By Gord Bowes, News staff
Change is coming to an empty lot on the east Mountain next to the Red Hill Valley Parkway.
Vicano Development Limited is clearing and preparing the five-acre site at 211 Pritchard Rd. for an office building.
Peter Vicano, president of the company, said he’s working to get a building permit soon so construction can begin in the spring.
It will be a two-phase project, he said, with a 35,000-square-foot, one-storey building being completed this winter and a tenant taking possession in the new year.
“The building plans are being completed as we speak,” Vicano said late last week.
Phase two is an extension which will double the building’s size, he said, but that’s a project for the “distant future.”
Vicano said he’s currently finalizing a deal with a tenant. He would not disclose who the client is.
Vicano said his company is not interested in owning a piece of property adjacent to his which is being sold by the Hamilton public school board.
That land, next to the Red Hill off-ramp to Mud Street and Stone Church Road and dubbed the “earlobe,” was once eyed by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as a location for the new Pan Am stadium. The parcel is landlocked, but has an easement through the Vicano property.
“Not at all,” Vicano said when asked about buying it. “The reason we bought this property was, size-wise (about five acres) it was in our realm of what we can handle.”
There has been a lot of development in the past two years on the eastern edge of Ward 6. Canada Post built a new facility further down Pritchard Road, while a block away Carmen’s built its upscale Best Western Premier C Hotel and CARSTAR constructed its new headquarters. Across the border in Ward 9 sits the Heritage Greene shopping centre.
Vicano said the location will continue to be developed as it serves the needs of the growing population in the upper city.
“They need to access services and commercial space and offices — whatever they need to live,” he said. “So it is just going to naturally hover around the (Red Hill and Lincoln Alexander Parkway) … Let’s face it. It’s all about accessibility, its all about time, it’s all about ease of getting there.”
Coun. Tom Jackson (east Mountain, Ward 6) said he expects to see much more development in that pocket of the city over the next five years, particularly after the Trinity Church Road extension connects Stone Church and Rymal roads. That project could be started this year.
“As we get closer — fingers crossed, later this year, early next year — to getting a shovel in the ground … you’ll see even more commercial/manufacturing/light industrial applications coming forward,” said Jackson.