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City preparing to announce successful proposal for Pier 8 development

HAMILTON, ON - Following a thorough and comprehensive evaluation process, City of Hamilton staff has released a report recommending a Preferred Proponent for the Pier 8 Development Opportunity Request for Proposals (RFP). The report will be considered by the City’s General Issues Committee on June 6, 2018, and once approved by City Council, the Preferred Proponent will be publicly identified.

Recognizing the importance of Pier 8 and the West Harbour waterfront’s importance to all Hamiltonians, the RFP was structured to ensure that the preferred proposal would result in a landmark City development and generate significant financial returns for the City, while fostering a sense of inclusiveness and pride for people living at, working at, and visiting Pier 8.

To achieve these objectives, City Staff developed a process that was informed by extensive community input and consistent with the City’s West Harbour vision. Approved by Council this process was executed by a team of City staff drawn from a wide range of disciplines, perspectives, and interest. The process was also overseen by an internal Steering Committee of senior administrators, and was continuously monitored by an independent, third-party Fairness Monitor.

Once Council approved the land solicitation process in November 2016, the City launched the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) phase on April 18, 2017, the RFQ call closed on July 10, 2017, and the development teams proceeding to the RFP stage of the process were announced on October 6, 2017. The RFP was issued on December 15, 2017 and required the Proponents to submit both a Technical Proposal (which formally closed on March 13, 2018) and a separate Financial Proposal (formally closed on April 4, 2018).

Conducted in 2-stages, the RFP evaluation process involved the review of a technical proposal and a financial bid.

Technical proposals included the details of each proponent’s development concepts for the mixed-use redevelopment site. The evaluation criteria not only addressed the technical features of the development itself, but also considered the practicalities of implementation, and were grounded in the guiding principles found in the West Harbour Setting Sail Secondary Plan (Setting Sail), the Pier 7 and 8 Urban Design Study, and the West Harbour community vision, with additional criteria which assessed the Proposal’s alignment with the City’s interests.

Financial bids were submitted according to a mandated deal structure that would see the City receive payment in phases, which allows the City to participate in the success of the development while protecting the City’s long-term interests.

If the recommendations are approved by Council, City staff will engage in contract negotiations with the Preferred Proponent for the purchase and development of the subject lands on the basis of its proposal.  As indicated, the recommendation still requires City Council approval, and therefore the identity of the Preferred Proponent will be held confidential until that time.

“The City was delighted that all four proponents demonstrated extraordinary expertise and capabilities within their proposals.  Most impressive however, was their understanding and commitment to fulfilling the City’s vision for Pier 8 and the uniqueness of this exceptional opportunity.  City staff are pleased with the quality of the submissions, proud of the open and transparent process developed, and honoured to recommend a team that will fulfil the community’s long-held vision of transforming Hamilton’s West Harbour waterfront,” - Chris Phillips, Senior Advisor, West Harbour Re-development Project


The 5.24 hectare development site has the potential to support approximately 1200-1500 residential units and 13,000 square metres of commercial and institutional space on nine development blocks. The City will be improving the site with roads and municipal services as well as the Pier 8 Promenade Park, the design for which was selected through a design competition held in late-summer 2017. Construction of these elements will begin this summer. 

Pier 8 is a key component of a larger West Harbour waterfront redevelopment plan that includes improvements to pedestrian access to the water’s edge, upgrades to boating and marina facilities, structural improvements to the shoreline, installation of new fish habitats, and creation of a new waterfront commercial zone and public gathering place on Piers 6 and 7.

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