Former No. 6 shed being turned into event space by City
The City of Hamilton has launched a renovation effort to bolster a Front Street event space.
Patrick Cooper, City Engineer, said the Corporation hopes to reopen the former No. 6 Shed for the Christmas season with a host of improvements to make it a better rental space for event organisers.
“We thought this was an ideal time. During Covid-19 there are not a lot of events on, so taking the space offline and developing it while there isn’t as much demand makes sense,” Mr Cooper said.
“We also think that the island is going to be in need of event space – all the event space at the Southampton Princess has gone offline, so we thought this could fill a niche.
“Is it speculative? Yes, but we think it’s a good bet, and bringing the space up to a higher quality will attract bigger and better things.”
The Front Street building has long been used as a cruise ship terminal, however about ten years ago the City moved the terminal to the lower floor and began to rent the top floor as a space for events.
Mr Cooper said: “We thought it was a better fit because the passengers were already coming in at the lower level, so instead of having them walk upstairs to go into the terminal they would stay downstairs.
“That gave us the upstairs area and the outdoor balcony, which became a good event venue.
“We went through two event companies who ran the space for almost ten years, and over those years it became apparent that it needed upgrades.
“Events are pretty hard on buildings, and it isn’t the newest building – I have seen drawings that suggest elements of the building are over 100 years old. It has had new roofs put on it and things, but it has been there a long time.”
Mr Cooper said during the pandemic the municipality debated the future of the building and the marketing and communication’s team proposed keeping it as an event space for the city.
He said the City worked with local architects to develop a plan for the building that would fully take advantage of the perks of the location and address the challenges of the building.
The renovated building will include a bar area and a catering kitchen, while the main event hall will include a stage on the western side.
“The whole space will be air-conditioned, which it hasn’t been in the past,” he said.
“We are also working to make sure the outdoor patio feels more connected to the space – there will be a lot more glass.”
Mr Cooper said building will also include a corridor separating the main hall from the entrance and bathrooms to reduce the impact of road noise.
He added that the City was considering opening up a stairwell that would allow event organisers to use both floors of the building when there is not a cruise ship in port.
“It also helps because if you are running a bigger event, there are additional bathrooms downstairs,” he added.
He said it was initially hoped that the work would be completed in time for the World Triathlon Series in October, but after delays they are now aiming for an early December opening day.
Those interested in using the space for events when it is completed are invited to e-mail email@example.com for information.
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