A new condo project is coming to downtown Hamilton at the Tivoli Theatre site on James Street North.
"We are looking at marketing boutique-style condominiums at the site of the Tivoli," said Monica O'Reilly, a brand strategist for Toolbox Strategies, which is overseeing marketing for the development.
Local developer Diamante Holdings is spearheading the project. Dominic Diamante, the company's owner, was out of town on Friday and not available for comment.
O'Reilly says the project is still in the "super early planning stages," so most of the details haven't been hammered out yet.
"All we have so far is a banner and a logo," she said. O'Reilly didn't have any information on how many units would be in the 138-year-old theatre, their size or how much they would cost - but did say the space would be "interesting, artistic and modern."
She says the project would likely launch full on in the spring. Representatives from the company plan to be on site during Supercrawl to promote the development.
Part of the theatre on at the corner of James Street North and Wilson Street collapsed about eight years ago.
Belma Diamante, CEO of the Canadian Ballet Youth Ensemble and Dominic's wife, acquired the theatre in 2004 from the Sniderman family of Sam the Record Man fame for $1. In June of that year, while the Snidermans still owned the Tivoli, a south-facing wall collapsed inside the building, pushing debris through an exterior wall.
The last time the Tivoli was in use was between 1998 and 2004, when the Snidermans rented the Tivoli to a local theatre company, the Tivoli Renaissance Project.
Later in 2004, the city spent $300,000 to demolish the front portion of the building, which included the original facade that faced James Street North, as well as the long lobby leading into the theatre and the washrooms.
The $300,000 for demolition was not the only money the city has put into the Tivoli since the wall collapsed. Glen Norton, Hamilton's manager of urban renewal planning and economic development, said the city gave a grant of $75,455 to the Tivoli's owners in 2009 for building stabilization and heating improvements.
In 2008, the owners were given $20,000 to pay for a heritage feasibility study to identify potential uses for the property and gauge community interest in the building's restoration, Norton said.
City council also approved a $50,000 interest-free loan to retrofit the theatre's roof in December 2009. According to Gary Santucci of the board of the Canadian Ballet Youth Ensemble, that amount has been repaid.
If you're interested in the Tivoli condo project, visit www.tivolicondos.ca.