Revitalization

Possible Redevelopment of Treble Hall

By RTH Staff
Published November 15, 2007

RTH has learned that the city has allocated $1 million to go towards the purchase and redevelopment of Treble Hall, 6-12 John St. N.

Here's where RTH readers come in: the city would like to hear from anyone serious about wanting to locate in that building - a shop, business, cafe, apartment/condo dwellers on the upper floors, and so on.

Once the city lines up some tenants they will proceed with the deal.

The more interest they can drum up, the better. Please spread the word and let us know if anyone is serious about wanting to locate here.

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 16, 2007 at 07:33:44

I don't consider the city's investment to be a false market. It's proper investment. Something this city has loathed doing in the downtown for years. Hamiltonians always like to call downtown projects a 'government handout' or such. How about the hundreds of millions taxpayers spend on roads, highways and never-ending maintainance of them?? is it an investment or a government handout so McDonalds has more farmland to put drive-thrus on? The city's development coorporation will make money on these projects...that's how they keep going. The downtown loan program is the best program this city has ever started. X building receives a LOAN (I don't see McDonalds or the homebuilders ever paying back Red Hill Parkway money) and once it is built the developer has 10 years to repay their loan. In the meantime, an empty lot paying X number of dollars in taxes each year sees that tax rate jump 3 or 4 times due to the new, full, functioning building. The city is making money on these loans, not losing it (such as with costly suburban infrastructure). You're right - I hope LRT comes downtown too. In the meantime, the city is finally getting the picture - all great cities invest heavily in their most important neighbourhoods. Go research New York, Paris, Boston or Vancouver. City officials there aren't just sitting back doing nothing watching the 'private sector' jazz up their downtowns. The city will either lead the way or lag behind. I prefer a council that leads and spends my money wisely. Downtown projects are exactly that.

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By beancounter (registered) | Posted November 19, 2007 at 15:53:58

Thank you, Jason, for your passionate defence of municipal investment in our downtown.

Certainly these types of projects seem to have a lot more potential than a McDonald's drive-through, as you suggested.

Has the city published any financial information, though, to show our citizens the bottom line on these investments? Or perhaps there are some links we can look at for some of the other cities that you mentioned where they have shown a payback on such projects?

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By jason (registered) | Posted November 22, 2007 at 17:27:46

here is some info from downtown renewal. last years report:

http://www.myhamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/42...

some more reading and other reports are here:

http://www.myhamilton.ca/myhamilton/City...

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By Matt A (registered) | Posted November 25, 2007 at 15:24:50

Hi all

This is my first post.. so be nice!

I think it fantastic that the city is investing in derelict and empty buildings downtown to get them going. As mentioned above, there are a number of them in the works... and buildings being used certainly a) help to bring activity and vibrancy to a city and b) result in much greater tax revenues (and without the added expense of distant city-edge servicing).

Having said that, I noticed that the spec building was mentioned, and agree to some extent with the criticism of the City. My agreement lies here: the City seems to be bent on some idea that it is desperate for development and will accept any that comes along. This both gives the impression that it is true and potentially damages the value of the built environment. I'll use myself as an example: I want to live downtown. I have looked at the 'new developments' at the Spec building; at the former Eatons building on Rebecca St; at Chateau Royale; and at the small condo redevelopment in the International Village. None of these pique my interest. All seem to have been done by suburban type developers who are not in tune with the type of place a downtowner would like to live. The small condos in the International Village, for example, are all stark and new inside!! No evidence of the nice old brick building that they are located in!! If I wanted 'new', I probably wouldn't be looking downtown.

So.. here's my point: incentives for development downtown are great, but the City needs to evaluate bids for redevelopment and choose those that meet the needs and desires of potential users of the area. Otherwise, the whole thing's just a facade!

Matt

p.s. I would enjoy living in Treble Hall (if it was fixed up right)

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