Hamilton, Ontario’s James Street Baptist Church is up for a major renewal thanks to plans to transform the aging church into the new “Connolly” condo tower.
The development will turn the 180-year-old property in a 30-storey mixed-use tower with residential units, ground-floor commercial space, modern amenities, and fully-automated parking systems. It is the first project for Hue Developments, the Canadian branch of Vietnamese developer Hoa Binh Corporation (HBC), who is partnering with Toronto’s LCH Developments for the ambitious build.
“Our biggest focus since taking over this project has been to do a better job at showcasing the church, and re-integrating it into the building and community. We recognize Connolly’s impact will be greater than just the building – we are filling a void in Hamilton,” says Luke Wywrot, Managing Partner of LCH.
Hamilton’s own mcCallumSather will serve as the architecture, interior design, and heritage conservation partner for the project. According to firm director Drew Hauser, the goal is to achieve a meaningful re-interpretation of the iconic landmark, noting, “The tower is juxtaposed against the historic asset and speaks to its modern urban context. We look forward to seeing the community engage with our contemporary design and this important part of Hamilton’s history.”
Under the current vision, Connolly will feature a two-storey high entrance, porcelain and wood finishes, and wood and stone textures replicating the look of a stained-glass window. Throughout, it will offer residents 7,000 sq. ft. of amenity space, including a co-working space, entertainment lounge, solarium, and a gym overlooked by a rose window spanning 30 feet across the tower’s façade.
On the ground floor, residents and neighbours alike will have access to commercial retailers and an outdoor patio.
Speaking to the overall plans, Allen Le Nam, CEO of Hue Developments, says, “Having lived in Hamilton, I’ve always admired the heritage buildings preserved in this city, so the church’s façade was a natural draw. Connolly presented the perfect opportunity to bring our expertise to Canada by creating a sophisticated building that complements its surroundings.”