Comment 17083

By brodiec (registered) | Posted January 11, 2008 at 14:40:22

There are archival photos by I believe Loonsbury Realtors of Lister during the 90s when businesses were still functioning in the building and renting the ground floor units. Fact is that the building was in decent repair for quite a long time leading up to the sale to LIUNA. It was not in GOOD shape but it was not even near to the state of disrepair that resulted from the LIUNA sale. It's totally clear to anyone willing to do the research that LIUNA was waiting for a public handout to repair the building. Which is a clear sign of bad faith in business. Worst of all the city was complacent with this and allowed for the Lister to stew without enforcing property standards.

I think we have to start looking at Lister with a broader scope and start outlining what all parties involved have done wrong in regards to downtown revitalization. The City of Hamilton should not be involved as a property developer. I don't think there is any proven case where a city re-develops it's downtown with public money and is successful long term. If that were the case Jackson Square would have been a booming success. It clearly is not and is in fact the first major symptom of the City of Hamilton mixing it's business. The city should be concern with the running of a city. A crazy notion, I know.

For instance of a dearth of parking spots becomes a problem tax parking businesses accordingly to increase density and encourage transit. If derelict buildings are a problem enforce heritage and property standards. For too long the city has depended on public money and developer cronyism to re-develop downtown and drive the economic engine. This has FAILED so miserably that there is no denying that continuing down this path will only lead to a more thoroughly blighted downtown and overall city.

Let's get our tax dollars out of developers like Hi-Rise and LIUNA's pockets and into programs for the enforcement of property standards, systems of FUNDING for private developers and infrastructure that makes a city useful even, gasp, profitable! At this point even if Lister is developed with public money for public offices I don't think it bodes particularly well for downtown. Not if we were able to make downtown the sort of investment developers will spend THEIR OWN MONEY ON as opposed to public dollar. Public dollars we need DEARLY to build transit, fight poverty, prevent disease and preserve our natural environment.

Come ON Hamilton, start working like a real city and stop these loser city economics. You're worth it, now walk the walk!

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