Century Manor eyed for Mohawk student housing

News Mar 24, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

By Richard Leitner, News Staff

A Hamilton firm renowned for renewing historic buildings wants to turn the main building of a former insane asylum on the west Mountain into housing for Mohawk College students.

Steve Kulakowsky of Core Urban Inc. said his company is interested in buying Century Manor and its 12-hectare property at the southeast corner of Fennell Avenue West and West 5th Street.

He said Core Urban hasn’t been able to view the inside of the three-storey manor, built in 1884 and vacant since 1995, because requests have been denied, but would preserve the exterior and rebuild the interior as necessary.

“Certainly it’s in a terrible state right now, but given our track record we believe we could fix it and give it life again,” Kulakowsky told members of the city’s municipal heritage committee.

“Being an asylum in nature, it probably has a lot of small rooms as it stands right now. I’m not sure we want to market it towards being an asylum,” he said.

“We believe it could be a great student residence. We believe it could really build to Mohawk, it could bring people across the street and it could put students in something that’s a little more thoughtful.”

Infrastructure Ontario, the province’s real estate arm, recently announced it plans to sell the former Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital lands, a process giving the city and other government agencies the first opportunity to show interest.

If none do, the site, which includes eight other buildings, can be sold on the open market.

Kulakowsky said his company is open to ideas for the remaining buildings, but is focused “first and foremost” on the manor, considered a prime example of Gothic Victorian architecture and designated as locally significant under the Ontario Heritage Act.

Core Urban has been lauded for its restoration projects, including the Herkimer Apartments and Witton Lofts, luxury condominium developments in the lower city.

“We do think that a purpose-built student residence is good for the community as a whole, rather than single-family homes,” Kulakowsky said afterwards. “It’s also a way that many, many people could actually use and appreciate the building, rather than it just remain stagnant.”

While some members were enthusiastic about the proposal, the heritage committee didn’t take a formal position, instead directing staff to make preserving the manor a priority for any future uses of the property, zoned major institutional.

Century Manor eyed for Mohawk student housing

News Mar 24, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

By Richard Leitner, News Staff

A Hamilton firm renowned for renewing historic buildings wants to turn the main building of a former insane asylum on the west Mountain into housing for Mohawk College students.

Steve Kulakowsky of Core Urban Inc. said his company is interested in buying Century Manor and its 12-hectare property at the southeast corner of Fennell Avenue West and West 5th Street.

He said Core Urban hasn’t been able to view the inside of the three-storey manor, built in 1884 and vacant since 1995, because requests have been denied, but would preserve the exterior and rebuild the interior as necessary.

“Certainly it’s in a terrible state right now, but given our track record we believe we could fix it and give it life again,” Kulakowsky told members of the city’s municipal heritage committee.

“Being an asylum in nature, it probably has a lot of small rooms as it stands right now. I’m not sure we want to market it towards being an asylum,” he said.

“We believe it could be a great student residence. We believe it could really build to Mohawk, it could bring people across the street and it could put students in something that’s a little more thoughtful.”

Infrastructure Ontario, the province’s real estate arm, recently announced it plans to sell the former Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital lands, a process giving the city and other government agencies the first opportunity to show interest.

If none do, the site, which includes eight other buildings, can be sold on the open market.

Kulakowsky said his company is open to ideas for the remaining buildings, but is focused “first and foremost” on the manor, considered a prime example of Gothic Victorian architecture and designated as locally significant under the Ontario Heritage Act.

Core Urban has been lauded for its restoration projects, including the Herkimer Apartments and Witton Lofts, luxury condominium developments in the lower city.

“We do think that a purpose-built student residence is good for the community as a whole, rather than single-family homes,” Kulakowsky said afterwards. “It’s also a way that many, many people could actually use and appreciate the building, rather than it just remain stagnant.”

While some members were enthusiastic about the proposal, the heritage committee didn’t take a formal position, instead directing staff to make preserving the manor a priority for any future uses of the property, zoned major institutional.

Century Manor eyed for Mohawk student housing

News Mar 24, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

By Richard Leitner, News Staff

A Hamilton firm renowned for renewing historic buildings wants to turn the main building of a former insane asylum on the west Mountain into housing for Mohawk College students.

Steve Kulakowsky of Core Urban Inc. said his company is interested in buying Century Manor and its 12-hectare property at the southeast corner of Fennell Avenue West and West 5th Street.

He said Core Urban hasn’t been able to view the inside of the three-storey manor, built in 1884 and vacant since 1995, because requests have been denied, but would preserve the exterior and rebuild the interior as necessary.

“Certainly it’s in a terrible state right now, but given our track record we believe we could fix it and give it life again,” Kulakowsky told members of the city’s municipal heritage committee.

“Being an asylum in nature, it probably has a lot of small rooms as it stands right now. I’m not sure we want to market it towards being an asylum,” he said.

“We believe it could be a great student residence. We believe it could really build to Mohawk, it could bring people across the street and it could put students in something that’s a little more thoughtful.”

Infrastructure Ontario, the province’s real estate arm, recently announced it plans to sell the former Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital lands, a process giving the city and other government agencies the first opportunity to show interest.

If none do, the site, which includes eight other buildings, can be sold on the open market.

Kulakowsky said his company is open to ideas for the remaining buildings, but is focused “first and foremost” on the manor, considered a prime example of Gothic Victorian architecture and designated as locally significant under the Ontario Heritage Act.

Core Urban has been lauded for its restoration projects, including the Herkimer Apartments and Witton Lofts, luxury condominium developments in the lower city.

“We do think that a purpose-built student residence is good for the community as a whole, rather than single-family homes,” Kulakowsky said afterwards. “It’s also a way that many, many people could actually use and appreciate the building, rather than it just remain stagnant.”

While some members were enthusiastic about the proposal, the heritage committee didn’t take a formal position, instead directing staff to make preserving the manor a priority for any future uses of the property, zoned major institutional.