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Hamilton Economic Development

City sells its technology centre to tenant firm

The city-owned Hamilton Technology Centre (HTC) has been sold to a private company called Clearcable, one of the centre’s tenants.

City officials confirmed the $3.25 million sale on Wednesday, calling it a win-win business transaction for both the city and Clearcable, a company that builds broadband for smaller providers of internet and telecommunications services.

“We had an opportunity to sell it and it was a strategic sale,” said John Hertel, the city’s revenue generation director. “We’re selling it to someone who would continue to operate it as a technology incubator.”

The business incubation centre on Innovation Drive is part of the Flamborough Business Park at Highways 5 and 6. It was funded and operated by the city’s economic development division.

HTC was established by the local municipal government in 1993 as a small business incubator, but the age of the 40,000-square-foot building meant it needed “quite a bit of capital expenditure” to maintain, Hertel said.

City council declared the property surplus in February.

Clearcable president and founder Rob McCann said the sale was completed on Aug. 31.

“This acquisition will help us realize our vision of a private technology innovation centre,” he said.

The company will be renovating, upgrading and doing “leasehold-type improvements” to the building as well as putting in a data centre, McCann said, adding the process will take about five years.

The HTC currently has 16 tenants, including Clearcable, he said.

Among Clearcable’s objectives in owning the building is a revitalization of the HTC’s incubator function by providing investment and leadership — and to connect with other community initiatives such as the McMaster Innovation Park, Innovation Factory and Hamilton Hive.

Clearcable has been in operation since 2004 and a tenant at HTC since April 2016.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger noted the company will adopt the original vision of HTC and “continue to foster the development of emerging technology companies such as theirs.”

Article courtesy of Carmela Fragomeni, The Hamilton Spectator

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