A few weeks ago Mayor Fred Eisenberger talked about re-purposing old shopping mall lands in Hamilton that are not as productive as they once were.
This is a great idea that has been implemented all over North America. Developers take older malls that have become outdated and turn them into not only retail space but add other residential and commercial components to create more of a community hub.
Coun. Donna Skelly jumped on board, adding it would be a great time to explore the idea of a new arena for the Bulldogs at the Lime Ridge Mall site.
My initial thought was Lime Ridge is already doing well. I couldn’t see the owner Cadillac Fairview wanting to sacrifice valuable retail space for an arena in this complex.
Now we are hearing reports the developer has in fact applied to the city to make some major changes to update the property.
Those changes include adding 12 new buildings to the site and almost 200,000 square feet of new retail and office space.
The plan includes tearing down the old Sears section and replacing it with 60,000 feet of retail space on two levels, five new restaurant buildings (two with outdoor patios), a 500-car, two storey parking garage, as well as a separate two-storey building with another 65,000 feet of retail space next to the current office building on the property.
Scott Thompson: Does Hamilton need a new arena?
Yet there was no mention of an arena or sports complex or any sort of residential component, as some politicians had hoped for.
That does not mean it will never happen. What it means is Lime Ridge Mall is doing quite well without it now, and really doesn’t need the hassle.