The growth of many proposed ‘tall’ buildings in Hamilton have been stunted time and time again by city height restrictions. Will the new 45-storey building designed by architect Bruce Kuwabara suffer the same fate?
The building, announced on May 20th, is to be part of the new Pier 8 redevelopment plan and its height would challenge The Urban Hamilton Official Plan, which essentially aims to keep buildings from exceeding the height of the escarpment. Kuwabara’s Pier 8 building would measure 224 meters in geodetic height, whereas the escarpment reaches 192 meters.
Even though the new 45-storey building would be taller from base to top than the 43-storey Landmark Place, it still measures slightly lower in geodetic height due to sitting down by the water (Landmark Place measures at 226 meters geodetic height since it sits higher by the base of the escarpment). This difference in height is crucial to setting the precedent for the approval of more tall buildings in Lower City Hamilton.
Kuwabara is the lead architect for Waterfront Shores, the development design which won the bidding in the City of Hamilton’s Pier 8 redevelopment competition held in 2017. The new plans for the 45-storey building need to be approved by Council, as it necessitates a new Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-Law Amendment to pass.
If it passes, the density of the remaining Pier 8 development buildings will decrease, while the number of family units will increase. The tall building will be iconic from the Pier 8 shoreline but will also symbolize progress in Hamilton’s growth.
The building will host up to 400 housing units, with the family units appearing in the top third of the building above the 30th floor. More family units mean more parking spaces left for visitors of both the building and the pier.
Will this building grow to its full potential or stopped short? More consultation meetings with the City of Hamilton are to be held over the coming months to decide. Keep an eye out for online public meetings to follow the divisive story going forward.
What are your thoughts on such a tall building on the pier? Comment below.