Hamilton’s City Centre re-development “on hold” until interest rates improve

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Published December 20, 2023 at 7:16 pm

Hamilton City Centre Mall
Hamilton's City Centre Mall

The pause button has been hit on the promised “epic” transformation of downtown Hamilton until the real estate market improves.

When the City Centre Mall was shut down on New Year’s Eve last year IN8 Developments promised work would begin within weeks on an “epic” four-storey mixed-use development that would “transform” the city’s downtown.

The project would be anchored by a pedestrian laneway and courtyard, fronted by restaurants, bars and retail space and be home to “thousands of residents.”

Instead, with interest rates still casting a pall on development around the country and especially in the GTA, the project has been put on hold indefinitely.

No shovel-in-the-ground date has been set and the mall remains un-demolished. IN8 Developments president Darryl Firsten told CBC Hamilton earlier this month construction on the proposed 2,000 residential units would have to wait until the Bank of Canada drops interest rates to make mortgages “more affordable.”

The Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington reported declines in November sales not seen in nearly dozen years in their monthly report on the state of the real estate industry released December 1.

Rising sales for apartment-style and semi-detached homes were “insufficient” to offset declining in detached and row home sales, the report declared. Year-to-date sales are down by 11 per cent over last year and are 30 per cent below the long-term trends.

The mall, located at 77 James St. N., adjacent to Jackson Square Mall, was once home to an iconic Eaton’s department store that was built in 1900. Prior to its retail life, the site housed Hamilton’s old City Hall and the municipal clock tower still stands from that era.

IN8’s Hamilton City Centre website, perhaps unironically, declares that it’s “time for something new” and that “Hamilton has been waiting for this.”

It appears future tenants of this downtown project will have to wait a little longer.

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