New rental building in Hamilton opens its doors

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By Meredith MacLeod

Tenants are moving in to one of Hamilton’s first new rental apartments built in decades.

The $13-million development at 149 Main West near Bay, has 73 one- and two-bedroom apartments and is about 25 per cent booked, said owner Azim Kassam.

“We are absolutely excited to be finished,” said Kassam, who also owns the Day’s Inn at Main and Wellington.

He said the new McMaster downtown health campus and the GO station on James Street North will bring interest in the building. Tenants include young professionals and people already working downtown, said Kassam.

Kassam said a $2.3-million, interest-free loan from the city was critical to getting the project built.

“The bank was not comfortable, but the city incentive helped a lot.”

Rental buildings are more difficult to finance because there is no upfront cash flow from the pre-sales to act as collateral, as there are in condos.

Having rental housing downtown is important, said Glen Norton, the city’s manager of urban renewal.

“We desperately need new stock,” he said.

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Article and image source: The Hamilton Spectator

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