This is What a Real Developer Does

By Sean Burak
Published August 16, 2013

This is what a real developer does: comes up with a plan, secures financing, tests the market through pre-sales, gets all of the permits and variances in order, arranges contractors, and then finally prepares the building site (including demolition if necessary).

Work starting at corner of Walnut and Young
Work starting at corner of Walnut and Young

Ground is broken on The Corktowns, a new building at the northeast Corner of Young and Walnut Streets. They demolished the old building, a one-story house converted into a convenience store, to build a row of seven three-storey townhomes with parking in back.

Rendering, The Corktowns
Rendering of The Corktowns

It's good intensification created by good business. I'm happy they proved my early pessimism wrong.

Old building at Young and Walnut (Image Credit: Google Street View)
Old building at Young and Walnut (Image Credit: Google Street View)

Sean Burak was born in Hamilton but raised elsewhere in Ontario. He returned to his birth town at the turn of the century and has never looked back. Sean is the owner of Downtown Bike Hounds.


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By Rimshot (anonymous) | Posted August 16, 2013 at 12:43:01

Mr. Maher also excels at holding down the bottom end.

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By bikehounds (anonymous) | Posted August 16, 2013 at 12:45:09

Contrast this to the gore park properties...

They were functioning and tenanted. Out of the blue, the owners floated a preliminary sketch of an idea they had for development. Then they emptied the buildings and took the storefronts off. Now the buildings generate zero revenue, contribute nothing to the street, and the owners claim that they can't afford to keep them anymore - because they are empty.

Those tenants should not have been given notice until WB had financing, permits, variances, pre-sales, contractors, etc. lined up.

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By Downtown Lover (anonymous) | Posted August 16, 2013 at 13:43:59 in reply to Comment 90975

You are 100% correct.

It's silliness like this, and the complicity (or lack of action) on the part of our elected officials in City Hall & Queen's Park that could lead to us losing these cultural and historical symbols in our downtown core.

Lets not allow our downtown suffer the same fate as that of Brantford. WB has no plans for these buildings, except to knock them down, only because it would be cheaper to do so now, then at a later date. At best, they (WB) have expressed the desire for a large grocery or retail store ("like Target"). Hamiltonians, can now look forward to either an empty lot in Gore Park at worst, or a Target store at best. City Council is, indeed asleep at the wheel on this one.

If this project moves forward, and we lose those beautiful (and, until recently, commercially occupied) buildings, I propose a fundraising campaign to lay a plaque in Gore Park, listing the names of City Council as the members who sat on their hands while while Gore Park was lost. We publicly commemorate those who help build the downtown, so lets also publicly shame those who let downtown die.

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By Connie (registered) | Posted August 20, 2013 at 14:37:32 in reply to Comment 90980

Great idea! In particular, I would suggest that Councillors' names and photos be posted on the Gore demolition sites DURING NEXT YEAR'S ELECTION. :)

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By Spearin (anonymous) | Posted August 16, 2013 at 13:31:21

AND they are proposing an attractive structure that suits the character of the city.

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By Gored (anonymous) | Posted August 16, 2013 at 13:34:02 in reply to Comment 90977

Not just proposing but actually building.

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By Spearin (anonymous) | Posted August 16, 2013 at 13:42:06 in reply to Comment 90978

Touché :)

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By Kevin Love (anonymous) | Posted August 19, 2013 at 10:02:39

Sean described the building as:
"...with parking in back."

Kevin's comment:
That is not true. As far as I am aware, they are only proposing to provide car parking. I would be happy to be proved wrong.

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By bikehounds (anonymous) | Posted August 19, 2013 at 21:03:25

When I spoke with the developer last year, he said that he initially wanted front parking but the city requested he move the buildings toward the street and put parking behind. I don't think they released any follow-up site plans or renderings though. I guess we'll find out soon enough in real-life what they will look like... I'm hoping this sort of development catches on. A bit of extra density without blockbusting!

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