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Over 700 Acres of Employment Land Available in Hamilton

Over 700 Acres of Employment Land Available in Hamilton

Over 700 Acres of Employment Land Available in Hamilton
May 25
01:28 2018

A new private industrial park on an abandoned factory site in Hamilton’s North End offers 18 industrial lots and office space that would be an ideal healthcare hub, says developer Sergio Manchia.

The Hamilton Central Business Park at Victoria and Ferrie streets is the largest soil remediation project in Hamilton’s history (using the City of Hamilton’s ERASE brownfield remediation grants). It’s fully serviced and has an approved plan of subdivision.

“We are excited to introduce more employment in the lower city and to give life to something long abandoned. We hope to be a catalyst for others,” said Manchia, president and owner of Urbancore Developments, which is developing the property, along with property owners DCR Holdings.

“This new park is among many examples of private developers who are leading the way on bringing investment to Hamilton’s employment lands and business parks,” said Norm Schleehahn, manager of business development.

Almost 50 per cent of the park’s lots are sold, without any concerted marketing push, and the developers are turning down any noxious uses that would bring noise or odour to the neighbourhood, Manchia says.

“We found there is a need for lots in the one to three-acre range. There just isn’t much available for people who want to build shops or warehouses.”

Some buyers are combining lots together. The property has ready access to Burlington Street, the QEW, the 403 and the Red Hill Valley Parkway leading to destinations in all directions. It’s also closely connected to the city’s downtown.

“We don’t have Toronto prices or even Burlington prices. We aren’t cheap but we are very competitive.”

The park is within blocks of Hamilton Health Sciences’ General Hospital, Canada’s busiest cardiac surgery hospital and one of the country’s top research hospitals at the David Braley Cardiac, Vascular and Stroke Research Institute. Even closer is the Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre. Manchia says that synergy makes the business park’s anchor office development an ideal location for a healthcare incubator and research labs, says Manchia.

He envisions contractors, insurance companies and tech companies coming, too, with leasable office space in units ranging from 2,500 to 24,000 square feet.

The property was home to a 740,000-square-foot Studebaker car plant from 1948 to 1966 and then Otis elevator until 1987. Allen Candy operated in the facility until about 10 years ago and still owns it under DCR Holdings.

Most of that concrete and steel structure, built in 1907, was torn down. But a historic, three-storey brick and beam portion of about 30,000 square feet was preserved and will be the centrepiece of a new, 120,000-square-foot flex space office development, said Manchia.

Across Hamilton, the City owns a total of about 80 acres of developable employment land among almost 700 acres of “shovel ready” employment land available.

Hamilton is making road and other infrastructure improvements that are leading to more shovel-ready lands in areas of Hamilton where there is a lot of demand, says Schleehahn. Those areas are the Red Hill area of the east Mountain, the airport district, Waterdown and the industrial North End.

“Developers are seeing the City spending money on infrastructure, along with the interest in the market in Hamilton, and see it as a good time to make their own investments.”

Stryker Canada’s $100-million investment for a new headquarters in the new 95-acre iConnect Business Park in Waterdown will be a catalyst for further development there, says Schleehahn. It broke ground in September.

And Movengo Corporation expects to go to market this spring with Nebo Trails, a 40-acre parcel of land in the Red Hill South Business Park on Hamilton’s east Mountain, along with a commercial property in Winona.

“We’ve had sales offers before shovels were in the ground in both locations,” said Aaron Collina, president of Movengo. He says Hamilton’s geographic and transportation advantages – including access to huge markets and provincial highways, the port, the airport – are obvious to potential investors.

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