Hamilton city council approves plan to renovate and revitalize downtown venues

We’re getting more details on the renovation plans for venues in Hamilton’s downtown core.

City council has approved the Downtown Entertainment Precinct master agreement, a multi-year deal between the city and the Hamilton Urban Precinct Entertainment Group L.P.

The group’s bid to renovate several venues, including FirstOntario Centre, was selected by council in 2020.

READ MORE: Hamilton selects bid to revitalize downtown entertainment facilities

The bid proposed a $50 million renovation to FirstOntario Centre, including a new exterior facade and video board, transformation of the lower bowl and an expanded concourse level.

It also includes over $12 million in upgrades to the Hamilton Convention Centre and Concert Hall and a $2 million contribution to the Art Gallery of Hamilton.

The group will take over operations and maintenance of the FirstOntario Centre, the FirstOntario Concert Hall and of the Hamilton Convention Centre, for a period of 49 years starting April 1, 2022.

The city will retain ownership of the land and facilities.

Construction at FirstOntario Centre is expected to begin in the fall of 2022 and is expected to take two years.

Once those renovations are complete, work on the Hamilton Convention Centre and the FirstOntario Concert Hall.

The York Boulevard Parkade, the parking lot at 14 Vine St. and 191 York Blvd., which are all city-owned properties, will be redeveloped.

The proposed plan also includes over $500 in supplementary mixed-used development, including 5 per cent affordable housing in one of the residential developments.

The Hamilton Urban Precinct Entertainment Group is a regional consortium led by Carmen’s Group and the Mercanti Family and Associates.