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Only 37 acres are left over on the bay following Stelco’s surprise decision to reacquire mothballed Hilton works land. The city expects to make an offer for the remaining vacant harbour steel lands following a surprise move by Stelco to reacquire most of the vast mothballed Hilton works property. A court-monitored restructuring deal last summer saw Bedrock Industries take over U.S. Steel Canada's operations in Hamilton and rebrand as Stelco. That same deal made Stelco 2.0 a tenant on the bayfront, with a land trust mandated to sell off about 500 acres of vacant land in the interests of steel pensioners. But earlier this month, Stelco surprised the city by earning court permission to buy back most of the harbourfront steel lands — minus three small parcels that combined make up about 37 acres. Mayor Fred Eisenberger expressed frustration with the lack of government consultation ahead of the deal, suggesting Hamilton was "screwed" and "straight-armed out of the process" by the outgoing provincial Liberal government. He told members of the city's newly resurrected steel committee he hopes to meet with Stelco head Alan Kestenbaum soon to talk about the company's plans for the land. That meeting could happen as early as Wednesday. The company has said in a news release that it plans to use the land for steel-related purposes and other as-yet unidentified uses. The mayor added he thinks the city should make a play for the remaining acreage. Steel committee chair Sam Merulla, the Ward 4 councillor, went further, vowing to bring forward a motion later this week calling for the city to "aggressively" pursue the three remaining parcels. Those include 20 acres facing Burlington Street, a 15-acre parcel closer to the bay and a two-acre plot further west, near the city-owned Barton-Tiffany lands. "It's really about trying to assert some control over the local planning process," Merulla said after the meeting. "The city's vision is to maximize the employment footprint on those lands. ... Warehousing will do squat for employment in this city." Source-www.thespec.com
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