CBC Hamilton Article

The largest brownfield remediation project in Hamilton has cleared another hurdle.

Councillors voted Tuesday to draft a subdivision plan for the Freeman Industrial Park, located at 440 Victoria St. N., site of the old Otis Elevator and Studebaker plants.

The vote means UrbanCore Developments will divide the 10.5-hectare property into 18 lots and build a road through the property.

The city’s planning committee had glowing praise for the UrbanCore project, which is about a block north of Hamilton General Hospital.

“This is very, very exciting,” said Coun. Bob Morrow of Ward 3.

He wants it to be “the first of many of this magnitude, and I’m sure it will be.”

Coun. Chad Collins of Ward 5 lauded the jobs and new taxes the park will generate.

“It’s not every day, unfortunately, that we see applications like this.”

The property is zoned K, which allows nearly any type of heavy industry from fertilizer production to a coke oven.

But UrbanCore has prospective buyers for about half of the lots, and they are light manufacturing, some of them related to health care, developer Sergio Manchia said.

UrbanCore will spend this year remediating the property, Manchia said. It will build a road going through it that is called Freeman Way, Studebaker Way or Otis Street.

In February, the city changed its grant process to make assessing the site’s environmental risks move a little faster. The company stands to benefit from about $4 million in grants.

Tuesday’s vote puts the city on the hook for some minor cost-sharing items, such as extending sidewalks.

Manchia is also urging the city to make Victoria Street a two-way street, which is already part of the city’s transportation master plan.