Welcome to the inaugural installment of Forging Hamilton, the monthly column where I’ll be providing commercial real estate (CRE) news and analysis from the Hamilton area.

I’ll explain how the Hamilton area market is performing and what new developments are in the works. I’ll also provide the context necessary to distill how the headlines impact real estate trends for the present, plus what they could mean for the future beyond the Hammer’s borders.

Hamilton is a city with momentum and an incredible market. It’s a city known for steel and true to form, one of the biggest stories this year is Slate Asset Management’s purchase of 800 acres of Stelco land for $518 million ($647,500/acre) in June.

It’s by far the largest CRE transaction Forge & Foster has on record for our subject markets and we track not just Hamilton, but also Brantford, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge and Niagara.

The record for largest CRE transaction was previously held by Panattoni Development Company, Inc. with its purchase of 423 acres of industrial land in Brant County for $290 million (≈ $684,000/acre) in April.

The Slate buy smashes that record, as it looks to repurpose Stelco’s prime waterfront land into a state-of-the-art industrial park that will create 23,000 new jobs across the Greater Hamilton Area and $3.8 billion for the economy.

Making more sustainable steel

In other steel news, Stelco’s neighbor Arcelor Mittal Dofasco has received commitments from the federal and provincial governments for a combined $900 million to aid in the transformation of current coal-fed equipment to new, low-emission technology.

This would help turn ArcelorMittal Dofasco into a world-leading producer of green steel, according to Premier Doug Ford and company officials.

And low-emission technology is also headed toward public infrastructure. Hamilton is primed for a multi-billion-dollar, city-transforming light rail transit (LRT) project.

The LRT has already stimulated many developments along the proposed 14-kilometre corridor, including Canlight’s Radio Arts Condos, LiUNA’s Cobalt Luxury Residences and LJM Developments’ LJM Tower and LJM Landing, to name a few.