Engaging Reluctant Landlords

Posted on Apr 17, 2015 In Education & Training Latest Updates

Ryerson University graduate student Polina Bam (pictured) helped answer the question of how to engage reluctant landlords in a major research paper presented this spring in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Planning in Urban Development.

Her research focused on the Barton Street commercial corridor in downtown Hamilton – an area that is experiencing a slow and steady regeneration thanks in part to reinvestments in abandoned and underutilized properties.

A key priority for municipal leaders and community organizers is to encourage local landowners to improve their properties and actively contribute to an upward spiral of value creation.

Polina closes her 60-page paper with a set of pragmatic recommendations based on a belief in the effectiveness of positive incentives to achieve desired outcomes. Her key recommendations include:

  • Continuation of municipal grant and loans programs
  • Introduction of flexible zoning that encourages mixed use development
  • Training sessions for landlords to increase awareness and use of available programs and supports
  • Discussions with the financial sector to help spur a greater willingness to invest in the Barton Street corridor
  • Encouragement to landlords to put their vacant properties into production by implementing interim uses, such as temporary ‘pop up’ shops

These points echo recommendations presented in the 2014 Barton and Kenilworth urban design study authored by Ron Palmer of The Planning Partnership.

Renew Hamilton played a modest role in helping Polina connect with key local stakeholders and we look forward to arranging an opportunity for her to present key findings in a public forum.