The Hamilton Spectator Article

The industrial rebirth of the long abandoned Studebaker property in the heart of the city is set to move ahead over the next year.

Developer Sergio Manchia of UrbanCore Developments is proposing to turn the 26-acre property, the former home of Otis Elevators and a Studebaker factory, into a new industrial park.

Most of the buildings on the site were torn down in 2012, but further work must wait until after a risk assessment and any potential cleanup required under the city’s brownfield redevelopment program.

On Wednesday, councillors agreed to allow a peer reviewer to vet the required risk assessment, rather than go through the Ministry of Environment.

“Brownfield development can be very costly and timing is critical,” said Manchia in pitching the change. “This will help us accelerate.”

The rule change is only possible because the property is remaining industrial, he noted. Converting the land to condos, for example, would require a record of site assessment from the province.

Manchia said with city support, he’s hoping to have remediation under way and an access road under construction within a year. An environmental study is still under way.

He envisions attracting several different light manufacturing and health technology firms to set up shop on the property after the estimated $10 million-plus cleanup and redevelopment.