Hamilton's ambitious development plan, down by the bay

News Apr 26, 2016 by Mark McNeil The Hamilton Spectator

The City of Hamilton has unveiled an ambitious plan to jump-start a waterfront community of 1,600 housing units as well as businesses and recreational areas in a project that will radically change the face of the West Harbour.

The Pier 7 and 8 Urban Design Study — which will be discussed at a community meeting next Monday — fleshes out the city's goal of developing harbourfront land it acquired in the year 2000 from the Hamilton Harbour Commissioners.

Chris Phillips wants people to be able to "live, work and play on the waterfront."

"This is the next phase to having it become a place where people can live, work and play on the waterfront," says Chris Phillips, project lead for the city. "That is what this design study is all about. How do we transform the lands into a waterfront community?"

The 226-page report will be released Wednesday in advance of the community meeting at the Waterfront Banquet and Conference Centre. The report goes to the City of Hamilton's Planning Committee on May 17.

No doubt, critics of the proposal will be at both meetings.

Harbour West resident Herman Turkstra says the city has been edging up the number of housing units and expanding retail space as the development process continues. Increasing the scale of the project will have negative traffic ramifications for North End residents, he says.

"What we have been seeing so far is a long way from the vision set out in Setting Sail (the city's West Harbour development plan). That report called for 750 to 1,000 units.

The Pier 7 and 8 area will have new parks, residences, businesses, shops and community uses, according to a study produced for the city by BrookMcIlroy. BrookMcIlroy illustration, Courtesy of City of Hamilton

"With there being 1,600 units, it will increase the number of cars going in and out of the project in the morning and the afternoon."

He says originally, he understood commercial development on Pier 8 was to be more modest, aimed at providing amenities for residents of the pier, as opposed to a shopping area for the general public.

But with 16,000 square metres, he says, that suggests more ambitious commercial offerings. This, as well, will add to traffic and parking problems, he says.

For his part, Phillips says the city is aware of the traffic issues and has been implementing traffic calming measures as suggested by a traffic study.

Turkstra says he also feels the city should not be both the land owner and the rule maker at the same time for the development. With the city having such a financial stake, he says, the planning process is being skewed.

Community activist Graham Crawford agrees, saying "This has been a real-estate deal from the get-go."

He says the city should focus its attention on enhancing public space rather than trying to cash in on a development opportunity.

The city is unveiling its urban design vision for Piers 7 and 8 Wednesday. BrookMcilroy rendering, Courtesy of City of Hamilton

But Phillips says the plans for Pier 7 and 8 should be viewed in the wider context of the West Harbour that offers all kinds of public access with nearby Bayfront Park, Pier 4 Park and the waterfront trail. Public access to the waterfront will be increased in Pier 7 with the removal of boats that are stored on land.

As well, Pier 8 will have a recreational public pathway along the water's edge with the buildings set back from there.

"If you take all the land from Bayfront Park to Pier 8, well over 80 per cent of land mass will continue to be owned by the city and be completely accessible," says Phillips.

West Harbour meetings

West Harbour Community Conversation

Thursday, 7 p.m.

Evergreen Community Storefront, 294 James St. N.

Purpose: To look at upcoming projects in the West Harbour area

Contact: westharbour@hamilton.ca or call 905-546-2424 ext. 2085

Pier 7 and 8 Urban Design Study presentation

Date: Monday, May 2, 7 p.m.

Where: Waterfront Banquet and Conference Centre, 555 Bay St. N.

Contact: westharbour@hamilton.ca or call 905-546-2424 ext. 2085

City of Hamilton Planning Meeting

The Pier 7 and 8 Urban Design Study will be presented to the city's Planning Committee on May 17

Key aspects of the report

1,600 residential units over several buildings. The city wants the units to have a range of pricing from luxury to affordable. Discussions with the private sector developer will decide what portion of the units will be condominiums or apartments and what they will cost.

• 16,000 square metres for commercial development that will mostly be located on the bottom two floors of the residential buildings.

• Buildings will be held to eight storeys or less with a mix of building heights.

•A 30-metre wide pathway "park" along the waterfront will offer a variety of activities, spaces and amenities.

• A centralized parking garage will be built for residents of the pier and the general public. There will also be street parking.

• The city plans to spend $13 million developing water, sewer and street infrastructure so the project is shovel-ready in a couple of years. In total, the city expects to pay $60 million to build public spaces, shoreline enhancements, a breakwater as well as the infrastructure to allow development.

Quotes from the report

"The area's redevelopment is an incredible opportunity for the City to provide continuous public spaces along the West Harbour and to expand the existing Pier 8 events and activities. This redevelopment will result in a new urban waterfront park, with 270-degree views to the Harbour, year-round activities for all ages and a continuous trail and street network, framed by a well-scaled, well-designed development."

"All new development is recommended to have a diversity of modern styles and a focus on lowering the ecological footprint of the community. All development will be scaled and designed to frame the surrounding parks and open spaces in support of a vibrant, urban waterfront."

Pier 7 and 8

• Pier 7: 1.4 hectares. Primarily used for boat storage for a city-owned marina. Boats will be removed increasing public access along the waterfront.

• Pier 8: 12.5 hectares with 5.4 hectares slated for private-sector redevelopment. The rest will remain publicly owned space for public use.

Pier 8 History

The pier has been used in recent decades as a docking area to move freight on and off ships. A portion of the pier for a time was used as a small park run by the Hamilton Harbour Commissioners.

The pier was created mostly from infill in the 1940s or 1950s.

• The pier was owned by the Hamilton Harbour Commissioners until 2000 when it was passed over to the City of Hamilton. However, 3.3 hectares around the former Marine Discovery Centre were kept by the federal government for the Marine Discovery Centre that was built in 2004.

In July, 2015 the federal government gave the city the section of Pier 8 it owned. The building became the Hamilton Waterfront Trust Centre and currently houses Sarcoa Restaurant.

mmcneil@thespec.com

905-526-4687 | @Markatthespec

Hamilton's ambitious development plan, down by the bay

News Apr 26, 2016 by Mark McNeil The Hamilton Spectator

The City of Hamilton has unveiled an ambitious plan to jump-start a waterfront community of 1,600 housing units as well as businesses and recreational areas in a project that will radically change the face of the West Harbour.

The Pier 7 and 8 Urban Design Study — which will be discussed at a community meeting next Monday — fleshes out the city's goal of developing harbourfront land it acquired in the year 2000 from the Hamilton Harbour Commissioners.

Chris Phillips wants people to be able to "live, work and play on the waterfront."

"This is the next phase to having it become a place where people can live, work and play on the waterfront," says Chris Phillips, project lead for the city. "That is what this design study is all about. How do we transform the lands into a waterfront community?"

The 226-page report will be released Wednesday in advance of the community meeting at the Waterfront Banquet and Conference Centre. The report goes to the City of Hamilton's Planning Committee on May 17.

No doubt, critics of the proposal will be at both meetings.

Harbour West resident Herman Turkstra says the city has been edging up the number of housing units and expanding retail space as the development process continues. Increasing the scale of the project will have negative traffic ramifications for North End residents, he says.

"What we have been seeing so far is a long way from the vision set out in Setting Sail (the city's West Harbour development plan). That report called for 750 to 1,000 units.

The Pier 7 and 8 area will have new parks, residences, businesses, shops and community uses, according to a study produced for the city by BrookMcIlroy. BrookMcIlroy illustration, Courtesy of City of Hamilton

"With there being 1,600 units, it will increase the number of cars going in and out of the project in the morning and the afternoon."

He says originally, he understood commercial development on Pier 8 was to be more modest, aimed at providing amenities for residents of the pier, as opposed to a shopping area for the general public.

But with 16,000 square metres, he says, that suggests more ambitious commercial offerings. This, as well, will add to traffic and parking problems, he says.

For his part, Phillips says the city is aware of the traffic issues and has been implementing traffic calming measures as suggested by a traffic study.

Turkstra says he also feels the city should not be both the land owner and the rule maker at the same time for the development. With the city having such a financial stake, he says, the planning process is being skewed.

Community activist Graham Crawford agrees, saying "This has been a real-estate deal from the get-go."

He says the city should focus its attention on enhancing public space rather than trying to cash in on a development opportunity.

The city is unveiling its urban design vision for Piers 7 and 8 Wednesday. BrookMcilroy rendering, Courtesy of City of Hamilton

But Phillips says the plans for Pier 7 and 8 should be viewed in the wider context of the West Harbour that offers all kinds of public access with nearby Bayfront Park, Pier 4 Park and the waterfront trail. Public access to the waterfront will be increased in Pier 7 with the removal of boats that are stored on land.

As well, Pier 8 will have a recreational public pathway along the water's edge with the buildings set back from there.

"If you take all the land from Bayfront Park to Pier 8, well over 80 per cent of land mass will continue to be owned by the city and be completely accessible," says Phillips.

West Harbour meetings

West Harbour Community Conversation

Thursday, 7 p.m.

Evergreen Community Storefront, 294 James St. N.

Purpose: To look at upcoming projects in the West Harbour area

Contact: westharbour@hamilton.ca or call 905-546-2424 ext. 2085

Pier 7 and 8 Urban Design Study presentation

Date: Monday, May 2, 7 p.m.

Where: Waterfront Banquet and Conference Centre, 555 Bay St. N.

Contact: westharbour@hamilton.ca or call 905-546-2424 ext. 2085

City of Hamilton Planning Meeting

The Pier 7 and 8 Urban Design Study will be presented to the city's Planning Committee on May 17

Key aspects of the report

1,600 residential units over several buildings. The city wants the units to have a range of pricing from luxury to affordable. Discussions with the private sector developer will decide what portion of the units will be condominiums or apartments and what they will cost.

• 16,000 square metres for commercial development that will mostly be located on the bottom two floors of the residential buildings.

• Buildings will be held to eight storeys or less with a mix of building heights.

•A 30-metre wide pathway "park" along the waterfront will offer a variety of activities, spaces and amenities.

• A centralized parking garage will be built for residents of the pier and the general public. There will also be street parking.

• The city plans to spend $13 million developing water, sewer and street infrastructure so the project is shovel-ready in a couple of years. In total, the city expects to pay $60 million to build public spaces, shoreline enhancements, a breakwater as well as the infrastructure to allow development.

Quotes from the report

"The area's redevelopment is an incredible opportunity for the City to provide continuous public spaces along the West Harbour and to expand the existing Pier 8 events and activities. This redevelopment will result in a new urban waterfront park, with 270-degree views to the Harbour, year-round activities for all ages and a continuous trail and street network, framed by a well-scaled, well-designed development."

"All new development is recommended to have a diversity of modern styles and a focus on lowering the ecological footprint of the community. All development will be scaled and designed to frame the surrounding parks and open spaces in support of a vibrant, urban waterfront."

Pier 7 and 8

• Pier 7: 1.4 hectares. Primarily used for boat storage for a city-owned marina. Boats will be removed increasing public access along the waterfront.

• Pier 8: 12.5 hectares with 5.4 hectares slated for private-sector redevelopment. The rest will remain publicly owned space for public use.

Pier 8 History

The pier has been used in recent decades as a docking area to move freight on and off ships. A portion of the pier for a time was used as a small park run by the Hamilton Harbour Commissioners.

The pier was created mostly from infill in the 1940s or 1950s.

• The pier was owned by the Hamilton Harbour Commissioners until 2000 when it was passed over to the City of Hamilton. However, 3.3 hectares around the former Marine Discovery Centre were kept by the federal government for the Marine Discovery Centre that was built in 2004.

In July, 2015 the federal government gave the city the section of Pier 8 it owned. The building became the Hamilton Waterfront Trust Centre and currently houses Sarcoa Restaurant.

mmcneil@thespec.com

905-526-4687 | @Markatthespec

Hamilton's ambitious development plan, down by the bay

News Apr 26, 2016 by Mark McNeil The Hamilton Spectator

The City of Hamilton has unveiled an ambitious plan to jump-start a waterfront community of 1,600 housing units as well as businesses and recreational areas in a project that will radically change the face of the West Harbour.

The Pier 7 and 8 Urban Design Study — which will be discussed at a community meeting next Monday — fleshes out the city's goal of developing harbourfront land it acquired in the year 2000 from the Hamilton Harbour Commissioners.

Chris Phillips wants people to be able to "live, work and play on the waterfront."

"This is the next phase to having it become a place where people can live, work and play on the waterfront," says Chris Phillips, project lead for the city. "That is what this design study is all about. How do we transform the lands into a waterfront community?"

The 226-page report will be released Wednesday in advance of the community meeting at the Waterfront Banquet and Conference Centre. The report goes to the City of Hamilton's Planning Committee on May 17.

No doubt, critics of the proposal will be at both meetings.

Harbour West resident Herman Turkstra says the city has been edging up the number of housing units and expanding retail space as the development process continues. Increasing the scale of the project will have negative traffic ramifications for North End residents, he says.

"What we have been seeing so far is a long way from the vision set out in Setting Sail (the city's West Harbour development plan). That report called for 750 to 1,000 units.

The Pier 7 and 8 area will have new parks, residences, businesses, shops and community uses, according to a study produced for the city by BrookMcIlroy. BrookMcIlroy illustration, Courtesy of City of Hamilton

"With there being 1,600 units, it will increase the number of cars going in and out of the project in the morning and the afternoon."

He says originally, he understood commercial development on Pier 8 was to be more modest, aimed at providing amenities for residents of the pier, as opposed to a shopping area for the general public.

But with 16,000 square metres, he says, that suggests more ambitious commercial offerings. This, as well, will add to traffic and parking problems, he says.

For his part, Phillips says the city is aware of the traffic issues and has been implementing traffic calming measures as suggested by a traffic study.

Turkstra says he also feels the city should not be both the land owner and the rule maker at the same time for the development. With the city having such a financial stake, he says, the planning process is being skewed.

Community activist Graham Crawford agrees, saying "This has been a real-estate deal from the get-go."

He says the city should focus its attention on enhancing public space rather than trying to cash in on a development opportunity.

The city is unveiling its urban design vision for Piers 7 and 8 Wednesday. BrookMcilroy rendering, Courtesy of City of Hamilton

But Phillips says the plans for Pier 7 and 8 should be viewed in the wider context of the West Harbour that offers all kinds of public access with nearby Bayfront Park, Pier 4 Park and the waterfront trail. Public access to the waterfront will be increased in Pier 7 with the removal of boats that are stored on land.

As well, Pier 8 will have a recreational public pathway along the water's edge with the buildings set back from there.

"If you take all the land from Bayfront Park to Pier 8, well over 80 per cent of land mass will continue to be owned by the city and be completely accessible," says Phillips.

West Harbour meetings

West Harbour Community Conversation

Thursday, 7 p.m.

Evergreen Community Storefront, 294 James St. N.

Purpose: To look at upcoming projects in the West Harbour area

Contact: westharbour@hamilton.ca or call 905-546-2424 ext. 2085

Pier 7 and 8 Urban Design Study presentation

Date: Monday, May 2, 7 p.m.

Where: Waterfront Banquet and Conference Centre, 555 Bay St. N.

Contact: westharbour@hamilton.ca or call 905-546-2424 ext. 2085

City of Hamilton Planning Meeting

The Pier 7 and 8 Urban Design Study will be presented to the city's Planning Committee on May 17

Key aspects of the report

1,600 residential units over several buildings. The city wants the units to have a range of pricing from luxury to affordable. Discussions with the private sector developer will decide what portion of the units will be condominiums or apartments and what they will cost.

• 16,000 square metres for commercial development that will mostly be located on the bottom two floors of the residential buildings.

• Buildings will be held to eight storeys or less with a mix of building heights.

•A 30-metre wide pathway "park" along the waterfront will offer a variety of activities, spaces and amenities.

• A centralized parking garage will be built for residents of the pier and the general public. There will also be street parking.

• The city plans to spend $13 million developing water, sewer and street infrastructure so the project is shovel-ready in a couple of years. In total, the city expects to pay $60 million to build public spaces, shoreline enhancements, a breakwater as well as the infrastructure to allow development.

Quotes from the report

"The area's redevelopment is an incredible opportunity for the City to provide continuous public spaces along the West Harbour and to expand the existing Pier 8 events and activities. This redevelopment will result in a new urban waterfront park, with 270-degree views to the Harbour, year-round activities for all ages and a continuous trail and street network, framed by a well-scaled, well-designed development."

"All new development is recommended to have a diversity of modern styles and a focus on lowering the ecological footprint of the community. All development will be scaled and designed to frame the surrounding parks and open spaces in support of a vibrant, urban waterfront."

Pier 7 and 8

• Pier 7: 1.4 hectares. Primarily used for boat storage for a city-owned marina. Boats will be removed increasing public access along the waterfront.

• Pier 8: 12.5 hectares with 5.4 hectares slated for private-sector redevelopment. The rest will remain publicly owned space for public use.

Pier 8 History

The pier has been used in recent decades as a docking area to move freight on and off ships. A portion of the pier for a time was used as a small park run by the Hamilton Harbour Commissioners.

The pier was created mostly from infill in the 1940s or 1950s.

• The pier was owned by the Hamilton Harbour Commissioners until 2000 when it was passed over to the City of Hamilton. However, 3.3 hectares around the former Marine Discovery Centre were kept by the federal government for the Marine Discovery Centre that was built in 2004.

In July, 2015 the federal government gave the city the section of Pier 8 it owned. The building became the Hamilton Waterfront Trust Centre and currently houses Sarcoa Restaurant.

mmcneil@thespec.com

905-526-4687 | @Markatthespec