Cranespotting

Rosewood Suites: East Hamilton Rental Apartment Building Goes Condo

It's a home that can rise in value, is close to public transit, is walkable to most places that people in the suburbs must drive to, and affordable.

By Trey Shaughnessy
Published December 17, 2009

The Building

Rosewood Suites is an apartment building complex of 500 units adjacent to the former Centre Mall on Barton Street recently turned into the Centre on Barton nice creative name - a new retail format of large pad-site anchor stores surrounded by smaller pad-sites and strip plazas normally called a Power Centre.

The existing building located at 486 Ottawa Street North between Beach Road and Barton Street was previously an un-noticed rental complex typical of East Hamilton.

The gentrified condo-conversion is now called the Rosewood Suites and has undergone a $2 million upgrade. That's an impressive feat for the money, considering 500 units now have new windows, flooring, hardware, kitchens and baths, plus a new roof. Basically, you get a brand new crib.

While the exterior remains the same, the inside isn't. The units are one, two, two+ and three bedrooms, ranging from 460 - 902 sq ft. The prices are affordable to anyone with a job and credit from $75k to $108k. Not bad bang for the loonie, considering the same size units are 3-4x the price in downtown Toronto, and more if you include condo fees.

The Area

This is an area of Hamilton that the City seems determined to make work. The Ottawa Street Shopping District is only one block south, and the Centre on Barton - nice creative name - is next door.

Outside, within a 'real' walking distance is a 24-hour Metro, and several banks, pharmacies, and retail stores - the type that regular people frequent weekly or monthly.

This is not Yorkville where local retail stores sell $99 candles. It's pure Hamilton: working-class, honest, hard-working, home-owning families, mixed with the typical inner-city activities that go on in Toronto or any real urban city.


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Affordable Living

It's not far from downtown and it's easy access for out-of-town commuting. I have to ask some questions, though: Did the Red Hill Expressway have anything to do with this? Did the new Centre on Barton - nice creative name - have anything to do with this? Or is this a sign of Hamilton's underlying potential?

If you ask me, these are not for Toronto-bound commuters and this has nothing to do with the Red Hill Expressway. These are for working, young Hamiltonians who work locally and want affordable housing.

Perhaps they are for someone who works at the Centre on Barton - nice creative name - and uses public transit, is an honest and hard-working Hamiltonian, the type of individual that gave Hamilton its well earned and unique reputation.

It's a home that can rise in value, is close to public transit, is walkable to most places that people in the suburbs must drive to, and affordable. I like it. I like it a lot.

The Rosewood Suites' bang-for-dollar is A+. The exterior renovation gets a C-, but you have to keep it affordable. Overall, I give this project an A-. It's good for Hamilton and it's good for the area. I hope more of the area gets gentrified as time goes.

The Developers

The developers deserve major credit for investing in this area. They must see potential or else would not have invested in this building.

The website lists their next project rental/condo conversion project as the Wellington Suites. Word is this is the building at Wellington and Wilson. We'll look forward to that.

More info: http://www.therosewoodsuites.com/#home?id=1

Trey lives in Williamsville NY via Hamilton. He is a Marketing Manager for Tourism and Destination Marketing in the Buffalo-Niagara Metro.

His essays have appeared in The Energy Bulletin, Post Carbon Institute, Peak Oil Survival, and Tree Hugger.

And can't wait for the day he stops hearing "on facebook".

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted December 18, 2009 at 07:10:49

Nice and creative Trey. I can attest to the fact that the kitchens and baths are all brand new, well most of them anyhow, because I installed and continue to install the fixtures which include new Moen's for the showers.

Ironically, I also help bring the plumbing up to snuff at the Wellington. I guess because Jim owns both buildings and Lou appreciates the work we do. Ross and Ron are these building's respective supers currently and are dedicated to the project.

I of course have a personal affection for the Rosewood Suites because it is in my ward 4 neighborhood and the Ottawa Street North BIA. On many occasions in the last couple years, I had the pleasure of walking to work at the Rosewood. This building once housed the Jockey Club when there was a horse racing track next door. You can see some old photographs at Helen's Diner just up the road.

Real estate is on the rise here in the fourth, it is wise to act now before they go north.

[Comment edited by WRCU2 on 2009-12-18 06:12:18]

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted December 18, 2009 at 07:17:24

WRCU2, do you know what the plumbing is like at the Rosewood building?

Sure, new fixtures, floors etc is fine, but that's easy to change - I'm always more interested in what's behind the walls.

What's the electrical/plumbing/insulation like and how is the building heated? Are things separately metered or is heat and hydro going to be in condo fees?

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 18, 2009 at 09:59:32

Great piece and a good reno project for sure, although I had to laugh at "trendy, historic Barton Village". Lol. hopefully these guys can carve out a niche in Hamilton like Options for Homes has in TO providing good, clean, safe, affordable home ownership.

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By Bongo (anonymous) | Posted December 18, 2009 at 10:16:01

I suspect the Red Hill Valley Parkway is responsible for quite of bit of revitalization in the east end, despite what you might wish ot admit.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 18, 2009 at 10:27:29

proof?

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted December 18, 2009 at 10:27:51

I expect that many of the people who will purchase these condos are those already renting.

Great to see a developer who is investing in some of Hamilton's forgotten areas.

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted December 18, 2009 at 10:39:52

I recall hearing that one of the reasons for the redevlopment of Centre Mall is because of the RHVP.

The RHVP is the reason for the Lowes on Woodward (a brownfield re-devlopment).

The RVHP will lead to a great deal of industrial assessment in the Mountain and North Glanbroke Business parks once they are serviced.

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By Silvia (anonymous) | Posted December 18, 2009 at 22:58:59

Wow I remember attending one of Merulla's public meetings on this development. I thought he dreaming! Its awesome it actually happened. I'm going to take a look at these units. As a single mother I can finally afford to own rather than rent!! Wooo hooo!:)

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By Silvia (anonymous) | Posted December 18, 2009 at 23:13:40

Sorry I made a mistake. I meant to say I thought Merulla was dreaming. Sorry!

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted December 19, 2009 at 02:32:07

To clarify, I was asking WRCU2 about the plumbing because I could see a few people I know being in the market for a project like this, not as a criticism of what the money was spent on - it's an amazing redo for an average of 4k/unit!

If he (or she) is still on here, I would really like to know what's going on behind the walls if possible and if they have or will take the step of separately metered units.

[Comment edited by Meredith on 2009-12-19 01:32:31]

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By Brooke (anonymous) | Posted December 19, 2009 at 13:40:23

Does anyone have a phone number and contact name for this development? This really is exciting development

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 19, 2009 at 20:42:10

1-877-818-7720

info@therosewoodsuites.com

just got this from the webiste listed. .I'm not shilling for them.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 19, 2009 at 20:45:58

I'm wondering if any development that is to happen in East Hamilton will be accredited to the RHVP?

Something tells me. that if you have a power centre outside your door. why would one drive up the RHVP to go to basically the same power center. Or conversely why would anyone from 53 and 20 drive down the RHVP to visit the Barton Power Centre?

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By Brooke (anonymous) | Posted December 19, 2009 at 21:19:59

Trey:

I don't care about Redhill. All I care bout is the fact the neighbourhood o grew in is be renewed and I want to be a part of that renewal. I presently live oin the moutain and I want to own my home where I grew up. I so happy that things have improved so much that the Centre Mall has had such dramtic changes as well as Ottawa St. I thought I would never move back but I drove by today and I can say that it looks great. Thanks for the tip Trey I am so excited about moving in. I have left a message withe number you provided and I have great credit so I hope I can get one of these units and own it. I ha(e paying rent. Thanks Trey for the tip.

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By Bongo2 (anonymous) | Posted December 19, 2009 at 23:47:17

The Red Hill will be the saviour of the east end it was predicted to be....look at the evidence.

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By Paramount (anonymous) | Posted December 20, 2009 at 07:04:36

First, rah rah Rosewood. Happy to see positive spin-off of a much-maligned development. Ottawa Street North has done well by this power centre, on balance.

Not to detract from the point of this article, but Trey asks, "Why would one drive up the RHVP to go to basically the same power center. Or conversely why would anyone from 53 and 20 drive down the RHVP to visit the Barton Power Centre?"

Selection, maybe.

CENTRE: Zellers, Canadian Tire, Shoppers Drug Mart, Metro, Beer Store, LCBO, Staples, Dollarama

BARTON/CENTENNIAL: Future Shop, King's Buffet, Home Depot

EASTGATE: Fortinos, Homesense, Wal-Mart, LCBO, Sears, Shoppers Drug Mart, Moores, Jack Astor's

MEADOWLANDS EAST: Silver City, Indigo, Home Depot, Best Buy, Leon's, PetSmart, HockeyLife, Michael's (also, Carmen's Banquet Centre is next door)

There's some overlap, but not so much that you would have an easy time convincing me that they are "basically the same power center".

I understand that RTH regulars despise the RHVP and understand why people loathe power centres as a rule -- even though this disdain is often expressed *with utmost subtlety*. And I agree that there are rational reasons for holding this stance, but why pretend that the situation is something it isn't? Even in cases where a store is nominally the same, the stock can sometimes be different. (Or have you never gone to an LCBO outlet before?)

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By Bongo (anonymous) | Posted December 20, 2009 at 10:11:35

Paramount is right on and we should all be thankful. Especially in the east end.

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By Skully (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2009 at 09:17:16

Shame the outside of the building is so drab...

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By woody10 (registered) | Posted December 21, 2009 at 09:44:34

Shame it's next door neighbour is Dofasco.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 21, 2009 at 15:25:30

A plus if you work at Dofasco tho.

That 'bridge' thing at the foot of Ottawa, is one of -- I would have to say -- Hamilton's most defining features. Show me another city in Canada that has a factory[e] that built a bridge over a street.

In my Imagination i can't think of any Plus side to building a bridge over a street, except that Dofasco got mad props from signage.

Merry Christmas everyone.

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By Really? (registered) | Posted December 21, 2009 at 16:34:43

What are the Condo/Maintenance Fees and what do they include? -Daily Soot Removal? -Daily Air Freshening? -Personal Crossing Guard if you want to get from one side of 'The Centre' to the Other? -Drug-Addict Protection?

Joking aside (although they aren't really that far-stretched), congrats to these developers for even taking a look at Hamilton, and especially the 'Trendy Barton Village District' --btw, I believe Barton Village-proper is in the Barton & Victoria-Wentworth area, not as east as Ottawa Street, but hey, whatever. Why didn't they just add an 'e' to the end to make it sound 'historic' rolls eyes

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 21, 2009 at 17:09:38

it may not be the 'nicest' part of town, but it's a good working class neighbourhood and nice, clean affordable housing like this is a huge asset. It can help people build equity and hopefully break some poverty cycles as well. I'll admit, marketing neighbourhoods like this needs to be done carefully. People think of Westdale or Locke when they think of trendy, historic neighbourhoods. I wonder sometimes if using lingo like that can backfire on a property owner when a prospective tenant comes from out of town only to find themselves at Barton and Ottawa. Ottawa is a great 'main street' and should be promoted as such.
Overall, great project for the east end.

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By Really? (registered) | Posted December 21, 2009 at 17:25:06

Agreed, Jason. IMO they should have used Ottawa Street as the big draw, not Barton Street (since everyone in the Greater Hamilton Area already has a set stigma associated with Barton Street.. EVERYbody!)

I also like the idea of affordable ownership options. I also believe that the East End is experiencing a resurgeance in population, especially in regards to Young, Urban Professionals (YUPpies). I have 3 friends from my old suburban neighbourhood who have moved into the East End (Centre Mall-Gage Park areas) over the last 5-or-so years, primarily due to the ultra-cheap husing stock and NOTHING to do with the RHVP; Infact it was easier to access the RHVP from our old Suburban neighbourhood than from the Centre Mall area.

It's too bad that 'the Centre on Barton' was done so Backwards & Cheap, or this neighbourhood could have been better than any neighbourhood in Hamilton, including the ultra-urban Downtown 'hoods.

If you plan on buying a unit here, kudos to you! But don't forget to rent a Personal Crossing Guard if you want to walk from shop-to-shop at the 'Centre on Barton'.. which is, as Trey has pointed out several times, the worst name ever!

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted December 21, 2009 at 20:56:51

Hi Meredith, sorry I've been away. I am a he by-the-way.

To answer your question about what's behind the walls, first let me say there are no bugs. Mostly what I've found inside the walls are Hamilton Spectator's from 1959 if that's any indication of how long it's been since any major remodeling work was performed. Long overdue I would say.

There is a new boiler and management addresses heat calls promptly. The underlying plumbing is in good shape and the copper is predominantly type L. This is the heavy duty stuff. All electrical panel boxes have been upgraded and are metered per unit. I am not sure how they handle charging for heat. I suspect probably through condo fees.

Someone mentioned potential riff-raff in the neighborhood. Let me tell you that the place has had a clean sweep these past couple years. In the beginning we used to jokingly call it the Rosebud. You're gonna find hoodlums no matter where you live in the city, but owners generally do take better care of their properties and respect their neighbors more so than renters. This is a rule of thumb only, not an undeniable fact.

Green roofing and new landscaping ideas are being kicked around. This will largely depend on those individuals who have a stake in the buildings (Wellington also) like the new owner occupants and property managers like Terry and Lou. These are the kind of men who will listen to you!

Blessings

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By wally (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2009 at 20:59:19

The Centre development is a 120 000 000 dollar development that has contributed to the residential development deeming it mixed use. "Backwards and cheap". Ultra urban downtown development in Hamilton? What the heck are you smoking? Really?

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By wally (anonymous) | Posted December 21, 2009 at 21:02:19

For the record the zero's represent one hundred and twenty million dollars. Name one other development in the lower city of this magnitude? You can't do it because its the only one Really? Yep Really!

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted December 21, 2009 at 22:07:26

Hi wally, yes I am blessed to be living in the fourth.

Thanks for sharing your zeros.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 21, 2009 at 23:05:45

to me it makes it even worse to see how many zero's were spent on that project and how badly it's turned out. Goes to show that just because something costs a lot doesn't mean it's any good.

[Comment edited by jason on 2009-12-21 22:06:06]

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By Diane Miller (anonymous) | Posted December 22, 2009 at 00:47:39

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 jason (registered) | Posted December 22, 2009 at 09:37:38

Ummm, Christmas is one of the best times of the year and I absolutely wish everyone the best. Secondly, you might have commented in the wrong article - this piece is all about a great new project in the east end allowing for affordable home ownership and hopeful revitalization of the surrounding neighbourhood.

Merry Christmas!

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By rusty (registered) - website | Posted December 22, 2009 at 16:29:13

Yes, she should have ended it "Bah Humbug"...

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By Really? (registered) | Posted December 22, 2009 at 17:14:08

Anyone else find it weird/funny that every article that mentions Sam Merulla and/or Centre Mall always attracts a variety of random posters with the exact same message? That message being that this website is full of negative nellies and that we hate 'progress'. I think someone's nervous about a revolt of educated citizens ;)

I'm also glad to hear there are no bugs; that was a huge concern of mine in such an infamously dirty building.

I did some MLS'ing around Centre Mall, and there are deals all around; You could get a whole 3 bedroom house for under $100,000 still. So maybe these condos aren't that great a deal, especially with Condo/Maint. Fees ontop of mortgage/insurances/taxes.

They better keep their Fees low considering the complete lack of building amenities or could face losing potential buyers who would rather have a whole house with no condo fees.

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By Jay W (anonymous) | Posted December 22, 2009 at 19:52:39

Educated posters would not fabricate the price of homes in the east east end. The average home south of Main St is approx 160 thousand and north of Main St approx 130 thousand. I think the revolt is dooming in the blatant lies, misconceptions and blatant ignorance in the face of facts.

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By Jay W (anonymous) | Posted December 22, 2009 at 19:56:15

Furthermore the area south east of Ottawa St to Kenilworth between King and Main have homes listed above 300 thousand dollars. FYI

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By Jay W (anonymous) | Posted December 22, 2009 at 20:26:03

The average home is actually higher than I first researched. Please refer to the web site Point 2 Homes. Most homes listed north of Main are actually listed at nearly 200 thousand dollars. I guess really is a poster boy for the don't believe everything you read movement of the wannabe educated posters.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 22, 2009 at 22:03:18

Most homes NORTH of Main are over $200,000??

http://www.realtor.ca/map.aspx?&vs=V...

[Comment edited by jason on 2009-12-22 21:04:06]

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By JayW (anonymous) | Posted December 22, 2009 at 22:37:49

Homes.point2.com is a great site. I could not access to page you are reference. I also said nearly 200 thousand on Province N, Weir N etc. The listings are posted on this site. My point is 100 thousand dollar homes in the East end is a thing of the past. Its disingenuous to suggest that price tag for a three bedroom home. Within walking distance from the Centre Mall there are homes valued for more than 400 thousand dollars south east of Ottawa St to Kenilworth between King and Main St. Hamilton East property values have sky rocketed and the stereo types presented by some bloggers is very dishonest and elitist. Get your facts straight prior to blogging. Misinformation does no one any good.

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted December 22, 2009 at 22:57:17

Jay, you might want to look at the realtor.ca site, since that gives a much fuller picture of that area than the site you're referencing - just a heads-up, I hope you take it as a helpful suggestion.

I have been following the real estate market rather closely over the past couple years in Hamilton (I was in a place to buy a house, then my situation changed dramatically -- but I still follow the market because I hope to be in that place again within a couple years and I want to stay up-to-date).

Friends of mine have just moved from out-of-town to this exact area (Ottawa/Barton) for its affordability - of a full house.

While it's not comprehensive as a full MLS system that your realtor has access to, Realtor.ca is much more reliable than the much smaller/less comprehensive sites, (You can also sign up with a realtor to get fuller reports (e.g. taxes, more details) on homes within a certain area - it might be helpful if you're looking at your neighbourhood to see how prices change.

[Comment edited by Meredith on 2009-12-22 21:57:49]

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 22, 2009 at 23:02:31

yea, my point in linking to the MLS site is to show the great variety of housing in that part of the city and there are still a ton of 3 bedroom homes listed from $90,000-$120,000.
Absolutely the area south of Main on either side of Gage Park and over in St Clair can see homes in the $300,000-$500,000 range but folks can still snag a nice little 3 bedroom starter north of Main for around $100,000. Prices are slowly going up, but by no means is the east end out of reach or too expensive for most folks. It's a perfect starting point for people looking to own a home and build some equity.
The condos talked about in this article will add another dimension to that housing stock and from what we can tell, it's clean and well maintained.

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By JonC (registered) | Posted December 22, 2009 at 23:10:43

Just to expand on what Meredith is saying. For about the same area I'm seeing 3 homes on the site Jay listed and 61 on MLS, including this one, on Province N (as requested).

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 22, 2009 at 23:59:54

I think it's even cheaper if you move a block west between Sherman and Wentworth and Barton and Canon. I find it a good neighbourhood. Good neighbours, Good grid of streets, so almost all traffic is local. I bought for $130s in the summer, and the house was completely redone, it was a flip. Better someone else does it then me. Back yard, front yard, detached. It's insane value. I spend more on stupid purchases then on my mortgage. No driveways but my car is closer to my front door then if I had a 40 ft lot w driveway. Plus taxes are $1100. Like I said, if you have a job and credit, this area is a great place to be a homeowner and built equity. Cheaper to carry then a rental. You may call it a starter, but also may never want to leave. People on my street have lived here for 40 years and love it.

Someone mentioned to me, for what the province is paying for the Connaught per unit to be turned into 'affordable housing'. Why don't they buy about 200 houses in this area put the same amount of money into them and make them affordable housing. It would cost less and give them full houses. It would save Connaught for a hotel use and not ghettoize everyone in one building. They would be spread over several streets.

And the strange thing is, this area it's so accessible. I'm on the QEW Nigara via Burl St in 5 minutes. I'm on the 403 Toronto via Canon in 10 minutes. Or I'm up on the West South mtn in 16 minutes. I don't know why people don't know about this area. ??

And the Centre Mall/Ottawa St is a 5 minute drive east. And downtown James/Canon is about 8 minutes. I fill my car up once every 6-weeks unless I have to travel out of town.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 23, 2009 at 00:30:14

If I drive directly south from my house for 3 or 4 blocks im right in the middle of Delaware and St. Clair Blvd. these house are easy $400k and go to $6-700k. This City is sometimes crazy like that. But back when they were built I guess it was miles away from the worker-classes and these were the business owners. It's an interesting pocket of luxury homes,,, perhaps the most expensive in the downtown east end. I wonder why a mini-Durand happened all the way out here.?

The houses date almost to around the time of Durand's mansions.. Maybe it was an ethnic thing. At the same time, Westdale was developing a similar style and exclusive residential area. Encouraged for WASPs, to live, then brought a Protestant University to the area. McMaster a Presbyterian/Methodist school from Toronto.

From what I know. Jews where originally banned from living in Westdale. Ironically it eventually became a dominant Jewish neighbourhood. And the Sherman/Delaware area was a dominate wealthy Catholic Italian nieghbourhood. Barton-Sherman Gang, And Durand was strictly WASP elite. Eveywhere else was factory factory workers/middle class. neighbourhoods. And only small pockets of ethnic groups formed unofficial ethnic neighbourhoods.... with the exception of Concession Street which was part of the Underground Railway and US Blacks settled there and formed the original "Concession" Neighbourhood.

Fascinating stuff in Hamilton's history.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 23, 2009 at 00:54:39

I would think with that much renovation... even considering the tenants living there before.... that the bugs are gone. And yes condo fees are related to the building's amenities. I once owned a townhouse condo and paid $180 for nothing but once a year exterior window cleaning and snow removal and grass cutting. With only one parking spot. If you stayed long enough you'd get new roof shingles in 20 years. Which is a bit unfair. because previous owners already paid for part of the pro-rated ashfault and shingles. It would be great if you moved in and two years later you get a new roof and new windows... of which 90% was paid for previous owners,

Condo fees do seem like they suck. But If I bought a lawn mowever it would've cost two months of fees alone. And it was nice to have your driveway shoveled. It depends on what you want. And to know that when your windows and rood need replacing it will be paid for. I didn't have a pool, a weight room or common room and still $180 per. It was audited so the condo corp usually can't get away with scamming. They do need to make a profit but it's reasonable.

I would assume that Rosewood's condo fees are similar. Ie getting what you pay for.

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted December 23, 2009 at 01:36:45

I'd hope they're reasonable fees - I'm guessing without many of the amenities they should be. Also, they'll probably follow the pattern of increasing by 25% or so after a couple years like a lot of new condos do.

Trey: the word "flipped" makes me shudder, but I'm sure if you've found a quality job, it must be nice to have a majority of the work done! I don't think I'll find anything but a fixer-upper to my liking. Then again, I've seen too many flipped houses in Hamilton where simple things like the furnace, windows, electrical or the roof was falling apart. And they still sold to people who wanted "a fresh coat of paint and new laminate floors and ooh... shiny!" And unfortunately I've known people who bought houses like that for more than they should have... which is bad news if just buying a house is a dream for someone, and it ends up costing a lot in repairs)

But that's my little tangent and I'll leave it alone now ;) Perhaps the Rosewood will prove to be an affordable entry-level housing option that, because it's a condo and has just been redone, helps some new homeowners to avoids those pitfalls.

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By Skully (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2009 at 07:53:09

My wife and I (and our young daughter) recently bought a gorgeous old detached house with a lovely backyard on Grosvenor South for $205,000. We moved from Toronto...Our friends literally fall off their chairs when they find out that our mortgage is a fraction of what theirs is (in Toronto) and my wife gets to stay home with our daughter...The same house in High Park would cost $700,000 easy. Best part is, like Trey pointed out, we're literally only minutes from everything. We love Ottawa Street North and frequent many of the businesses (Limoncello, Little Bird, Helens, Poco Loco, etc)...in fact, we love pretty much everything about the area (Gage Park still blows me away everytime I jog through it...)...and as for needing a body guard for walking from shop to shop at Centre Mall...give me a break. We've never once felt threatened/unsafe anywhere in the Crown Point area...nor when we take the HSR bus downtown either...and that's both with and without our daughter in tow. Yeah, the area is a bit rough around the edges, but it's an urban cityscape...and that's what gives it the character that makes it so great...if Ottawa Street truly is the next Locke Street, then it's just going to get even better. Moving to Hamilton was the best move we made, and I don't miss Toronto in the least! Instead of crapping all over everyhing, people should embrace what they have and work to make it even better...

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By FenceSitter (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2009 at 09:17:33

I was waiting for someone to mention the Connaught. You say buy 200 homes - why not buy a building like the one in this article. Seem like much better value. 100 suits purchased outright (similar to 100 low-rent suites in the Connaught) for a lot less money. The market rent for a two-bedroom at the Rosewood is listed as $725. At full rent it is only a little more than the rent assisted $650 at the Connaught.

I think it is great that we are seeing investment of this type in a building like this. Along with the new project in the Wellington area, this is positive news for Hamilton.

On the negative side, I am not sure this project is really geared towards affordable home ownership. When one reads the Rosewood Suites website, they will see this project appears to be more geared towards affordable investment vehicle. The Questions and Mortgage Calculator links give some handy information if one plans to purchase a suite for investment, not a lot of information for the owner/occupier.

Although with all the amenities in the area, not a bad place for affordable rent.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted December 23, 2009 at 14:52:54

The Connaught Housing Project is dead..... Merry Christmas to Hamilton. The gov rejected it.

Fence Sitter exactly. Why did the Connaught have to be Housing?. Many buildings in other neigbourhoods across this city are accessible to services, transit and retail by walking.

It never made sense to turn a 4-star hotel into a housing project right in the middle of downtown.

Off-topic. But....

Meredith... my house was a "flip", but it did come with new copper plumbing and 100 amp wiring. I'm fairly certain 90 years ago it wasn't built to code and now I'm happy with it. I really like the area and dread when I have to go on the mountain now.... where I was born and raised.

Give me another year and I'll let you know if 'flipped' houses are worth more then the paint. I hope not, so far the furnace is working, and the roof isn't leaking. But I keep my house a cool 65,.. and wear a sweater. Actually during that huge east end flood my basement stayed dry. And mine is a 1920s hand-made basement of stones.

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By Really? (registered) | Posted December 24, 2009 at 10:48:11

Sorry, Skullly... Just to clarify, I meant a Crossing Guard not body guard. I agree, although the East End seems rough, it's relatively safe and I don't ever feel threatened in this area at all...

I was suggesting people take a Crossing Guard to Centre Mall with them in order to criss-cross the Parking Lot while shopping. Someone in a Shiney, Reflective Vest equipped with a Stop Sign & Whistle would be the safest way to shop at that 'mall' ...unless of course you give in to it's terrible design and drive from store-to-store :(

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By grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted December 24, 2009 at 11:14:09

I agree with By Really? on the "crossing guards". No thought went into those, who do not drive. The design and set up is bad, not pedrestrian friendly at all.

Who ever thought up this idea of the Bg box stores set up like this, is off their rockers, in my view.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 24, 2009 at 11:20:46

big box stores exist so that the stores don't have to share costs of 'common areas' found in malls. I mean, lets give them a break. Walmart only made $12 billion in 2007. They were able to up that to $13 billion last year and so far, 10-15% higher in 2009. Little old ladies can't really expect someone to provide them with comfortable food courts and sitting areas in a heated mall when profit margins are so razor thin.

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By grassroots are the way forward (registered) | Posted December 24, 2009 at 11:41:45

Jason: So they made only 13 billion last year? But at what cost to society? At what cost to the workers either here or abroad?

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By fail (anonymous) | Posted December 24, 2009 at 12:01:34

^^^ sarcasm fail

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted December 24, 2009 at 16:15:29

LOL those last two comments made me smile.

Ryan, maybe you should add support for <sarcasm></sarcasm> tags.

Also Merry Christmas!

[Comment edited by UrbanRenaissance on 2009-12-24 15:17:01]

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 24, 2009 at 22:19:18

LOL...

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted December 25, 2009 at 00:01:11

Jason >> Little old ladies can't really expect someone to provide them with comfortable food courts and sitting areas in a heated mall when profit margins are so razor thin.

I thought you were in favour of streetwall stores. These don't provide people with food courts or heated shopping corridors either? Which is it Jason, do you want more malls or less malls?

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By A sign of the times .. (anonymous) | Posted December 30, 2009 at 00:18:48

Are you joking? This place will be a dump in a year, if not less. These units will be sold to out of city/province investors. Anyone who knows anything about 1 Albright and 15 Nicklaus in the east end knows exactly what I'm talking about. Those buildings were also apartment conversions. Originally sold for $49,000-99,000 11 years ago, most owners are taking their losses and running.

Hamilton needs to remove the red tape involved in new construction and clear the way for trendy/cool condo's that people will get excited about.

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By A sign of the times ... (anonymous) | Posted December 30, 2009 at 12:05:40

I should have said: "The majority of units will be sold to out of city/province investors."

A couple of young, first time buyers will also be sucked into this project. Sad, sad, sad ...

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By management monkeys (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2010 at 21:14:02

DANGER HERE! Property management and dwelling possession is hazardous to your health and well being.

In just over a year we had the displeasure of two changes in management, a mouse infestation, numerous crackheads roaming the hallway at all hours,and of course a police presence at least once a day. There is an odor there that cannot be described as other than vile. Looks nice and presentable until you've been there a day or two, then you're saying to yourself "what the Hell was I thinking"?

Put your money into a house or look somewhere else. I wouldn't wish this place on anyone. Just sit out in the parking lot for one hour and watch the activities. I hope and trust you will heed this warning.

Sincerely

Former tenant on c-block

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By mangement monkeys (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2010 at 21:22:11

The topic above is about Rosewood Suites!!!

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By walter (anonymous) | Posted January 08, 2010 at 23:23:22

To Management Monkey! You must be smoking whatever you claim was present in these building because its been cleaned up since the reno! Obviously you were part of the problem that existed and I'm glad you are gone.

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By management monkey (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2010 at 13:01:18

Well Walter, like i said , lets see what the people on the other side of the door think. We are just expressing to future buyers to think before they purchase. Everything looks good on paper, and brochures. We are just for-warning customers. Better to hear it by someone who almost made the same mistake they might have. And obviously, we are not a bunch of crack users, because we could afford to pick up and go to more greener pastures. So sorry for the less fortunate.
Have a wonderfull day!

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By Walter (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2010 at 15:31:27

I live in the building. All the scum has left including you. See ya!!

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By mangement monkeys (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2010 at 20:29:14

Well it seems like im getting the reaction i wanted from you. This tells people that dis-respectfull people still do reside at rosewood, including yourself. Im so glad this site is here to voice opinions. You have confirmed what i said a couple of blogs ago, that there are still individuals, that use drugs, still reside there. Not so smart on your behalf. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH. DONT YOU?
I am determined to add something on this site ,pretty much on a daily basis,and PLEASE inform your property management TERRY FLEMING that its my pleasure to do so. Oh ya ,and dont forget to mention MY RIGHT TOO. According to the landlord and tenent act a tenant or FORMER tenant has rights.
If anyone does not have to deal with this mangement,DONT. If you do follow up on your rights. Or better yet, try and get out while you can. It will only get worse.

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By mangement monkey (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2010 at 10:06:15

TO POTENTIAL BUYERS

If you are fence sitting about buying one of these units. ASK THESE QUESTIONS.
Can i get my own bank to hold the mortgage.
Why let the owners hold it?
So they can collect the interest of your loan?
If investors are buying these units, they will rent to anyone just to get their money.
When it is all said and done, it all comes down to MONEY.
Then ask why only 1 laundry facility for 500 units?
Is there going to be a playground for the kids?
There are lots of kids, and its a shame that they dont have anything to do?
And they are portraying to be family orientated!

Give me a break!
I dont care if this doesnt reach all potential buyers, but to only get one person to change their mind,
Im succeeding my goal!

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By management monkey (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2010 at 10:22:59

Well another mention GO FIGURE!
They say that these buildings were up in 1950,s
Well did you know that you have the right, to ask, what the potiential hazards are, and that they should be posted in a common area, about:
During renovations are they subjecting you to any asbestos hazards?
( from removing old tile on the floor, old boiler systems)
What about old lead paint that was used back in the day.
Not to mention lead piping.
Ask them to post these hazards up in the main hallway?
This is your right as tenants.
Better yet , why dont you call ministry of Health to conduct an investigation.
YOU CAN ORGANIZE A TENANT COMMITTEE
WOW!! All this information, is on the site Landlord and Tenant Act

ASK THIS QUESTION, ARE YOU AND YOUR KIDS HEALTH AT RISK?

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By mangement monkeys (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2010 at 11:41:08

Instead of leaving it up to someone else. I have personally taken the initiative to contact The Ministry of Enviroment, and Ministry of Health.
Have a great day!

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted February 11, 2010 at 20:38:42

I was just recently at the Metro store and saw most of the windows were lit up. This is not a vacant building.... there wasn't any bad element hanging around... the grounds were lit and clean... it looked like any mountain condo would but with the convenience of Centre Mall On Barton next door. It looked to me to be a viable investment.

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By xtennant1 (registered) | Posted March 13, 2010 at 11:15:54

Friends told me of this article, and once I read it, I could not wonder where the writer was and if he was at the same place as in the article, was he awake? How do you get a count of 500 units in a building that at the best of times only had a rental capablity of arond 205 units! New Math??

I lived there for 34 years and if anyone wants to know what the "Centre Apartments" is really like they should talk to a person like me. I will let you know about the building, present owners and their anti tennant attitude, the Management team out of London, and all about the area.

Do not let a few cosmetic changes and a new coat of paint fool you, once this building was the Centre Apartments and no matter what the name change it still is.

I lived there thru many regimes and feel sorry for anyone who would put their money out to purchase one of these units.

Again don't be fooled by this artilce, the author blows smoke on behalf of the owners and once the reality sets in, you are still living in the Centre Apartments, under the smoke stacks in the east end......

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By rbchurst (anonymous) | Posted October 26, 2011 at 16:10:07

Thanks for the information! I am moving from Cedar Rapids soon, so I have been trying to find some real estate in the Hamilton area. These sound they could make a great starter home!








http://cbhrealty.com

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By Wildflower (anonymous) | Posted September 14, 2013 at 22:37:04

I lived there for a year and it was the worst place to live. After two months we got roaches and not too long after that bed bugs. By the time I had enough money saved and my lease was up, more than half the building had bed bugs and roaches. Not to mention I heard mice running around in the walls at night. When I first moved in there weren't a lot of units filled and it was nice but then they just started letting anyone off the streets move in and it got out of control. On my floor alone there was a crazy old lady who would run down the hallway to talk to me whenever she heard my door open. The people across from me would cook curry every night and leave there door open so the whole floor and my apartment would smell like it and I got to listen to there kids screaming all day. There was one incident where I heard that there was a little boy who got raped by some one in the building, who knows if that's true but it's still freaky and I wouldn't be surprised if it actually did happen. Horrible building, please don't let your family or friends live here if you care about them.

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