Comment 71702

By jason (registered) | Posted November 29, 2011 at 19:44:46 in reply to Comment 71699

I'll have to dig up the numbers, but as one example of what they might be referring to - the average real estate price on the Mountain was about $35,000 higher than Hamilton West (James St-Dundas border) 7 or 8 years ago. Now the Hamilton West price is about $35,000 higher than the Mountain average. I'm guessing they aren't talking about shopping malls, because as we know, you can't compare suburban malls to a downtown mall. The Spec did a special report on 'James and Upper James' a year or so ago and mentioned how many more businesses were located in a small block of James South compared to a 1-km long block of Upper James. While there wasn't a 'mass exodus' per se, there was certainly a shift in the balance of power of the past 5 years. 'Chain' retailers will be the last to come on board, but as we speak they are looking at all the new data for downtown and beginning to scope out properties. Another part of the problem in the retail sector is that suburban retail likes wide, car-oriented streets like Upper James or the Meadowlands. Urban retailers need people on the streets and Hamilton refuses to give them that by continuing the tradition of freeways like Main, King, Cannon, Queen etc.... killing any hopes of street-facing retail downtown in all but a couple of spots - James and Locke. And those two streets are seeing rapid rent increases and lowering vacancies. Locke is ridiculous - more expensive than Westdale now...and James is really swinging up in a big way.

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