Salvation for the Sandbar

Downtown Hamilton is currently going through a revival. The potential for growth, the interesting architecture, the built heritage and the economic incentives offered through the City of Hamilton make the downtown transformation very exciting! As a result, there are great opportunities for buildings to re-invent themselves. It just takes somebody with a vision and passion to bring these long-neglected properties back to life! An example of one of Hamilton’s most interesting buildings in the core is 193 King Street East.

Somewhat of a microcosm of Hamilton itself, the old beat-up building lay vacant for years. They didn’t just tear it down. The infamous Sandbar Tavern has been the talk of Hamilton for over a decade. There were debates over knocking it down because of its ill history of drugs and violence. The former crack den and site of two murders was seized by the Province in
2006 and was recently sold in October 2014 to Urban Map Inc. Its new owners have a vision to transform this unfortunate property into something beautiful.

Urban Map Inc. is invested in the area. They extensively renovated 189 and 191 King Street East and plan to offer an impressive aesthetic consistency to the three buildings. Their vision, which is currently well on its way to realization, is to retain the original characteristics of the properties while at the same time incorporating a modern urban look that is attractive and upscale. The top two floors will be transformed into live/work luxury apartment units and the nearly 3,000 square foot ground floor will become an upscale restaurant/bar.

When Urban Map Inc. purchased the Sandbar, the building was in a horribly dilapidated condition, and largely obscured by a dated façade. In order to achieve the vision of a traditional, but modern-infused urban village, the interior and exterior of 193 King Street is being stripped down to its bricks and rafters to revisit the era that this building once stood tall in.

The commercial ground floor is ideal for a trendy oyster bar, craft brew pub, tapas lounge or wine bar. The space is large enough to allow for a small stage where live classical or jazz concerts could be the focal point for an evening. Imagine such a destination in a place that used to be a notorious crack den!

It’s a welcome sight for many Hamiltonians that have lived through the fall of their downtown that the Victorian street wall on King Street East is finally becoming what it should be, housing some of the most unique retail space in town. It’s all just a short walk from the blossoming Royal Connaught, which also sat for years untouched.

Knocking down the Sandbar Tavern, a bittersweet piece of history, to turn it into a parkette, would have damaged the landscape of the International Village. Such losses must be avoided at a time that Hamilton’s core is bustling with young business, rising real estate values, and such a dramatic influx of residents. Instead, the Sandbar Tavern was down and out, but is about to become, as the city it stands in, a beacon of renewal and opportunity.

Comments 0

There are no comments

Add comment

Share post


© 2024 Robert Cekan Professional Real Estate Corporation. All rights reserved. Robert Cekan is a Broker at Real Broker Ontario Ltd., Brokerage.