Gowling WLG: Showcase Hamilton

Share this Article

Key partnerships help bring Hamilton’s downtown redevelopment to life

In June 2021, Hamilton City Council approved a master agreement for a multi-million dollar renovation to the City’s downtown entertainment facilities. Brought forth by a private sector consortium called the Hamilton Urban Precinct Entertainment Group (the “Precinct Group”), this plan envisions investments in thoughtfully designed arts, entertainment, sports, residential, commercial and mixed-use properties in Hamilton’s downtown core.

The Precinct Group’s plan includes a minimum $50 million renovation of the FirstOntario Centre arena; a minimum $12.5 million in capital upgrades to the Hamilton Convention Centre and FirstOntario Concert Hall; and an estimated $350 million in auxiliary mixed-use projects that will voluntarily integrate affordable housing units.

As the Precinct Group’s legal services provider, Gowling WLG played an integral role in bringing the consortium, the project proposal, and the master agreement to life. Pamela Green, head of Gowling WLG’s Commercial Real Estate and Lending groups in Hamilton, worked with the consortium to put forward a plan that was both visionary and achievable, and that aligned with the City’s goals and values.

“We worked closely with this consortium to develop the project in a way that will help to address some of the big challenges faced by municipalities everywhere,” Green explains. “From increasing affordable housing and employment opportunities to helping Hamilton attract new business, this investment promises to catalyze the revitalization of Hamilton’s downtown core across multiple fronts.”

In an exciting development, the Precinct Group has also teamed up with Oak View Group (OVG) on arena renovations, forming a partnership that is expected to come with a significant additional infusion of funding. Known as a trailblazer in the sports and live entertainment industry, this project will mark OVG’s entrance into the Canadian market. Jasper Kujavsky, a director of the Precinct Group and the director of the arena renovation project, says he is “delighted to partner with this global and visionary company in the transformation of Hamilton’s iconic Coliseum.”

“We’re thrilled to be driving the revitalization and modernization of Hamilton’s entertainment assets, creating a first-class guest experience in the urban centre of the Greater Hamilton area,” said PJ Mercanti, president of the Precinct Group. “The support of the entire Gowling WLG team was indispensable in bringing this project to fruition, and we look forward to continuing this partnership as we help Hamilton reach its full potential.”

“The redevelopment project is going to have a long-lasting positive impact for both businesses and residents alike,” said Green. “It will really showcase why Hamilton is truly a great place to live, work and play.” https://gowlingwlg.com/en/