Comment 5142

By Sharchy (anonymous) | Posted February 05, 2007 at 21:04:38

The surface-parking situation in Hamilton has evolved out of a long history of bad planning on the part of the city and some of the lamest architectural projects to be executed in this country (Jackson Square, Hamilton Convention Center, Eaton Center, basically the entire center block scheme). The same strategies of development that were applied to Suburban malls were applied to the downtown.

An effective public transit system and less reliance on the automobile are essential to downtown renewal. The reason why is fairly simple. Developers want to make as much money as possible. When a developer executes a project and they need to provide 400 parking spaces for a 400 unit development the investment is not worth their time or money. They can easily build the exact same project in Toronto (with a much larger market) connected to public transit providing parking for about 150-200 cars (plus they can build much taller). This makes urban development far more economical since underground parking is one of the major costs in an urban development project. The formula is quite simple effective public transit equates to urban development. The more people using transit and the more reliance they have on it equates to less parking required hence surface parking development. Developers cannot simply rely on a ‘Hail Mary’ development not providing parking, as this is a huge financial risk. This Gore Park ‘scheme’ portrays more misunderstanding of the economics of urban development.

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