Revitalization

RIP Connaught Deal

By RTH Staff
Published July 30, 2008

Today's Spectator has all the sorry details.

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By jason (registered) | Posted July 30, 2008 at 08:37:49

all the sorry details also include some interesting comments from some of involved partners as well as Gord Moodie at city hall that the deal might be dead, but not really dead at all. The saga continues, but I wouldn't stick an RIP on this just yet.

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By another capitalist (anonymous) | Posted July 30, 2008 at 09:23:39

This deal is gone!

Why did anyone think that Harry Stinson could pull this off?

Talk to anyone having dealings with him in Toronto and they'll cringe.

1,000 ft condo tower in Hamilton?......Please.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted July 30, 2008 at 09:53:57

"1,000 ft condo tower in Hamilton?......Please."

Uh oh, i think i hear a squelcher. don't confuse whether Stinson can pull off a deal with whether Hamilton could be home to a tall slender condo tower.

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By abacus (anonymous) | Posted July 30, 2008 at 10:47:33

The tower is a red herring. That was going to be Phase Two of the project, to be undertaken as consumer demand warranted. The Connaught proposal was supposed to be financially viable even without it.

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By jason (registered) | Posted July 30, 2008 at 12:53:19

Anonymous, just thought I'd fill you in on a piece of news that you must have missed a few weeks ago: Moodie was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Back to the Connaught, Another Capitalist, there are many people in TO who made a bundle working with Harry and some rumblings from my sources indicate that they are looking seriously at becoming involved with this project. If by "anyone in Toronto" you mean David Mirvish, then point taken. I'm pretty sure he's only one person though.

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By another capitalist (anonymous) | Posted July 30, 2008 at 14:37:09

Hello Jason

I'm refering to the many suppliers, big and small that have been left holding worthless receivables from this man. These are not all large construction companies, many are smaller owner managed firms who suffered huge losses because of 1 King.

I've seen much criticism from this site on certain local developers, fair enough. But believe this guy is no better and I'd bet much worse!

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By Reason (anonymous) | Posted July 31, 2008 at 12:26:10

Jason's analytical and accuracy skills strike again! Keep it up Jason. You do RTH proud!

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By abacus (anonymous) | Posted July 31, 2008 at 13:12:18

According to Moodie, “a deal could actually be closer than it appears.” Not necessarily a deal involving Harry, as is reiterated throughout the article: “a deal that may or may not see them working together” / “the group is open to offers from other developers” / “The owners group is meeting today to talk about its plans for moving on without Stinson”. I’m sure that many RTH readers will reflexively wrinkle their noses at the mention of Vrancor joining in on the Connaught, but it isn’t that outrageous a suggestion. Vrancor is one of the few local builders with bona fides in hotel development, having developed Staybridge Suites (the last new hotel build downtown?) and a number of Hilton-branded hotels, winning a developer of the year award from the Hilton Hotels Corporation last year. That’s not to say that there’s not room for another experienced out-of-town party – Tridel, Daniels, Menkes, Concord – to tackle this project with the kind of confidence that that triggers a turnaround.

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By Frank (registered) | Posted July 31, 2008 at 15:11:10

Reason, I see you put yours to good use as well! Kill the personal attacks buddy.

Any word as to whether or not the the interested parties plan on rebuilding to match the style that Harry was talking about or are they going to put up drywall and make it like every other hotel in the area?

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By Jelly (anonymous) | Posted July 31, 2008 at 16:32:31

I just think Harry put the cart before the horse on this one- the tower to most people in Hamilton seems unrealistic or impossible. That's not to say it couldn't happen.

Regardless of Stinson's good or bad reputations in Toronto, if he wants Hamiltonians to be interested enough to invest in a project of that scope, he needs to start and finish a successful development here, and prove himself to us, even if it's something modest. It's obvious he wanted to blow into town and make waves. I just think most Hamiltonians would be impressed if Stinson just got the connaught up and running first, and then maybe we can start a conversation about Space Needles, or whatever else he has in mind.

I'm sure a lot of investors were turned off by what seemed like unrealistic idealism on Stinson's part. Hamilton has had enough carrots dangled in front of us, hopefully Harry starts to realize that. He just has to know we've seen too many unrealized concept sketches on the front page of the spec to take him for his word. We're a rightly cynical bunch. One step at a time is the only way we can redevelop the downtown, even when it comes to megaprojects.

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By Jelly (anonymous) | Posted July 31, 2008 at 16:37:05

I just think Harry put the cart before the horse on this one- the tower to most people in Hamilton seems unrealistic or impossible. That's not to say it couldn't happen.

Regardless of Stinson's good or bad reputations in Toronto, if he wants Hamiltonians to be interested enough to invest in a project of that scope, he needs to start and finish a successful development here, and prove himself to us, even if it's something modest. It's obvious he wanted to blow into town and make waves. I just think most Hamiltonians would be impressed if Stinson just got the connaught up and running first, and then maybe we can start a conversation about Space Needles, or whatever else he has in mind.

I'm sure a lot of investors were turned off by what seemed like unrealistic idealism on Stinson's part. Hamilton has had enough carrots dangled in front of us, hopefully Harry starts to realize that. He just has to know we've seen too many unrealized concept sketches on the front page of the spec to take him for his word. We're a rightly cynical bunch. One step at a time is the only way we can redevelop the downtown, even when it comes to megaprojects.

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By another capitalist (anonymous) | Posted August 01, 2008 at 08:47:49

Good post Jelly!!!

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