Mayor feels Lister Block can be saved

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Hamilton Mayor Larry Di Ianni says the historical Lister Block building can be saved despite what a consultant's report states that it be demolished.

"All we have committed doing is peer reviewing their report," said Di Ianni, who has made rejuvenating the downtown core a major priority in his 2003 election campaign.

A heritage impact assessment conducted on the 82-year-old facility, prepared by Hamilton architect John Mokrycke, and presented to the city in December, stated the crumbling building cannot be saved and instead should be replicated.

"(The consultant) has given us something on the facade, now they are working on the internal operations of the building. Once that comes to us, we will peer review what they have to say with experts, and come to a conclusion whether we agree or not. But move forward on it, we are."

The mayor has withstood criticism for the delays on redeveloping the Lister Block since council agreed last May to a controversial 15-year, $30-million lease agreement with the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) and Hi-Rise Group of Toronto.

LIUNA, which also unveiled a proposed re-development plan for the derelict, six-storey building at James North and King William streets, soon after council approved the lease agreement, purchased the building in 1999.

LIUNA officials have argued one of the obstacles to a development deal from going forward was the lack of a triple A tenant for the building.

Preservationists have praised the building for its terra cotta motifs, and vaulted arcade. But over the years neglect has resulted in a graffiti-strewn building, broken windows exposing the inside to the elements, and debris scattered throughout the interior.

Councillors, including Brian McHattie, have criticized the deal with the labour union saying the city agreed to rent the building based on LIUNA fixing up the building.

Di Ianni says McHattie is wrong. "The fact that the developer is taking a longer time, means they are doing a more thorough job," he said.

Di Ianni acknowledged that LIUNA knew when they announced their development plans to great fanfare and hope within the community last spring that it would be difficult.

Mayor feels Lister Block can be saved

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Hamilton Mayor Larry Di Ianni says the historical Lister Block building can be saved despite what a consultant's report states that it be demolished.

"All we have committed doing is peer reviewing their report," said Di Ianni, who has made rejuvenating the downtown core a major priority in his 2003 election campaign.

A heritage impact assessment conducted on the 82-year-old facility, prepared by Hamilton architect John Mokrycke, and presented to the city in December, stated the crumbling building cannot be saved and instead should be replicated.

"(The consultant) has given us something on the facade, now they are working on the internal operations of the building. Once that comes to us, we will peer review what they have to say with experts, and come to a conclusion whether we agree or not. But move forward on it, we are."

The mayor has withstood criticism for the delays on redeveloping the Lister Block since council agreed last May to a controversial 15-year, $30-million lease agreement with the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) and Hi-Rise Group of Toronto.

LIUNA, which also unveiled a proposed re-development plan for the derelict, six-storey building at James North and King William streets, soon after council approved the lease agreement, purchased the building in 1999.

LIUNA officials have argued one of the obstacles to a development deal from going forward was the lack of a triple A tenant for the building.

Preservationists have praised the building for its terra cotta motifs, and vaulted arcade. But over the years neglect has resulted in a graffiti-strewn building, broken windows exposing the inside to the elements, and debris scattered throughout the interior.

Councillors, including Brian McHattie, have criticized the deal with the labour union saying the city agreed to rent the building based on LIUNA fixing up the building.

Di Ianni says McHattie is wrong. "The fact that the developer is taking a longer time, means they are doing a more thorough job," he said.

Di Ianni acknowledged that LIUNA knew when they announced their development plans to great fanfare and hope within the community last spring that it would be difficult.

Mayor feels Lister Block can be saved

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Hamilton Mayor Larry Di Ianni says the historical Lister Block building can be saved despite what a consultant's report states that it be demolished.

"All we have committed doing is peer reviewing their report," said Di Ianni, who has made rejuvenating the downtown core a major priority in his 2003 election campaign.

A heritage impact assessment conducted on the 82-year-old facility, prepared by Hamilton architect John Mokrycke, and presented to the city in December, stated the crumbling building cannot be saved and instead should be replicated.

"(The consultant) has given us something on the facade, now they are working on the internal operations of the building. Once that comes to us, we will peer review what they have to say with experts, and come to a conclusion whether we agree or not. But move forward on it, we are."

The mayor has withstood criticism for the delays on redeveloping the Lister Block since council agreed last May to a controversial 15-year, $30-million lease agreement with the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) and Hi-Rise Group of Toronto.

LIUNA, which also unveiled a proposed re-development plan for the derelict, six-storey building at James North and King William streets, soon after council approved the lease agreement, purchased the building in 1999.

LIUNA officials have argued one of the obstacles to a development deal from going forward was the lack of a triple A tenant for the building.

Preservationists have praised the building for its terra cotta motifs, and vaulted arcade. But over the years neglect has resulted in a graffiti-strewn building, broken windows exposing the inside to the elements, and debris scattered throughout the interior.

Councillors, including Brian McHattie, have criticized the deal with the labour union saying the city agreed to rent the building based on LIUNA fixing up the building.

Di Ianni says McHattie is wrong. "The fact that the developer is taking a longer time, means they are doing a more thorough job," he said.

Di Ianni acknowledged that LIUNA knew when they announced their development plans to great fanfare and hope within the community last spring that it would be difficult.