A local organization could be the solution to Hamilton’s Auchmar House woes.
City council has been looking for a not-for-profit organization to lease the historic site at the corner of Fennell and West 5th long term.
Back in July, The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry met with the city to propose creating the XIIIth Battalion Auchmar Trust, which would transform the Auchmar manor into an inn, a brew house and restaurant, conference centre for weddings and other events, and much more.
The deadline for potential offers was closed August 31.
The RHLI is the only organization that came forward and is currently in discussion with the city.
Sergeant Brian Buckles says a business plan is in development.
“We want to make sure we do this right, that every step is well thought out and well planned,” he said, “The city has given us a year, but we’re hoping to have it done by the spring.”
Buckles adds the proposed plan aims to celebrate the house’s history and original owner Isaac Buchanan, while making it viable for the future.
Buckles along with Lieutenant Richard Moll presented their proposal to the public at the Friends of Auchmar’s public meeting at the Hamilton Club Thursday.
Pat Baker says the proposed restoration and upgrades will bring people to the city, “It could be very beneficial to Hamilton, particularly bringing people in from out of town. It is an absolutely unique piece of architecutre, plus we need something like this on the mountain.”
The Auchmar Manor House is in Councillor Terry Whiethead’s ward.
He thinks the proposal is inspiring.
The RHLI is looking to meet with the city sometime in November.
The city estimates Auchmar will need about $8-million in restorations, but with everything they want to do, Buckles says it’s closer to $14-million.