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Barrington south
May 4, 2009, 6:04 PM
So if all goes smoothly this week at council then the shovel will be in the ground this summer.

:banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana:

sdm
May 4, 2009, 6:09 PM
Great to finally see those released! Is it not superb!

This is not exactly a government project. It is being done with private money and no government money. From what I understood at the meeting last week is that they were waiting for the agreement that was signed today. And the only other hurdle is HRM By Design. So if all goes smoothly this week at council then the shovel will be in the ground this summer.

Ok i am a bit lost here on how you come to the above.

Council is holding the first public meeting on HRM by design tomorrow. This is to span a few weeks. Then once that is complete council will debate the plan. While this goes on no new developments can be approved under the municpal act.

Furthermore, once HRM is approved by council i believe it still needs to be read in the house, from which it looks like will be the fall.

This development still is required to go through the development agreement process or HRM by Design process.

miesh111
May 4, 2009, 6:10 PM
F**kin' eh! That's amazing! I love it!

Jonovision
May 4, 2009, 6:21 PM
Ok i am a bit lost here on how you come to the above.

Council is holding the first public meeting on HRM by design tomorrow. This is to span a few weeks. Then once that is complete council will debate the plan. While this goes on no new developments can be approved under the municpal act.

Furthermore, once HRM is approved by council i believe it still needs to be read in the house, from which it looks like will be the fall.

This development still is required to go through the development agreement process or HRM by Design process.

Not exactly. This week is the public hearing for HRM By Design. So like any development application. It will be read at council tuesday night. The public will have their opportunity to give input. And Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings have been set aside for this public hearing. Once everyone in the public has had their say council will debate and then a vote will be cast. If it is approved then there is a required period that anyone may appeal under the grounds that the public hearing was conducted in an unlawful way. I believe the period is 14 days now, but I am not 100% sure. Once that period is over HRM By Design is officially passed and will become law.

And no, this development does not have to go through the regular development approval process as the final draft of HRM By Design has been amended to allow this development under the new rules. So once HRM By Design is passed this development will be as of right.

Jonovision
May 4, 2009, 6:23 PM
Also here is the article from the Herald that accompanies the magnificent renderings posted by steve61. It does say something about waiting until the fall, but I'm not sure they have that correct as there is no need for a formal construction proposal to my knowledge.

Details of new downtown complex unveiled

By STEVE PROCTOR Business Editor
Mon. May 4 - 12:15 PM


A view of proposed new Nova Centre from Argyle and Prince Streets. (Contributed)


A design of the proposed new Nova Centre, looking north from Sackville Street to Grafton Street. (Contributed)



A new $300-million convention centre and financial complex should be open in downtown Halifax within four years.

Rank Incorporated revealed plans for the project at a press conference Monday morning. The mixed-use property, located on the former Halifax Herald lands, has been in the works since February when the Ramia family-owned company was selected as the builder of choice for a new 50,000-square-foot convention centre at the heart of the project.

Occupying two city blocks, Nova Centre will consist of the convention centre, a hotel, a financial centre and retail and residential components. It will have 600 parking spaces and on total of 1.6 million feet of new construction.

It will be the single, largest construction in downtown Halifax in decades.

As part of the announcement, the province and the city signed a deal to work towards the construction of the convention centre.

"Conventions and major events have been an economic driver, creating jobs all over the province," Premier Rodney MacDonald said at the signing.

"Many provinces, including British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick, have expanded their convention centres or are building new ones. Nova Scotia needs to stay competitive, to bring the conventions here, and to keep the jobs and benefits in this province.”

It is expected Rank Group will submit a formal construction proposal soon that will be submitted to both governments for a decision by the fall.

A recent study conducted by the firm Criterion found that between June 1, 2007 and February 28, 2009, at least 60 international conferences decided not to come to Nova Scotia because the 25-year-old facilities at Halifax's World Trade and Convention Centre were deemed insufficient. This represented a loss of 45,855 delegates, 86,865 room nights and an estimated $65 million in overall economic impact.

"Halifax Regional Municipality is a proud partner with the province in leading this process to a successful conclusion," said Mayor Kelly said in a release. "By signing this memorandum of understanding, we are sending a clear message to our local businesses and to the world that we are open for business and will do what it takes to have a new convention centre built in Halifax. This project will help make our downtown and our municipality an even more attractive place to live, work and play."

The tourism industry is pleased as well.

"It will allow Nova Scotia to compete for lucrative events and conferences which will have a tremendous economic impact throughout the province. TIANS applauds the premier and mayor for making a clear commitment to investing in our province as a destination of choice," Darlene Grant Fiander, president of the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia (TIANS), said.

sdm
May 4, 2009, 6:36 PM
It does say something about waiting until the fall, but I'm not sure they have that correct as there is no need for a formal construction proposal to my knowledge.



There would be a formal process, be it current rules or HRM by Design process.

The only thing is HRM by design that was amended regarding this project was for it to be granted extra height if it had the convention centre attached. It didn't mean it doesn't have to go through the process of HRM by design, which will put it in front of the review panel etc.

Therefore the fall is the earliest i say we see something.

Empire
May 4, 2009, 7:05 PM
They can start ripping down the Herald building tomorrow. Wonder if they need any help?

Dmajackson
May 4, 2009, 7:30 PM
I love the look of it. :D

The only thing that could go very wrong is the arch over the road but I'm keeping my hopes up. :tup:

Dmajackson
May 4, 2009, 7:37 PM
I found this on the HRM by Design website. Its the official site plan for the New WTCC site;

Appendix B - Proposed World Trade & Convention Centre site plan (http://www.halifax.ca/capitaldistrict/documents/AppendixB.pdf)

Jonovision
May 4, 2009, 8:14 PM
I found this on the HRM by Design website. Its the official site plan for the New WTCC site;

Appendix B - Proposed World Trade & Convention Centre site plan (http://www.halifax.ca/capitaldistrict/documents/AppendixB.pdf)

Nice find. Also the roofs of both podium structures will be green roofs and accessible at least to some degree by building occupants and perhaps even the public.

On a side note, perhaps this thread should be moved to the main Downtown Projects section.

sdm
May 4, 2009, 8:21 PM
On a side note, perhaps this thread should be moved to the main Downtown Projects section.


Agreed

Dmajackson
May 4, 2009, 8:25 PM
Nice find. Also the roofs of both podium structures will be green roofs and accessible at least to some degree by building occupants and perhaps even the public.

On a side note, perhaps this thread should be moved to the main Downtown Projects section.

Thats nice to hear :)

In addition to moving it we should probably rename it to the correct format;

Nova Centre | ?m | 18 & 14 Floors | Proposed

or something along those lines.

Jonovision
May 4, 2009, 8:29 PM
There would be a formal process, be it current rules or HRM by Design process.

The only thing is HRM by design that was amended regarding this project was for it to be granted extra height if it had the convention centre attached. It didn't mean it doesn't have to go through the process of HRM by design, which will put it in front of the review panel etc.

Therefore the fall is the earliest i say we see something.

Are you certain of that? Mr. Ramia gave the distinct impression that passing HRM by Design would pass this development with it. We specifically asked him numerous times if it would have to go through another process and he kept telling us that it was linked to HRM by Design.

Dmajackson
May 4, 2009, 8:31 PM
I was just reading a statement by Peter Kelly and according to him the shovels could be in the ground by early July. :D

sdm
May 4, 2009, 9:33 PM
Are you certain of that? Mr. Ramia gave the distinct impression that passing HRM by Design would pass this development with it. We specifically asked him numerous times if it would have to go through another process and he kept telling us that it was linked to HRM by Design.

My understanding, and i guess it requires a review of the amendment passed by council, is yes it required to go through the process.

Again thats my understanding, but the document will shed light.

Might be changes coming though, the government has fallen.

Haliguy
May 4, 2009, 10:08 PM
I was just reading a statement by Peter Kelly and according to him the shovels could be in the ground by early July. :D


Well the fact the opposition just forced a provincial election might screw that up.

Halifax Hillbilly
May 4, 2009, 10:12 PM
I personally do not agree with the proposed heights for the development.

I rather see 8-9 stories, then down in areas like hollis, granville being 15-17.

Putting height so far up the hill throws the balance off in my opinion.

I agree it's a little too tall, I'd be more comfortable with buildings in the 12-13 storey range. The design is fairly underwhelming to me - they're mirrored glass towers with a bit of a bulge on one, and a square tower with some rounded corners. It steps up the hill really awkwardly.

That being said, it's MILES ahead of what I was expecting. Having the convention floor under Grafton is a good idea, and I like the concept of the ach over the street. I'm very happy there is going to be a residential component - downtown desperately needs people living there. Retail on all sides that aren't sloped is good, but the sides that are sloped are pretty awkard looking and appear to be dead zones. I'm hoping a lot of tweaking gets done because the result as currently shown (on the hills at least) would be similar to the Prince George or Cambridge Suites, which both deal with the hills pretty awkwardly. It has potential though.

Should be interesting at the least to watch this move forward.

Keith P.
May 4, 2009, 11:07 PM
Seems a shame that the Midtown proposal was shot down only to be replaced by something even more imposing and hulking. The design leaves me cold -- not awful, but not particularly good either.

And we have a HRM Councillor (Outhit) on another message board describing this as "an election promise" and ascribing partisan political motivations to the announcement today. Disappointing.

Takeo
May 4, 2009, 11:27 PM
It's ok. Nothing spectacular. But better than it could have been. The best part of it is that they are maintaining the street grid. That awning looks a little iffy to me however. Why does it need those skinny columns? Surely you could span that distance without the added supports. Although I'm not really sold on the idea of the awning at all. Seems an unnecessary contrivance. Unless of course it were designed by Calatrava (who's made a career out of awnings and atriums)... then it would be an award winning and stunningly beautiful unnecessary contrivance :-)

Anyway... major points for not creating a super-block... for having retail... and for replacing the bombed out parking lot and it's hideous cousin... the Herald Building. Overall, a good project.

Jonovision
May 5, 2009, 12:03 AM
That awning looks a little iffy to me however. Why does it need those skinny columns? Surely you could span that distance without the added supports. Although I'm not really sold on the idea of the awning at all. Seems an unnecessary contrivance. Unless of course it were designed by Calatrava (who's made a career out of awnings and atriums)... then it would be an award winning and stunningly beautiful unnecessary contrivance :-)


I don't know about you. But if I wanted to shop downtown in the middle of winter I would much rather do it on a covered street then on a wide opened poorly shoveled street.

coolmillion
May 5, 2009, 1:15 AM
I agree - neat buildings, but I'm not sure the design is right for that location. Imagine the impact of that slab high rise on Argyle st. The herald building seems imposing as it is and it's only 5 storeys. The set back helps a bit, but i think overall it will seem out of context with the surrounding area. It was only a few years ago that the midtown tower was proposed and shot down due to its height. Arguably the impact of these buildings will be greater because of their width. It'll be interesting to see how this pans out. I guess my main complaint is with the location. A site in near the cogswell interchange or near the Sea Port redevelopment would be much better.

someone123
May 5, 2009, 1:22 AM
I would say that it looks fairly good from an urban design perspective but well behind the times in terms of architecture.

What's the beige wall with "Nova Centre" on it? Precast? The design reminds me of a cheap resort hotel to be honest.

The glass canopy over Grafton Street is I think the best single feature of the proposal. Downtown Halifax needs more sheltered/covered areas, awnings, arcades (not sunk below street level), etc. They add interest and make it more pleasant to be outside.

I don't mind the location, but it seems like the 18 storey tower would look better if it were more slender..?

Keith P.
May 5, 2009, 1:59 AM
It's ok. Nothing spectacular. But better than it could have been. The best part of it is that they are maintaining the street grid. That awning looks a little iffy to me however. Why does it need those skinny columns? Surely you could span that distance without the added supports.

They need something to string the electrical and phone cables on... :cool:

Anyway... major points for not creating a super-block... for having retail... and for replacing the bombed out parking lot and it's hideous cousin... the Herald Building. Overall, a good project.

Actually upon further review it reminds me of an updated Scotia Square. Not a good connection.

Takeo
May 5, 2009, 2:13 AM
Actually upon further review it reminds me of an updated Scotia Square. Not a good connection.

Well... it certainly is big... and tall... but at least it's not creating a super-block... like Scotia Square did. It's also not turning it's back on the street... quite the opposite.

The canopy seems odd to me. A covered street with cars and trucks. I don't know. Seems odd. Better than closing it off though and making the street pedestrian-only. Maybe. Not sure. I think I'd ditch the canopy. Then again... I guess it's all in the execution... and those renderings are really rough.

someone123
May 5, 2009, 2:22 AM
I don't think it's very comparable to Scotia Square. It has retail fronting onto the street and there are pedestrian paths between blocks. Its footprint is also only about 1/3 as large.

I think it would tie together both ends of Grafton and probably won't hurt Argyle Street. Not sure what would go on Market Street, but it's currently totally dead.

I don't mind that it is farther up the hill. I think it will be a nice addition to the skyline and will tie together the downtown and Spring Garden Road areas a bit.

Hopefully there will be some tweaking.

Empire
May 5, 2009, 3:39 AM
One of the big questions is how much view is it blocking from the citadel even though HRM by Design rules will apply and major fights at public hearings will be minimized. The Midtown was shot down at 17fl but the HT said they might be able to live with 13fl. The midtown was orientated at 90deg to this building on the same site so less view was blocked of the Georges Island area. The layout does resemble Scotia Sq. with the tower heights similar. I hope the precast can be changed before we add more to our growing precast inventory in HRM. This project will be a major shot in the arm for a downtown in need of a boost.

sdm
May 5, 2009, 12:16 PM
New convention centre
Proposed $300-million Nova Centre, with 14-storey hotel, 18-storey office tower in downtown Halifax faces heritage challenge
By JUDY MYRDEN Business Reporter
Tue. May 5 - 6:12

Plans are underway by the Nova Scotia government and Halifax to bring a $300-million convention centre development to the downtown core by 2013.

Occupying two city blocks, Nova Centre would consist of the convention centre, a 14-storey hotel and 18-storey office tower, along with retail and residential units. It will have 600 parking spaces and 1.6 million sqaure feet of new construction.

Premier Rodney MacDonald said the city needs a new convention centre to replace the 25-year-old World Trade and Convention Centre.

"Every other province in the country has moved forward on a new convention centre," Mr. MacDonald told reporters Monday after a news conference. ""We are the ones that haven’t. This is going to provide a tremendous boost to the downtown. It’s going to revitalize the downtown."

Mr. MacDonald and Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly signed a memorandum of understanding to work toward making the convention centre a reality. Financial consultant Deloitte has been hired to prepare an independent cost estimate and business plan, and make an application to the federal government for funding.

Last month, the province and the city chose Nova Scotia-based Rank Group, led by developer Joseph Ramia, to build the complex.

Mr. MacDonald said the two levels of government must still work out the financial arrangements and get federal money for the project.

"In order to build this by 2013, we are going to have to see shovels in the ground over the next 12 months," said the premier.

He said a recent study shows that more than 60 international conferences have gone elsewhere with an estimated loss of $65 million in business.

Following financing arrangements, the Rank Group will submit a formal proposal to develop the new facility. It is expected that a report and recommendations regarding the award of a construction contract will be submitted to both governments for a decision by the fall.

Mr. Ramia told reporters after the news conference that he hopes to start putting shovels in the ground before July.

Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia opposes the proposed development and will be speaking against the project at a city council meeting tonight.

At that meeting, the city’s new planning strategy called HRM by Design will be reviewed for approval. If approved, the new convention centre will abide by the new height restrictions.

"The two towers would have a devastating impact on the view of Citadel Hill," said Phil Pacey on Monday.

"They would be higher than the ramparts of the Citadel."

Mr. Pacey said this proposal by Rank Group would block more of the view than the Midtown Tower that was rejected.

Eric Grant and members of his family applied to develop their Midtown Tavern site almost six years ago.

But although the Peninsula community council approved a plan for a 17-storey hotel for the property, heritage groups successfully appealed the decision.

The Midtown, located on the corner of Prince and Grafton streets, has been sold to Mr. Ramia as part of the land for the complex, and Mr. Ramia has extended an invitation for the tavern to be incorporated in the development.

Mr. Grant was on hand for Monday’s announcement and welcomed the proposal.

"It would be very interesting to see what could happen, maybe. At the moment, we’re having a hard time finding something that makes sense to relocate. We’ve been looking. It’s not as easy everyone thinks it is."

( jmyrden@herald.ca)

steve61
May 5, 2009, 12:29 PM
3 photos from this morning's paper. The first two are a bit redundant; just larger versions of the ones I posted yesterday. The third is a new angle with a street level view of the arch.


http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u25/zimmyfan61/nova2.jpg

http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u25/zimmyfan61/nova1.jpg

http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u25/zimmyfan61/nova3.jpg

Jonovision
May 5, 2009, 12:46 PM
And time for a tiny rant.....

I'm getting really pissed off by the paper lately. They are horrible at reporting development news. And that makes me think what the hell am I reading on issues that I don't know so much about. First off the hotel is 18 stories and the financial centre is only 14. And the fact that they printed misleading facts from Pacey is not cool at all. These will not affect the rampart views at all. No matter what happens in this city no one will be allowed to build within the View planes or within the ramparts. That will never change. They should really get people who care about these things to do the reporting as oppose to someone who is just jotting down facts and spewing them back out, whether right or wrong. And does it not seem odd to anyone else that there was no story today about HRM By Design going to council?

Market street will become pedestrian only. No vehicles will be underneath that canopy. They were also talking of putting public art or even an ice rink in the middle of the street in the winter time.

I don't think this will have a negative effect on Argyle. Right now I think the Herald building is so imposing because of its long full block without any store fronts. Once you get the convention centre entrance, the hotel entrance, and a store or restaurant or two then this will not feel nearly as overbearing as the Herald building does now. Even with the additional floors on top.

And with regard to a few of the precast comments. I'm praying that a project of this scale and magnitude will not be using precast. The design is still in a very fluid state and no materials have actually been chosen. I'm hoping that they will actually use a quality stone on the facade. Perhaps a nice limestone.

beyeas
May 5, 2009, 12:46 PM
I think the glass canopy is the most interesting feature by far.
Based upon the photos in the Herald, I would say they are planning on making it pedestrian only (based on the fact that they appear to have a fountain in the middle of the street). I personally feel that that is a great idea. Halifax is distinctly lacking in pedestrian streets/malls. I also like the canopy from the perspective of extending the season a bit given our maritime climate. I have seen this done really well in other places (Japan, California etc) and it can really work well.

sdm
May 5, 2009, 4:35 PM
[QUOTE=Jonovision;4232810]And time for a tiny rant.....

These will not affect the rampart views at all.


Actually i believe there is some concerns on the rampart views. This is where they won the Midtown appeal.

Furthermore the papers have quoted Ramia as saying it meets HRM by design, which is false and misleading. The project in fact does need to be passed by HRM by design.

Barrington south
May 5, 2009, 5:27 PM
And time for a tiny rant.....

I'm getting really pissed off by the paper lately. They are horrible at reporting development news. And that makes me think what the hell am I reading on issues that I don't know so much about. First off the hotel is 18 stories and the financial centre is only 14. And the fact that they printed misleading facts from Pacey is not cool at all. These will not affect the rampart views at all. No matter what happens in this city no one will be allowed to build within the View planes or within the ramparts. That will never change. They should really get people who care about these things to do the reporting as oppose to someone who is just jotting down facts and spewing them back out, whether right or wrong. And does it not seem odd to anyone else that there was no story today about HRM By Design going to council?

Market street will become pedestrian only. No vehicles will be underneath that canopy. They were also talking of putting public art or even an ice rink in the middle of the street in the winter time.

I don't think this will have a negative effect on Argyle. Right now I think the Herald building is so imposing because of its long full block without any store fronts. Once you get the convention centre entrance, the hotel entrance, and a store or restaurant or two then this will not feel nearly as overbearing as the Herald building does now. Even with the additional floors on top.

And with regard to a few of the precast comments. I'm praying that a project of this scale and magnitude will not be using precast. The design is still in a very fluid state and no materials have actually been chosen. I'm hoping that they will actually use a quality stone on the facade. Perhaps a nice limestone.

I agree jono with everything you said ....the skating rink would be a brilliant idea....especially since those douchebags in city hall will not give up their parking spots...


the F***up state of reporting is exactly the reason we need this new development group that wordly is proposing....we need to stand and fight for what we believe in...and we need to be just as vocal as the HT.....I have no qualms with fusion....and am considering joining, but there urban planning elements are not doing the job that needs to be done....I have no doubts that their intentions are good, but it's time to declare war on the enemies of a thriving Halifax

Barrington south
May 5, 2009, 5:35 PM
http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u25/zimmyfan61/nova3.jpg

I just love this aspect of the proposal...and the other retail that is involved....exactly what the core needs...and in fact that's why I favored the cogsewll site...downtown needs retail and residential,not just business.... however, if they think those nice birch tree's are going to get the proper amount of sunlight to live, I have some unfortunate news for them.....

Barrington south
May 5, 2009, 5:44 PM
[QUOTE=Jonovision;4232810]


Actually i believe there is some concerns on the rampart views. This is where they won the Midtown appeal.

Furthermore the papers have quoted Ramia as saying it meets HRM by design, which is false and misleading. The project in fact does need to be passed by HRM by design.

doesn't it fall under the cultural loophole of HBD,and therefore not have to be passed like a traditional development...that's how I understood it, I'm not sure though....ohhh and my arch nemesis....Tim Bousque....hates the cultural loophole and Say's it is large enough to drive a truck through.....so I hope that it does indeed fall under this stipulation, just to piss him off....and no doubt I'll be reading about it next Thursday

beyeas
May 5, 2009, 6:51 PM
My understanding of the issue of whether this project has automatic approval or not is the following:
All that the amendment proposed by council stated was that HRMbyDesign have its height restrictions relaxed to permit the proposed development. Basically, all it did was alter the allowed height on that site. However, it still much go through the standard HRMbyDesign approval process as spelled out in the document, in the same way that any proposal will go through the new process. That is, as long as it meets the height requirement, it can only judged upon it's design and massing elements etc. In fact, if you read the amendment it explicitly says that the convention centre will have to be submitted to the design panel that is created by HRMbyDesign, and will be judged on materials, massing etc etc etc.

Dmajackson
May 5, 2009, 7:53 PM
I really hope they do include the skating rink idea in this there aren't any cool winter features downtown right now.

As for the arch I do like it and it does look neat but trees would never survive in there because there's no sunlight and no rainfall.

What might be a cool idea is where the towers step back on the third or so floor it would be neat to open that up to the public somehow (like a garden, cafe, plaza). It would have some cool views to the Harbour.

Nilan8888
May 5, 2009, 8:32 PM
Interesting...

Just as a cautionary note -- the fall of the provincial government over not wanting to pay down the debt over funding services -- would that potentially have an effect on the timeline to seeing this built? Or are those funds a done deal?

Takeo
May 5, 2009, 8:49 PM
If there are no cars on that street, I'm okay with the canopy. Could actually be pretty cool. It would be weird to have cars there. It needs some work design-wise... but these are just rough 3D mockups.

someone123
May 5, 2009, 9:20 PM
They could easily put in irrigation for the trees.

I am tired of this obsession with rampart views, things being as high as the Citadel (this is NOT protected, only views from inside the courtyard from my understanding -- obviously you can see all kinds of modern buildings by looking out over the ramparts), etc. There are viewplanes that already severely restrict what can be built downtown. That is the compromise between development and preservation of views from the Citadel, not viewplanes plus whatever Phil Pacey happens to dislike.

HbD needs a cultural loophole, because from time to time there should be exceptional buildings to make the city more interesting. Again, it is about balance.

Finally this is a major project that looks like it could actually be built sometime soon and move the downtown out of 1986. I really hope this doesn't get messed up.

Keith P.
May 5, 2009, 10:53 PM
I really hope they do include the skating rink idea in this there aren't any cool winter features downtown right now.

As for the arch I do like it and it does look neat but trees would never survive in there because there's no sunlight and no rainfall.

My concern with the arch is that it really does look dark and dingy in there. Maybe the renderings don't do it justice.

What might be a cool idea is where the towers step back on the third or so floor it would be neat to open that up to the public somehow (like a garden, cafe, plaza). It would have some cool views to the Harbour.

Agreed, though in the places where that has been tried (i.e. the Homburg Bldg) it does not seem to be well-done or used properly.

someone123
May 5, 2009, 11:29 PM
I suspect that is a rendering issue. I guess they could go with dark glass for the top but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. As I mentioned a while ago, there is a similar canopy for the Seattle convention centre that has tall buildings on either side. I was there on a fairly cloudy November day (practically identical to the kind of November days Halifax gets) and it was fine.

The towers remind me a bit of the Eaton Centre towers in Toronto (250 Yonge St), which look okay, although the newer one of those is from 1992.

Here's a decent aerial from 2006 that shows the site. I think it would actually be very interesting to have buildings like that farther up the hill. They would make the city feel a lot bigger. I would like to see a bit of a re-assessment of what is 'downtown' Halifax -- the city is growing and the 1950 idea of having major commercial buildings below Barrington or whatever is out of date:

http://www.pbase.com/mucker/image/68361107/original.jpg

Why can't the city grow and evolve so that all those blocks are considered the 'CBD'? Argyle Street is nice, yes, but there's also Spring Garden Road, Gottingen, Agricola, Quinpool... why does the city have to remain static?

Dmajackson
May 6, 2009, 12:08 AM
^Well Agricola and SGR have grown nicely over the last decade and in my opinion Gottigen is starting its revitalization.

Lol, did anybody watch the responce to Phil Pacey's sppech? I think three different councillors corrected him, accused him of lieing and Fillmore had to restate for the third time the heights wouldn't rise near the Citadel. :haha:

Man the more I watch tonight the more I want the new development group in action.

HaliStreaks
May 6, 2009, 12:13 AM
Lol, did anybody watch the responce to Phil Pacey's sppech? I think three different councillors corrected him, accused him of lieing and Fillmore had to restate for the third time the heights wouldn't rise near the Citadel. :haha:

I missed it. damn!!

They're sitting it and bickering about when they are going to be continuing the hearing.... as usual...

ffs... they need to get their sh*t straight.

Empire
May 6, 2009, 12:20 AM
They could easily put in irrigation for the trees.

I am tired of this obsession with rampart views, things being as high as the Citadel (this is NOT protected, only views from inside the courtyard from my understanding -- obviously you can see all kinds of modern buildings by looking out over the ramparts), etc.

Mr. Pacey is choosing his words carefully. He knows that most people know that there is view protection from the ramparts but don't know exactly what that means.

That protection is measured 5.5ft. above ground from the centre of Parade Square inside the ramparts of the Citadel. A sight line is drawn from that point at 5.5ft and out over the edge of the wall of the Citadel. No building shall penetrate that sightline. When Mr. Pacey says that a building is as high as the ramparts he knows that the majority of people would think that that height is in violation of the sightline policy when in fact it could be as high as the ramparts but well below the sight line.

http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q7/empire1_2007/rampartviews.jpg

HaliStreaks
May 6, 2009, 12:37 AM
Mr. Pacey is choosing his words carefully. He knows that most people know that there is view protection from the ramparts but don't know exactly what that means.

That protection is measured 5.5ft. above ground from the centre of Parade Square inside the ramparts of the Citadel. A sight line is drawn from that point at 5.5ft and out over the edge of the wall of the Citadel. No building shall penetrate that sightline. When Mr. Pacey says that a building is as high as the ramparts he knows that the majority of people would think that that height is in violation of the sightline policy when in fact it could be as high as the ramparts but well below the sight line.

There are already 2 buildings visible from inside at a couple of spots anyway... at one point you can see "BDC 2000" clear as day, and from another spot you can see the aliant building too...

I know it's not in the centre of the square... but I just wanted to see for myself.

eastcoastal
May 6, 2009, 12:50 AM
Yes, a building can be taller than the ramparts and still keep below the limits imposed by the Ramparts Bylaw.

The height of 5'-5" above the surface of the parade square for where the sightlines are taken from is correct I believe. I think that there are a few (5-7?) spots on the parade square that are used.

It's true that you can currently see buildings that violate the Ramparts bylaw, but it is my understanding that they were built before the Bylaw was put into effect.

Empire: I'm sure Mr. Pacey is choosing his words carefully and doing whatever possible to stir up fear and opposition without out and out lying.

sdm
May 6, 2009, 1:07 AM
There are already 2 buildings visible from inside at a couple of spots anyway... at one point you can see "BDC 2000" clear as day, and from another spot you can see the aliant building too...

I know it's not in the centre of the square... but I just wanted to see for myself.

At least one of those buildings i believe cause the rampart view to be written. Seems Empire is the most up to speed on this.

What i find interesting is the herald lands were for sale for some period and weren't very attractive at the time. The reason being was the maximum height and capacity was limited to 8-9 stories due to views and rampart issues.

someone123
May 6, 2009, 1:22 AM
Only part of that site falls under the viewplanes and the ramparts bylaw allows much more than 8 or 9 storeys, as mentioned, particularly for the lower block.

The Midtown proposal was not in violation of any hard regulation -- nobody bothers proposing things like that.

As I've said many times before there is a lot of dishonesty in terms of what some heritage advocates say and in terms of how this "heritage vs development" debate is framed in the first place. There's no acknowledgment of the hard regulations that are considered untouchable and already represent a serious compromise. Pacey seems like a guy who will just push and push until the downtown isn't economically viable at all and the Herald doesn't seem up to the task of calling him out on it.

coolmillion
May 6, 2009, 7:37 AM
There's no acknowledgment of the hard regulations that are considered untouchable and already represent a serious compromise.

Careful now... Although there are "hard regulations," a number of the bylaws are ambiguous. They were intentionally left open to interpretation for a few reasons. The main one is that it was difficult to reach concensus in the process of developing the policies. The Midtown Tower was unsuccessful in large part because of a policy that stated something along the lines of development "in the vicinity of Citadel Hill" must be sensitive and complementary. Although it was clear of view planes there were a number of other relevant policies. In any case, I'm glad the Midtown wasn't built because it was a helluvan ugly building.

Barrington south
May 6, 2009, 2:02 PM
I am tired of this obsession with rampart views, things being as high as the Citadel (this is NOT protected, only views from inside the courtyard from my understanding -- obviously you can see all kinds of modern buildings by looking out over the ramparts), etc. There are viewplanes that already severely restrict what can be built downtown. That is the compromise between development and preservation of views from the Citadel, not viewplanes plus whatever Phil Pacey happens to dislike.

HbD needs a cultural loophole, because from time to time there should be exceptional buildings to make the city more interesting. Again, it is about balance.

Finally this is a major project that looks like it could actually be built sometime soon and move the downtown out of 1986. I really hope this doesn't get messed up.

Yes, I completely agree with everything you said someone

Barrington south
May 6, 2009, 2:20 PM
Mr. Pacey is choosing his words carefully. He knows that most people know that there is view protection from the ramparts but don't know exactly what that means.

That protection is measured 5.5ft. above ground from the centre of Parade Square inside the ramparts of the Citadel. A sight line is drawn from that point at 5.5ft and out over the edge of the wall of the Citadel. No building shall penetrate that sightline. When Mr. Pacey says that a building is as high as the ramparts he knows that the majority of people would think that that height is in violation of the sightline policy when in fact it could be as high as the ramparts but well below the sight line.

http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q7/empire1_2007/rampartviews.jpg

Empire, your defensive words of understanding towards pacey are reprehensible and furthermore make me sick to my stomach....your frequent and ferocious verbal attacks on Ben Mccrea made me question where your loyalties lie....even if you are against waterside.....you took it too far dude....and now this?!!....Pacey is consciously misleading the public to further his own twisted agenda...and here you are, in a calm and sympathetic tone explaining to to us, his method's of madness......:koko:

eastcoastal
May 6, 2009, 3:33 PM
Uh, I didn't take what Empire was saying as a defense of Phil Pacey, but rather an explanation of how he was deliberately misleading public perception and playing into people's fears that "the government" and "developers" are joining forces in backroom deals to subvert planning laws. Empire quite correctly points out that when Phil Pacey says something is taller than the ramparts it implies that it breaks the Ramparts Bylaws stirring up public opposition, when really the Ramparts Bylaws don't mean that. It leads to inaccurate reporting, and misinformation - even people in this forum read the quote from Phil Pacey to mean that the bylaws were being subverted.

Phil Pacey knows that he is misleading people. He knows it will stir up opposition. He tries to hide behind a non-profit society as a shield, implying that because HT is nothing more than a group of concerned citizens that they should be the voice of authority - and that we are not to trust developers, who are only after one thing; politicians, who are easily swayed; or city staff, who are in the pockets of developers and are actively seeking out chances to destroy Heritage buildings and our downtown.

hfx_chris
May 6, 2009, 3:33 PM
...made me question where your loyalties lie....
Loyalties? What is this, us versus them? Give me a break.
And somebody needs to calmly and cooly explain the rationale behind Pacey's ramblings. They may not be right and we may not agree with them, but that doesn't mean we have to all be worked up into a fit over it. What's your problem?

Barrington south
May 6, 2009, 4:31 PM
Loyalties? What is this, us versus them? Give me a break.
And somebody needs to calmly and cooly explain the rationale behind Pacey's ramblings. They may not be right and we may not agree with them, but that doesn't mean we have to all be worked up into a fit over it. What's your problem?

Is it a coincidence that the one time Empire holds back on criticism is when referring too "Mr" Pacey (whom he calls Mr. while choosing too refer too McCray as Ben McCray or even bennie) Empire has never in the past held back from stating his own opinion, like when he said Ben McCray should be banned from developing... yet chooses to in this occasion....this is Skyscraperpage, Chris, so why is it he always seems to be more concerned with heritage?....and of coarse, yes empire can support or not support anything he chooser's and say anything he likes....but that is not going to stop me from voicing my displeasure with some of the things he writes

Nilan8888
May 6, 2009, 6:04 PM
So, your argument is that he's insufficiently vitriolic?

MAybe Empire is lacking in the tar and feathers department towards Pacey when he's not towards McRea. But in pointing it out now you end up by implication saying arguments of needless anger and resentment are the favorable route to take towards Pacey when they shouldn't be. After all it would only give him more strength by making him or his heritage cause look like the victim, which is precisely the sentiment that's gotten him and the HT as much power as they have.

Instead of attacking Empire when he's reasonable, one should reserve it for when he's not being reasonable. After all it's not being reasonable to Mr Pacey that should be discouraged (even if he hasn't the decency to make reasonable arguments himself) but being unreasonable to Mr McRea.

DigitalNinja
May 6, 2009, 7:36 PM
I wanna see these buildings go up, there is no reason for them not to, and would add a lot to the city.

THEY BETTER GO UP!!!!

Dmajackson
May 6, 2009, 7:54 PM
I wanna see these buildings go up, there is no reason for them not to, and would add a lot to the city.

THEY BETTER GO UP!!!!

Now that is the attitude we need in this city!

Now just go tell the Paceys to stop stretching the truth and we'll be set :tup:

Waye Mason
May 6, 2009, 7:57 PM
I think its pretty ugly, and very 1990s. It reminds me of a jumped up 1801 Hollis. I think the covered street could look good, or could end up being a dirty, dark, abandoned space.

I would like to see the governments involved spend more money on higher quality cladding (cut stone, titanium or aluminum, something modern but high end) and better overall design.

5/10.

sdm
May 6, 2009, 8:22 PM
Now that is the attitude we need in this city!

Now just go tell the Paceys to stop stretching the truth and we'll be set :tup:

Yup we need this attitude.

One thing that is interesting though is mr pacey does have the rampart rules down. Again correct me if i am wrong, but didn't that cause the Midtown project to be squashed?

DigitalNinja
May 6, 2009, 9:01 PM
Yes and no. From my understanding it was canned because they put up to much fuss about it and the council just abandoned it eventually.

What I'd like to see if this replace the old WTCC and have room to extend the arena

Empire
May 6, 2009, 9:22 PM
Yup we need this attitude.

One thing that is interesting though is mr pacey does have the rampart rules down. Again correct me if i am wrong, but didn't that cause the Midtown project to be squashed?

No, the Midtown was squashed because it was determined it was out of scale with what little heritage buildings their are around it and the fact that the scale is supposed to step down from the hill or Brunswick street. At 17fl the scale did not step down enough but it was under the sightline from inside the ramparts. The height now is 14fl. and wider on the same site so it is still a stretch under the current policies. The plan is to go forward under a new HRM b design format that has excluded this site from its height limits of approx 7fl. for this general area

eastcoastal
May 6, 2009, 9:22 PM
Yup we need this attitude.

One thing that is interesting though is mr pacey does have the rampart rules down. Again correct me if i am wrong, but didn't that cause the Midtown project to be squashed?

I could be wrong, but I don't think the Midtown violated the Ramparts Bylaws. I believe the particular piece that stopped the (ugly, in my opinion... who builds a hotel tower in a location like that and leaves the side facing the ocean views windowless?) Midtown development was the interpretation of a part of the MPS that discussed the height of developments in the "vicinity" of Citadel Hill. The interpretation hinged on how many streets toward the water you had to go before you weren't in the "vicinity" of the hill anymore. I recall that the Utility and Review Board's ruling has since then been used as a measure of what vicinity means.

someone123
May 6, 2009, 9:24 PM
Yup we need this attitude.

One thing that is interesting though is mr pacey does have the rampart rules down. Again correct me if i am wrong, but didn't that cause the Midtown project to be squashed?

There are multiple related bylaws. There are the "hard" viewplane and ramparts bylaws and the Midtown proposal was in accordance with both of them. There are other MPS regulations open to interpretation, as mentioned above, and basically the Midtown was cancelled because it was deemed "too close" to the Citadel and too out of scale with nearby buildings. There were no hard numbers involved and there was no way for the developer to know going in what exactly would be expected -- that is a huge flaw with the development process in Halifax.

eastcoastal
May 6, 2009, 9:25 PM
Anyway, back to THIS proposal... I have to say I'm not a huge fan, but I'm cautiously optimistic. I think the material treatment leaves a bit to be desired (but have yet to experience anything of significant size built and be treated in any manner that could be described as current in downtown Halifax). I hope that the details encourage at-grade relationships with the street, but it's too early to tell (or the renderings don't say enough about that). I feel, as other commenters have noted previously, that the cladding seems a bit dated.

someone123
May 6, 2009, 9:27 PM
(ugly, in my opinion... who builds a hotel tower in a location like that and leaves the side facing the ocean views windowless?)

Interestingly enough, this is because the height restrictions allowed for an equally tall building at the north end of the adjacent lot. That combined area is taken up by the 14 storey tower in the convention centre development.

Empire
May 6, 2009, 9:49 PM
Interestingly enough, this is because the height restrictions allowed for an equally tall building at the north end of the adjacent lot. That combined area is taken up by the 14 storey tower in the convention centre development.

The sad part is that you can build to the property line. When you do that you are not permitted any windows due to fire code regulations. In the case of the midtown, council was willing to accept a building with a 17fl shear concrete wall facing the mouth of the harbour with no windows. The justification that something may be built to cover it doesn't work if a 10fl building is built. To counter this the building needs to be set back approx 5ft. to allow for windows. This should be required in most cases.

sdm
May 6, 2009, 11:12 PM
Yes and no. From my understanding it was canned because they put up to much fuss about it and the council just abandoned it eventually.

What I'd like to see if this replace the old WTCC and have room to extend the arena

i rather see a new arena and expand the WTCC into the old one.

hfx_chris
May 6, 2009, 11:35 PM
i rather see a new arena and expand the WTCC into the old one.
That was what I wanted right from the start... :shrug:

Anyway, I have to admit when I first say the renderings of this project I was underwhelmed. The buildings themselves don't really do much for me, and that arch is just retarded. A couple of pedways crossing at each end of the street would be nice, but the arch is just bizarre...

Empire
May 6, 2009, 11:44 PM
I think you might have to tear down the WTC & Metro Centre and start over to get 15000+ seats on that site. The current ice runs north/south with the ends with no upper bowl on Carmichael & Duke. If the ice ran east/west and was moved to the centre on the site you might get over 15000 seats. If that happened and you were connected to the new trade centre via a link through the Prince George you would have a mega complex.

sdm
May 7, 2009, 1:40 AM
That was what I wanted right from the start... :shrug:

Anyway, I have to admit when I first say the renderings of this project I was underwhelmed. The buildings themselves don't really do much for me, and that arch is just retarded. A couple of pedways crossing at each end of the street would be nice, but the arch is just bizarre...

Just think if we could get some of the port lands back, put a arena there, renovate the existing arena and WTC to be one large trade centre. Talk about getting the best of both worlds. Then we could be innovative by meeting the cooling capacity for the new arena using sea water. Not sure if any arena in the world would uses that.

Waye Mason
May 7, 2009, 10:38 AM
I think you might have to tear down the WTC & Metro Centre and start over to get 15000+ seats on that site. The current ice runs north/south with the ends with no upper bowl on Carmichael & Duke. If the ice ran east/west and was moved to the centre on the site you might get over 15000 seats. If that happened and you were connected to the new trade centre via a link through the Prince George you would have a mega complex.

There was a plan to re-arrange the Metro Centre so that an upper bowl was thrown out over Duke. That would add 1-3K seats, depending on final design. I would like to see a modest renovation of the metro centre, to add some seats, fix the exterior, update the interior, and make it so you can more easily back a 53' trailer into the building. Metro Centre is old enough that trailers were shorter, so it is a challenge for big bands to get their stuff inside.

I am not convinced we need a 15K seat arena. If we could get MC to 12-13K, and then also invest in Huskies Stadium so we had a multi-use stadium with say 5-10K seats and the option for 10-20K more temporary, we could stop talking about this!

Convention centre needs to happen. So do lower end hotels, maybe when they take Cogswell down we can put a Comfort Inn up there! :)

hfx_chris
May 7, 2009, 12:32 PM
*cough* new stadium at Shannon Park *cough*

;)

sdm
May 7, 2009, 12:54 PM
*cough* new stadium at Shannon Park *cough*

;)

Would make an awesome site, however you could hear the screams from downtown retail owners/ hotel owners now.

sdm
May 7, 2009, 12:55 PM
Convention centre needs to happen. So do lower end hotels, maybe when they take Cogswell down we can put a Comfort Inn up there! :)

Once the number of pending hotel come online, Nova Centre, Salters Street, Queens Landing, and there is another, many of the existing hotels will be considered lower end.

worldlyhaligonian
May 7, 2009, 9:51 PM
Would make an awesome site, however you could hear the screams from downtown retail owners/ hotel owners now.

Shannon Park is a good choice for that very reason... they are going to scream regardless of what happens.

Keith P.
May 8, 2009, 2:24 AM
*cough* new stadium at Shannon Park *cough*

;)


Lousy location. Cold, damp, windy, on the wrong side of the harbor from the majority of your customers, bridge tolls, likely typical screwed-up roadway access. Do something on the existing MC site (use the Forum for a year for hockey) and punch out a parking facility under Citadel Hill.

hfx_chris
May 8, 2009, 2:28 PM
Would make an awesome site, however you could hear the screams from downtown retail owners/ hotel owners now.
Halifax could never have room for a stadium downtown. An arena yes, but not a stadium.

Lousy location. Cold, damp, windy, on the wrong side of the harbor from the majority of your customers, bridge tolls, likely typical screwed-up roadway access. Do something on the existing MC site (use the Forum for a year for hockey) and punch out a parking facility under Citadel Hill.
I knew that was coming. The location is good, has excellent highway connections so people would be able to get in and out quickly (with modifications of course to the Princess Margaret Blvd ramps). Definitely not the wrong side, since there really is no right or wrong side, it's what an extra 2 minute drive across the bridge, it's not like I'm suggesting building it in Musquodoboit Harbour. Bridge tolls would be an issue no matter which side it's on, they do charge tolls for people going from Dartmouth to Halifax too you know. I don't see how the wind would be an issue, and no matter where it goes around here it's going to be cold and damp on cold and damp days.
If I recall, once upon a time you were suggesting the Halifax Forum site. Yeah, now there's a great location for getting cars into and out of it quickly. I can imagine the traffic tie-ups, much worse than Market Street when an event gets out at the MC. Piss poor highway connections too.
Your problem kp is you're assuming the majority of people who visit a stadium are coming from mainland Halifax. Maybe for the Moosehead games at the MC, but if a stadium were built with a CFL team representing the province (or maritimes), you would have people coming from all over Nova Scotia (and possibly a few from NB and PEI), so a location next to the highway would be ideal, but still close enough to the city so that it could truly be called a Halifax stadium, instead of a "Robert L Stanfield Airport Stadium" or something like that.

Anyway, I apologize for taking this discussion way off track...

Empire
May 8, 2009, 4:21 PM
Put the stadium in Africville c/w boardwalk hotel marina etc. It would be connected to Seaview park and there could be ferry shuttles to downtown. Barrington shuttles would be very efficient if Barrington St. north is ever brought into this century as a major commuter route.

Barrington south
May 8, 2009, 5:46 PM
I feel, as other commenters have noted previously, that the cladding seems a bit dated.

it's not just the cladding that contributes too the 15 year old feel to the nova center...the form of the the squarish slab like towers is anything but cutting edge and you could practical drape them in titanium and still have an outdated and uninspiring set of high rises.... the form a building takes , and the quality of materials used are very important factors in aesthetically pleasing, super modern architecture but also the way in which material's are used make a large contribution , for example, the way the podium has bands of blueish glass and the silver (metal?) just reeks of the 90's to me, now bluish glass and silver colored metal when used properly can definitely be cutting edge...not in this case though....and also...like someone123 said....the section with the sign appears to be prefab.....well, it could get worse....imagine stucco...

Wishblade
May 8, 2009, 6:03 PM
This article is from a couple of days ago, explaining how Mr. Ramia is confident despite the coming provinical election:

Vote no worry for Ramia

DESPITE the provincial election, developer Joe Ramia says he’s confident his new convention centre proposed for downtown Halifax, in partnership with the province and city, will proceed on schedule.

The fact that the $300-

million Nova Centre Global Trade and Finance complex was announced on the same day the government was defeated in the legislature was just a coincidence, as far as Ramia is concerned.

He told me on Tuesday that he has been very careful not to be political or link the project to one party over another.

The plan for the convention centre, which includes an 18-storey hotel and 14-storey office tower, was revealed at a ceremony during which Progressive Conservative Premier Rodney MacDonald and Mayor Peter Kelly signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to come up with financing for the convention portion of the development, which could amount to as much as $200 million. But Ramia says he was sure to give NDP Leader Darrell Dexter and Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil an advance peak, and both indicated they also supported it going ahead.

Even though it is just a memorandum of understanding, Ramia is confident that governments will be able to come up with the funds to support the development.

He has a permit that would allow for demolition of the former Herald building on Argyle Street to begin almost immediately but says, as a sign of support for HRM by Design, he will wait for city council to pass the final version of its new rules for downtown development before he starts any work.

Financial consultant Deloitte has been hired by the province and city to prepare an independent cost estimate and business plan, and make an application to the federal government for funding. Ramia told me on Tuesday he expects the Deloitte report will be completed by late May or early June, and then there will be "a little bit of negotiation" to come to a reasonable financial arrangement.

Aside from the Ramia family’s involvement in the project, there are several investors with deep pockets who are participating, but Ramia declined to identify them publicly. He says the level of excitement over this development has been building in Nova Scotia and across Canada and there have been many companies calling on him to see if they could participate.

Nova Centre will provide a total of 1.2-million square feet of space — which Ramia describes as being the equivalent to building another Purdy’s Wharf I and II, plus Cogswell Tower — to be completed by 2013.

Bob Mussett, senior vice-president of CB Richard Ellis Ltd., says the construction of a new convention centre is very important for downtown Halifax.

"I think the convention centre announcement is extremely positive on all kinds of levels. From the general business downtown, there is no question that as a city we need a larger facility and that it will be well-used. And, as part of that, we will see a lot more visitors and conventions come to the city, which will require more hotel rooms and which is part of Mr. Ramia’s plan, as I see it."

Ramia says there is already a market for the space in the new centre. On the strength of the government’s commitment to proceed, he says he is in final negotiations to secure commitments to lease 75 per cent of the available space.

steve61
May 8, 2009, 6:26 PM
it's not just the cladding that contributes too the 15 year old feel to the nova center...the form of the the squarish slab like towers is anything but cutting edge and you could practical drape them in titanium and still have an outdated and uninspiring set of high rises.... the form a building takes , and the quality of materials used are very important factors in aesthetically pleasing, super modern architecture but also the way in which material's are used make a large contribution , for example, the way the podium has bands of blueish glass and the silver (metal?) just reeks of the 90's to me, now bluish glass and silver colored metal when used properly can definitely be cutting edge...not in this case though....and also...like someone123 said....the section with the sign appears to be prefab.....well, it could get worse....imagine stucco...

I hadn't noticed it before someone earlier in this thread pointed it out, but the overall layout really does remind me of a smaller scale Scotia Square (just replace brutalist concrete with glass). Having looked down at the view of Scotia Square from my apartment over the past 10 years, I can say I've never been a fan. The longer I have to digest this rendering, the more I hope this design is still open to some changes.

Takeo
May 8, 2009, 8:36 PM
Put the stadium in Africville c/w boardwalk hotel marina etc. It would be connected to Seaview park and there could be ferry shuttles to downtown. Barrington shuttles would be very efficient if Barrington St. north is ever brought into this century as a major commuter route.

I admire your 'outside the box' thinking... but there's not enough room in that location. That's a very narrow strip of land. It might be 100 meters wide at the widest spot.

Halifax Hillbilly
May 8, 2009, 11:59 PM
Only part of that site falls under the viewplanes and the ramparts bylaw allows much more than 8 or 9 storeys, as mentioned, particularly for the lower block.

The Midtown proposal was not in violation of any hard regulation -- nobody bothers proposing things like that.


The rampart bylaw and the viewplanes are also bolstered by some height restrictions within three blocks of the Citadel. The Midtown wasn't in a viewplane, but it was certainly within the three block area where building heights are limited due to proximity to the hill. One block below the hill, the 'soft' maximum is 4 floors; the height limit increases in an undefined manner as you move away from the hill. A 17 storey tower one block from a 4 floor limit is pretty amibitious. Personally I think they were nuts trying to get the Midtown approved. I don't agree with HT often, but the Midtown was pretty clearly breaking the rules and community council never should have approved it. URB made a good call in overturning council.

HRMbyDesign isn't getting rid of the Viewplanes, so if Nova Centre is in a viewplane, and gets approved, this could turn into quite a shit show.

DigitalNinja
May 9, 2009, 1:53 PM
I dunno, I really don't mind the cladding it could have a little something more done to it. But it's not as bad as other developments, like scotia square which everyone is comparing it to. I really enjoy the possibility for this to revitalize the area and bring more people down town. I very rarely get up there, spring garden and barrington is where I confine myself to. And the board walk.

Jonovision
May 9, 2009, 2:54 PM
I don't think the cladding looks that bad either. Sure its not bold ground breaking architecture. But if you look in most North American cities the vast majority of projects aren't ground breaking or ultra modern either. That's no excuse. But I still think its a good design. I like the look of the financial tower. The way the renderings show it, it looks like the facade on the sides of the tower are almost like one giant pannel. It's kinda cool. And my understanding from talking with Ramia is that the design is still quite fluid and open to change.

worldlyhaligonian
May 9, 2009, 4:24 PM
I don't think the cladding looks that bad either. Sure its not bold ground breaking architecture. But if you look in most North American cities the vast majority of projects aren't ground breaking or ultra modern either. That's no excuse. But I still think its a good design. I like the look of the financial tower. The way the renderings show it, it looks like the facade on the sides of the tower are almost like one giant pannel. It's kinda cool. And my understanding from talking with Ramia is that the design is still quite fluid and open to change.

Yeah, its a generic rendering, the cladding will probably be decent.

Barrington south
May 9, 2009, 4:39 PM
wordly, I think the first project for HDC should be trying to get a more modern redesign of the nova center to happen.... there are many feature's that make this a great project for hali, and I think we should voice our support for these aspects , while at the same time gently acknowledging, that a more mode architecturally updated project, that maintains these positive features, would be most beneficial for Halifax in general and make the project much more of a signature development...what are your thoughts on this?....the reason I think this should take precedent, is because it is going to be such a major milestone for Halifax, and it seems that it is going to happen in the very near future....i Think now is the time to start making a difference....your thoughts?

worldlyhaligonian
May 9, 2009, 5:23 PM
i think we need more info and better renderings... overall i find the distribution of the land to be efficient.

the atrium feature has utility given our climate and adds an interesting feature to the street... i think the design is actually so cliche that it will be landmark.

time will tell when we get more concrete (sorry about the pun) details.

someone123
May 9, 2009, 8:19 PM
The rampart bylaw and the viewplanes are also bolstered by some height restrictions within three blocks of the Citadel. The Midtown wasn't in a viewplane, but it was certainly within the three block area where building heights are limited due to proximity to the hill. One block below the hill, the 'soft' maximum is 4 floors; the height limit increases in an undefined manner as you move away from the hill. A 17 storey tower one block from a 4 floor limit is pretty amibitious. Personally I think they were nuts trying to get the Midtown approved. I don't agree with HT often, but the Midtown was pretty clearly breaking the rules and community council never should have approved it. URB made a good call in overturning council.

HRMbyDesign isn't getting rid of the Viewplanes, so if Nova Centre is in a viewplane, and gets approved, this could turn into quite a shit show.

I don't think the towers are in any viewplanes.

There are plenty of buildings along Brunswick Street that are much taller than four floors. I agree that the Midtown was pushing it (originally actually 19 I think..?) but the new proposal is only 14. I personally think that would look totally fine, particularly since the viewplanes prevent the construction of a big wall of taller buildings near the Citadel - this is likely the only development of that scale that would go up in that specific area for a long time.

Takeo
May 9, 2009, 8:31 PM
wordly, I think the first project for HDC should be trying to get a more modern redesign of the nova center to happen....

Well... the design firm is FWB (http://www.fbm.ns.ca/) (Citadel High)... which is a local firm that does solid work. It will be a decent building... actually a good building... but I wouldn't expect anything ground-breaking. It's not going to be published. Personally... I'd love to see Brian (http://www.mlsarchitects.ca/) engaged in a large project for Halifax. Not withstanding the dull exterior of the Dal Computer Science Building... he creates consistently award-wining, well-published, world class work. And he's a local kid!?!?! His work for Brock University and U of T is awesome.

someone123
May 9, 2009, 10:04 PM
The Dal CS Building is kind of dull looking from outside but the interior works well (I don't want to know how many hours I spent in there.. :)) and overall I think it is attractive. It would be nice if Brian MacKay-Lyons designed the new library.

I agree with your assessment of Fowler Bauld & Mitchell. Some of it comes down to the quality of projects the firms get, budgets, and what clients ask for. Buildings paid for by the govt of NS for example are not going to be on par with corporate trophy buildings (of which there is maybe only one in the whole city, and it is from the 1930s).

I do think the project would look pretty decent if the ground floor were simply opened up a bit.

Beyond that, the reality is that Halifax has seen very very little construction downtown in decades. It would be a mistake to build garbage but people who want perfect proposals are probably going to be waiting for a while (United Gulf and the Salter Block are nice but they have yet to be actually built).

Takeo
May 9, 2009, 10:39 PM
I agree with your assessment of Fowler Bauld & Mitchell. Some of it comes down to the quality of projects the firms get, budgets, and what clients ask for. Buildings paid for by the govt of NS for example are not going to be on par with corporate trophy buildings.

Oh yes... of course. To some degree you're only as good as your clients. And the way to end up doing great "trophy" projects is to only accept those kinds of projects. But that's much easier said than done.

As for the Dal CS building... I heard that it was originally designed as a glass box... but Dal insisted on using that ugly metal cladding because it was a great deal and would save them a crazy amount of money. I have no idea if that's true.

ScovaNotian
May 9, 2009, 11:39 PM
As for the Dal CS building... I heard that it was originally designed as a glass box... but Dal insisted on using that ugly metal cladding because it was a great deal and would save them a crazy amount of money. I have no idea if that's true.

I think the reason they scrapped the glass was the fear of high costs for heating and cooling, not so much that of the material.

Jringe01
May 10, 2009, 1:04 AM
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Geeze what a time to not be living in Halifax... :-(

The Nova Center could serve as a catalyst for more construction downtown and it will make a welcome addition to the skyline

Keepin my fingers crossed.

someone123
May 10, 2009, 2:02 AM
As for the Dal CS building... I heard that it was originally designed as a glass box... but Dal insisted on using that ugly metal cladding because it was a great deal and would save them a crazy amount of money. I have no idea if that's true.

I am not sure of all of the details but the Dal CSB was definitely rushed when first built. Apparently it was originally down below the management building in terms of construction projects. I believe it may have gone ahead without some university funding as a result. Not sure if that decision was made before or after decisions like what to use for cladding, etc.

Dmajackson
Jun 8, 2009, 11:13 AM
Last round for Midtown owner
Grant says family atmosphere took downtown tavern a long way
By BILL SPURR Features Writer | Five Questions
Mon. Jun 8 - 4:46 AM

The closing date isn’t absolutely final, but as it stands now, June 25 is the last day the Midtown Tavern will be open for business at the corner of Grafton and Prince streets, where it’s been since 1949.

The building will be demolished to make way for the city’s new convention centre, but Eric and Bob Grant, sons of owner Doug Grant, will move the business to a new location just down the street.

Eric Grant has been working at the Midtown for 31 years.

Q. When you turn the locks here for the last time, what will you miss the most about this space, this room?

A. I’m not going to say the people, because the people are hopefully going to follow us somewhere else. I can walk around this place with my eyes closed, you know where everything is. That’s going to be the issue, going somewhere else. I know where everything’s at around here, same as Dad knew where everything’s at. That’s one thing.

Q. You had the chance to have a tavern in the new convention centre, you considered moving somewhere else and you thought for a while it must just be the end of the Midtown. When you were considering all those options, what were the factors that you were weighing?

A. Besides the fact that I’m 50 and most of the guys around here are the same, or close, it’s tough to start something new at this stage of the game. Nobody here is ready to retire. They’re just trying to make a living and pay the bills, us included. The Midtown is Doug Grant, and what it’s become would never have got done if it hadn’t been for my dad’s hard work, treating people right, getting the bad people out of here, getting rid of them, so the nice people can come here and not worry about who’s sitting there behind them, like you have to at some places.

Q. Now that you’ve decided where you’re going to go, when you get there, will you try to duplicate the look of this place?

A. We’re going into business with the guys down there. It’s going to be sort of, we think, the best of both worlds in a way. We’re going to try to be the Midtown. We don’t do much business late at night. We close at 11. Food shuts down at quarter after 10 and we’re going to try and keep that going the same way. It’s going to be us and our menu and our food and we’ll do what we do, which we think we do pretty good, up until 10-10:30 at night. John and Scotty, who own Boomers — we’re going into a partnership with them — will do their thing at nighttime. They do what they do late at night, and they do half-decent, three or four nights a week. Hopefully, that’ll get better, some of our customers might decide to stay when they’re having a good time, maybe have a couple of drinks, maybe dance.

Q. What will it be called?


A.The Midtown sign will be outside there and it’s going to be in the name somewhere. It’s gotta be. We’ve got a loyal bunch of customers who are telling me and telling the guys here, this has got to be somewhere, and we will come.

Q. What is it that makes people feel so strongly about this place?

A. When people are heading out the door, (they get) ‘See ya, guys. Thanks,’ whether I got to holler it across the tavern or what. They turn, ‘You’re welcome. See ya later.’ My wife says that goes a long ways. I tell people, it’s kind of corny, but it’s a big family around here. There’s people that just want us to say hi and serve them, there’s people that expect to get both barrels and if I don’t give it to them, they say ‘What’s wrong with you?’ Everybody’s different. I had a guy here this afternoon, he came in with a picture of his son sitting on the bar 11 years ago. He was eight years old. Today, he had his beer at the Midtown, proud as a peacock to be here with all his dad’s buddies. He had three beer. I forced the third one on him. I get guys who come here when they’ve had a bad day, and it’s kind of nice to be that crutch for people sometimes.

Wishblade
Jun 8, 2009, 11:50 AM
This place is closing sooner than I would have thought. Perhaps construction on this is going to happen quicker than I expected...

sdm
Jun 9, 2009, 1:11 AM
This place is closing sooner than I would have thought. Perhaps construction on this is going to happen quicker than I expected...

Anyone figured out what happens to this if the election is say another government ie NDP?

Dmajackson
Jun 9, 2009, 1:34 AM
Anyone figured out what happens to this if the election is say another government ie NDP?

If it is the NDP I'd wager to say the money will probably be safe. The NDP is largely based out of HRM so anything to benefit their voters will probably be supported.

But my theory is the Midtown is moving out so the owners can demolish the buildings to save property tax charges.

Haliguy
Jun 9, 2009, 2:00 AM
If it is the NDP I'd wager to say the money will probably be safe. The NDP is largely based out of HRM so anything to benefit their voters will probably be supported.



Dont count on that...I can just hear it now. the money would be better to go into keeping ER's open they will be saying.