The frustrating part, to me at least, is that the City appears to have no interest in addressing (and planning the future of) the overall Jackson Square block in a proper, fulsome manner, despite the challenges and opportunities that are within.The funny thing is, the current building on site isnt really the greatest. But the filth that's set to replace it is somehow much worse.
I mean of course we're not going to get a Well type development in Hamilton, but this is right in the heart of downtown and this is what we're seeing...
I couldn't agree more with this.The frustrating part, to me at least, is that the City appears to have no interest in addressing (and planning the future of) the overall Jackson Square block in a proper, fulsome manner, despite the challenges and opportunities that are within.
You have a massive chunk of the block now imminently under redevelopment, that is being planned as if the surrounding mall will never change. You have an arena that is going to undergo renovations of some sort at the other end of the block, also being planned as if no change will come to the rest of the block. Now you have some 'visioning' exercise for the Hamilton Famers' Market, that again, is being done in isolation.
I consider this to be ludicrous and a disservice. From a pure taxpayer point of view, we have City-owned land that is quickly being encumbered by the surrounding projects, and losing potential. From a downtown/urban point of view, there is a historic black mark in the middle of our core, that we are *closer than ever* to being able to correct, but that we are not only not pursuing, but actively ceding the possibility of doing so in the future.
In my view, we have one shot at getting this right. You can tear down a 85% dead mall very easily, but you will never be able to pull down four towers with well over 1000 condo units in them. We are absolutely failing to recognize this, and we're running out of time to maximize the future potential of this land. From my point of view, we need nothing less than an immediate pause on the ongoing projects on the block, in order to bring all the relevant parties together to build a proper long-term (20 to 30 year total) redevelopment plan that recognizes change is imminent at the HCC portion and at the arena, but works to shape those projects towards forms that don't compromise the potential of the rest of the JS block.
This is the one property in the downtown that we absolutely, fundamentally, cannot afford to mess up... and yet we don't seem to care.