The last 10 years has seen James Street North become a vibrant and hip thoroughfare as the nucleus of fantastic art galleries and local businesses. With this burgeoning attention comes gentrification and we’ve seen many grand proposals like the Tivoli Condos, the Jamesville Lofts, and the Harbour Condos. We’ve also seen the completion of the Witton Lofts, the William Thomas student residence, and soon-to-be Acclamation Condos.
More recently, the Hamilton City Centre is currently on the market and is primed to become a major development with its proximity to the Hamilton Farmers’ Market, Jackson Square, Central Library, FirstOntario Centre (but Copps Coliseum in my heart), and more.
But what’s happening north of James North? The stretch of road between the CN rail tracks and the Bay is often left out of the picture — not even Super Crawl can penetrate it.
This is the land less travelled on Hamilton’s creative corridor. You may have wondered what kind of attention and action is occurring over there. Here’s what we know of so far.
Everyone knows this one. The Pier 8 Development was awarded to Waterfront Shores — a group headlined by Cityzen Development, Fernbrook Homes, and KPMB Architects — in June 2018 and construction looks to begin in 2020.
According to Waterfront Shores’ Technical Proposal Feature Sheet, the project sets to contain 1,292 residential units, with 65 being affordable units (5% of total units).
The project aims to commit retail spaces to local operators and also partner with Ontario Centres of Excellence to “incubate and fund Hamilton-based startups focused on intelligent cities and green technologies”. The project will encompass over 95,000 sqft of office, retail and institutional space as well.
According to the City of Hamilton’s website, The Pier 8 Promenade Park — which is the public boardwalk that wraps the outer edge of the pier — plans to be completed this year.
Lesser known to the public is what’s happening directly west of the Pier 8 development — namely, Piers 5-7. Phase One upgrades are set to begin this year to the piers that will hopefully garner the attention of private developers to construct commercial projects.
According to a ConstructConnect article, Phase One projects include shoreline rehabilitation, pedestrian access, installation of a public art feature, construction of a public pavilion, building a gas-dock and marina, utilities and landscaping, and permanent facilities including tensile structures.
In 2016, the City has also initiated a new zoning that encourages commercial uses which could see hotels and commercial buildings line portions of the waterfront.
Pinemount Holdings Project
600 James St. N, Hamilton
Formerly a Scotiabank across from Grandad’s Donuts, this property was purchased in April 2017 by PM (600 JAMES ST N) INC. for $1.5M. A zoning amendment application was submitted in 2018 asking for the lands to be rezoned to allow for the construction of an 8 storey mixed-use building with 60 residential units and ground floor commercial units.
Hughson Street Baptist Church
500 James St. N, Hamilton
Despite the name, this project is on James Street. Indwell, a nonprofit organization that constructs affordable housing communities, has partnered with Hughson Street Baptist Church to construct a new place of worship along with 4 storeys of offices, community spaces, and 45 affordable housing units. Construction is currently underway!
468-476 James St. N, Hamilton
This property was originally purchased in 2017 for $1.4M by JvN James Street G.P. Inc.
JvN/d is a housing developer based out of Toronto that looks to provide flexible financial solutions and housing designs to condominiums of all scales. John van Nostrand, the founder of JvN/d, also founded SvN — a planning and architecture firm.
Based on their renderings, Home:Front appears to be 8 storeys and the number of units will vary based on one of JvN/d’s approaches to mitigate gentrification. A basic unit will be 225 sqft and more could be purchased to assemble a larger unit. Other available options include units with partial finishes (to reduce costs) and shared equity plans. JvN/d has estimated that they’ve reached out to 1500 residences to gather their take on Home:Front.
CHH Jamesville Redevelopment
City block between James St. to MacNab St. and Strachan St. to Ferrie St.
CityHousing Hamilton has sent out RFPs (request for proposals) for the redevelopment of Jamesville. According to the Hamilton Spectator, the project will be composed of 300-400 residential units with 46 social housing units.
The current townhomes of Jamesville will be replaced with medium density buildings and stacked townhomes. The strategy will be to sell the current site (5.4 acres) and award a contract to a private developer.
Ultimately, how Jamesville will appear will be the developers’ decision. Having said that, conceptual renderings were provided from a September 2018 CHH report. According to the report, the CHH will look “to maximize both the social benefit and financial sustainability of the Jamesville redevelopment opportunity.”