As stock of Toronto lofts for sale continues to dwindle amidst a major listings constraint (and a lack of developer focus on less-profitable, more red-tape conversion projects), Hamilton is seeing a hard loft resurgence.
For those of you who know the true Hamilton (beyond its steel town rep), this will come as no surprise. Hamilton has some of the nicest century homes and commercial buildings of any GTA city and so many are ripe for re-development.
Today, we're taking a look at just a few of Hamilton's most exciting, authentic loft projects. Although our geographic focus at MrLOFT is Toronto, we do have Loft Experts who can help you find your dream loft in Hamilton.
And if you're considering a pre-construction project, remember, don't go into a sales office alone. It doesn't cost you any more to bring your own Realtor to the table so make sure that you have someone skilled in the art of pre-con negotiations working for you and who's on your side (not the builder's Realty team).
While this is a condo, we wanted to start off with the Royal Connaught as it's such a beloved landmark building. This project is a complete re-envisioning of the historic hotel (the former Royal Connaught hotel) and may be of interest to loft buyers looking for a reasonably-priced unit with personality and style.
Dating back to 1914, this Edwardian building in downtown Hamilton is a well-known and much-loved by locals. As quoted recently in the Toronto Star, Ted Valeri of Valery Homes says that "most Hamiltonians will have a memory of the place."
In partnership with Spallacci Homes, Valery Homes is transforming the Royal Connaught (which looks like it'll be retaining it's name) into 700 condo units ranging in size from 550 to 1,500 sqft, with prices starting in the high $200,000s.
Being a former hotel, you can imagine that the location of this building is great - in downtown Hamilton between two GO stations with easy access to highways. The added bonus is that it's steps to the Gore Park revilization which is seeing a return to the park's original Victorian design. The park has become a wonderful home for many vendors, performers and artisans during the summer months and holiday periods.
The Residences of the Royal Connaught will include all the condo fixings we've come to expect in a modern market - stunning lobby, rooftop garden, piazza, underground parking - as well as some pretty stunning interiors, if the early renderings and model suite, above, are anything to go by.
Clearly, the reception for this project has been great as Phase I is sold out and there's a waiting list for Phase II. Assignment sales are sure to hit the market closer to opening date so let us know if you're interested in this project.
Photos © Valery Homes.
The old McIlwraith Public School is a harbinger of change for the West Harbour area north of Barton Street. Developers Urban Core, working with local firm Lintack Architects, recently completed the highly-ancitipated conversion project introducing the boutique Witton Lofts - intimately-scaled with just 36 units - to one of Hamilton's most rapidly changing communities.
In the aforementioned Toronto Star article, the owners reported that they weren't even sure they should put the condo sales centre on site when they first purchased the property. "We weren't sure if anybody would actually want to live in that area," Kulakowsky said. But in the last five years, the area is showing signs of a major revival.
The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce calls the addition a welcome one to "a once fragile area now positioned as a real estate hotspot of regional significance". Being steps to the Lake and the James St. N. artistic hub / cultural centre of Hamilton certainly helps, not to mention its proximity to the new James St. GO terminal.
The developers maintained the 1925 exterior (cleaned and preserved with all of its historic charms in tact). The original building forms the lower three levels with a further three floors (new build) perched above. Windows are generous, creating light-filled suites and the interior design is sophisticated and timeless without feeling stuffy.
The redevelopment received the 2013 City of Hamilton Urban Design Award of Excellence for Adaptive Reuse.
Photos © Core Urban.
Stinson School Lofts
A conversion of the former Stinson School that dates back to 1894, this loft conversion fills an entire block and packs some serious curb-appeal punch. It's calling card is that every one of the 66 units is unique but we're most drawn in by the fact that Harry Stinson (no relation to the school's namesake) is the developer. This is the man behind the much-loved and lauded Candy Factory Lofts, the project that launched his career and Toronto's love affair with historic loft conversions.
As with the Witton Lofts, the architectual partner for the Stinson School is local-firm Lintack.
Suite sizes at the Stinson School Lofts are generous and prices are quite reasonable for what you're getting. Even though each suite is different, you can expect exposed brick, soaring ceilings as high as 15' tall and curious little corners and niches that add a lot of personality.
Some units are one level; others are a classic two-storey design with loft-level bedrooms overlooking the main floor and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Two historic homes directly across from the school are being renovated by the same developer.
Photos including lead image © Stinson Developments.
Another of Stinson's incredible Hamilton conversions, the Gibson Lofts are what he calls "a sequel project to the famous Candy Factory Lofts with two main differences; location and price."
Pre-construction sales are starting at just $159,000 and suite sizes range from 485 to 1,185 sqft with a number of addtional 1,484 sqft townhomes. There are also a number of townhouse lofts available from 985 to 1,265 sqft.
Harry Stinson is hoping to do for Barton Street what the Candy Factory Lofts did for its once grungy stretch Queen West - spark a transformation from grunge to ecclectic, artsy and upwardly-mobile. This could be an incredible investment opportunity for those of you looking for a rental property to buy and hold for five years or so. Occupancy is anticipated for Winter 2017.
Photos © Stinson Developments.