By Kevin Werner, News Staff
After helping to bring the Lister Block back to life, the Hi-Rise Group will attempt to do the same thing for the William Thomas Building.
Shawn Marr, vice-president of the Toronto-based Hi-Rise Group will rebuild the William Thomas Building on James Street North beside the Lister Block, and add a 16-storey condominium development on top.
“The timing makes perfect sense,” said Marr, who made the announcement, including the unveiling of a preliminary sketch, at the Renew Hamilton conference Oct. 18.
The $35-million project, Marr told reporters later, is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2014. But it does depend on how many of the 100 units the developer sells for the 200,000-square-foot structure. The funding, he acknowledged, is not completed, and is depended upon market interest.
“Financing is never an issue,” he said. “It’s all based on pre-sales. If the sales are there, which we anticipate they will be, the construction financing will follow. The required equity and underlining financing for the project are all in place.”
Marr said the zoning is in place, and a committee of adjustment decision has to be made for the building’s height.
The idea, said Marr is to reassemble the William Thomas Building, which came down in 2010, then construct the 16-storey glass and steel condominium on top. He said the building blocks of the Thomas building have been identified, and like a puzzle, will be reconstructed exactly as it was before it was disassembled. The material has been held in storage since the building was demolished.
“It will go up exactly as it came down,” he said.
Marr said a sales pavilion is scheduled to be constructed in March or April 2014 on the former William Thomas building located alongJames Street North, next door to the Lister Block.
Ward 2 councillor Jason Farr said he applauded the announcement, and pointed out the development will not receive any city grants, even though it is eligible.
The William Thomas Buildingwas torn down in 2010 to accommodate the reconstruction of the Lister Block. The Hi-Rise Group and the Laborer’s International Union of North America joined together with the city to restore the former eye sore located at the corner of James Street Northand King William. The city contributed $30 million to the project.