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Mountain Equipment Co-op

Observer Walt

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Mountain Equipment will be opening a store early next year in Burlington, on Brant Street just south of QEW. The specific location is at the southwest corner of Leighland Road.

This will probably meet with disappointment in Hamilton, as it would be quite unlikely now that they would open a store in Hamilton.
 

Kiwi

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I heard rumours that the Burlington location is rocky and Hamilton's officals want a meeting with the MEC guys.
 

Observer Walt

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Kiwi, I had not heard that. Any idea why the location would be "rocky"?

Personally, I would have preferred to see this new store in downtown Hamilton. It would go some way toward helping the rejuvenation of the downtown core. The location in Burlington is not bad, but is not really in the established central business district and the store will not add that much to Burlington, IMO. I'm sure the MEC people liked the fact that this site is just off the QEW, as Mountain Equipment has few stores and wants each store to draw from a pretty wide area.
 

adma

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Kiwi, I had not heard that. Any idea why the location would be "rocky"?
Were they proposing building on the edge of Mount Nemo? ;-))))))

Anyhoo, maybe the Burlingtonian logic has some relationship w/Burlington having been a proving ground for cutting-edge high-end big-box retail (the first Chapters *and* first Indigo in Ontario IIRC)
 

Kiwi

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I'm not sure why they are having problems with Burlington but I do know Hamilton officals want to talk with MEC's guys in Vancouver. They want to have MEC at the main floor of the old federal building on Main St near Hess Village.

Here's a website that's trying to bring MEC to Hamilton
http://mecinhamilton.neenerneet.net/
 

Tewder

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Not a lot of foot traffic in downtown Hamilton, yet. A box store needs parking, and suburban Burlington, adjacent to the junction, is already full of big box stores. Makes sense, from this perspective at least.
 

Urban Shocker

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The down jacket I bought from them four winters ago is warm enough, but it sheds feathers like crazy and I can't wear a dark sweater underneath it.
 

Kiwi

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Yea, City Hall is definitely talking to MEC. Bob Bratina, radio host and city council, on the radio yesterday mentioned City Hall is in talks with a large retailer to come downtown Hamilton.
 
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coalminecanary

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Not a lot of foot traffic in downtown Hamilton, yet.
Actually the number of pedestrians downtown is surprisingly high. Stand in Gore park any time of day and there are always crowds. Not to mention Hess village. The proposed federal building location straddles Hess and Downtown... and with plenty of retail development in the works along that stretch, plus hotel development, those couple of blocks on Main are only going to go "up".

Getting into that building while it's still cheap would be a great move by any retailer ;-)

Here is a fabulous case for MEC locating in the federal building in downtown Hamilton

A box store needs parking, and suburban Burlington, adjacent to the junction, is already full of big box stores. Makes sense, from this perspective at least.
Yes but MEC is not a big box store. First of all they are non profit, and if we are to take their word, their priorities are, in order: co op members, then the environment, followed by everything else.

Their Toronto store does not have parking. There is a separately managed lot underneath their store that is the same footprint as the store itself. Their Vancouver store has a lot on the roof that is the same footprint as the building. Their Victoria store has no parking... well there are two street parking spots out front. There is more bike parking than car parking at the Victoria store! This is the way its members expect MEC to be run. They do not expect them to plop a green building in the middle of a big box wasteland next to a highway and surrounded by surface parking.

I could go on, but there is already a convincing argument about the disadvantages of the burlington MEC.

I've said it in other places and I'll say it again: building a green building is only half the "battle". If you put a green building in a location that begs people to drive single occupancy vehicles to get there, you are negating all of your hard work. I challenge anyone here to ride a bike or walk on Brant Street near the QEW -- it's a nightmare. Nothing but high speed maniacal Burlington suburbanites, all flying by the nearby car dealerships, strip malls (and the soon-to-be-walmart) in order to get home asap. This is not pedestrian, transit or cyclist friendly despite the lip service paid out in mec's press release.

Sorry to rant, but the more I think about it, the more this location STINKS!
 

Observer Walt

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Coalminecanary: Welcome to the forum and thanks for your information. I certainly agree that many people would prefer to see a Hamilton location, and I would think that the old federal building would be a good place for it to go. It will be a huge step for Hamilton when something, anything, is done with that building.
 
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coalminecanary

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Thanks!

And if anyone wants to take urban hamilton discussions off the toronto forum, come on over to http://www.hammerboard.ca :)

regarding mec, if any members feel the same way as I do about their sustainable development practices, please drop them a line and let them know... even if you aren't from burlington or hamilton! I'd rather see them green-ing up an existing building in a high density core in ANY city than to plop a leeds certified big box next to a highway...

i feel like they aren't getting it on their own so they need to be told :)

it's easy to write them a note here:
https://www.mec.ca/Apps/contactUs/contactUs.jsp#email
 

CDL.TO

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Keep up the good work! I'm pretty familiar with that Hamilton location and it would be a great choice. You're right that it would be an asset to the continued regeneration of downtown Hamilton. Being right on Main Street, MEC couldn't argue that you're asking them to consider a poor location.
 

Kiwi

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That whole area of Main St from Hess to Bay St will be developed within 5 years. The parking lot next to Hess Village is turning into retail with a parking structure. The old federal building looks like it'll finally be converted into condos next year so it would be perfect to have MEC at the main floor. Plus right beside the old federal building a new Hilton tower will be constructed, demolition of the old Hamilton Motor Product started today, here's the rendering......



So it's very much an active area of development for downtown Hamilton.
 

Molybdenum

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Their Victoria store has no parking... well there are two street parking spots out front. There is more bike parking than car parking at the Victoria store! This is the way its members expect MEC to be run. They do not expect them to plop a green building in the middle of a big box wasteland next to a highway and surrounded by surface parking.
You must not have seen MEC's Montreal store then. It's a green building in a middle of a big box wasteland next to a highway and surrounded by surface parking.

Here it is on Google Maps
 
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coalminecanary

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Wow, sick

So they are only green on the surface I guess.

The only difference is that real estate in urban Montreal is probably way too $$$ for them. Not so in Hamilton! :p

It sounds like they are plodding ahead with this ridiculous Burlington location after all. I have not heard any news either way from the city. MEC VP emailed me though to tell me they are still going ahead in Burlington. I also saw a backhoe on site last week there. (probably demo'ing the current building on that lot).

I expected more from MEC. So sad.
 

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