Comment 97876

By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted February 24, 2014 at 16:57:30

Ok Don McLean,

You and a number of people on this site always talk about how we should focus on brownfields first however they are not attractive to most businesses for the following reasons:

1. Cost of cleaning contaminated land (both money and time) would harm business competitiveness and they would look to other locations
2. Proximity to polluting industries is not attractive to food processing, high tech, bio etc
3. Most brownfields are in small land parcels that don't accommodate larger developments.

I am not against brownfields development and would love it if Hamilton's old waterfront industrial was teaming with business again and all brownfields are gone but that is not going to happen for the reasons I mentioned.

You need to face the market realities and work within them. Some businesses may be attracted to the waterfront brownfields (usually port related) but not many. If we focus on brownfields at the expense of AEGD or other greenfield then we will lose a whole generation of investment (again!) to neighboring municipalities. We would not have gotten the Canada Bread and Maple Leaf investments if we did not develop greenfield sites. They would have just moved on to other munis taking there jobs and tax assessment with them.

Hamilton will not attract commercial and industrial assessment unless we have greenfield sites. That is a fact of life that you all need to accept or business will by-pass Hamilton once again. If you don't beleive me then go for a drive along the QEW in Burlington and Oakville and you can see all the business that by-passed Hamilton because we did not have greenfields with highway access.

Business doesn't care about "smart growth", "sprawl" or any of this other nonsense. They operate in the real world where they have to compete to stay alive. If Hamilton doesn't provide what they need they will move on.

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