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Rentals are rising on James North

The former Mission Services men’s shelter has been demolished and a residential tower will be built on the site. The shelter has found a new, bigger home on King Street East.

The landscape at one of downtown Hamilton’s major intersections – James Street North and Barton Street – will never be the same after the demolition of the Mission Services men’s shelter building to make way for a 12-storey residential building.

The shelter found a home for nearly 70 years in a three-storey structure built in 1910. It moved to the former Red Cross building on King Street East between Wellington Street North and Victoria Avenue North last June. 

Core Urban bought the James property from Mission Services for $3.15 million. It includes another building at 325 James St. N. that has been retained and will be restored for offices. 

Part of the deal was the Core Urban renovation of a three-storey brick and beam structure on King Street East – the former home of the Red Cross – to allow for the doubling of the space and many more amenities for Mission Services’ men’s shelter.

The shelter now has 58 shelter spaces, along with 50 transitional housing quarters. The City of Hamilton contributed just over $3 million to the renovation.

The new construction on James North will have 127 units, along with four commercial units at street level. The design includes a four-storey podium to fit with the existing streetscape and a stepped-back, modern design for the upper floors. 

Construction will start later this year with completion in early 2026, according to Core Urban co-owner Steve Kulakowsky. 

Core Urban has a decade-long track record of beautiful restorations and adaptive reuse of historic buildings in the city, including The Press Room at John and Jackson (offices and hospitality space), Templar Flats on King William (residential rentals and ground-floor restaurants), King James (offices and restaurants), Empire Times on King William (offices and restaurant), The Textile Building on George Street (urban offices), The Witton Lofts on Murray Street (condos) and Herkimer at Bay (condos).

Its new builds include The Laundry Room boutique hotel and hospitality space on Augusta Street and projects that are now underway: The Greystone at 169 James S., an eight-storey, 70,000 square foot luxury rental apartment building featuring 56 units; The Chelsea at 26 Augusta, a 70-unit residential rental building with main floor commercial; and The Olympia Club at 59-61 King St. E., once a downtown bowling alley that has been redeveloped into offices and hospitality space.