By Jason Leach
Published April 23, 2009
A bit of a head-scratcher at City Hall: After years of planning to add density along Main West in order to free up single family homes in Westdale, we are now hearing local councillors complain about a new proposal to do just that:
Hamilton Councillor Bob Bratina calls McMaster University "an unwieldy leviathan ruining everything around it."
Mac is a "university that has grown way too big on its site," Bratina said in commenting on a private developer's bid to build a 10-storey apartment tower to house 600 students between Rifle Range and Ewen roads south of Main Street West.
As far as I can tell, only one student building has been built so far on Main West, and it has been heralded a great success by everyone involved.
The location for this latest proposal is ideal for such a project, close to grocery stores, restaurants and transit.
One member of a west-end group opposing this project bemoans the 'loss of industrial land'. I wonder if she is planning on calling various industrial companies to build a new factory at that site? I'm guessing that wouldn't be too well received by local residents.
Anyone who knows the site knows that there is absolutely zero impact on surrounding homes. I'm not sure that anyone living in the area will even be able to see the building from their home, other than perhaps some on the other side of Main Street.
I would like to see a downtown campus for Mac, but I also hope to see many more developments like this along Main West in the years to come.
More projects like this will continue to aid in the return of families to the nice homes of Westdale and much safer, enjoyable living conditions for both residents and students.
The folks who built West Village condos are hoping to build another similar building directly across from Mac on a former funeral home site. With streetfront retail/commercial space like the current West Village building along Main West, this would be a fabulous development for students and local residents.
Let's hope Westdale residents remember all the hard work that went into developing this plan to densify Main Street to revitalize the residential neighbourhoods around Mac.
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