RFQ: Redevelop 13 acres of prime waterfront into new community (Hamilton, Ontario)

The City of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada has initiated a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process to call for and identify qualified developers who are interested in purchasing prime waterfront lands with the intent to develop a new, mixed-use community. The sale offering is for
5.24 hectares (13 acres) of serviced, development-ready land, integrated with a remarkable public recreation area.

Pier 8 is redevelopment site located in the prime West Harbour area in the City of Hamilton’s inner harbour, envisioned to deliver approximately 1,500 residential units and ancillary commercial uses over the next decade.

This development is a key part of the overall master plan for the area that already includes tremendous recreational amenities such as the 1,600 km Great Lakes waterfront trail, marinas, canoeing facilities and Parks Canada’s HMCS Haida attraction and interpretation centre.

Waterfront amenities existing adjacent to the Subject Lands include several restaurants, a public skating rink, and multi-purpose meeting facilities. The immediate neighborhood includes a range of residences including single-family, medium and high density homes, as well as neighborhood based retail facilities.

Concurrent with the development of Pier 8, the City is redeveloping the public recreational areas between Bayfront Park and Pier 7, while future mixed use development is also planned for the Barton-Tiffany Lands located approximately 1.5 km southwest of Pier 8. Much of the Barton-Tiffany lands are City-owned and will be sold through a separate solicitation process.

Beginning almost thirty years ago the City has been executing a long-term strategy to draw people to the waterfront through significant, public investments that have transformed the former industrial piers along the inner harbour into a spectacular recreational area. The City is now looking to leverage these public investments to attract private-sector investment to complete the area’s transformation.

As growth and housing demand in Hamilton has increased in recent years, financial commitments toward fulfilling these plans have been made firm and execution is nearing a crescendo as the City prepares to invite the private development industry to bid on the Pier 8 lands and bring a new mixed-use community to fruition.

Over the past several years, the City of Hamilton has been experiencing significant revitalization as both employers and residents rediscover the fundamentals that make Hamilton a great place to live, work, and invest. This is evidenced by the fact that the construction value of building permits issued has exceeded
$1 billion in each of six of the past seven years.

The revival of Hamilton’s downtown core and urban neighbourhoods is indicative of a new wave of investment interest in the City, an important pillar of which has been investments made by governments and local institutions. Many of these completed and planned investments will benefit the Pier 8 development either
through proximity to higher concentrations of people or through improved connectivity:

  • The new West Harbour GO Station connects the waterfront communities directly to the Greater Toronto Area and Niagara Region;
  • A $1 billion planned rapid transit network will ultimately link Pier 8 to the City’s urban neighbourhoods in the east and west, including McMaster University’s Main Campus;
  • The City has committed $80 million towards upgrades to the waterfront recreation areas that will increase the appeal of the waterfront;
  • Hamilton Health Sciences plans to add a new Children’s & Women’s Hospital to its downtown Hamilton General Hospital campus; and
  • McMaster University built an $85 million new campus facility for its DeGroote School of Medicine in the heart of downtown.

In tandem with these public investments, Hamilton’s urban neighbourhoods have been experiencing a surge of new private development. Interest has particularly been focused on hotels, condos, purpose-built rentals, private student residences, and specialty retail.

Proposals due: 4:30 pm, June 30, 2017

See full RFQ + image credits.

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