Hamilton approves rezoning for 769 unit development at Corktown Plaza

This week witnessed a higher than average volume of transactions take place including a mix of all asset classes. The most expensive transaction this week was for 50 acres of agricultural land, located near Binbrook, in Hamilton for $17,000,000 or $337,435/acre. This could either indicate a future industrial development or speculative future residential development given the existing zoning. Other notable transactions include 117 John St N, which looks to be part of an assembly for the 41 Wilson St acquisition by First Avenue Investment Counsel and Broccolini Construction’s purchase of 10 acres in Cambridge, further cementing their foothold in Southern Ontario. In the news, the city of Hamilton has approved a rezoning application for a  proposed 769 unit, 27, 14 & 8 storey development by Slate Asset Management. Feel free to reach out with any questions regarding the GHA transactions or news.

Update brought to you by: Alex Manojlovich, Forge & Foster Investment Management

 

Please click the “GHA Sales Transaction Database” link below to view the most recent transaction activity.

GHA Sales Transaction Database

Corktown Plaza rezoned for proposed 27 storey development

Hamilton Store Fixtures building approved to be 13 storey condo

Emblem Development’s 1 Jarvis

Nokia & City of Hamilton: Smart City Innovations

Creativity and collaboration meet at Millworks

Fed’s, Province and LiUNA close to aligning on Hamilton LRT deal

Ontario plans to expand Greenbelt to include Paris, Galt Moraine and others

Toronto condos including co-working spaces

How Canada’s real estate market defied expectations

Jobs lost in 2020 hit workers with wages below Canadian average 

Canada’s life sciences sector needs more lab space

Altus Group National State of the Market 

Home renovation boom sends lumber prices to record price

Toronto set to be home to e-sports performance venue by 2025

With demise of mobile home parks in Kelowna, affordable home ownership slips away for many 

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Murals

HAMILTON’S MURAL ARTISTS SEE THE CITY AS THEIR CANVAS

 

Brought to you by Forge & Foster Investment Management.

Like any other urban centre, much of Hamilton’s geography is a sea of blasé building facades, unremarkable cement exteriors, and bare brick walls.

Some locals may see them as little more than the utilitarian structures they are. But for Hamilton’s multitude of muralists and visual artists, they become colossal canvases with limitless creative possibilities.

Today, Hamilton has become a hotspot for countless public murals – from stunning painted landscapes to eye-popping abstract or conceptual renderings – created by a vast variety of local independent artists and art collectives.

“Fox” by Richard Mace

You may have even been lucky enough to stumble upon one of the city’s visual artists at work, balanced on scaffolding and using their tools of the trade to turn drab buildings into one-of-a-kind visual gems with their own unique stories to tell.

One such prolific practitioner is Lester Coloma, a local award-winning mural artist & illustrator and graduate of the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) who’s left his mark on multiple parts of the city. Born and raised right here in the Hammer, Coloma has been an active visual artist since he first picked up a brush and created his first murals in 1996; but his first creative impulses came much earlier.

“Communicating visually was always a strong interest since my early childhood,” says Coloma, adding that his father was one of his first influences in teaching him the fundamentals of composition, proportion, and perspective.

Even if you don’t know Coloma’s name, there’s a good chance you know his eye-catching work. Locals who eat at King William Street’s ever-popular taco restaurant The Mule are readily greeted by some of Coloma’s visual flair with a striking, atmospheric mixed media art piece on the wall featuring painted renderings of man and woman with vibrant sugar skull heads surrounded by blazing halos of light.

“Raise” by Lester Coloma, located at 1 West Ave, Hamilton

Coloma is also one of the creators behind Raise, a gorgeous visual representation of Hamilton’s reputation as an ambitious city built on scrappy hard work. Designed by Coloma’s brother Norman and realized by both artists on the three-storey building at 1 West Avenue South, the towering mural depicts workers hoisting rope to the heavens against a stark white backdrop.

But most recently, Coloma was commissioned by Hamilton’s Forge & Foster to create murals at 400 Wellington Street North and 150 Chatham Street. The former, a Nikola Tesla themed work, was inspired by Tesla’s innovations in electricity supply and Hamilton’s reputation as the first Canadian city to be powered by an electrical grid.

With Coloma’s ambitious concept to “represent Tesla in a Prometheus-like manner,” the mural features grey diagonal shapes wrapping around the building to represent the wires that originally carried electricity to Hamilton from the Decew Falls Generation Station in St. Catharines.

In contrast, Coloma’s mural at 150 Chatham pays homage to local innovation and discovery via the beauty of the city’s more natural elements, capturing the aesthetics of the Bruce Trail and the Chedoke area’s famous waterfalls while depicting images of a forest worker, lab technician, and craft brewer.

Mural by Lester Coloma, located at 150 Chatham, Hamilton

“The added illusion of depth with painted cast shadows gives the plant imagery a lived-in look, harmoniously unifying nature with technology,” explains Coloma.

Of similarly prolific note in Hamilton’s robust street art scene is Richard Mace, the artist behind Street Art Hamilton whose work features prominently at numerous notable locales including the Mexican-inspired murals adorning the walls inside Mezcal Tacos & Tequila and the gangster-themed graffiti within the soon-to-be-open Dukes Pub Pasta & Pizzeria on Barton Street.

Though much of Mace’s art is unmistakable for its vivid and busy bursts of colour, one of his most striking recent works is the minimalist mural art on the exterior of 140 Caroline Street South, now home to the brand new Chantilly Lace Bridal Boutique; and it also happens to be one of Mace’s personal favourites.

“I wanted to create something for the neighbourhood that would lift spirits and inspire optimism,” he explains. “The return of more birds of prey to the Hamilton area in the last 10 years is a remarkable story, and I view their re-emerging as representative of Hamilton’s rebirth and reinvention.”

A stark white background sits under massive monochromatic birds with wings spread in flight, accompanied by typewriter-style typography capturing messages such as ‘I told you that we could fly. We all have wings.’ 

Mural by Richard Mace, located at 140 Caroline St S, Hamilton

This artwork has struck a chord with countless Hamiltonians, including building tenant Chantilly Lace’s owner, Chantel Powley, who commissioned a replica of the outside mural to be painted by Mace on the interior walls of her brand new bridal boutique.

But Coloma and Mace are just two of many examples for Hamilton’s bursting visual art scene. Hamilton public artists, from individuals like Coloma and Mace to collaborative cohorts such as Clear Eyes Collective and Vermillion Sands, aren’t just responsible for brightening up the city’s neighbourhoods; they also help to cultivate local pride and unity.

“Public art and murals can help develop a sense of pride and ownership which, in turn, builds strong communities,” says Coloma. “Many people approach me as I work to convey their feelings of pride and happiness towards the mural. They also relate their personal stories of their first-hand experiences pertaining to their neighbourhood.”

Artwork by Richard Mace

In many ways, the continued rise of street art and mural work in Hamilton feels like a perfect cultural match for the city’s own scrappy, gritty identity.

It brings bursts of colour, local history, and evocative imagery to otherwise blasé and utilitarian storefronts, alleyways, tunnels, residences, restaurants, breweries, and businesses. It chips away at visual art’s most pretentious preconceptions, giving the joy and soulfulness of art to the people of Hamilton in ways that are truly public and fully accessible to anyone.

Hamilton’s public art is loaded with distinct personality. Just like the city itself.

Lead Photo by Robyn Gillam

If you’re looking to keep your finger on the pulse of all Hamilton residential and commercial real estate projects and trends, subscribe to Forge & Foster’s free weekly newsletter here!

The Hamilton condo boom has arrived

The below article was originally written in Urbanicity, a Hamilton-based news outlet, by Robert Cekan as part of a series of sponsored articles focused on the future of Hamilton and the ambitious city builders continuing its urban resurgence.

The Toronto condo boom that started in the 90’s has made its way to Hamilton.

For the past three years, Hamilton has seen an explosion in its demand for condominiums, both new and old.

According to data from the REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB), since September 2017 the average price of apartment-style properties have increased from $290,575 to $377,004. That increase is equal to 22.9%, which is significant for a Hamilton real estate class that has seen very modest growth for the past two decades.

While this data is a strong indicator of the overall trend toward apartment-style living, what it fails to account for are the sales figures of pre-construction condominiums yet to be completed. This is because the data from RAHB almost exclusively deals with resale properties.

In the Hamilton region, there are at minimum 19 apartment-style condominium projects actively being constructed or selling. There are at least 7 more similar projects currently in registration.

From a city whose skyline has remained unchanged since the 1970s, the 2020s will be the decade Hamilton finally grows tall.

Much of the initial demand for increased housing in Hamilton began in the mid-2010s from Toronto-based families who were priced out of their local market.

As immigration fueled and continues to fuel steady demand for the Toronto metropolitan area, the fastest growing metropolitan area and city in North America, a spillover into surrounding communities forced many residents to travel down the QEW for a price and location better suited to their lifestyle.

The COVID-19 pandemic’s rise in work-from-home offices has opened up many new housing options for those that have GTA-based jobs who no longer feel the need to live close to their workplace. GTA homeowners are using the opportunity to cash out and relocate to nearby cities where their dollar goes farther.

For renters paying over $2,000 per month in rent for a one-bedroom apartment, Hamilton’s average price of $1,500 for the same one-bedroom is mighty attractive when commuting to work is a non-factor.

When looking at Golden Horseshoe cities that offer a lifestyle that’s similar to Toronto, the City of Hamilton truly stands out. It offers historical charm, a vibrant restaurant scene, nightlife, rec centres — all amenities Torontonians are used to and would expect, just on a smaller scale.

Hamilton is also home to the Niagara Escarpment, which has created a network of trails, waterfalls, and outdoor amenities — features many residents of the GTA find persuasive after living amongst busy streets of concrete and glass.

But as is the case of all growing cities, there comes a time when demand exceeds supply and the notion of everyone owning a detached home is no longer feasible. Limited land and the need to be in close proximity to amenities necessitates high-density towers. There’s no way around it — condominium towers are the best answer in accommodating the swaths of incoming residents to Hamilton.

When asked why condo living has become so popular, Rudi Spallacci Jr., Project Manager of Spallacci Group and developer behind the Residences of the Royal Connaught, said that he believes people are looking at ways they can simplify their lives. 

“I believe some people like the convenience of not having to maintain and clean their own yards, I believe some people enjoy having amenities at their doorsteps (gyms, theatre room, party room, outdoor skydeck) without having to drive to those amenities if they live in a home,” said Spallacci. “Not having to drive long distances to run errands or do the things you enjoy simplifies a person’s life.”

On a price per square foot basis – the most commonly used metric of an apartment’s value – the argument is even more compelling.

As of September 1st 2020, there are exactly 247 condominiums in Toronto with an average price per square foot of $1,000 or higher with average prices maxing out at $1,876 per square foot.

Now compare that to Hamilton where the most expensive condominium – 101 Locke Condos – sell on average at just over $800 per square foot, according to recent RAHB stats. This building in particular began its occupancy mid-2019, making it a healthy benchmark for luxury apartments in Hamilton.

The GTA area as a whole averaged $1,108 per square foot in 2019, for comparison. That may indicate that Hamilton is severely underpriced relative to it’s 416-area code counterparts.

In Hamilton, the stretch of King Street E between Wellington Street and James Street has particularly caught the attention of many developers. Along this corridor (or very nearby) can be found the construction sites of KiWi Condos and 1 Jarvis right beside it (currently in review), Residences of the Royal Connaught Phases 3, 4 and 5, Cobalt Towers, Gore Park Lofts, and The Connolly.

Further west at the corner of King & Queen Streets is the site of Coletara’s new 24-storey Platinum Condominiums with Vrancor’s new hotel and residential complex located at the opposite corner. South of this site is Brad J. Lamb’s upcoming Television City condos on the site of the former CHCH headquarters, originally planned to be a 40-storey and 30-storey tower, now revised to be two twin 32-storey towers.

Over the course of the next decade, a community at Pier 8 will slowly take the shape of the winning development Waterfront Shores, which will completely overhaul the city’s waterfront premiere waterfront destination to an area filled with residential, commercial, and recreation all in one. The plans call for 1,292 condo units including 65 affordable housing units spread across 20 buildings. The harbourside community will have themed street-level retail while ensuring that each building is architecturally diverse. 

Toronto has set a high watermark for how expensive condos can rise, and as more people discover the amazing quality of life Hamilton has to offer, it won’t be long until we too pass that $1,000 per square foot benchmark.

If you’re looking to keep your finger on the pulse of all Hamilton residential and commercial real estate projects and trends, subscribe to Forge & Foster’s free weekly newsletter here!


Author: Robert Cekan
Editor-in-chief: Robert Cekan
https://urbanicity.com/

What is Urbanicity?
We are Hamilton’s community hub, publishing news you can use and curating Hamilton’s best local activities. Use Urbanicity to discover everything the city has to offer and make Hamilton truly feel like home

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