By Gord Bowes, News staff
Something very unique could be coming to a high-profile parcel of land at the top of the Red Hill Valley Parkway.
Effort Trust last month acquired the property dubbed the “earlobe” in two separate transactions. A landlocked parcel was purchased from the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board and the adjacent land was purchased from Infrastructure Ontario.
“That is really a unique parcel in Hamilton with great highway exposure, great access,” said Gerald Asa, the property manager overseeing four Effort Trust developments in that area.
“What we really want to do there is create something unique for Hamilton.”
Asa said he envisions a type of user that would require a large acreage of land and highway exposure and only do one such project in a city the size of Hamilton.
“We’re not looking to do a stadium and we’re not looking to do a casino, but those are examples of things that this piece of land cries out for,” he told the Mountain News.
The undeveloped land got its earlobe nickname during the Pan Am stadium debate of 2010, when the Hamilton Tiger-Cats pushed to have the stadium built at that east Mountain location next to the Stone Church Road exit from the Red Hill Valley Parkway. The new owner is calling its development Heritage Landing.
Asa said Effort Trust nearly purchased the land following that, but the deal fell through at the last minute. The company tried again when the school board put the land out to tender and the province offered the land through a new realtor.
“It became a bit of a challenge on our end to try and get both parties to agree independently to a joint closing,” he said.
“It was a challenge to assemble both pieces and close on it.”
Effort Trust has three developments in the works along Stone Church Road East to accompany its six-year-old Heritage Greene. Along with the new Heritage Landing, it has Heritage Highlands and Heritage Commons.
Heritage Highlands is on the south side of Stone Church directly across from the shopping complex which includes Home Depot. Development of that site, which will include a grocery store, has been delayed by an Ontario Municipal Board hearing this spring.
In the meantime, Effort Trust is developing its Heritage Commons site, which lies on the other side of what will be the Trinity Church Road corridor running from the Stone Church exit down to Rymal Road. Construction of a McDonald’s, Tim Hortons and Esso station could begin in the spring, Asa said.
Work on the corridor is expected to begin this year.