Another win for housing and heritage?

Top Local story in today’s Hamilton Spectator: affordable housing developer Indwell is bidding for Delta Collegiate. Plus, Indwell announces Flourish, a new social-purpose real estate development services company.

Indwell’s bid is backed by the Hamilton Community Foundation, which recently announced its plans for the Coppley building. Best of luck to the developer! Indwell is the popular favourite, thanks to their visionary support for both housing and heritage in Hamilton.

From Teviah Moro’s article:

“A Hamilton non-profit hopes to transform Delta Secondary School’s empty classrooms into affordable housing and community space.

Indwell is among three bidders — the others private developers — aiming to buy the shuttered Main Street East heritage building from the public board.

The idea is to split a future residential component between affordable rental and ownership units, says Graham Cubitt, director of projects and development.

But Indwell, which specializes in deeply affordable units, also wants Delta’s “phenomenal” facilities — including its gymnasium and auditorium — to remain available for community use.

Those types of assets are not being replaced as part of modern-day commercial developments, Cubitt says. “So how we keep those kinds of spaces within an urban neighbourhood is so important.”

The 1920s school was designed by Hutton & Souter, the Hamilton architects behind Old Cathedral High School, the Basilica of Christ the King complex (visible from the 403), and Wentworth Baptist, another Indwell project. Delta was designated in 2014. Architect Souter also designed Beth Jacob Synagogue, whose deadline for offers is today.

Beth Jacob Synagogue on Aberdeen Avenue. Photo: John Rennison.
Delta photographed when it went up for sale in February, 2020. Photo: Barry Gray.

Update (January 2022): Sad news — the school board has turned down the Indwell / HCF bid. The winning bid came from New Horizon Development; president Jeff Paikin (brother of Steve and cousin of Carole) noted he could share more details after the March 3rd closing (Teviah Moro, “New Horizon secures bid for old Delta school,” Spec, Jan. 8, 2022, A9). From the New Horizon website, it seems Delta would be the developer’s first heritage project.

@IndwellCA tweet from Jan 7, 2022 / Loomly - click image for tweet

From Jon Wells’ article:

“A new not-for-profit company called Flourish has been created by Indwell, the organization known for building housing in the city, often by resurrecting decrepit properties.

The mission for Flourish is to spread Indwell’s well-honed expertise to help build affordable living spaces for those in need, well beyond the city in southern Ontario.

It will operate as a “social-purpose real estate development services company,” said Graham Cubitt, who has been with Indwell 17 years and is now president of Flourish.

“We are really good at developing compelling projects that people love to live in, so it’s about using that experience on behalf of others, to help relieve the (housing) crisis that we are all now aware of and some individuals are painfully experiencing,” he told The Spectator.

Spectator print edition: “Indwell aims to buy old Delta high” (December 15, 2021, A3) | online: “Hamilton non-profit aims to buy Delta Secondary to convert into affordable housing”

A local non-profit hopes to transform the shuttered Delta Secondary School building into affordable housing and community space. Photo: Cathie Coward.
Graham Cubitt, the new president of Flourish. Photo: Flourish.
An archway leading from Parkdale Avenue to front door of the McQuesten Lofts, 256 Parkdale Ave. N., an Indwell affordable housing development. Photo: John Rennison.
McQuesten Lofts with the new Parkdale Branch of the Hamilton Public Library. Photo: Tom Ridout / Industryous on Instagram.

The Hamilton Spectator (est. 1846) is published by Metroland Media Group, a division of Torstar.

Photos: Cathie Coward, Barry Gray, Flourish, John Rennison, Tom Ridout / Industryous.

Spectator online | Toronto Star online | in print