By Harry Stinson
Published November 28, 2011
On Monday, November 21, I paid a quarter million dollars ($228,012 to be exact) to the City of Hamilton for various fees and permits for the Stinson School, (to the happy surprise of the Planning and Building Departments).
On Friday, November 25, I picked up my morning Hamilton Spectator and read that the Stinson School is "months behind schedule" and financially floundering.
Hold the Press! HUGE story!! A building project in Hamilton that is "months behind..."
I would have thought the story should have been that the project is proceeding and is actually contributing to the City, (rather than whining for multi-million dollar handouts from the near-depleted Future Fund).
Consider the impact of such media coverage on purchasers, suppliers, trades, site staff, neighbours and even the folks at City Hall who are prioritizing which paperwork to move through the system.
"Months behind ... climbing a 'steep hill'".
The Stinson School is indeed underway and will be not only finished but fully occupied in mid-2012. That's only three years from 'inspiration to occupation', which is pretty good turnaround for a major heritage rejuvenation in Hamilton, turning a non-tax-paying school into millions of dollars in future property tax revenues.
Projects like The Stinson School project are a darn sight better deal for Hamilton than the Lister Block or City Hall (and the list goes on...). Unjustified media skepticism is hardly in the public interest, nor motivating to other prospective builders.
15 years ago, another Torstar publication mocked the Candy Factory Lofts project on Queen West in Toronto.
This time, my name is even on the building and I'm not going to give the "squelchers" (to borrow a phrase from Richard Florida) the last laugh.
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