Comment 117914

By Haveacow (registered) | Posted April 26, 2016 at 08:55:47

I agree that a owner should be able to do what he or she wants with their land however, the rules under the Planning Act make it difficult for certain types of land owners. The type whom buys the land on the belief that what is coming will be better than what is there now. Or put more simply, A owner or ownership group that believes the building as is, is worth far less than the cost of the land and has no belief in the extra value or earning potential of the building, to actually want to maintain it.

The owner looks for an out and finds an answer to it under the Planning Act, if you tear down the building you can get an interm use bylaw that allows certain types of narrow uses, parking lots are one of them. Golf Courses or Mini Put facilities are another popular choice. This has led to a over supply of downtown parking lots in Hamilton. I guess the owner of this stretch of King Street believes that, some revenue as a parking lot is better than none. Don't get me wrong I'm not cheering for the owner here.

What the building owner or ownership group is not seeing here is the multiplier effect that a well maintained historic look can do for a property or a whole neighborhood. One of my favorite Toronto neighborhoods has no subway, very little streetcar/LRT access except in rush hour and along its northerly extreme yet, when I'm in Toronto with my family or working, one of the first downtown neighborhoods I go to is the St. Lawrence Neighborhood. They managed to save enough old buildings and add enough good new ones that it makes what I think as a planner, as a person who spent a good part of his life in Toronto and now as a person/tourist, one of the best places to be in the city. Its not a living museum like some old neighborhoods are which have a tendency to stagnate over time. Its not overly modern/weird in a strange way that some developments have turned into. Its comfortable, friendly and a very inviting place that you want to spend as much time in as possible.

This picture shows adaptive reuse of 19th century industrial and commercial warehouse space and how a well maintained buildings create a revenue multiplier which drastically increases the value of the property.

http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/6...

A nice mix of old and new in an exciting and inviting place. There is wonderfully restful park behind the Gooderham Flatiron Building.

http://blog.newinhomes.com/wp-content/up...

I still think this is one of the best murals I have ever seen as well as being the cover of my 7th grade spelling book. It shows just because the building is very old it doesn't have to boring. My only complaint is that the area has become far more touristy than it use to be.

http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large...

My point is that the area of King Street in Hamilton around these buildings has as much potential as the St. Lawrence neighborhood did probably more, just the right kind of owners with a little vision and a willingness to embrace the potential multiplier effect that is already there.

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