Downtown Bureau

Hi-Rise Group Announces Details for Lister Tower

The four-storey William Thomas building, built in 1855 and taken down in 2010, will be reassembled, with 16 storeys of condos added on top.

By Saira Peesker
Published October 18, 2013

The empty lot north of Lister Block on James Street North will soon be reunited with the building that once stood there, with a residential tower built on top.

New Lister tower rendering
New Lister tower rendering

The four-storey William Thomas building, built in 1855 and taken down in 2010, will be reassembled, with 16 storeys of condos added on top, developer Hi-Rise Group announced Friday at a conference being held on the property.

Sections of the facade were numbered as they were taken down and are being stored down the street at Liuna Station.

In addition to ground floor retail and three floors of offices, the building will contain about 100 residential units in total, Hi-Rise's Shawn Marr told a crowd gathered for a Renew Hamilton conference.

"There will be traditional single-story units and very creative two-storey units for some live-work opportunities," he said, describing "energy and confidence" in the city's development scene that helped lot owner Liuna determine it was the right time to move ahead.

While a projected completion date was not announced, Marr said there would be a sales centre and campaign in place for March or April.

Saira Peesker is an ace reporter who covers politics, business and current events. Her work has appeared on YourHamiltonBiz, OpenFile and CTVNews.ca, among others. When not snooping for scoops, she skates in counter-clockwise circles with Toronto Roller Derby's all-star team, CN Power. You can follow her on Twitter @SairaPeesker.

15 Comments

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Read Comments

[ - ]

By Core-B (registered) | Posted October 18, 2013 at 14:01:17

Wow. Didn't see that coming!

Permalink | Context

By erskinec (registered) - website | Posted October 21, 2013 at 07:36:13 in reply to Comment 93390

I agree - I wan't expecting anything like this so soon.

Of course everything is a trade off.

On the positive:

1.) investing in the area 2.) pro-actively saving and re-using a historical building

On the negative:

1.) the size of the building 2.) the use of the facade is still more facadism 3.) it may really mark the beginning of the end for the artist character of James Street North

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Conrad664 (registered) | Posted October 18, 2013 at 14:16:11

These is what im talking about the old and new , they can do this at the Gore Park

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By DM (anonymous) | Posted October 18, 2013 at 14:19:45

Looks great, Id like to see the James Church done in the same fashion.

Permalink | Context

By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted October 18, 2013 at 17:01:04 in reply to Comment 93393

You do realize, that pretty much would mean doing what the developer wants to do. Demo the entire back half and just leave the facade up right? Pretty much the exact opposite most on this site seem to want (myself included).

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2013-10-18 17:04:09

Permalink | Context

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted October 19, 2013 at 17:50:24 in reply to Comment 93404

Heh. Ironically, I could live with the property owner's plan for JSBC - assuming the owner actually produces a plan and a binding, detailed commitment to save X, Y and Z heritage elements. What I can't support is a no-strings-attached demolition plan without a development plan.

With respect to the Thomas building, I like this proposal because the building is already down and this is the best case for its redevelopment. Also, despite all the frustration with LIUNA during the Lister negotiations, no one can deny that they did a fantastic job restoring it. I met one of the artisans restoring the terra cotta facade pieces, and he spoke very highly of their commitment to getting it right rather than doing it on the cheap (and yes, I know it was ultimately taxpayers footing the tab).

Permalink | Context

By DM (anonymous) | Posted October 18, 2013 at 23:00:10 in reply to Comment 93404

I'm not sure I see a better use for the land and the facade. The facade lives forever and more downtown residents/commercial space opens up. These types of hybrid buildings seem like a win-win to me. Hamilton makes 10-20 fold taxes vs trying to find someone to occupy an old church. The facade lives for another 100 years and the core becomes more appealing. I know what I do on Sunday has nothing to do with churches. What is the difference in these cases?

Permalink | Context

By Conrad664 (registered) | Posted October 18, 2013 at 14:22:16 in reply to Comment 93393

Im sure they can ,they did something like that on Young street in Toronto and it looks awadome ,don`t aske when it was done , it must of been done like 30 to 40 yeasr ago but its still in great shape

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted October 18, 2013 at 15:07:56

http://www.walkscore.com/score/james-st-n-and-rebecca-st-hamilton-on-canada

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted October 18, 2013 at 17:24:12

This is exactly what Hamilton's core needs. High rise, high density development, which gets people living downtown. The facade being reconstructed is certainly a big bonus, although I wouldn't have held it against the developers if they didn't incorporate it. A great addition to the Lister Block regardless, and it also helps clear up that scummy surface parking lot on Rebbeca.

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2013-10-18 17:43:30

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By jason (registered) | Posted October 18, 2013 at 22:31:05

Light blue glass. Love it.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Rimshot (anonymous) | Posted October 19, 2013 at 09:47:32

"Three floors of offices"? The downtown drought is over!

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By RobbieK (anonymous) | Posted October 19, 2013 at 18:31:39

I live right on Rebecca and James so my loft overlooks that lot. A little shocked they went a full 16 stories. I rather liked seeing the sun and an array of buildings from my windows. Its too bad they couldent have replaced with a 6 story to fit the adjacent buildings and put a 16+'er in one of the vacant parking lots a little further down on Rebecca near the Horizon building.

Still this is a very good thing.

Permalink | Context

By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted October 19, 2013 at 18:42:42 in reply to Comment 93419

Time to trade up maybe?

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Paul V (anonymous) | Posted October 26, 2013 at 22:14:10

Anyone care to speculate on prices of prices? Apparently the units will range from 700 to 1200 sq ft. Let's hope they're semi affordable.

Permalink | Context

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to comment.

Events Calendar

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools

Feeds