After successfully attracting new tenants to fill empty storefonts along High Street in Hamilton, Ontario, the CORE Fund is now shifting gears and has started investing in Main Street area properties.
Launched in December 2012, the Consortium for Ongoing Reinvestment Efforts (CORE) Fund is a private nonprofit that has raised nearly $7 million to acquire blighted properties and make non-traditional loans to developers for projects in the area of High and Main streets.
“Investing in these important areas of the community will attract people to the city on a short-term basis, but more importantly, encourage them to stay for the long-term,” said John Stretch, broker for North Ridge Realty Group, which specializes in commercial real estate. Among its clients are Main Street property owners.
“When people stay in an area, the businesses will follow, and the cycle repeats and everyone ultimately benefits,” Stretch said.
Note from Storm: I’ve visited Hamilton many times (starting from age 11), and I keynoted their Chamber of Commerce’s 3rd annual Economic Summit in 2010. I’ll repeat here what I told that audience: I believe Hamilton has the greatest revitalization potential of any city in Canada. This opinion is based on several factors: 1) an ideal location, connecting the Niagara Region (and the U.S.) with the economic power of Toronto; 2) a wealth of renewable assets: brownfields, historic buildings, infrastructure, etc., and 3) a massive waterfront. Combine this with the province’s recent commitments to better-connecting Hamilton to the Greater Toronto Area via mass transit, and you’ve got the formula for revitalization magic.
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