Retail/Residential Fits City Vision

By Jason Leach
Published May 28, 2007

City hall take notice! You do have the power (and right and mandate) to force big box developers to build new structures that fit into our vision for downtown and the urban city.

For too long we've allowed rich developers to do what they please in our cities, usually with horrendous results. It's time for city council to become serious about proper development in Hamilton.

If Shoppers or Staples doesn't like it, they can build elsewhere. The days of bending over backwards (like we've done with the approval of a big box complex at Barton and Ferguson) to appease these companies must end.

It's time to find an appropriate compromise that still allows them to locate in urban locations in buildings worthy of belonging in urban locations.

We've long advocated for upper floor apartments and offices over large stores. Imagine how many thousands of new units could be housed in Hamilton's lower city just by adding three or four floors on top of each grocery store or plaza?

If other cities can do it (because they care enough to) so can we.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.


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