Hamilton City Centre is presently in the process of being sold to IN8 and the process is expected to be fully finished by the end of this year. While the selling price has not yet been disclosed, experts say the property value is around an estimated $24.55 million. IN8 states that their vision is to make the city centre a place to live, work, and play; helping to stimulate Hamilton’s economy and downtown area.
Hamilton City Center
The city centre was built in 1990 by Cadilac Fairview. Previously called the Eaton centre it housed the popular Eatons department store. Eaton was just a tenant though, and so in 1999, they moved out of their space in the building. Throughout the years afterwards, the building owner has changed multiple times and time has taken its toll on the building. Because of this, the city centre has been due for revitalization and an update for a while now. Currently Hamilton City Center has a high vacancy rate but also has a few recognizable retailers as tenants as well. Tenants like Fairweather and Hart along with Thunder Bowling Alley and Crunch Fitness to name a few.
The design of the building is a bit lacking and dated, having a terrace that was intended for events, activities, and bands but soon plans and idealizations fell through and it is now mostly used by people just looking for a place to smoke. The lack of windows also hinders the appearance and environment of the building as well.
Waterloo-based IN8 has a history of doing redevelopment for mixed-used facilities for over 20 years. Their focus is “high-density urban intensification”. With around 16 completed mid to high-rise multi-residential projects, they have worked on various developments total more than 2,500 residential units, including the DTK condos; which will be the tallest tower in Kitchener standing at 39 storeys tall.
The Opportunities ahead
IN8 is interested in this building and Hamilton because of how many heritage buildings it has, the relatively low cost and affordability, the potential waterfront opportunities, the Hamilton LRT B-line with a planned rail transit line between Eastgate Square and McMaster University, and its location near GO transit which spans all across Toronto. With GO transit and the new B-line transit, there is a lot of potential for a lot of new residents, customers, and businesses.
IN8’s vision with this project is to revitalize the building, making it a place for people to live, play, work in the downtown core of Hamilton. A goal with this is to also incentivize people to work and live in Hamilton, so IN8 is planning on having both residential and commercial elements in the new development of Hamilton City Center.
The city of Hamilton wants development, both residential and employment growth in its downtown core and so is incentivizing businesses by having decreased development charges, heritage building grants, tax grants, and interest-free loans.
The development will take a while though, IN8 would like to take at least about 2 years to plan and research to find what is the best course of action with the building with construction starting in at least approximately 3 years. There is also a potential for parts of the building to just be revitalized and not fully demolished and remade. The Hamilton City Center is more than 3.54 acres with over 550,000 square feet of commercial area, so there is a lot to work with and IN8 says that it has more potential than to just be a tower.
Read more about the redevelopment, IN8, and the Hamilton City Center here: