2016 to bring more condo projects to fruition in Hamilton

Signs of progress beyond billboards are finally appearing at many Hamilton condo project sites.

Developers expect people will be able to move into the Royal Connaught in 2017

For years, big wooden signs have advertised the advent of the condo on Hamilton's downtown scene. A few projects have gone up, like the lofts at Stinson School, the Pigott building and the Witton Lofts.

But for the slew of large, high-profile projects, signs of progress beyond banners and billboards are finally appearing. This week, traffic was detoured from Main Street West so the crane could be disassembled safely from the 150 Main condo project. The city estimates construction will be finished there by next summer.

The pressure-washing and construction at the Royal Connaught on King Street East has been perhaps the most eye-catching. Construction continues on the iconic hotel-turned-condos and the developers expect people will be able to move in, in 2017.

"It's still a small piece of the Hamilton market, the downtown condo, but it's a vital piece for the rejuvenation of downtown" said New Horizon developer Jeff Paikin, whose third phase of his City Square project in Durand is on hold while he waits for word on development incentives from the city.

Condo calendar

CBC Hamilton has covered many of the projects as they've moved forward, but here's a sampling of timelines for under-construction, for-sale condo projects around town.

Keep in mind, developers are an optimistic bunch when it comes to timelines. Most dates below are estimates provided by the city's planning department:

  • Acclamation, James Street North: 71 units. Expected to start construction early 2016, and finish in 2017. 
  • 150 Main West: 142 condo units. Began construction in 2015. Expected to finish construction in the second quarter of 2016.
  • Royal Connaught, King Street East: Began construction on first and second phases (of five planned total phases) in 2015. Expected to finish those phases in late 2016 with occupancy in 2017.
  • Beasley Park Towns, Wilson Street: 6 units. Expected to finish construction in 2016.
  • Vista, Charlton Street East: 152 units. A big sign went at the site formerly used as a bowling alley and transportation depot in the fall. Construction is expected to start early 2016, wrapping up mid-2017.
  • The Connolly, James Street South: 259 units on the site of a Baptist church. Expected to begin construction in the last quarter of 2016 and finish mid-2018.

Residences at Acclamation on James Street North has been in the works for years.

Since inception the project has changed, said Patricia Roque, whose family owns a roofing company and is developing the site next to their restaurant of the same name.

The project will be eight storeys with 71 units.

She said some financing pieces are being finalized and the project could go to sale early next year, but she was hesitant to put a firm date on it.

"This has been six years in the making," Roque said. "This is going to be our legacy, my father's legacy."

A bit further off:

Some projects are still moving slowly.

  • Tivoli, James and Hughson streets: 106 units on the site of the historic Tivoli theatre, expected to be restored as part of the project. No site plan yet. Construction timeline unknown.
  • 101 Locke Street: 80 units. No site plan yet. Construction timeline unknown.
  • Tiffany Square, Bay Street North: 164 units. No site plan yet. Construction timeline unknown.
  • Gibson School Lofts, Barton Street: 100 units (and eight townhouse units nearby). Developer Harry Stinson is expecting site plan approval from the city soon; estimated to take up to two years to build.
  • City Square, Robinson Street: 102 units. Project on hold pending a city decision on waiving some development fees.

Many developers in the core, especially, find contaminated soil from dry cleaners or other commercial uses in the previous decades. Cleaning it up takes time. That's what's happening at the Tivoli project, said Domenic Diamante, a member of the family behind the Tivoli project.

"A lot of things are unknown at this point," Diamante said. But Diamante said he expects the project to break ground in 2016.

Beyond condos, there are also a few rental projects in the works:

  • Templar Flats, King William Street: 25 apartments. Began construction last spring, estimated to finish early 2016.
  • 140 Main West, 322 apartments. Expected to finish construction in 2016.
  • 220 Cannon, 100 apartments. Construction equipment has been working on site through the fall. Unknown completion date.
  • 220 Dundurn Street South: 124 apartments. Construction has begun but unknown finish date. 
  • The William Thomas Residence (formerly known as Artizen condos), James Street North: 173 apartments geared to students. No site plan submitted yet, construction expected in 2016.