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McMaster commits to building new grad student tower downtown

In a press release made on December 13th, McMaster University has stated that it will proceed with plans to build a new tower in the southwest corner of Bay & King St W.

The announcement is the first affirmation of the project since the public became known of it in February earlier this year.

While plans are not finalized, early renderings by SRM Architects are out and suggest a 31 storey tower with an adjacent 9 storey parking garage.

The building will be “McMaster’s first purpose-built residence specifically for grad students and their families”. The residence will house 600 students living in studio, one, and two-bedroom apartments.

It will be constructed and financed through a public-private partnership including the University and Knightstone Capital. Knightstone is a company that specializes in developing academic residences and based on previous projects they’ve completed, are keen on developing along high-traffic corridors making it no surprise they’d be interested in building this tower along the LRT route.

The vice-president of Administration, Roger Couldrey, admits that the new residence “fills a significant gap at McMaster”. Couldrey goes on to say that McMaster is one of the “few universities in Ontario without a dedicated grad student residence” and that with this new building, the school is better equipped to attract the best minds to Hamilton.

The press release doesn’t make mention of any timelines, unfortunately.

This new residence building will be the latest investment to Hamilton’s downtown core which, in the span of under 5 years, has seen the opening of the David Braley Health Sciences Centre across City Hall and the Centre for Continuing Education at Jackson Square. The latter of which spurred the development of the William Thomas student rental tower across the street.

There’s no question that McMaster believes in Hamilton’s Downtown and understands the city’s priority of a revitalized core. Developments like these will surely be a net positive for Hamilton.

What are your thoughts of this tower? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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