Hamilton city council approves plans for downtown entertainment precinct

Hamilton city council has officially approved an agreement that will see the Hamilton Urban Precinct Entertainment Group L.P (or ‘Precinct Group’) take control of the city’s largest entertainment venues.

The city hands the keys over to the Precinct Group for 49 years as they take over operations and maintenance of FirstOntario Centre, FirstOntario Concert Call, and the Hamilton Convention Centre with no monetary contribution from the city.

In doing so, Precinct Group will be initiating a transformative $50 million renovation of FirstOntario Centre including a new exterior façade and video board, transformation of the arena’s lower bowl, an expanded concourse level, and new flexible curtain systems for the upper bowl.

There will also new street-level activations, accessible year-round, at FirstOntario Centre via York Boulevard including a new sports lounge, e-gaming zone, and further food and beverage offerings.

Additionally, $12.5 million will be invested in upgrading and expanding the Hamilton Convention Centre and FirstOntario Concert Hall. There will also be a one-time $2 million contribution to the adjacent Art Gallery of Hamilton.

Furthermore, Precinct Group will put $500 million into mixed-use development, including 5 per cent affordable housing in one of the forthcoming residential developments.

“The approval of this agreement will begin the revitalization plan for a world-class entertainment precinct, right in the heart of downtown Hamilton,” remarks Mayor Fred Eisenberger.

“I would like to thank both the Precinct Group and city staff who ensured this agreement will not only drive additional tourism but will see significant residential and commercial development in our community. This development will bring economic stimulus, additional development opportunities and ultimately reduce cost for our taxpayers.”

Read the full release on the city website.

Lead image courtesy of City of Hamilton

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