City scraps millions from waterfront projects because of a $15M cost overrun

The city is trimming millions from its plans to redevelop Hamilton's waterfront because the project is about $15 million over budget.
The city is over budget on its projects planned for Piers 6 and 7. (City of Hamilton)

The city is trimming millions from its plan to redevelop Hamilton's waterfront because the project is about $15 million over budget.

Hamilton's west harbour development subcommittee voted Tuesday to scrap a $2,490,000 plan to redevelop Bayview Park, $1.1 million to remediate the Barton-Tiffany area and $3.8 million in work to the shoreline, boardwalk and trail on Macassa Bay.

The first phase of the redevelopment of Piers 5 to 8, which includes shorewall rehabilitation and a new boardwalk, is $11.5 million over budget, a staff report says. Phase three, which is an artisan village, is $3.6 million over budget. That includes the boardwalk along Piers 6 and 7 at the foot of James Street, which will cost $9.3 million more than expected.

The subcommittee of city councillors voted to defer some of the planned work until 2022, and scale down or scrap other elements.

"There's $15 million we need to find," said Chad Collins, Ward (Centennial) councillor.

Jason Farr, Ward 2 (downtown) city councillor, wasn't too stressed about the changes. It's a $156-million project, Farr said, so there are bound to be some changes.

"We couldn't expect, I'm sure, over time that we didn't have to massage or manipulative budgets," he said, even though these changes "may seem excessive to some."

There's a lot at stake in the redevelopment plan, which aims to turn Piers 7 and 8 into nine blocks of new condos, and commercial and institutional space, as well as a splashy new boardwalk. Last year, Waterfront Shores Corporation won the bid to build 1,292 condominium units in 20 separate buildings, town houses and other affordable accommodations that will be spread throughout the development. The plan also includes commercial space, themed retail zones for fitness and health and a fresh food market are also all part of the plans.

The project also includes a large Pier 7 boardwalk and high-profile public space, designed by Toronto-based Forrec Ltd. Chris Phillips, head of the waterfront development project, says that project hasn't been tendered yet, but so far, there are no features cut or cost overruns.

Here's a list of what the city will trim or change:

  • $2.7 million more in shoreline rehabilitation.
  • $9.3 million more for the boardwalk ($4.5 million in 2020 and $4.8 million in 2021).
  • $3.6 million for the artisan village.
  • Delete $2,490,000 for remediation and redevelopment of Bayview Park.
  • Delete $310,000 for public art in Bayview Park.
  • Eliminate $6 million in upgrades to Bayfront Park.
  • Indefinitely defer $1,330,000 for the Pier 4 park trail.
  • Reduce the scope of the shoreline, boardwalk and trail along Macassa Bay by $3,755,000.
  • Scrap $1.1 million in Barton-Tiffany remediation.



About the Author

Samantha Craggs is a CBC News reporter based in Hamilton, Ont. She has a particular interest in politics and social justice stories, and tweets live from Hamilton city hall. Follow her on Twitter at @SamCraggsCBC, or email her at samantha.craggs@cbc.ca


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