The Development of a City

Hamilton is a city that is ripe for development. In the last year, 327 private (unlisted) commercial real estate transactions valued over $500,000 took place within the city. These are largely comprised of multi-residential properties, industrial buildings, or development sites. In the last few months, we’ve noticed several new listings from Toronto Brokerages for properties in Hamilton, particularly the downtown core. These are often not listed within the Realtors’ Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB), Hamilton’s local real-estate board, but typically with the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), or privately listed (not publicly displayed). The popular MLS site,, pulls from all real estate boards to create a consolidated database and map of all local listings. Many of these are such development sites – typically marketed at a price tag of $1 to encourage open bidding. Why open bidding and the $1 price tag? Essentially, the value of these sites is yet to be fully realized. It has been decades since Hamilton has had this much interest from developers with the confidence to go after the maximum density allowed. These listings include 1.75 acres at 271 Bay Street North, otherwise known as Tiffany Square, 0.73 acres at 205 Cannon Street East, and 0.8 acres at 734-756 King Street East. The Connolly project, which went into receivership on June 22, 2017, is also currently listed for a sale price of $1. Recently offered for sale was the site at 225 John St S, now conditionally sold, it too was marketed privately with open bidding. Each development site has had their own plans in place, which are laid out below:

271 Bay North: 8 stories, 200 unit residential building with a gross floor area of 210,790 sq. ft.

205 Cannon East:14 stories, 226 unit residential building with a gross floor area of 256,165 sq. ft.

734-756 King East:13 stories, 233 unit mixed use building with a gross floor area of 275,286 sq. ft.

98 James South: 30 stories, 269 unit residential building with a gross floor area of 215,844 sq. ft.

Further, in addition to the large volume of land currently available in the city, as well as those 327 transactions mentioned previously, there are also those recent transactions that already have much of their own plans in place, but have yet to begin construction. Such transactions include those pertaining to the former Lawson Lumber Mill at 276 Dunsmure, the former CHCH lands, otherwise known as Television City, located at 163 Jackson Street West, and 212 King William Street, between Ferguson Avenue and Jarvis Street.

276 Dunsmure Road: 40 stackable townhome units, the total gross floor area of 55412.61 sq. ft;

163 Jackson Street West: Two residential buildings (30 storeys and 40 storeys) with a combined unit count of 618 residential units

212 King William Street: Six-storey 108 residential unit building with six ground floor commercial units and 84 parking spots

Lastly, several projects are currently well into their constructions phases, such as the Royal Connaught, 101 Locke, and LIUNA’s multiple projects, such as its student housing development adjacent to Hamilton’s recently-restored Lister Block, or the 528 units it has planned for the former site of the Downtown Hamilton Kresge department store.

LIUNA: Student resident rental project – 21 storeys, to house 327 students; Former Kresge’s department store site, 528 units across two buildings, 25 and 34 storeys respectively

Vista Condos: 153 Units across three residential buildings, each 6 storeys

101 Locke: 6 stories, 80 unit building on popular Locke Street South

Royal Connaught: When complete, will sport 700 units across three buildings

Residences at Acclamation: 8 storeys, 71 units on burgeoning James Street North

Vrancor Group: 220 Cannon Street East: 12 storeys, 100 units; 20-22 George Street: 32 storeys, 230 units; 15 Queen Street South: 23 storeys, 212 units.

Some other opportunities that exist are being offered by the City of Hamilton itself. On a large scale, the City has made a large swath of its waterfront land available for redevelopment. This opportunity includes 30 acres of mixed-use residential and commercial opportunity, allowing for private developers to create a mid-rise community of between 1,200 and 1,600 residential units, as well as approximately 140,000 square feet of commercial and institutional space. A number of designs, submitted by private firms, have already been made public. They can be viewed and commented on here.

In addition, the City of Hamilton often puts up City-owned properties, land, or otherwise developable sites, for sale. There are currently two worth significant consideration by a developer: 75 Catharine Street South, and 2900 King Street East. They have the following characteristics:

75 Catharine St S: 0.39 acres; 93 ft of frontage along Catharine St S., 75 ft of frontage along Hunter St.; Zoned D3 – Downtown Mixed Use; Buildable Height of approx 12 Storeys.

2874-2900 King St E: 1.42 acres; 225 ft of frontage along King St E., 286 ft of frontage along Centennial Parkway S.; Zoned HH – Restricted Community Shopping and Commercial.

It has been a very long time since Hamilton has had so many cranes in the sky, with much more to come. It should be a surprise to no one when REALTORS, developers, investors, and entrepreneurs all say Hamilton is one of the hottest locations in Canada right now. Hamilton has so much to offer, from its historic architecture, sprawling green space, business opportunities, and its supportive community, it’s no wonder people are looking to call Hamilton home.

The Doyle Team, Your Real Estate Professionals, have been committed to Hamilton’s downtown since our first days in business back in 2009. We follow the market very closely with a special interest in new developments. We feel the type and scale of development can be early indicators of where the market is going and speak volumes to the confidence the consumer has for the future of a city.

If development opportunities are what you’re after, we can help. If you’re looking for the next pre-sale purchase of a new development we can help. Looking to assign your pre-sale purchase? We can help. Our team is designed and educated to handle all of your real estate needs. This is why we are Your Real Estate Professionals.

For more info about new developments check out our sister site here.

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