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The Cotton Factory builds Hamilton’s Creative Future

The Cotton Factory builds Hamilton’s Creative Future

The Cotton Factory builds Hamilton’s Creative Future
June 08
03:02 2016

It’s been just over a year since Rob Zeidler bought the Cotton Factory on three acres at 270 Sherman Ave. N. For the past year, the building has been undergoing a 21stcentury makeover geared to creative industry tenants and special event space, with a new co-working space for short and longer-term lease.

“The key element is that we are not merely building new studios and leasing out space. We are building a creative community here at the Cotton Factory. We are working hard to attract a wide variety of tenants: artists, photographers, post-production, craftspeople, graphic designers, film studios, design engineers and marketing firms,” says Zeidler. “We are building out our studios and offices to promote a cross-pollination between our tenants and we are already seeing the results. Two of our tenants, a custom wood worker and a sign painter, are working together to create bespoke residential front doors with unique glass designs.”

The Cotton Factory has spaces from 500 to 10,000 square feet. “While our existing built-out units are 100 percent leased, we are creating new suites in the complex on an almost monthly basis. With stunning views of Hamilton’s skyline and the escarpment behind it, 15 foot ceilings and hardwood floors, the Cotton Factory is a truly unique workspace” says Zeidler

“When our co-working space – the Cotton Club – opens in October, we will expand the Cotton Factory community to include start-up entrepreneurs, not-for-profits, and social innovators” says Zeidler. The Cotton Club co-working space will offer shared desks, rental offices, a classroom, a kitchenette and rental mailboxes.

ental mailboxes. Zeidler hired Annette Paiement, formerly with the Hamilton Art Gallery and Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, as director of filming and events. Up to 10 per cent of the Cotton Factory is available for special events including weddings, fundraisers, film and video shoots and celebrity chef dinners. She hopes it will become a hub for the tenants and the wider community

“The goal is to create spaces in the building that create ‘collision’ between tenants and hence the opportunity to create community,” says Paiement. In November, the Cotton Factory will host the first event, Factory Frost that will be entirely tenant-driven.

Rob Zeidler, 54, has had a long career in property management in Toronto, including running Queen’s Quay Terminal and the Hudson’s Bay Centre. Twenty years ago, his sister, Margie Zeidler, went to work at 401 Richmond in Toronto, a turn-of-thecentury tin factory that’s now home to 130 microenterprises and artists of every stripe.

Zeidler says that he purchased the Cotton Factory because “Hamilton is a city that hustles.” As an example, when he wanted to add bicycle racks to promote cycling to work, Zeidler called the City. In a week there was a site visit and 4 days later, the racks had been installed. He’s watched Glen Norton, the city’s manager of urban renewal, successfully lure Toronto businesses to Hamilton. “That pitching must not let up”, Zeidler says.

For more information on The Cotton Factory’s artist studios, office, event, or workshops space for rent contact or call 905.547.8256.

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Lloyd Stevens has been writing Canadian business news for over 20 years with articles appearing in Perspective which appears in The Globe & Mail and contributing to and

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