Selling Hamilton to Torotonians

News Jun 06, 2017 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Former Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy says North American urban cities are transforming fast and urged politicians to oppose the entrenched views to keep up with unprecedented changes.

He faced off against steelworkers who wanted to keep the mills operating even though Murphy saw the manufacturing decline coming.

“Challenge the status quo,” said Murphy during a panel discussion in Toronto recently hosted by the City of Hamilton. “My view was life moves on. That is a very difficult conversation to have. That is where every city is now. Somebody needs to be the grownup in the room.”

It’s a view that Mayor Fred Eisenberger has taken to heart as he oversees the renaissance of Hamilton.

Instead of the stereotypical view of Hamilton as the industrial heartland of southern Ontario, the city is transforming itself into one with a rising technological sector, an expanding health care and technological research area, and a thriving cultural scene, he said.

“We need to educate Torontonians about what Hamilton is and the benefit of a transforming city (and) what opportunities are right here,” he said.

In an effort to reach the Toronto market, the city’s economic development department hosted a two-day “pop up” event dubbed the Hamilton Consulate in a renovated funky building called The Burroughs at the corner of Bathhurst and Queen Street West May 31 and June 1, complete with a red carpet at the entrance.

The event included a panel discussion with Murphy and Eisenberger; investment panel with Jason Thorne, general manager of planning and economic development; Brad Lamb, a Toronto developer, Rob Ziedler, owner of the Cotton Factor, Erin Dunham of the Other Bird Inc.; a discussion on real estate opportunities; a fashion show; information on Hamilton’s film business; and a panel highlighting Hamilton’s emerging tech sector.

“We are coming right to them,” said Glen Norton, Hamilton’s economic development executive director referring to Torontonians. “We picked businesses we thought would benefit.

“If we wanted to be part of the message we’ve got to get make it as easy for people to receive (the message) as possible.”

He said, for instance, Hamilton has a growing tech sector that many people, including in Toronto, don’t realize is thriving in the city.

Hamilton officials have often looked to the transformation the Pittsburgh community has endured over the past 25 years and have taken a few lessons from its experience. The similarities are striking. Hamilton, which has been called Canada’s “Brooklyn” and Pittsburgh were both industrial giants within their areas; both are located on a large body of water; both had to address the decline of their main industries and search for alternatives. And both are relying on changing their culture, welcoming health care and the tech sector and partnering with universities to attract new business opportunities.

Murphy, who was mayor from 1994 to 2006, and is now a senior resident fellow for the Urban Land Institute that co-sponsored the event, said urban cities are now seeing large corporations, such as Amazon, Google, Uber, Microsoft, Disney, Caterpillar, and Motorola relocating from the suburbs to the inner cities.

“Why? Because they are chasing talent. We are seeing jobs move where the people are,” said Murphy. “This has huge implications on how cities will shape themselves.”

Eisenberger says cities must adapt themselves to millennials. He said their needs are different from baby boomers, for instance, they don’t want the single family home. They want to live in the downtown “where the action is” and “they want a lifestyle that is more living than work.”

Hamilton, said Eisenberger, is adapting to that new vision. The light-rail transit system is part of transforming a city for the next 30 years, he said.

Still, Hamilton does have “challenges,” said Eisenberger. The tax ratio, for instance, where 90 per cent of the taxes are paid by residents and the rest is from the industrial and commercial sectors, needs “to be turned around.”

He said the employment lands around the airport and the potential opportunities in the former Stelco lands could off a solution to that tax ratio dilemma.

Hamilton is also looking at property rates increasing because people are moving to the city. Those higher rates along James Street North are pushing out artists and small businesses to other parts of Hamilton such as Queen Street and Barton Street, prompting further neighbourhood changes.

“That is a challenge,” he said. “But it’s a good problem to have.”

In a nod to potential Toronto investors, Eisenberger said the city is making headway to cutting red tape and streamlining the bureaucracy for people interested in establishing a business.

“We are changing the culture of the city,” he said.

Dunham, who operates the restaurant The Mule at the corner of King William Street in the former Empire Times newspaper building, said Hamilton officials “have come a long way in seven years” to help start-up businesses.

“They are trying a lot to make it better,” she said.

Lamb, of the Toronto firm Lamb Development Corp. said Toronto has become “very, very impossible” to build in. He said he has three proposals in Hamilton, including the former CHCH Television location called “Television City,” he is “very excited” about.

Eisenberger and Murphy’s panel discussion attracted up to 160 people for the morning session, said the event’s organizers.

Norton said about 45 Hamilton businesses jumped on board to support the endeavor, raising over $42,000 that included musical entertainment, a bar and refreshments. The city provided $42,000 for the event.

“We had no hesitation from (the businesses),” said Norton. “Some of them were calling us.

“We think it was money well spent.”

Eisenberger says Hamilton must do more of these types of outreach projects to other communities both national and international to eliminate the city’s rust belt image.

He made the same type of appeal to business people in France and Leipzig, Germany during his recent trip to Europe.

“We are looking for new opportunities,” said Eisenberger. “Yes, we still have steel. But we have health care research, an innovation park, a great cultural vibe, and a research scene. This is evidence of a transformation we want to make people aware of.”

 

Hamilton creating new city for millennials to live in, says Mayor Fred Eisenberger

News Jun 06, 2017 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Former Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy says North American urban cities are transforming fast and urged politicians to oppose the entrenched views to keep up with unprecedented changes.

He faced off against steelworkers who wanted to keep the mills operating even though Murphy saw the manufacturing decline coming.

“Challenge the status quo,” said Murphy during a panel discussion in Toronto recently hosted by the City of Hamilton. “My view was life moves on. That is a very difficult conversation to have. That is where every city is now. Somebody needs to be the grownup in the room.”

It’s a view that Mayor Fred Eisenberger has taken to heart as he oversees the renaissance of Hamilton.

Instead of the stereotypical view of Hamilton as the industrial heartland of southern Ontario, the city is transforming itself into one with a rising technological sector, an expanding health care and technological research area, and a thriving cultural scene, he said.

“We need to educate Torontonians about what Hamilton is and the benefit of a transforming city (and) what opportunities are right here,” he said.

In an effort to reach the Toronto market, the city’s economic development department hosted a two-day “pop up” event dubbed the Hamilton Consulate in a renovated funky building called The Burroughs at the corner of Bathhurst and Queen Street West May 31 and June 1, complete with a red carpet at the entrance.

The event included a panel discussion with Murphy and Eisenberger; investment panel with Jason Thorne, general manager of planning and economic development; Brad Lamb, a Toronto developer, Rob Ziedler, owner of the Cotton Factor, Erin Dunham of the Other Bird Inc.; a discussion on real estate opportunities; a fashion show; information on Hamilton’s film business; and a panel highlighting Hamilton’s emerging tech sector.

“We are coming right to them,” said Glen Norton, Hamilton’s economic development executive director referring to Torontonians. “We picked businesses we thought would benefit.

“If we wanted to be part of the message we’ve got to get make it as easy for people to receive (the message) as possible.”

He said, for instance, Hamilton has a growing tech sector that many people, including in Toronto, don’t realize is thriving in the city.

Hamilton officials have often looked to the transformation the Pittsburgh community has endured over the past 25 years and have taken a few lessons from its experience. The similarities are striking. Hamilton, which has been called Canada’s “Brooklyn” and Pittsburgh were both industrial giants within their areas; both are located on a large body of water; both had to address the decline of their main industries and search for alternatives. And both are relying on changing their culture, welcoming health care and the tech sector and partnering with universities to attract new business opportunities.

Murphy, who was mayor from 1994 to 2006, and is now a senior resident fellow for the Urban Land Institute that co-sponsored the event, said urban cities are now seeing large corporations, such as Amazon, Google, Uber, Microsoft, Disney, Caterpillar, and Motorola relocating from the suburbs to the inner cities.

“Why? Because they are chasing talent. We are seeing jobs move where the people are,” said Murphy. “This has huge implications on how cities will shape themselves.”

Eisenberger says cities must adapt themselves to millennials. He said their needs are different from baby boomers, for instance, they don’t want the single family home. They want to live in the downtown “where the action is” and “they want a lifestyle that is more living than work.”

Hamilton, said Eisenberger, is adapting to that new vision. The light-rail transit system is part of transforming a city for the next 30 years, he said.

Still, Hamilton does have “challenges,” said Eisenberger. The tax ratio, for instance, where 90 per cent of the taxes are paid by residents and the rest is from the industrial and commercial sectors, needs “to be turned around.”

He said the employment lands around the airport and the potential opportunities in the former Stelco lands could off a solution to that tax ratio dilemma.

Hamilton is also looking at property rates increasing because people are moving to the city. Those higher rates along James Street North are pushing out artists and small businesses to other parts of Hamilton such as Queen Street and Barton Street, prompting further neighbourhood changes.

“That is a challenge,” he said. “But it’s a good problem to have.”

In a nod to potential Toronto investors, Eisenberger said the city is making headway to cutting red tape and streamlining the bureaucracy for people interested in establishing a business.

“We are changing the culture of the city,” he said.

Dunham, who operates the restaurant The Mule at the corner of King William Street in the former Empire Times newspaper building, said Hamilton officials “have come a long way in seven years” to help start-up businesses.

“They are trying a lot to make it better,” she said.

Lamb, of the Toronto firm Lamb Development Corp. said Toronto has become “very, very impossible” to build in. He said he has three proposals in Hamilton, including the former CHCH Television location called “Television City,” he is “very excited” about.

Eisenberger and Murphy’s panel discussion attracted up to 160 people for the morning session, said the event’s organizers.

Norton said about 45 Hamilton businesses jumped on board to support the endeavor, raising over $42,000 that included musical entertainment, a bar and refreshments. The city provided $42,000 for the event.

“We had no hesitation from (the businesses),” said Norton. “Some of them were calling us.

“We think it was money well spent.”

Eisenberger says Hamilton must do more of these types of outreach projects to other communities both national and international to eliminate the city’s rust belt image.

He made the same type of appeal to business people in France and Leipzig, Germany during his recent trip to Europe.

“We are looking for new opportunities,” said Eisenberger. “Yes, we still have steel. But we have health care research, an innovation park, a great cultural vibe, and a research scene. This is evidence of a transformation we want to make people aware of.”

 

Hamilton creating new city for millennials to live in, says Mayor Fred Eisenberger

News Jun 06, 2017 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Former Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy says North American urban cities are transforming fast and urged politicians to oppose the entrenched views to keep up with unprecedented changes.

He faced off against steelworkers who wanted to keep the mills operating even though Murphy saw the manufacturing decline coming.

“Challenge the status quo,” said Murphy during a panel discussion in Toronto recently hosted by the City of Hamilton. “My view was life moves on. That is a very difficult conversation to have. That is where every city is now. Somebody needs to be the grownup in the room.”

It’s a view that Mayor Fred Eisenberger has taken to heart as he oversees the renaissance of Hamilton.

Instead of the stereotypical view of Hamilton as the industrial heartland of southern Ontario, the city is transforming itself into one with a rising technological sector, an expanding health care and technological research area, and a thriving cultural scene, he said.

“We need to educate Torontonians about what Hamilton is and the benefit of a transforming city (and) what opportunities are right here,” he said.

In an effort to reach the Toronto market, the city’s economic development department hosted a two-day “pop up” event dubbed the Hamilton Consulate in a renovated funky building called The Burroughs at the corner of Bathhurst and Queen Street West May 31 and June 1, complete with a red carpet at the entrance.

The event included a panel discussion with Murphy and Eisenberger; investment panel with Jason Thorne, general manager of planning and economic development; Brad Lamb, a Toronto developer, Rob Ziedler, owner of the Cotton Factor, Erin Dunham of the Other Bird Inc.; a discussion on real estate opportunities; a fashion show; information on Hamilton’s film business; and a panel highlighting Hamilton’s emerging tech sector.

“We are coming right to them,” said Glen Norton, Hamilton’s economic development executive director referring to Torontonians. “We picked businesses we thought would benefit.

“If we wanted to be part of the message we’ve got to get make it as easy for people to receive (the message) as possible.”

He said, for instance, Hamilton has a growing tech sector that many people, including in Toronto, don’t realize is thriving in the city.

Hamilton officials have often looked to the transformation the Pittsburgh community has endured over the past 25 years and have taken a few lessons from its experience. The similarities are striking. Hamilton, which has been called Canada’s “Brooklyn” and Pittsburgh were both industrial giants within their areas; both are located on a large body of water; both had to address the decline of their main industries and search for alternatives. And both are relying on changing their culture, welcoming health care and the tech sector and partnering with universities to attract new business opportunities.

Murphy, who was mayor from 1994 to 2006, and is now a senior resident fellow for the Urban Land Institute that co-sponsored the event, said urban cities are now seeing large corporations, such as Amazon, Google, Uber, Microsoft, Disney, Caterpillar, and Motorola relocating from the suburbs to the inner cities.

“Why? Because they are chasing talent. We are seeing jobs move where the people are,” said Murphy. “This has huge implications on how cities will shape themselves.”

Eisenberger says cities must adapt themselves to millennials. He said their needs are different from baby boomers, for instance, they don’t want the single family home. They want to live in the downtown “where the action is” and “they want a lifestyle that is more living than work.”

Hamilton, said Eisenberger, is adapting to that new vision. The light-rail transit system is part of transforming a city for the next 30 years, he said.

Still, Hamilton does have “challenges,” said Eisenberger. The tax ratio, for instance, where 90 per cent of the taxes are paid by residents and the rest is from the industrial and commercial sectors, needs “to be turned around.”

He said the employment lands around the airport and the potential opportunities in the former Stelco lands could off a solution to that tax ratio dilemma.

Hamilton is also looking at property rates increasing because people are moving to the city. Those higher rates along James Street North are pushing out artists and small businesses to other parts of Hamilton such as Queen Street and Barton Street, prompting further neighbourhood changes.

“That is a challenge,” he said. “But it’s a good problem to have.”

In a nod to potential Toronto investors, Eisenberger said the city is making headway to cutting red tape and streamlining the bureaucracy for people interested in establishing a business.

“We are changing the culture of the city,” he said.

Dunham, who operates the restaurant The Mule at the corner of King William Street in the former Empire Times newspaper building, said Hamilton officials “have come a long way in seven years” to help start-up businesses.

“They are trying a lot to make it better,” she said.

Lamb, of the Toronto firm Lamb Development Corp. said Toronto has become “very, very impossible” to build in. He said he has three proposals in Hamilton, including the former CHCH Television location called “Television City,” he is “very excited” about.

Eisenberger and Murphy’s panel discussion attracted up to 160 people for the morning session, said the event’s organizers.

Norton said about 45 Hamilton businesses jumped on board to support the endeavor, raising over $42,000 that included musical entertainment, a bar and refreshments. The city provided $42,000 for the event.

“We had no hesitation from (the businesses),” said Norton. “Some of them were calling us.

“We think it was money well spent.”

Eisenberger says Hamilton must do more of these types of outreach projects to other communities both national and international to eliminate the city’s rust belt image.

He made the same type of appeal to business people in France and Leipzig, Germany during his recent trip to Europe.

“We are looking for new opportunities,” said Eisenberger. “Yes, we still have steel. But we have health care research, an innovation park, a great cultural vibe, and a research scene. This is evidence of a transformation we want to make people aware of.”