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The Marine Discovery Centre may be the last piece of the puzzle in Hamilton's plans for waterfront redevelopment. The Federal government's timely announcement that it will hand over ownership of the building to the city, will allow Hamilton complete control over all development on Pier 8. Plans for development of Hamilton's waterfront began more than 25 years ago and in 2000 the plans shifted into motion with a transfer of ownership from the Port Authority to the city. With 13,000 square metres of leaseable space available for development and a concentration on attracting residential and commercial developers on the cities behalf, Hamilton's waterfront is now truly open to private development.
Marine Discovery Centre
Owned by the Federal Government and operated up until 2010 by Parks Canada, the opening of The Marine Discovery Centre in 2004 was considered an initiative that would contribute to the waterfront revitalization. Under Parks Canada the $10 million space showcased Canadiana based exhibits including; national parks, national historical sites and national marine conservation areas.
Hamilton's Waterfront Trust was awarded the lease of the centre and it's lands by the government in 2013 but with a short lease term alotted for the space and uncertainty over land ownership, long term private developers were weary about investing in the property. Pier 8 offers an incredible economic opportunity for Hamilton and now with control over private development deals Pier 8 poised to developed at an accelerated pace.
Through the transfer of ownership the city will receive 3.3 hectares of land to add to the 7.7 hectares it already owns on Pier 8 in addition to the $10 million Marine Discovery Centre.
Other news from Hamilton's Waterfront
CN Stuart Street Rail Yard
A task force is being considered to take a look at the Stuart Street rail yard along the West harbour, certain groups imagine commercial and residential sites in a round the existing rail infrastructure. Although, in a statement from CN, plans to sell the yard are not a consideration.
West Harbour Infrastructure Investment
The city is investing $40 million in infrastructure along the waterfront between 2014-2018 to prepare for development. Approximately $13.3 million of those infrastructure updates will be applied to Pier 8. Once the infrastructure is set in place, city planners envision 1600 new residential units and 13,000 square metres of commercial/institutional space.
To read my previous blogs on Hamilton's waterfront redevelopment plans or on the economic projection of the city click here and here. To talk more about my thoughts on this possible dynamic waterfront transformation, connect with me below.