Comment 83427

By Mal (anonymous) | Posted December 04, 2012 at 09:00:03

Hamilton does not have enough diversity in apartment living. "The multi-unit accommodation in Hamilton today is a bit dated, to put it mildly, so someone coming from a big city and is used to contemporary standards of condo living is somewhat taken aback with the options in Hamilton. They often end up in Burlington or Oakville and have to commute, which is a drag. Or they bite the bullet and rent a house or stay in an apartment - but that wouldn't be the first choice."


Hamilton's downtown is awash in one-bedroom rental apartments. It is far and away the most dominant rental housing stock, unsurprising since single individuals represent the normative household size in downtown (roughly 60% of downtown households are made up of just a single person). I am a little surprised, however, to learn that that downtown's diversity hurdle is a shortage of $1,300/mo studio apartments. (Or that someone with the means to live in Oakville or Burlington and commute would not simply do so -- or simply move to Westdale or Ancaster.)

Before hanging it up somewhere nice, Mr. Stinson inadvertently tips his hat to the true market void, the real vacuum of accommodation: contemporary dwellings geared to young professionals and families. That is the missing piece that would-be visionaries have been overlooking for decades. In the absence of same, downtown has become a market that supports the status quo oasis of conveniences for the childless.

The Grand site is perhaps not the most family friendly -- it's in the heart of a downtown clubland, a veritable Bermuda's Triangle of weekend pisstankery, kitty-corner to a provincial courthouse, and virtually surrounded by asphalt/concrete -- and I certainly don't begrudge Mr. Stinson his idiosyncratic vision, but let's not confuse a sales pitch with the market reality. The Grand may add bodies to downtown and it may be a niche commodity but IMHO, at its most essential level, it is a duplicate piece of puzzle, not a missing one.

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