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Hamilton Economic Development

Hamilton reigns as top place to invest

For the second year in a row, a real estate investment research company has rated Hamilton the best place in Ontario to invest.Company ranks Hamilton No. 1 in Ontario again

Hamilton has secured its title as the No. 1 city to invest in Ontario.

The Real Estate Investment Network of Canada (REIN) said Tuesday the city remains the top location across the province for investment for the second consecutive year. REIN is a Canadian business that provides resources and information to its 2,700-plus members regarding real estate investment.

The detailed investment report identifies cities, towns and regions poised to outperform other regions of the province over the next five years.

Kitchener and Cambridge placed second with Waterloo landing third.

“It’s well-deserved,” said Neil Everson, Hamilton’s economic development division director.

“But it’s not surprising. We’ve had a perfect year.”

Hamilton’s growth spans all industries and it’s difficult to pinpoint an area of success, says Everson.

An indicator is the record Hamilton is setting when it comes to building permit values. Hamilton posted $562 million by the end of the second quarter.

In Mississauga, permits totalled $385 million for the same period.

He points to the city’s industrial vacancy rates which have now dropped to 2.3 per cent, a 26 per cent drop from last quarter.

“Buildings are being filled and companies are leasing those vacant spaces.”

The report takes into account a series of criteria including population growth and income, economics, housing trends, vacancy rates and infrastructure.

“Hamilton’s reputation from the outside is a little sullied,” said REIN founding partner Don Campbell. “It’s not a steel town. While steel is still a player, high tech and young professionals are redefining the city.”

Campbell references the downtown core, which continues to attract businesses and residents.

The area is home to more than 1,600 businesses which employ roughly 23,400 people.

Campbell says he’s blown away by the work of Hamilton’s economic development department and its efforts to attract jobs back into the city.

“They are on the forefront of Ontario for growth,” he says.

Campbell feels it’s imperative for those who come to Hamilton for their education to stay and work in the city.

“If you want to attract young professionals, you need to provide the infrastructure they want,” says Campbell.

“Part of that is a lively and safe downtown and a really good transit system. Light rapid transit needs to occur and it needs to happen quickly,” he suggests.

Article courtesy The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton Once Again Top Place to Invest in Ontario

Diversified economy responsible for top ranking

Hamilton, ON – August 21, 2012 – The Real Estate Investment Network of Canada today ranked the City of Hamilton as the top location in which to invest in Ontario (2012-2016).  This is Hamilton’s second straight ranking in the top position.

“Known formerly as a hard-working steel town, the city has quickly shed this image in the eyes of potential investors – as indicated by the record breaking building permit values Hamilton has experienced in recent years,” said REIN Founding Partner Don Campbell.  “The wheels have been set in motion to create a major high-tech industrial park in conjunction with growth at McMaster University, sparking an entrepreneurial spirit in the city.”

The detailed REIN investment report identifies cities, towns and regions poised to outperform other regions of the province over the next  5 years.  As part of the research into this Top Investment Cities list, REIN considered the following key fundamentals: Is the area’s average income increasing faster than the provincial average? Is the area’s population growing faster than the provincial average? Is the area creating jobs faster than the provincial average? Does the area have more than one major employer? Is the area in the RBC Affordability Index Hot Zone (25% to 39%)? Will the area benefit from an economic or real estate ripple effect? Has the political leadership created an economic growth atmosphere? Is the Economic Development Office progressive and helpful? Is the area’s infrastructure being built to handle the expected growth? Are there any major transportation improvements in the works? Is the area attractive to Baby Boomers’ lifestyle? Is there a short term problem occurring that is slated to disappear in the future? Is there a noted increase in labour and materials cost in the area?

“This is further proof that the diversification of Hamilton’s economy is starting to pay great dividends,” said the City of Hamilton’s Economic Development Division Director Neil Everson.  “We’re thrilled with the ranking once again and encourage investors to contact us to learn more about one of Ontario’s hottest economies.”

To Order a Copy Of The Complete 80+ Page Top Ontario Investment Towns Research Report Visit: www.topontariotowns.com

Hamilton Highlights Newsletter – August 2012

In the August 2012 edition of Hamilton Highlights…

  • Hamilton Gets A Little More Animated
  • LiON’s Lair 2012 – $100,000 Up For Grabs
  • Local Gaming Company is Making its Mark!

Click here to read the August 2012 Hamilton Highlights newsletter.  If you are interested in signing up for the Hamilton Highlights newsletter, click here.

 

Hamilton Highlights Newsletter – July 2012

In the July 2012 edition of Hamilton Highlights…

  • Big and Small Investments Moving Downtown Hamilton Forward
  • Hockey Night in Hamilton
  • Young Entrepreneurs Wanted

Click here to read the July 2012 Hamilton Highlights newsletter.  If you are interested in signing up for the Hamilton Highlights newsletter, click here.

 

Former Studebaker plant faces wrecking ball again

The old Studebaker factory seen from Ferrie Street . The building is at Victoria Avenue North and and Ferrie Street East.

Local developer plans to clean up land, build industrial subdivision.

The old Studebaker factory seen from Ferrie Street.  The building is at Victoria Avenue North and and Ferrie Street East.

A new proposal for a “pristine” industrial complex on the site of the former Studebaker factory is set to become one of the largest brownfield redevelopments in Hamilton’s history.

Local developer Sergio Manchia, working in conjunction with DCR Holdings Inc., the company that owns the former auto plant, is moving forward with an industrial subdivision at 440 Victoria Ave.

Manchia said the development will be the perfect spot for businesses that need both office and industrial space, like contractors, roofers, or a small machine shop.

“The objective is to create a pristine industrial park,” Manchia said. “We’ve had overwhelming response and inquiries just by word of mouth from a lot of smaller businesses in the city.”

At Monday’s general issues committee, councillors approved a $650,000 grant for demolition of the old Studebaker building. The project, which Manchia calls Freeman Industrial Park, is also eligible for further grants to remediate the land.

“It’s an ideal opportunity to clean up a brownfield site that has been lying dormant,” said Councillor Bernie Morelli, whose ward includes the Studebaker property. “It’s certainly accomplishing something we need to accomplish.”

The 530,000-square-foot building has had a long history. Over the years, it has housed Otis Elevators, the Studebaker factory, Allan Candy, and weapons factories during both the First and Second World Wars.

However, the building has sat vacant in recent years. Its ceiling height, size, and configuration don’t suit modern manufacturing and warehousing requirements, while its large scale makes it impractical for most nonindustrial businesses.

Last year, council heard a proposal from a Mississauga-based developer to turn the building into a massive recreation sports complex. That plan called for more than 100 playing surfaces for a variety of sports, including soccer, ice and ball hockey, lacrosse, basketball, volleyball and beach volleyball, and track.

However, that proposal floundered and the development firm’s offer to purchase the building eventually expired.

In 2003, a film studio that opened on the site was quickly forced out of business by the rising Canadian dollar and U.S. competition.

The Freeman Industrial Park proposal includes demolishing the building to make way for 22 industrial lots ranging from 0.71 acres to 1.5 acres, and a new road running from Victoria Avenue North and Wentworth Street. Part of the former Otis offices at the corner of Victoria and Ferrie streets will be maintained to preserve some of the historical character of the building.

Manchia, who also developed the new condo at Dundurn Street and Aberdeen Avenue, hopes the demolition and remediation will be finished by the end of 2012, with the park opening in the spring or summer of 2013.

Manchia declined to put a dollar figure on the project.

Article courtesy The Hamilton Spectator.

VIDEO: A made-in-Hamilton appeal to frustrated commuters

Screenshot from a video which tells the tale of a hapless worker who has to leave his bed at 4:30 every morning to fight his way into a job in Toronto — until he discovers the joys of a location in Hamilton.Just think … if you lived and worked in downtown Hamilton you could be at the office in the time it takes to read this page.

Hamilton’s economic development department is pitching that idea with a short video it has cast into the Internet ether in the hope of catching the attention of creative industries looking for a new home.

Urban renewal manager Glen Norton said the short film was created by Hamilton-based Chuck Gammage Animation, with music by local composer Nathan Fleet.

Its story tells the tale of a hapless worker who has to leave his bed at 4:30 every morning to fight his way into a job in Toronto — until he discovers the joys of a location in Hamilton.

“We’re targeting anybody who commutes to Toronto,” Norton said. “We’re telling them we have the lifestyle and a great community to go with it.”

The film, generally targeted at creative industry workers, was released through a Hamilton Economic Development blog post Wednesday. How quickly and how far it spreads is up to the people who watch it.

“We’re putting it out using the means that these people use to talk to each other,” Norton said. “From here on what happens to it is up to the individual because this is all we’re going to do with it.”

Norton added the cartoon was produced on a shoestring budget, with both local firms contributing more than what the available budget would usually purchase.

“I’m really proud that this is from a Hamilton firm,” he said.

That’s also an important factor to Michael Marini, marketing co-ordinator for the economic development department.

“I think it’s a great piece not only because of the creative talent behind it (both from Chuck and from Nathan), but that we’re actually using Hamilton firms to tell a Hamilton story. To me that’s key,” he said in an email exchange. “We don’t need to shop out this work to Toronto, we have all the talent we need, and more, in Hamilton.”

Article courtesy of the Hamilton Spectator.

Wake Up From Your Commuting Nightmare

Economic Development Office makes Hamilton a little more “animated”

Innovative piece designed to market to new creative class

Hamilton, ON – August 8, 2012 – Hamilton’s Economic Development Office launched an innovative marketing piece today never before attempted in the office’s history. The “Commuting Nightmare”- as it is known- is an animated short designed to market Hamilton as a viable live/work choice to those on the endless commute to Toronto.

“We certainly are aware of the great growth in the creative industries and we have a very unique vehicle now to sell our collective creative spaces”, said Glen Norton, Manager, Urban Renewal with the City of Hamilton’s Economic Development Office. “Get your life back, wake up from that commuting nightmare is our message through this cartoon.”

The cartoon was produced by Chuck Gammage Animation (www.cganim.com), a recent creative industry addition to the James Street North arts district via Toronto and boasts clients such as Coca Cola, Old Navy, and Teletoon. The score was produced by Nathan Fleet (http://www.nathanfleet.com), an award winning Hamilton filmmaker and film composer with screenings and broadcasts worldwide. His new music company, Blue Pick Media, was named after his trademark blue guitar pick business cards. As the director of the Hamilton Film Festival, board member of the Factory Media Centre and sitting on the Cinema Hamilton committee, he is helping to grow, enhance and connect the filmmaking community in Hamilton.

”Yet again, City Council’s investment in the Economic Development Office has allowed us the resources to create innovative media products such as this one,” said Norton. “Our Hamilton talent created a great product and now we’re hoping Hamiltonians share this via their social media channels across the nation and globe!”

Hamilton’s Economic Development Office is the central point of contact for business assistance. Its services are geared to serve new start-up companies, corporate relocations, and the expansion and retention of existing business. Its mission is to serve as the catalyst for continued economic growth, job creation, and revitalization in Hamilton.

To view the video please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tiNg6AYYSk

 

 

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