The Connolly: Historic Hamilton church property sold to Toronto developer


Published September 21, 2022 at 9:03 am

One of Hamilton’s most talked about properties over the last decade has a new owner — again.

After a series of owners and failed development projects, Toronto’s Milborne Group is taking The Connolly reigns. The same company that is affiliated with the 1 Jarvis condo development and the 75 James Condominiums.

Milborne Group reportedly paid $24 million for The Connolly property — an “astronomically high price”, according to Alex Manojlovich of Forge & Foster.

“It could make sense at an estimated value of $80 per buildable square feet, although that’s still very high for Hamilton,” says Manojlovich. “Alternatively, the price could include some other form of value, like an approved site plan or pre-construction deposits.”

The Connolly has been hanging in limbo since the building was demolished in 2014. The historic front stone facade was preserved, however, to make way for an $80 million, 30-storey condo development by Louie Santiguida.

That project was placed in receivership in 2017, a tool to assist creditors in recovering funds in default. Essentially, a receivership makes it easier for a lender to recover funds owed to them if a borrower defaults on a loan.

In 2018, it was sold to Hue Developments, which proposed a 31-storey tower with 315 units.

The former James Street Baptist Church was built in 1882. In 2022, it belongs to the Milborne Group, which will be looking to bring more residential units to the downtown core.

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