Council votes next month on future of City Motor Hotel site
Hamiltonians should find out in September what will go on the now-vacant City Motor Hotel site, the former home of an infamous landmark that the city seized earlier this year.
Councillors will vote on Sept. 16 the type of buildings that can go on the now-empty lot, as well as how tall they can be. These decisions will lay down the rules for developers who want to build on the site.
So far, plans show buildings as tall as eight stories that offer condos and commercial space, said Steve Robichaud, the city’s head of planning. But the planning committee will vote on Sept. 16 to rezone the property as mixed use, and what specifications to put on it.
Once the property is rezoned, a request for proposals will be issued to see if there’s developer interest. And there will be interest, said Coun. Sam Merulla of Ward 4.
“There are a number of developers that are really looking forward to that because the real estate market is incredible hot right now,” he said.
“The enthusiasm for real estate in Ward 4 is pretty substantial.”
The City Motor Hotel has a storied history in Hamilton. Built in the 1960s, it became a den of drugs, prostitution and gun activity, and saw the highest number of police calls of anywhere in the city, Merulla said last year.
“We’ve eliminated the blight and now we’re repurposing it with mixed use.”
The 5,241-metre property went up for sale in August 2011, and the city investigated buying it outright. But because of a cloudy title, the city ended up expropriating it for $1.9 million instead. The city is paying out the money to a tangled weave of parties, including the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, Pattison Outdoor Advertising and the Lord’s Ministry House.
The city demolished the property last year. Residents have given input at numerous meetings, including Merulla's quarterly ward meetings, he said.
Current plans include removing the nearby roundabout.