Connolly Site

Connolly Site at 98 James Sold to Milborne Group

The number of transactions this week was about average, with Niagara seeing an increase in activity while Brantford was a no-show.

This week’s most exciting and expensive sale was at 98 James St. S. in downtown Hamilton. The Connolly Site sold for $24 million ($75 million/acre). It’s an astronomically high price, but it could make sense at an estimated value of $80/buildable sq. ft, although that’s still very high for Hamilton. Alternatively, the price could include some other form of value, like an approved site plan or pre-construction deposits.

The former James Street Baptist Church, constructed between 1878 and 1882, has had a tumultuous decade:

  • It was demolished in 2014, except for its historic stone facade, by developer Louie Santaguida for a planned $80-million, 30-storey condo development dubbed The Connolly.
  • That project was placed in receivership in 2017.
  • In 2018, it was sold to Hue Developments, which proposed a 31-storey tower with 315 units.
  • The buyer this time is Toronto’s Milborne Group. They bill themselves as Canada’s leading marketer of urban, master-planned, multi-phased communities. They’re affiliated with the 1 Jarvis development and the 75 James Condominiums, kitty-corner to 98 James St. S.
In the news this week beyond the Connolly, Lamb Developments has sold a 50% interest in 428 Main St. W. in Hamilton to local developer New Horizon Development Group for $2.25 million ($2.8 million/acre). Once the site of Zizzo’s Car Care & Mor (sic), 428 Main St. W. is now a vacant lot across from the Westgate on Main condo development by Matrix Development Group.

In the Niagara region, Starlight Investments has purchased a 75-unit multi-residential asset in Welland for $11 million (nearly $150,000/unit).

This week’s second-largest transaction was in Beamsville, where a grocery-anchored retail plaza sold for $15.1 million ($280/sq. ft).

In the news, Empire Homes has proposed 1,000 homes in Hagersville, Rentals.ca released their September rental report, and the former GM site in St. Catherines has been approved for high-density zoning.


News Headlines

Empire Homes proposes 1,000 homes on Hagersville quarry site
The Hamilton Spectator, September 13, 2022

Dispute over Land Back Lane injunction continues at court 
CBC News, September 13, 2022

September 2022 Rent Report
Rentals.ca, September 2022

St. Catharines high-density zoning approved for former GM site
The Standard, September 13, 2022

Redevelopment of Guelph parking lot approved
The Toronto Star, September 13, 2022

Waterloo residents fret as developer pushes for taller than permitted development
The Record, September 10, 2022

Monthly Housing Update
RBC, September 15, 2022

Housing inventory may reach crisis point in major Canadian cities
The Financial Post, September 12, 2022

Editorial: Canada’s population is booming and we aren’t building nearly enough
The Globe & Mail, September 17, 2022

Rendering of the Design District towers by Emblem Developments

Alex Manojlovich’s Weekly Market Report: Emblem Launches Largest Downtown Hamilton Condo Project

This week witnessed some great action.

The retail asset class continues its return to consistency with a few smaller deals this week.

The largest transaction in Hamilton this week was for 250 Fruitland Rd. in Stoney Creek. This 19.64-acre piece of land sold for $23.562 million (approximately $1.2 million/acre). This is below market value for residential land. However, the parcel appears to be zoned agricultural currently.

Nearby, developer Melrose Investments purchased 4.44 acres for $900,000 ($202,000/acre), which is great value but probably includes more work than the Fruitland Rd. deal.

The largest transaction in the area occurred in Cambridge, where Argyle Capital Partners purchased a 200,000 sq. ft industrial building for $33 million ($165/sq. ft). It’s a slightly large purchase price given the market and size of the asset, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this were fair market value given the way industrial demand and industrial market lease rates continue to grow.

In the news, Emblem launches Hamilton’s largest downtown project, the COA moves forward with a 109-unit development project on Dundurn St., and the website has been launched for the 75 James Condo development by LiUNA.

The GHA Sales Transaction Database offers you this week’s CRE transaction activity.


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News Headlines

Emblem launches largest downtown Hamilton condo project
RENX, June 27, 2022

75 James Condominiums official website
2022

Minor Variance re: 330 Dundurn St. S. eight-storey residential project
City of Hamilton Committee of Adjustment

New pocket track expands West Harbour GO train service
In The Hammer, June 28, 2022

Centre[3] expands into Forge & Foster’s 29 Harriet St. in the Bayfront Studio District
The Hamilton Spectator, July 4, 2022

Feds turnover Burlington Canal piers to HOPA for pedestrian use
Global News, June 28, 2022

June 2022 Rent Report
Rentals.ca

Blackstone sees opportunities in student housing, multi-family, life sciences and more
The Hamilton Spectator, June 29, 2022

London, ON to cut parking requirements
CBC News, June 24, 2022

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