and for some people, who don't want the hassle of yard maintenance, etc, it's a great alternative. The more condos Hamilton can attract, the better. Everytime we go back to our old neighbourhood for an Argos or Raptors game, I'm blown away by the vibrancy. And to think, only 15 years ago, the lands around the Skydome were empty warehouses and parking lots.

Someone needs to convince Concord-Adex (the folks behind CityPlace) to come to Hamilton!

As an aside, a previous poster in another thread had stated that you can't build within 300 yards of train tracks? Or something to that effect? How can that be, when our condo literally overlooked the rows and rows of GO Train tracks going into Union Station??

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 15, 2010 at 13:31:36

I'm with Malex. Years ago we lived in a co-op apartment after moving out of a rental unit and the politicking was way too much for us to handle. We moved to townhouse rental units after selling and still had privacy issues. I've never lived in a condo but I've done apartments townhouses rural single family, small town single family and city single family dwellings. For me its a choice between the last 2. Both have advantages and both are far more preferable than multi family dwellings of any description for me

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By Jason (registered) | Posted October 15, 2010 at 13:36:14

Toronto worked out an agreement with CN to allow condos over the tracks. No such deal has been reached here yet. WH development plans are going to help push CN towards a similar deal. Sooner the better.

Comment edited by Jason on 2010-10-15 12:36:41

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted October 16, 2010 at 00:39:48

Purpose-built condos are worlds away from old apartment buildings "converted" into co-ops or condos.

It's like saying living in a house is terrible when you're comparing a shack in Alabama to a mansion in Beverly Hills. By the same token, a townhouse can be a tenement on Barton or a pristine rowhouse on Herkimer.

Labels matter far less than the quality of what's built, no matter the particular form.

Comment edited by Meredith on 2010-10-15 23:58:53

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By frank (registered) | Posted October 18, 2010 at 15:40:14

I actually know what NEVER AGAIN is talking about. There are poorly constructed condos sprinkled throughout the city that seem to have paper thin walls and I remember once when I had no problem hearing my neighbour beating up on his wife which allowed me to call the police :) Personally I'm not a fan of condo living but I do understand the need for it and if properly built they can be a great purchase.

Comment edited by frank on 2010-10-18 14:40:55

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By allantaylor97 (registered) | Posted October 18, 2010 at 20:04:23

Purpose built or not, multifamily dwellings are not for me. I really don't care how nice they are, there are privacy issues I hate

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted October 19, 2010 at 18:28:17

I understand what you're saying, Turbo - it's the silly comments about condos being like a "mental institution" that need to be refuted, not yours.

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