Comment 86052

By seancb (registered) - website | Posted February 08, 2013 at 10:10:14

Thank you for this eloquent demonstration of the value of the built from.

This isn't about the age of buildings, nor their historical interest. I have read lots of opinions from people who think that the only buildings worth saving are the ones that are enormous landmarks or those that famous people were born in.

This is about the very fabric of our city. Each building in the core contributes to the identity of the core, and each building small or large has a positive impact on the utility and value of the surrounding buildings.

By letting any existing buildings come down, staff and council are actively reducing the value of surrounding properties, and limiting their potential use.

The blanchard proposal is one in a long string of false promises made by property speculators in this city. Most of these speculations result in empty lots. But even the speculators who manage to find a real developer to build on their lot, tend to build monolithic buildings that do nothing positive for their surroundings. The Effort Trust building, First Place, etc - these huge developments do not help to build up the neighbourhood. They offer standalone property tax income.

The city has the power through the municipal heritage act to create incentives for developers to nurture the built form and create projects that make less money for the individual developer immediately, but which create spinoff development in surrounding buildings which snowball and result in higher quality uses (and higher values and tax income) for the entire neighbourhood, including the original developer. The end result would be large swaths of wildly successful buildings instead of a single modestly successful one which is surrounded by decay.

Council and staff need to stop crossing their fingers hoping for the next big project to save the core. They need to start nurturing the small scale heritage friendly developments. These are the projects that will move Hamilton forward.

Comment edited by seancb on 2013-02-08 10:11:52

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