Planning Committee: September 4th, 2018

Three major proposals are coming up for discussion at the September 4th meeting of the Hamilton Planning Committee. The 154 Main St East project by the Vrancor Group is recommended for APPROVAL by planning staff, the Columbia Internation College Student Residence project is also recommended for APPROVAL, and the 71 Rebecca St proposal is recommended for APPROVAL as well, though sized down from 40 stories to 30, which is the unfortunate height limit set by the Downtown Secondary Plan.

HamiltonForward supports all three projects and wishes that the Planning Committee support the recommended actions from planning staff, for approval on all three projects.

154 Main St East

Darko Vranich’s Vrancor Group continues to invest in Downtown Hamilton with 154 Main St East, with another impressive tower following their successful towers at 140 and 150 Main West, and their under-construction project 20/22 George St in the heart of the civic core of the city.

The proposal is 25 storeys and includes 267 new residential units, along with commercial space on the ground floor, and a commercial parking lot for 32 vehicles, as well as 131 secured bicycle parking spaces.

The project is not without criticism though- there are 2 written comments opposing this development. One comment cites increased traffic as an issue and that the height is too high. The second comment says that the building should be subject to holding provisions because they are not satisfied with the community benefits the project includes.

At the time of publishing, there are 3 registered speakers, Chris Labenski, Nicole Smith, and Jessica Merolli.

Columbia College Student Residences

Columbia College is finally ready to redevelop the old Acura dealership at 925 Main St West, with a two-tower student residence proposal.

The proposal is 18 storeys and will see 514 new student housing units for students of Columbia College, and the ground floor will contain commercial units.

This project has received a large amount of feedback, viewable here. 5 Comments submitted in support, and 9 comments against the proposal. At the time of publication, there are 3 registered speakers, Gord McNulty of the Hamilton Naturalists Club, John Terpstra, and Dr. Lynda Lukasik from Environment Hamilton.

71 Rebecca

(Unfortunately, I only have renderings for the old 40 storey proposal, however, the general design of the tower has not changed, only the height.)

71 Rebecca St was original proposed as 40 storey “landmark” tower with it’s unique design and LED screen on the 4th floor. However, the tower has been cut down to 30 storeys, the podium increase to 6, and the LED screen has been cancelled.

This 30 storey proposal will have 313 residential units, include 204 parking spaces, and will have over 1200 square metres of ground floor commercial space.

Only 2 comments have been submitted, both from agencies acting on behalf of an adjacent building owner at 80 John St North. You can read their submissions here. At the time of publishing, there is 1 registered speaker, Rob Fielder of the Beasley Neighbourhood Association.

ALL IN ALL, all proposals are good and we hope to see them approved. 71 Rebecca would’ve been better at 40 storeys, but until Hamilton Planning’s closed for business attitude is replaced, we’ll have the plainest skyline in Canada.

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