Waterfront development expects to attract strong interest, have low maintenance fees

The City of Hamilton has approved a plan to rejuvenate its waterfront with a massive mixed-use development, joining similar initiatives by other municipalities as far east as Toronto.

Waterfront Shores Corporation—a consortium composed of Cityzen Development Corporation, Fernbrook Homes Group, GFL Environmental Inc., and Greybrook Realty Partners Inc.—will develop the city’s west harbour front into Pier 8, a 5.24 hectare site comprised of 20 buildings that will become one of the region’s most walkable neighbourhoods.

The development will have more than 1,500 residential units to be built over 10 phases, and according to the president of Cityzen, the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area’s waterfront rejuvenation will redefine the shoreline and, in the process, become a popular place to live.

“For most municipalities—Toronto is an example of that as well—the last part of their urban development has been their waterfronts,” said Sam Crignano. “People want to be at the water’s edge for a promenade or trail system, and a lot of municipalities have caught on to the richness of their waterfronts and what they can become. It started in Toronto and it’s spreading out to Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington and now Hamilton.”

With only so many units available and the desirability of waterfront living, Pier 8 could easily become Hamilton’s hottest real estate. Moreover, Waterfront Shores endeavours to pay homage to Hamilton’s steel manufacturing history while simultaneously implementing 21st century eco-design principles.

“All our pedestrian walkways lead down to the lake, so there’s permeability from our development down to the water’s edge, which we feel is very important, not only for our residents but for everyone coming down to enjoy the waterfront,” said Crignano. “For the longest time, it wasn’t a place that people had much interest in going to, so we’re really excited about being involved in the rebirth of that waterfront and the gentrification of the neighbourhood.”

Waterfront Shores is targeting LEED Gold certification, which will keep maintenance fees lower and potentially result in higher returns on investments.

The consortium also tapped a local for a crucial role in Pier 8’s development.

“Having grown up in Hamilton, I’m extremely excited to be part of this incredible development,” said Bruce Kuwabara, Partner at KPMB Architects. “At Pier 8, we’ll be creating a series of modern and progressive buildings in a diverse and walkable neighbourhood that is the future of urban living. It will celebrate Hamilton’s industrial roots and embrace it’s future of culture and creativity.”

 

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