A conceptual rendering of proposed residential and commercial redevelopment of the north side of Hamilton's Lime Ridge Mall as presented to Hamilton's Design Review Panel in June 2022 Credit: HANDOUT / Cadillac Fairview

Lime Ridge Mall wants to change from being “vehicle-centric to a more “complete community-centric experience” with a phrased long-term redevelopment of the 25.1 hectare Hamilton Mountain property.

On Thursday, Mall owner Cadillac Fairview presented their conceptual design for Phase 1 of the redevelopment to Hamilton’s Design Review Panel.

“Our vision for phase one design is to initiate the renewal of people-oriented space, changing what once was a very detached vehicle-centric experience of a mall to a more connected and complete community-centric experience for multiple types of users,” CF’s design architect Jee-Young Kang said. Kang is a Principal at WZMH Architects.

In a first for Hamilton’s design review process, CF requested a design review meeting before filing their planning application.

Traditionally, the Panel reviews applications long after they are filed with the City of Hamilton, usually near the final stages of the planning process.

“Our goal today is to open up a dialogue, to receive feedback to help inform the design of our application,” stated CF Senior Director, Development, Micheal Peiser.

The proposal is to begin the redevelopment of the property on the north side by adding two 12-storey residential rental buildings while demolishing the vacant former Sears department store to build a new food and retail space which will include outdoor amenities with a pedestrian focus.

Site Plan documentation for the proposed redevelopment of the north portion of Cadillac Fairview’s Hamilton Lime Ridge Mall property as presented to Hamilton’s Design Review Panel in June 2022

Design Review Panel members praised the early concepts. Members stated they will need to see a more detailed proposal to provide more substantive comments in the future.

“We’re engaging with you early … to really get some feedback to make sure, before we submit, we [are not] missing anything major from an urban design perspective,” David Falletta of Bousfields Inc told the Panel.

DPR member Jenn Sisson asked if CF is exploring more underground parking on-site.

Peiser said underground parking does not work for this phase, with the grading on the north end, most of the Phase 1 parking will be covered.

There is a full six-metre change in the ground grading in Phase 1. Additionally, there are two levels of parking under the residential buildings.

DRP member Ted Watson asked about design quality and sustainability for the new residential buildings.

New Buildings Will Be Rentals

“This is intended as a purpose-built rental building” as part of a “long-term whole project” which CF will own, said Queenie Wong, Partner, Zeidler Architects.  Wong says this long-term ownership position means “there is a lot of drivers to provide a sustainable building with good building envelope with a good mechanical and electrical system.”

CF’s Micheal Peiser said there are looking at the overall plan “as a long term vision in the community, and that we’re still holding it for another 40 years, as we have today.”

Mall and Centre Surface Parking Will Remain

Proposed new pedestrian pathways at Cadillac Fairview’s Hamilton Lime Ridge Mall as part of Phase I of the redevelopment of the site. As presented to Hamilton’s Design Review Panel in June 2022

As the mall redevelops, the west side of the property will remain surface parking for the shopping mall.

Watson suggested other uses for this area of the mall.

CF’s Micheal Peiser said, “the mall is incredibly successful” and that retailers need those parking spaces.

“It’s generally a challenge, I find, [in] most mall developments … how we find the right solution to providing enough parking, to ensure the viability of our retailers.”

DRP Suggests More Pedestrian Spaces, Better Transit Connectivity, and Covered Parking

Near the end of the meeting, with time running out for the panel session, DPR members provided quick comments and suggestions for CF’s consultants and architects who are preparing the formal submission to the City.

Members suggest more detail to pedestrian spaces and connections, clarity and thought to what the new HSR terminal will look like and how it will be a comfortable connection into the redevelopment, and that CF strongly consider how to convert parking to being underground or covered.

The City of Hamilton is contributing $3.3-million to build a new HSR bus terminal using Metrolinx “quick wins” funding the City received in 2008.

CF will bring its formal submission back to a future Design Review Panel meeting.

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First published: June 9, 2022
Last edited: June 9, 2022
Author: Joey Coleman
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