Stinson School Construction to Begin July 4

By Ryan McGreal
Published June 30, 2011

this blog entry has been updated

Wesley Hatt, project manager for the Stinson School Lofts, has confirmed in an email to RTH that the units in are 75 percent sold and construction on the lofts will begin this Monday, July 4.

The average selling price has been $300,000, with some units selling for over $400,000, demonstrating a viable Hamilton market for upscale condos.

According to an email to buyers from Harry Stinson, the property developer behind the loft conversion, "Funding is being provided through a joint venture arrangement with FRAM Building Group and Cameron Stephens Financial."

The developer hopes to have the houses across the street from the school complete by January 2012, and the main school finished by summer 2012. Photographs of the work in progress will be posted to the Stinson School Journal, a photo blog started by Hamilton photographer Larry Strung.

Update: this blog entry originally stated that the construction was going to begin on Tuesday, July 4. RTH regrets the error.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.


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By east ender (anonymous) | Posted June 30, 2011 at 15:36:53

I must admit, I was sceptical I'd ever see the day. Congrats Harry on getting the lift off you needed. Can't wait to see the finished product.

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By JasonAAllen (registered) - website | Posted June 30, 2011 at 16:03:13

Did you just scoop The Spec again? Naughty blogger. Naughty, naughty blogger.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted June 30, 2011 at 16:32:40 in reply to Comment 65435

Ahh, the traditional media. Yesterday's news today!

Sorry, we shouldn't bash the spec. I mean, I always wonder if I'm missing out without reading their content that other websites don't provide... like the crime blotter or the sweet-16 announcements or their insightful editorials.

Wait, no.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted June 30, 2011 at 22:23:16 in reply to Comment 65440

I always think of the Spectator as "Yesterday's news tomorrow!" :-p

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By Richard Henry Lee (anonymous) | Posted June 30, 2011 at 17:12:31

Here's Wesley!

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By Richard Henry Lee (anonymous) | Posted June 30, 2011 at 17:14:17

*Construction is commencing at Stinson School on Monday, July 4th!*

Funding is being provided through a Joint Venture arrangement with FRAM Building Group and Cameron Stephens Financial. In terms of timelines, we expect that finishing selections will be done during the summer, the houses across the street will be completed by January, and the main school building by next summer. As word spreads about the construction, you can be sure we will be raising prices (on the unsold suites)! ...

Our average sale to date has been $300,000, with several sales in the $400,000 range. (When we launched the Stinson School project nearly two years ago, we were advised that there was minimal local demand for 'luxury' condos, and that we should not expect sales much over $200,000. In contrast we have found the consumer reaction to be "show us a superior product..... and we can - and will - pay an appropriate price").

We originally priced our suites at $200 to $250/sq.ft., and are pleased to see other recently launched local projects are now selling at $350 to $400/sq.ft. If I do say so myself, the Candy Factory Lofts was considered a major catalyst in the renaissance of downtown Toronto; the Stinson School is playing the same role in Hamilton.

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By Art Brut (anonymous) | Posted June 30, 2011 at 23:50:03 in reply to Comment 65443

A little additional digging reveals that this passage (minus the July 4 mention) comes from a June 15 "Report Card":

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By jason (registered) | Posted June 30, 2011 at 20:37:20 in reply to Comment 65443

If this is true that the new condo projects being announced are selling at $350-$400/sq.ft, and are selling units quickly, watch out. Those are the types of prices that will gain a lot of attention, and quickly, from the big TO condo builders. They've never looked here because the cost/sq.ft was too low and not worth their while. Once you start knocking on the $400/sq.ft range there will be considerable interest. Expect our small-town height restrictions to become a vocal issue in the next couple of years. I've had some TO-based highrise architects tell me that Hamilton's arbitrary height restrictions will kill any hopes of landing quality condo towers downtown in the near future. Arbitrary is right - a developer can only build a 20-25 storey building next to the 43 storey Landmark Place. And we're planning on widening Main Street apparently..... sometimes this great city of ours is baffling. Meanwhile, Mississuaga is going 40-50 stories on farmland surrounded by sprawl mansions.

Comment edited by jason on 2011-06-30 20:38:25

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By Art Brut (anonymous) | Posted June 30, 2011 at 22:24:47 in reply to Comment 65455

The "recently launched projects" the $350-$400 is referring to is City Square: 450-2000 sq ft for $214,900-$590,000. If you buy a really small place you end up paying more per square foot, but if you assume that the big numbers go together, those units come in at $295/sq ft. I could be missing something, though. I'm sure someone here is more familiar with the launch and the units' particulars.

The more accurate comparatives for Stinson School seem like they'd be Herkimer/Bay (starting at $200/sq ft) and W Lofts (not far off that mark at $225-$300/sq ft.)

I agree that it'd be a significant milestone to be able to sell a building with all units coming in at $400/sq ft.

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted June 30, 2011 at 21:08:27 in reply to Comment 65455

Haha! Baffling indeed. It's like we are in a city of half measures. Half towers, half 2-way conversions, half stadiums, half leadership. All this becomes our psyche. "You can't do that here, because this is Hamilton." I've heard that far too often in my business life. Thankfully I never listen to the doubters.

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By Skeptic (anonymous) | Posted July 03, 2011 at 21:41:33

I will believe it when I see it...

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By RB (registered) | Posted July 04, 2011 at 15:34:41 in reply to Comment 65498

Yup... I am firmly behind ANY private development in Hamilton, downtown especially... but I'll believe it when I see it.

There's just been too much talk/not enough action in this town for me not to automatically think that way.

God, I hope I'm proved wrong!

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By Malex (anonymous) | Posted July 05, 2011 at 11:00:08

Just read that the first course of action involves removing/replacing the school's slate roof...I hope they don't cheap out and simply replace it with asphalt shingles...

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By shawntheweaver (registered) - website | Posted March 15, 2012 at 23:50:46

I am just hoping the joint venture will pay off. So far, I think the high prices of the units signal a great potential for property in the area. Upscale units are especially hot this time of year, so I can expect even more good news.

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