Despite the City of Hamilton’s recent deal to take over Pier 7 and 8 from the Hamilton Port Authority, port development is slower than investment demands.
“There are literally hundreds of investors begging us to open up brownfield development for the use of high-end condos,” says Kip Persimmon, the owner of Pier 67, a stretch of land nestled between Stelco and Dofasco. “Toronto thinks they have the market on condos, well Hamilton has plans for condos on Locke St, James St, Ottawa St, and Trendy Barton St. Why not add Burlington St and Industrial Ave to that list?”
Representatives of Stelco could not be reached for comment, but the permits for condos in the empty blast furnaces have been approved by the highest levels of government. Barty “Broadside” Bazinski, the young investor behind the development claims that no city has ever been this bold.
Industrial Sector M is About to Get Hot Again
Bazinski says, “The furnaces are pieces of art, and symbolic of Hamilton’s move forward. Their vacancy shouldn’t be a reason to grieve, but an opportunity for growth. Industrial Sector N and M are going to house over 900 units in two large towers. They’re on the harbourfront, with a gorgeous view of Burlington, and Hamilton’s iconic industrial buildings.”
Initial market research and panel group feedback has confirmed Bazinski’s enthusiasm, despite the proximity to Hamilton’s largest factories, seven out of ten respondents saying they’d considered moving into the blast furnaces. Though it’s unknown if those customers will actually put money down on this risky idea.
The main sticking point among developers is the complexity of converting blast furnaces into condos. The infrastructure may be set up, but the complex plumbing, electrical work, and gas routes are all set up for an industrial scale. Major changes and approvals are necessary before a single shovel can hit the ground.
The question remains whether this idea will catch fire with Hamiltonians, or if Bazinski will get burned.