Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger says downtown development benefits suburban taxpayers

News Apr 23, 2015 by Kevin Werner Hamilton Mountain News

 The building boom that has engulfed downtown Hamilton and will soon include the waterfront is actually an economic benefit for the entire city, including residents in the suburban areas, says Mayor Fred Eisenberger.

Talking to reporters after his hour-long presentation to about 340 people at the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce’s Mayor’s Breakfast event at LIUNA Station April 23, Eisenberger said even though it may look like all the major development projects are happening in the core, that’s just a coincidence.

“It seems to be the focus right now because that’s where the large chunk of the new development is happening,” says Eisenberger.

But the mayor says development is also occurring in Waterdown, Stoney Creek and Binbrook.

“It’s not an urban-suburban issue in my mind,” said Eisenberger. “It’s more revenue we generate on existing infrastructure (that) takes the pressure off all taxpayers.”

Easing the residential tax burden remains a guiding principle for the mayor since homeowners pay nearly 90 per cent of the taxes, while industrial, and commercial property owners pay the rest, a lopsided ratio that had been reversed over 30 years ago.

“We need to alleviate the residential base,” he said.

Eisenberger trumpeted the city’s progress on a number of key initiatives during his speech including the nearly $40 million waterfront redevelopment project; investing $500,000 for arts and culture; and the construction of the Barton-Tiffany lands. As well, McMaster University has been investing in the downtown area with its Health Campus scheduled to be opened this spring, and a new bio-engineering facility at the McMaster Innovation Park. Both projects were assisted financially by the city.

“We are moving from vision to actual reality on the waterfront,” said Eisenberger.

He said with U.S. Steel offering up its own lands for sale even as it faces a financial meltdown, Hamilton is in prime position to partner with other agencies to develop that area.

“It’s an emerging opportunity,” said Eisenberger.

The mayor did touch on the potential of the Airport Employment Growth District in Glanbrook that has been contemplated since 2003, and is now free of any Ontario Municipal Board appeals. But those estimated 500 hectares of employable lands remain in the city’s long-term future.

He said Hamilton’s economic strategy is focused on smart economic growth, investing in infrastructure, and accepting bold innovation. He pointed to Pittsburgh as a model city Hamilton should follow when it comes to transforming its waterfront, and converting its economic base from steel to high technology.

“That’s how we move forward,” he said.

Since he was elected mayor last fall, Eisenberger told Keanin Loomis, president of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, during a question and answer session, that he is “having fun” in his second turn as the political head of the city.

Eisenberger said this term he has become “more of an incrementalist, more measured” in trying to get things done than during his last mayoral tenure when he wanted to do everything immediately.

He says he has a “great working relationship” with council and disagrees that there is a growing rift between suburban and rural politicians.

“I don’t think so,” he told reporters. “Area rating has kind of generated the kind of concerns. But at some point we have to deal with that.”

He said the ward boundary review has become a “sticky wicket” for some politicians, “but again it’s something we have to deal with. I don’t think it will be a great barrier to moving forward.

“I don’t see any animosity,” added Eisenberger referring to suburban and urban politicians. “I see concerns and we all have concerns when you start talking about changes. It always causes people to be a little bit more cautious than they otherwise might be. I’m not really worried about it.”

Eisenberger sees Hamilton as a city on the move that has generated excitement and a “vibe” which is attractive to businesses and potential residents alike.

“I see a vibrant work environment, not a bedroom community (to Toronto),” he said.

 

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger says downtown development benefits suburban taxpayers

News Apr 23, 2015 by Kevin Werner Hamilton Mountain News

 The building boom that has engulfed downtown Hamilton and will soon include the waterfront is actually an economic benefit for the entire city, including residents in the suburban areas, says Mayor Fred Eisenberger.

Talking to reporters after his hour-long presentation to about 340 people at the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce’s Mayor’s Breakfast event at LIUNA Station April 23, Eisenberger said even though it may look like all the major development projects are happening in the core, that’s just a coincidence.

“It seems to be the focus right now because that’s where the large chunk of the new development is happening,” says Eisenberger.

But the mayor says development is also occurring in Waterdown, Stoney Creek and Binbrook.

“It’s not an urban-suburban issue in my mind,” said Eisenberger. “It’s more revenue we generate on existing infrastructure (that) takes the pressure off all taxpayers.”

Easing the residential tax burden remains a guiding principle for the mayor since homeowners pay nearly 90 per cent of the taxes, while industrial, and commercial property owners pay the rest, a lopsided ratio that had been reversed over 30 years ago.

“We need to alleviate the residential base,” he said.

Eisenberger trumpeted the city’s progress on a number of key initiatives during his speech including the nearly $40 million waterfront redevelopment project; investing $500,000 for arts and culture; and the construction of the Barton-Tiffany lands. As well, McMaster University has been investing in the downtown area with its Health Campus scheduled to be opened this spring, and a new bio-engineering facility at the McMaster Innovation Park. Both projects were assisted financially by the city.

“We are moving from vision to actual reality on the waterfront,” said Eisenberger.

He said with U.S. Steel offering up its own lands for sale even as it faces a financial meltdown, Hamilton is in prime position to partner with other agencies to develop that area.

“It’s an emerging opportunity,” said Eisenberger.

The mayor did touch on the potential of the Airport Employment Growth District in Glanbrook that has been contemplated since 2003, and is now free of any Ontario Municipal Board appeals. But those estimated 500 hectares of employable lands remain in the city’s long-term future.

He said Hamilton’s economic strategy is focused on smart economic growth, investing in infrastructure, and accepting bold innovation. He pointed to Pittsburgh as a model city Hamilton should follow when it comes to transforming its waterfront, and converting its economic base from steel to high technology.

“That’s how we move forward,” he said.

Since he was elected mayor last fall, Eisenberger told Keanin Loomis, president of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, during a question and answer session, that he is “having fun” in his second turn as the political head of the city.

Eisenberger said this term he has become “more of an incrementalist, more measured” in trying to get things done than during his last mayoral tenure when he wanted to do everything immediately.

He says he has a “great working relationship” with council and disagrees that there is a growing rift between suburban and rural politicians.

“I don’t think so,” he told reporters. “Area rating has kind of generated the kind of concerns. But at some point we have to deal with that.”

He said the ward boundary review has become a “sticky wicket” for some politicians, “but again it’s something we have to deal with. I don’t think it will be a great barrier to moving forward.

“I don’t see any animosity,” added Eisenberger referring to suburban and urban politicians. “I see concerns and we all have concerns when you start talking about changes. It always causes people to be a little bit more cautious than they otherwise might be. I’m not really worried about it.”

Eisenberger sees Hamilton as a city on the move that has generated excitement and a “vibe” which is attractive to businesses and potential residents alike.

“I see a vibrant work environment, not a bedroom community (to Toronto),” he said.

 

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger says downtown development benefits suburban taxpayers

News Apr 23, 2015 by Kevin Werner Hamilton Mountain News

 The building boom that has engulfed downtown Hamilton and will soon include the waterfront is actually an economic benefit for the entire city, including residents in the suburban areas, says Mayor Fred Eisenberger.

Talking to reporters after his hour-long presentation to about 340 people at the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce’s Mayor’s Breakfast event at LIUNA Station April 23, Eisenberger said even though it may look like all the major development projects are happening in the core, that’s just a coincidence.

“It seems to be the focus right now because that’s where the large chunk of the new development is happening,” says Eisenberger.

But the mayor says development is also occurring in Waterdown, Stoney Creek and Binbrook.

“It’s not an urban-suburban issue in my mind,” said Eisenberger. “It’s more revenue we generate on existing infrastructure (that) takes the pressure off all taxpayers.”

Easing the residential tax burden remains a guiding principle for the mayor since homeowners pay nearly 90 per cent of the taxes, while industrial, and commercial property owners pay the rest, a lopsided ratio that had been reversed over 30 years ago.

“We need to alleviate the residential base,” he said.

Eisenberger trumpeted the city’s progress on a number of key initiatives during his speech including the nearly $40 million waterfront redevelopment project; investing $500,000 for arts and culture; and the construction of the Barton-Tiffany lands. As well, McMaster University has been investing in the downtown area with its Health Campus scheduled to be opened this spring, and a new bio-engineering facility at the McMaster Innovation Park. Both projects were assisted financially by the city.

“We are moving from vision to actual reality on the waterfront,” said Eisenberger.

He said with U.S. Steel offering up its own lands for sale even as it faces a financial meltdown, Hamilton is in prime position to partner with other agencies to develop that area.

“It’s an emerging opportunity,” said Eisenberger.

The mayor did touch on the potential of the Airport Employment Growth District in Glanbrook that has been contemplated since 2003, and is now free of any Ontario Municipal Board appeals. But those estimated 500 hectares of employable lands remain in the city’s long-term future.

He said Hamilton’s economic strategy is focused on smart economic growth, investing in infrastructure, and accepting bold innovation. He pointed to Pittsburgh as a model city Hamilton should follow when it comes to transforming its waterfront, and converting its economic base from steel to high technology.

“That’s how we move forward,” he said.

Since he was elected mayor last fall, Eisenberger told Keanin Loomis, president of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, during a question and answer session, that he is “having fun” in his second turn as the political head of the city.

Eisenberger said this term he has become “more of an incrementalist, more measured” in trying to get things done than during his last mayoral tenure when he wanted to do everything immediately.

He says he has a “great working relationship” with council and disagrees that there is a growing rift between suburban and rural politicians.

“I don’t think so,” he told reporters. “Area rating has kind of generated the kind of concerns. But at some point we have to deal with that.”

He said the ward boundary review has become a “sticky wicket” for some politicians, “but again it’s something we have to deal with. I don’t think it will be a great barrier to moving forward.

“I don’t see any animosity,” added Eisenberger referring to suburban and urban politicians. “I see concerns and we all have concerns when you start talking about changes. It always causes people to be a little bit more cautious than they otherwise might be. I’m not really worried about it.”

Eisenberger sees Hamilton as a city on the move that has generated excitement and a “vibe” which is attractive to businesses and potential residents alike.

“I see a vibrant work environment, not a bedroom community (to Toronto),” he said.