The properties aren’t very big, but they are choice waterfront locations for a developer interested in low-rise residential and commercial development. The city has quietly advertised four small parcels of land at the foot of James Street at Guise Street for sale. The total size of the properties is about two-thirds of an acre and are spaced around the former Hamilton Police Marine Unit dock. The property is governed by the City’s West Harbour Master Plan which restricts building heights and uses. The land on the pier lists a hotel as one of its allowable uses. Allowable building heights range from two stories (properties facing Guise Street) to four stories (the Hotel). The regulations call for commercial development on the main floor of all four lots with either residential or other uses in the floors above.
Allowable commercial uses include:
• A bank machine(s) including an enclosed kiosk or structure to house the bank machine(s)
• A photographer’s or artist’s studio
• A restaurant, tavern or refreshment stand
• An outdoor patio
• A sailing, boating, or navigational school and an establishment for the sale of bait, and the sale and rental of recreational equipment including the charter of rental of boats, canoes or bicycles, with small scale commercial uses ancillary to these uses, including but not limited to, marine supply stores, boat service and repair shops
• Transient or visitor docks
• A business or professional persons office but not on the ground floor
• A hotel but only on one specified parcel
• Personal services establishments accessory to a hotel
Given the confines space parking will be an issue. The report suggests the hotel will need to consider valet parking, and the establishment of a parking lot or parking garage on nearby property. The city is hoping to come up with a short list of developers who would then enter into a competition of sorts to come up with a final design. The projects would have to be completed withing a specific time frame and there would be a time limited placed on flipping the properties. The City will start looking for proposals after October 31.