CREblurb | Commercial Real-Estate in Ontario

Prime Location

Prime Location

Prime Location
October 01
17:29 2014

Downtown Hamilton has a variety of commercial property options for any business including Hamilton City Centre, Jackson Square, and many independently operated structures and heritage buildings with space for rent or purchase whether you are starting a business or looking to expand. If you are an owner, investor, developer, construction company or property manager, Downtown is a central place to meet clients, grow contacts, and develop valuable referral sources.

Like many North America communities, Downtown Hamilton struggled along as times and economies changed. Yet, unlike many of those communities, Hamilton and its downtown are seeing an incredible cultural and development renaissance and that’s led to a flurry of investments and new buildings in the core.

Jack Beume, owner of J. Beume Real Estate Limited has seen it all, the good, the bad, and like others in the development business, is ready to start building. He has begun construction on a $10 million, 36,000-square-foot three-storey building on James Street North that’s designed with a red brick exterior to match the 19th Century buildings in that area. It will have underground parking for 50 cars with 22 cars behind the building and is set to open by July 2014 with half of the new structure already leased. He also understands the risks.

In a Hamilton Spectator article of July 7, 2011 regarding the Hamilton City Centre, Meredith MacLeod writes that it was “built as a downtown mall for $70 million in 1990 by Cadillac Fairview Corporation” and notes that “the former Eaton Centre was bought by Fercan Developments for $3.6 million in 2000.” In 2011, “The 450,000-square-foot building that houses city offices, commercial space and retailers was purchased for $25 million by a Barrie-area developer.”

Beume has seen it all from the early boom years, to the fall, and now its revitalization. “When I started in real estate in 57/58 the exodus was just starting to Burlington. The steel workers from Hamilton also moved to Burlington. That fed on itself and that is now changing for Hamilton,” says Beume.

“The CIBC towers were built for $42 million each and sold for $20 and $14 million, respectively,” he adds. “I’m taking a huge risk but because of low interest rates and a tenant paying a rate that is equitable to the building, we decided to gamble and build the structure.”

Patience and timing are important, but Beume and other developers have seen the opportunities written on the walls of change.
“I bought on the corner of Vine and James 25 years ago and it’s been operating as a parking lot since then,” says Beume. “Hamilton will bloom with smaller developments like mine and it will be a liveable city. We are the New Jersey of New York ­ once you see the GO Trains full-time, Hamilton will develop as Toronto¹s overflow city.”

It’s a sentiment that has permeated from the highest levels of municipal government to feet on the street. “With cranes in the sky, a new GO train station being built, a world-class waterfront steps from the core, storefronts occupied, a quickly growing creative class, Hamilton¹s downtown is experiencing a phenomenal renaissance,” says Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina.

Ana Cacilhas is manager of Hamilton City Centre and after years of working in the area, she’s seen the changes and has renewed optimism.

 


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