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Hali87
Dec 12, 2011, 11:48 PM
It would be nice if the St. Pat's-Alexandra redevelopment could accomodate the Friendship Centre and the clinic - I wonder if either group has approached the developer? I've noticed that there's often an artificial "us-against-them" mentality between non-profit and for-profit groups that often results in them not even bothering to try to come up with a plan that both can be happy with. Or the city could use density bonusing; maybe the developer could build 2 extra floors, for example, as long as one of the floors is for non-profit groups.

JET
Dec 13, 2011, 1:38 PM
The Micmac Friendship Center is an unsightly dump and a drag on the area and should be demolished. As for the community health clinic, how can they need an entire school? That is a large building complex and to state that it should be handed over to them is bureaucratic empire-building at its best. Of course, they have no way to maintain something that large so they would soon be back knocking on the taxpayers door for more money. We don't need more run-down buildings in this part of town, thanks.

Keith, The North End Clinic has always maintained their buildings and makes some effort to do so. They just recently fixed up the front of their building, even though it wasn't looking all that shabby. Taxpayers do fund the clinic, the same as we fund hospitals and doctors offices. The Northend Clinic has always provided an excellent service to a very large and mixed population. The Friendship Centre and the clinic probably could have utilized the whole school, doubtful that the clinic would use all that space on their own, unless they moved all their services there.

Jonovision
Dec 13, 2011, 3:50 PM
It would be nice if the St. Pat's-Alexandra redevelopment could accomodate the Friendship Centre and the clinic - I wonder if either group has approached the developer? I've noticed that there's often an artificial "us-against-them" mentality between non-profit and for-profit groups that often results in them not even bothering to try to come up with a plan that both can be happy with. Or the city could use density bonusing; maybe the developer could build 2 extra floors, for example, as long as one of the floors is for non-profit groups.

I have heard that the developer has talked to the groups and wants to work with them. If awarded the site he would go through another process similar to that undertaken for Fenwick Tower.

someone123
Dec 13, 2011, 5:47 PM
That seems like a reasonable way to proceed, although some undesirable nonprofits would probably have a hard time making a deal with a developer. Not sure if the clinic or Friendship Centre qualify.

It makes far more sense to take a step back and create new mixed-use developments than it does to simply shoehorn public uses into existing aging buildings.

JET
Dec 13, 2011, 7:51 PM
That seems like a reasonable way to proceed, although some undesirable nonprofits would probably have a hard time making a deal with a developer. Not sure if the clinic or Friendship Centre qualify.

It makes far more sense to take a step back and create new mixed-use developments than it does to simply shoehorn public uses into existing aging buildings.

do you have a list of desirable and undesirable non-profits? I'm sort of wondering how you decide what list to put them under. I worked for a non-profit for twenty years, so you've piqued my curiosity.

someone123
Dec 13, 2011, 8:14 PM
do you have a list of desirable and undesirable non-profits? I'm sort of wondering how you decide what list to put them under. I worked for a non-profit for twenty years, so you've piqued my curiosity.

My personal list doesn't matter, and I don't know enough about these particular places to say either way. Here in Vancouver there are SROs and drug clinics that I would not want to live close to. Those blocks are so bad that there are people doing drugs and engaging in prostitution on the street or in alleys. It is a kind of continual horror show. I don't think anybody would choose to live around there. Thankfully, Halifax is not nearly as bad, but my point is that, political correctness aside, there are pretty clear-cut "undesirable" buildings and public institutions.

I would guess that developers have a handle on what does or does not scare off potential tenants or buyers of their buildings. That's what's important when looking at development potential of a property.

The need to support nonprofits is also a liability if they're not covering the costs. The site worth $4M as an empty lot might be worth very little if it requires demolition of a major building and comes with other strings attached (including development restrictions). No doubt that is a factor in why there are so many empty properties in that area.

JET
Dec 14, 2011, 5:49 PM
plan to replace halifax Hospital

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2011/12/14/ns-centennial-hospital.html

spaustin
Dec 15, 2011, 12:14 AM
plan to replace halifax Hospital

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2011/12/14/ns-centennial-hospital.html

If they're going to consolidate at the QEII great. Maybe we can stitch Tower Road back together. I just hope that if they're going to take the building down, the site doesn't sit empty being squandered under government ownership. If the track record for the old infimary is illustrative, I think we can count on a solid redevelopment around 2025-2030.

ScovaNotian
Dec 15, 2011, 1:04 AM
The building they are planning to tear down wouldn't be the one they put new siding on only a year a two ago, would it?

Waye Mason
Dec 15, 2011, 2:28 AM
There are a lot of buildings on that site in addition to the Centennial. Technically the Jubilee wing, the older wing, is not mentioned, so that is the one with windows instead of glass walls, to the north.

There is also the old nurses dorm, and of course the research building and the Dickson, where a lot of lab/diagnostic stuff is, then you get into IWK and the Grace farther west.

I wonder what that press release means. I think it would be hard to take down just the Centennial wing.

kph06
Dec 15, 2011, 2:50 AM
This is an interesting site. (http://rootarchitecture.ca/) It is an architecture firm with a few proposed projects, most of which are on the peninsula, but no addresses, it would be interesting to try to figure out the locations.

pblaauw
Dec 15, 2011, 4:26 AM
The IWK-Grace is not part of the Capital District Health Authority. It's a seperate entity.

Waye Mason
Dec 15, 2011, 12:14 PM
The IWK-Grace is not part of the Capital District Health Authority. It's a seperate entity.

Yep. Not talking about corporate structure, talking about what is on that block of land.

The Metro today said it is Centennial AND Jubilee being torn down, so that whole end of the property.

q12
Dec 15, 2011, 12:27 PM
From the thechronicleherald.ca:

VG's Centennial building to be demolished under new upgrade plan
December 14, 2011 - 3:35pm BY CLARE MELLOR STAFF REPORTER

http://thechronicleherald.ca/sites/default/files/imagecache/ch_article_main_image/articles/centennial2.jpg
http://thechronicleherald.ca/sites/default/files/imagecache/ch_article_main_image/articles/centennial2.jpg
The Centennial building, shown here, at the Victoria General Hospital site, is expected to be demolished as part of a plan by the Nova Scotia government to upgrade upgrade Capital Health's aging infrastructure. (TIM KROCHAK / Staff)

UPDATED: 8:45 p.m.

The province says it has plans to demolish the main Victoria General building in Halifax and bring specialized inpatient medical services under one roof at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre.

It is all part of a decision to modernize and upgrade aging health-care facilities in the Capital district health authority — the province’s largest — over the next five years, however, estimated costs and the timeline for the project aren’t yet known.

Read more here: http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/42781-vgs-centennial-building-be-demolished-under-new-upgrade-plan

beyeas
Dec 15, 2011, 12:41 PM
Yep. Not talking about corporate structure, talking about what is on that block of land.

The Metro today said it is Centennial AND Jubilee being torn down, so that whole end of the property.

Yeah it would definitely have to be both the Centennial and Jubilee. Much of what is in the Dickson can remain as is. It is really a matter of centralizing those aspects that are tertiary care under one roof, and the testing labs, and outpatient clinics can remain.

One complication that I can think of is that although much of the routine Nuclear Medicine is in the Dickson, the PET/CT is in the Victoria and the associated cyclotron which was just installed in specially renovated space is in the Centennial. Too bad, because it is a serious amount of money that was spent creating those lab/imaging spaces.

JET
Dec 15, 2011, 1:26 PM
The building they are planning to tear down wouldn't be the one they put new siding on only a year a two ago, would it?

The siding was put on to make it fit for use until it is torn down. The Centennial has the patient floors and is seen as the first priority. I would expect that the parking lot would revert to public land (park) and the current building land would be used for other hospital uses; maintaining some building around the PET/CT.

http://www.whwarchitects.com/projects/healthcare/capital_health/main.html

Hali87
Dec 15, 2011, 4:06 PM
From yesterday's Herald:

A public hearing would be held at the rezoning stage, said Coun. Russell Walker (Fairview-Clayton Park), and that would provide a chance for residents to tell the municipality what they would like to see at that location.

Jono Developments has proposed a mix of residential, affordable housing and community space. At least five to 10 per cent of the project would be set aside for community or non-profit groups.

Joe Metlege, president of Jono Developments, said he wants the site to be an organic part of the community and said he approached the Micmac Native Friendship Centre in the summer to see if they could submit a joint bid.

Metlege said he intends to meet with community stakeholders to hear about their vision for the development.

"I want to get a good understanding of what (the community’s) aspirations are, and also what their concerns are," he said. "If there are bigger issues between the community and the city, it may be, but as far as this particular site is concerned, I can only see great optimism and great opportunity for everyone."

Full story http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/42666-%E2%80%98shame-shame-shame%E2%80%99-pastor-berates-council-over-school-sale

I'm optimistic about the next paradigm of developments in Halifax. It's funny but I actually know some of the big development families from having gone to school and playing sports with their kids growing up (although in many cases these same kids are the ones taking over now!). Namely the Metleges, the Fares and the Spatzs. From what I remember they were all very down-to-earth people and from what I've seen in the media they have a legitimate interest in making this city a better place to live.

Hali87
Dec 15, 2011, 4:48 PM
This is exactly what I meant when I said "artificial us-against-them mentality"...

From today's Herald:

Councillors relied on a staff report and recommendation to make its decision, but Moloney said it was her understanding that none of the city councillors read what was in the proposals presented by the community groups.

Moloney said her group presented two proposals. The first, made jointly with the Micmac Native Friendship Centre, would have seen the Friendship Centre use the larger of the two buildings on the property while the health centre would have moved into the smaller structure, which is known as the former boys school.

Alternatively, Moloney said the health centre suggested that it should be allowed to take over the former boys school if the property was sold to a commercial developer.

Either proposal would have allowed the health centre to get out of its cramped Gottingen Street space and still stay in the community, she said.

In a separate interview, Metlege said he doesn’t believe the community groups read his proposal.

“I find it kind of funny that they want to fight,” he said. “They don’t have any idea what they are going to fight because I haven’t put any proposal forward.”

Metlege said he plans on meeting with the three groups and with many other community groups in the area “to see what their needs are and to try and incorporate them in the new development.”

(...)

But Moloney said she can’t envision any of the folks who use the clinic, the Friendship Centre or the Baptist church feeling comfortable in the kind of building she believes Metlege would build. For that matter, she doubts any of the groups could afford whatever the developer would want for rent.

But Metlege said he’s interested in tearing down fences rather than building them.

“I don’t believe in segregating communities. I don’t believe in ghettoizing communities. I believe in creating social classes within communities,” he said. “I’m somewhat shocked (that) that is coming from the people that you have been speaking to.”

He said he believes that what he is proposing would be something they community groups would like.

“I believe we need to integrate communities. We need to integrate classes. We need to integrate different income levels and different housing styles all within the same community and same developments in order to break down social stigmas,” he said.

“But, having said that, it has to be very clear we are residential real estate developers and we will be developing a residential project on that site. If we can incorporate components of community facilities that will complement the development and the area, you know we are certainly happy to have those conversations.”

It will likely be two years or more before construction could begin on the site, Metlege said.

Full story here: http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/42827-groups-vow-fight-school-property

JET
Dec 15, 2011, 5:16 PM
In a separate interview, Metlege said he doesn’t believe the community groups read his proposal.

“I find it kind of funny that they want to fight,” he said. “They don’t have any idea what they are going to fight because I haven’t put any proposal forward.”

Are those two statements not contradictory? Does he have a proposal?

someone123
Dec 15, 2011, 5:54 PM
I guess that article was hastily thrown up, because it was full of errors.

On their face those two statements (one a quotation from Metledge, the other a description by the author) do seem contradictory, but I think "proposal" in one case means a formal development proposal and in the other means the rough initial bid for the property. Metledge did include room for a public component in his initial bid and there is the potential for flexibility on his part. It is a mistake to presume that he is an "evil developer" and will be building gated high-priced condos and ignoring the rest of the community.

They don't provide a direct quote from Moloney but if that's her attitude then it's a very poor one. Many people around Gottingen seem to have an attitude of entitlement coupled with the idea that there are some groups who belong there and others who do not. I am not sure if that is a cause or a symptom of the problems in that neighbourhood but the attitude and decay certainly fit together.

FuzzyWuz
Dec 16, 2011, 1:48 AM
....there are pretty clear-cut "undesirable" buildings and public institutions.


If they were not doing what they do there would be a lot more shit going on on the street than there already is.

FuzzyWuz
Dec 16, 2011, 1:50 AM
Yeah it would definitely have to be both the Centennial and Jubilee.

Pretty sure you mean the Victoria, not the Jubilee.

FuzzyWuz
Dec 16, 2011, 1:55 AM
I guess that article was hastily thrown up, because it was full of errors.

On their face those two statements (one a quotation from Metledge, the other a description by the author) do seem contradictory, but I think "proposal" in one case means a formal development proposal and in the other means the rough initial bid for the property.

I've seen the word 'proposal' thrown out by reporters in other cases where there was none. The visioning exercise for the portland/king/alderney block was described as a 'meeting to discuss a proposal' by one article.

JET
Dec 16, 2011, 1:44 PM
Pretty sure you mean the Victoria, not the Jubilee.

It is the Centennial and Victoria buildings that are being considered. I am intrigued by Waye's mention of the Jubilee wing (building); it rings some sort of bell for me, but there is noting currently called that.

pblaauw
Dec 17, 2011, 1:43 AM
I think Jubilee is the old nurses' dorm, along University Ave. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

Dmajackson
Dec 17, 2011, 6:51 AM
This is an interesting site. (http://rootarchitecture.ca/) It is an architecture firm with a few proposed projects, most of which are on the peninsula, but no addresses, it would be interesting to try to figure out the locations.

I think the Commercial Project #1 is 3473 Dutch Village Road which is now under construction.

The only other guess is for the Residential Project #6 which I believe would be around the Swiss Chalet in Sackville.

-Harlington-
Dec 17, 2011, 7:54 AM
Firms wants to take fitness to parks all over Halifax area




December 16, 2011 - 7:24pm By BRETT BUNDALE Business Reporter


GreenGym Ltd.wants to bring an al fresco exercise gym to a park near you.

The Dartmouth outdoor fitness equipment manufacturer has teamed up with a number of public and private players to launch MyFitCity.

The project aims to open 40 outdoor fitness facilities across Halifax Regional Municipality in 2012.

“We want to have an outdoor fitness park within walking distance to every resident of HRM,” said Deb Merry, co-founder of the gym equipment outfit with her husband Guy Chaham.

Eight outdoor gyms are already set up in parks across the municipality, with heavy-duty equipment like leg presses, rowing machines and chest presses accessible and free for everyone.

While a number of non-profit groups, businesses and political leaders support the concept, GreenGym is looking for corporate sponsors to help bankroll the project.

MyFitCity hopes to raise $1.2 million for the equipment, park site preparation and installation.

The cost of sponsoring one park, which will be in use for 10 to 15 years, is $30,000.

GreenGym has committed two years of free maintenance and an extra piece of equipment valued at $2,000 for each park.

The Woodside company started as a shoestring operation out of Merry and Chaham’s basement.

“We’ve designed and built a version of gym equipment that is suitable for use outside,” Merry said.

The steel equipment is bolted into concrete to minimize vandalism and avoid theft.

The workout equipment is suitable for all fitness levels and helps people warm up and stretch, develop upper- and lower-body strength, cardio, core strength, balance and flexibility.

Although the company used to import its equipment from China, a variety of quality, safety and logistical issues prompted GreenGym to manufacture its own equipment at its Woodside facility.

GreenGym wants the municipality to be a model for how parks and outdoor space can be leveraged to create healthier communities.

“Gym memberships are great but they can be pricey and require scheduling, commitment and planning,” Merry said.

“The GreenGym fitness facility allows for spontaneous activity and is free for use.”

The outdoor gym concept helps communities improve green space use and combat daunting problems like obesity, she said.

GreenGym is seeking equity partners to help the company launch its product in the United States.

“Right now, we’re on the verge of an incredible growth surge,” Merry said. “This market is taking off across North America.”

The company can produce 2,200 units a year, but it could double that capacity by adding a second shift.

“With the right partner, we could quickly ramp up our production, sales and marketing.”

Last month, GreenGym gained national exposure and a $200,000 investment from the Herjavec Group during an appearance on CBC’s Dragon’s Den.

Many local businesses and organizations have endorsed the MyFitCity project, including the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Halifax Partnership, Halifax Fusion, Stepping Up Halifax, the Halifax International Airport Authority, Impact Communications Group and Thompson & Sutherland Wholesalers and Distributers.

(bbundale@herald.ca)

Keith P.
Dec 17, 2011, 2:10 PM
Firms wants to take fitness to parks all over Halifax area


Absurdity.

Cloaking itself in the politically-correct cover of "fitness", which nobody dares question regardless of the mode of delivery or the utility of the idea, this outfit is attempting to create a revenue stream for itself from taxpayers and corporate largesse. It is like "The Human Fund" episode of Seinfeld - find companies looking to give away money without really looking into what good it does, and they want that money going into their pockets so they can litter our parks with stupid "fitness" equipment that nobody will use and which will rust/break/vandalized in short order.

ZET
Dec 17, 2011, 6:25 PM
I think Jubilee is the old nurses' dorm, along University Ave. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

old nurses dorm is the Bethune building.

pblaauw
Dec 17, 2011, 8:03 PM
old nurses dorm is the Bethune building.

:yes:

gm_scott
Dec 17, 2011, 8:37 PM
Firms wants to take fitness to parks all over Halifax area

Not only is this usable for two months out of the year, I wouldn't even want to work out in plain view for everyone to watch. Talk about awkward.

-Harlington-
Dec 17, 2011, 9:56 PM
^^^

Yeah, theres one in Dartmouth off Wyse rd. and i hardly see people use it

The only time really is kids or teenagers messing around with the equipment and the one odd person working out every now and again ,

Empire
Dec 18, 2011, 12:00 AM
Not only is this usable for two months out of the year, I wouldn't even want to work out in plain view for everyone to watch. Talk about awkward.

I think it's a great concept but I would take it a step further. Lack of exercise-obesity costs the Gov.-taxpayers billions each year.

What I would do:

I would make fitness a universal concept. How?

I would create fitness centres in schools. These fitness centres would be fully equipped with the latest nautilus equipment equal to all of the expensive fitness centres. Members would be comprised of the populace from the catchment area of the school and include students as well as parents and there would be no charge for use.

Each member would have a swipe card and gain access via that secure card. Perhaps some pilot projects could kick-off in new builds to gauge interest and if that worked then retrofit existing schools. The centres could be accessed year round and it would be a great use of otherwise expensive dead space from June to Sept.

Keith P.
Dec 18, 2011, 1:45 AM
Would you also mandate only public fitness centers like the goivt does with hospitals, putting the existing ones out of business? Would you track usage of those swipe cards and make citizens who do not use them enough pay more for their health care? You are talking about an Orwellian vision of Big Brother that is chilling.

Empire
Dec 18, 2011, 1:55 AM
Would you also mandate only public fitness centers like the goivt does with hospitals, putting the existing ones out of business? Would you track usage of those swipe cards and make citizens who do not use them enough pay more for their health care? You are talking about an Orwellian vision of Big Brother that is chilling.

Hmmm....just as Orwellian as universal health care....you may be watching too much American TV?

haligonia
Dec 18, 2011, 3:25 AM
There is nothing Orwellian to Empire's idea to me. It's just like the public version of a heath club/fitness centre. I actually like it.

DB15
Dec 18, 2011, 1:52 PM
This is an interesting site. (http://rootarchitecture.ca/) It is an architecture firm with a few proposed projects, most of which are on the peninsula, but no addresses, it would be interesting to try to figure out the locations.

thoughts?

mcmcclassic
Dec 19, 2011, 7:13 PM
Does anyone know what is being built beside the CAW office on Otter Lake Dr. ? I saw something being built that was at least three stories tall from the highway when I was driving into Halifax yesterday (you can see it from the 102).

Keith P.
Dec 19, 2011, 8:16 PM
Dunno, but I hope it is a union job. :deal:

alps
Dec 19, 2011, 8:58 PM
I meant to ask about that too, it's a very large concrete structure. Didn't catch whether it was connected to the CAW building or not.

ZET
Dec 20, 2011, 12:42 AM
Dunno, but I hope it is a union job. :deal:

now that was a good one, funny and dismissive all in one go. :worship:

-Harlington-
Dec 20, 2011, 5:01 AM
I got a picture of it in the bayers lake thread from not to long ago

I was also trying to figure out what it was, and i dont believe it is connected .

Northend Guy
Dec 21, 2011, 12:47 PM
It is another metro self storage facility.

resetcbu1
Dec 22, 2011, 5:27 AM
Terrible news IMO, I don't buy this absorbtion notion much with a lack of development.

Source: Chronicle Herald


Halifax bucks trend in filling suburban office space


The continued popularity of suburban office space in the region stands in stark contrast to the rest of Canada, figures from a new report show.

According to the CB Richard Ellis Ltd. fourth quarter report on office and industrial trends, the average office vacancy rate in downtown cores across Canada fell to 6.1 per cent from 6.3 per cent. The suburban market rose slightly to 10.7 per cent.

In Halifax, the overall vacancy rate rose half a percentage point to 8.5 per cent in the fourth quarter, with the suburban office rate below the national average, at 7.4 per cent, while the downtown rate stood at 9.9 per cent.

The downtown rate is high because there was 110,000 square feet of absorption all year, 100,000 of which came when Nova Scotia Power Inc. moved into their new offices on Lower Water Street, explained Bob Mussett, the Toronto company’s senior-vice president and senior managing director for Atlantic Canada who is based in Halifax.

However, while the suburbs will continue to be the “preferred” location for users, the downtown office market will see a reversal of fortune in the next year or two, Musset said.

“We still see stronger fundamentals in the suburban market, but as new development is taking place downtown, both commercial and primarily residential, we think later in 2012, probably into 2013, we’ll see some improvement downtown,” he said.

Meanwhile, the industrial vacancy rate fell 50 basis points to 5.6 per cent; a turnaround after it jumped 70 basis points in the previous quarter. That’s lower than the Canadian average of 6.6 per cent.

“We’ve seen some good absorption this year in the industrial sector this year,” Mussett said. “In this last quarter, in particular, we saw pretty strong absorption.”

The “palpable” increase in business confidence as a result of the shipbuilding contract in October means that the industrial sector will continue to gain momentum, Mussett said.

“It’s not a surprise to us to see that continue to tighten,” he said. “There has been a very conservative approach to new development in this market for a long time, so we’ve seen no overbuilding and new space has been well matched with absorption.”

That demand will put some upward pressure on rents. For example, the average net rent at the Burnside Business Park is $7.35 a square foot, but that’s expected to change moving forward.

“We expect that to pierce $8 in 2012 just through demand,” Mussett said.

RyeJay
Dec 22, 2011, 10:11 PM
:previous:

I'm not surprised, in the least.

The article's mention of a 2012/13 turn-around for the beginnings of a shift toward urbanisation gives me optimism, not just for Halifax's and Dartmouth's downtowns (and even Bedford's waterfront to a degree), but the entire peninsula.

I'm looking forward to a big suburban slowdown, with a clear focus on building inward. The longer Halifax waits, the more risk it takes, the more expensive and difficult municipal budgets will become.

macgregor
Dec 23, 2011, 11:19 PM
From: http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/45479-spatz-sees-hole-heart-halifax

Spatz sees a hole in the heart of Halifax

December 22, 2011 - 6:54pm BY CHRIS LAMBIE BUSINESS EDITOR

Halifax developer Jim Spatz wants to fill the hole at the centre of the city he calls a doughnut.

The CEO of Southwest Properties Ltd. said human density on the peninsula has dropped drastically over the past 50 years.

“We’ve developed like a doughnut as a city; we’ve got a hollow centre and all the growth is happening on the outside,” Spatz said Thursday.

“We’ve got people getting on highways, getting frustrated by traffic and burning gas. We’re a very non-green city that way.”

The office market downtown is almost as bad as it was in 1990, “when the real estate world imploded,” he said.

“The downtown is ceasing to become a desirable place to have your office. The first reason it’s weak is because there’s no density downtown.”

There are some good bars and restaurants at the city’s core, he said.

“But it’s not at all vibrant and it’s a big mistake as a city to think that won’t hurt us in a lot of ways.”

He shakes his head over the recent uproar from community groups over the city selling the former St. Patrick’s-Alexandra School property to Jono Developments Ltd. That company, headed by Joe Metlege, has proposed a mix of residential, affordable housing and community space for the former school site.

“The people in that neighbourhood have to understand that it will improve their neighbourhood if they find a way to welcome lots of new neighbours in,” Spatz said.

“It will improve the services and the amenities and everything around them.”

Opponents have labelled the school sale as gentrification. That label rankles Spatz.

“What is better than a neighbourhood that’s mixed and diverse?” he said.

“And I don’t just mean young and old. I don’t just mean racial diversification. Socio-economic diversification’s a good thing. It’s not a good thing for a city to have some areas that are poor and others that are extremely wealthy.”

Spatz has a massive project of his own on his plate. He’s hoping to start construction in 2014 on the Rockingham property where the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse once stood.

The 10-year, $500-million project is slated to include various kinds of residential options, from single-family dwellings to townhouses, apartments and condominiums. Five per cent of those will be dedicated as low-income housing. About 4,000 people are expected to live there once the project’s completed.

“It’s a piece of land that was land-banked by virtue of its ownership by an order of nuns starting in the 1800s,” Spatz said.

“It’s right in the city, a kilometre from the peninsula, so you’re not far from the heart of things there.”

Southwest was already negotiating with the Sisters of Charity for the 25-hectare property long before the federal government announced this fall that it is handing $25-billion worth of work to Irving Shipbuilding. That means Irving’s Halifax Shipyard will be buzzing over the next three decades.

“It just makes the story a little better for us, too, for sure,” Spatz said.

“You’re on four-lane highway all the way to the shipyard and the shipyard is just under five kilometres from our site — those are all good things.”

Southwest is also working on a green apartment building in the city’s south end that should be ready for tenants in about five months.

“We are starting to get inquiries, which is very cool,” Spatz said of the $15-million Grainery Lofts, a 113-unit, six-storey project on South Bland Street.

He fears Irving’s massive shipbuilding contract will drive up prices in Nova Scotia, including construction costs. He refers to the phenomenon as the Norway effect.

“In Norway, when they discovered and started to develop North Sea oil, they were short on manpower for this big boom so a lot of people just migrated to that industry because the wages were so much higher,” Spatz said.

“It sort of forced sectors of their economy out of business. So we need to be careful in Nova Scotia with regard to making sure that we take this amazing opportunity and meet it the right way.”

That includes training unemployed people with skills needed by the shipbuilding industry, he said.

Spatz points to Newfoundland, where unemployment still sits at 13 per cent despite the fact companies trying to build refineries, mines and oil platforms can’t find people to do the work.

“They need to start training right away” in Nova Scotia to avoid the same fate, he said.

Unemployed Nova Scotians “and groups in our society that have had endemic unemployment for generations” should be targeted with training and education specific to shipbuilding, Spatz said.

“By 2050, almost all of the people of the world will live in cities. That’s going to happen in Nova Scotia,” he said.

“If they need to move to Halifax if they’re unemployed, give them training and give them good jobs. Most will come. You can’t force people. You’re not going to put them in handcuffs and take them to the community college and then get the RCMP to take them to work at the shipyards every day. That’s not going to happen. But most people will come.”

(clambie@herald.ca)

someone123
Dec 24, 2011, 1:30 AM
Halifax does need more infill near the core but talking about a "doughnut" effect is a bit misleading. The peninsula is still the most densely populated part of the city and has a disproportionate number of jobs. There's also been tons of residential infill lately. There has been a dramatic positive transformation along Spring Garden Road for example.

Jim Spatz makes a great point about supposed "gentrification" that I have mentioned before. New housing brings in new amenities, businesses, and jobs that in many cases directly help existing residents. The tax base also helps the city and makes it possible to provide better services. It's not *at all* true that development around Gottingen must result in kicking out the existing residents or harming their standard of living.

RyeJay
Dec 24, 2011, 2:44 AM
Halifax does need more infill near the core but talking about a "doughnut" effect is a bit misleading. The peninsula is still the most densely populated part of the city and has a disproportionate number of jobs. There's also been tons of residential infill lately.

I concur. The peninsula is dominant in population density, compared to the other regions within the HRM. The 'doughnut' effect previously mentioned, as facetious as this may appear, could be for the simple fact that both public space and a national historic site occupies the centre...hence the doughnut. ;)

Regardless of Jim Spatz's pastry metaphors, he's quite right about Halifax's need to focus on peninsular development.

RyeJay
Dec 26, 2011, 1:40 AM
:)

Merry Christmas, all.
Happy Holidays.

pblaauw
Dec 30, 2011, 4:49 AM
Halifax Firm's Design has Strip Appeal (http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/47287-halifax-firms-design-has-strip-appeal)

If you put in paths, a rooftop garden and living space, is it really still a strip mall?

JET
Dec 30, 2011, 12:37 PM
strip malls are a funy thing; Jamieson's in Cole harbour is in a strip mall, but once inside it's like a pub in Ireland.

someone123
Dec 30, 2011, 7:43 PM
According to an ANS bulletin the Palooka's gym building on Gottingen has been purchased by Shaw for Global TV's main offices. Currently Global TV is located in Burnside.

JustinMacD
Dec 30, 2011, 9:23 PM
According to an ANS bulletin the Palooka's gym building on Gottingen has been purchased by Shaw for Global TV's main offices. Currently Global TV is located in Burnside.

This is a positive. The more people downtown the better.

haligonia
Dec 30, 2011, 9:56 PM
Fantastic news.

RyeJay
Dec 30, 2011, 11:21 PM
Wow! I'm surprised by this!

With the CBC set to do some major renovations of their own on Bell Road, I'm curious about what this Gottingen Street Global TV location will entail.

CTV: Perhaps you should consider a move to the downtown, as well? :tup:

haligonia
Dec 31, 2011, 1:52 AM
I'd say that CTV is close enough to downtown as it is. And, with the way things are looking, the neighbourhood that the CTV headquarters sits in (Young/Robie) Could see some dramatic improvements in the coming years. :tup:

Waye Mason
Dec 31, 2011, 2:03 AM
CTV is slightly closer than News 95.7, who are in the Young Street Eastlink tower, but say "From the heart of downtown Halifax" on their station idents. ;)

RyeJay
Dec 31, 2011, 2:09 AM
I'd say that CTV is close enough to downtown as it is. And, with the way things are looking, the neighbourhood that the CTV headquarters sits in (Young/Robie) Could see some dramatic improvements in the coming years. :tup:

Here's hopin!

haligonia
Dec 31, 2011, 2:57 AM
CTV is slightly closer than News 95.7, who are in the Young Street Eastlink tower, but say "From the heart of downtown Halifax" on their station idents. ;)

It's like when suburban friends tell you that they're going 'downtown' when they're actually going to Dalhousie/Any other non-downtown yet peninsular location.

Dmajackson
Dec 31, 2011, 3:30 AM
CTV is slightly closer than News 95.7, who are in the Young Street Eastlink tower, but say "From the heart of downtown Halifax" on their station idents. ;)

Didn't you hear there was a vote last month and the result was downtown has moved to the north-end because us fat Haligonians are blocking the view from the citadel? :haha:

someone123
Dec 31, 2011, 5:54 AM
As Halifax grows I think the definition of "downtown" will change a little. Young Street will not be "the heart of downtown Halifax" but Spring Garden and Robie, Barrington and Inglis, or Gottingen and Cunard might be considered the edge.

It will be interesting if demand for office heats up a bit and we see some new buildings in unconventional areas.

q12
Dec 31, 2011, 1:54 PM
Here's the story:

Shaw TV buys Palooka’s Halifax building

December 30, 2011 - 6:41pm BY JOHN DEMONT BUSINESS REPORTER

http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/47601-shaw-tv-buys-palooka-s-halifax-building

Global Maritimes is apparently launching a Morning Show to compete with CTV two's CTV Morning Live.

Hopefully it's something like the one they launched in Toronto in the fall. A morning show with streetfront windows would be cool. :cool:

http://www.globaltoronto.com/video/the+morning+show+oct+11/video.html?v=2151466744

Vl@dy
Dec 31, 2011, 11:03 PM
I know it's early but, in Italy we celebrate the new year right now, so Happy New Year Halifax (I love you), please wait my arrived :)

alps
Dec 31, 2011, 11:11 PM
Happy new year! Vl@dy, I recommend you come when it's a little warmer... :)

Vl@dy
Dec 31, 2011, 11:25 PM
Thanks alps. I love halifax all seasons ;). In Italy is always hot, so the climate of Halifax is perfect for me :D

-Harlington-
Jan 2, 2012, 12:38 AM
Queen St. Chickenburger :


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7162/6602735763_a692374c4d.jpg


And our new downtown ''public art''

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7156/6602725267_269537c0ef.jpg

Keith P.
Jan 2, 2012, 4:48 PM
Hideous on both counts.

Jstaleness
Jan 2, 2012, 5:21 PM
Yeah! Not what I was expecting as far as the art goes. I would rather Excavators and Dump Trucks.

someone123
Jan 2, 2012, 8:06 PM
The Nova Centre site is both prominent and unsightly. It really makes the downtown area look bad, just like the United Gulf site. Hopefully construction can begin relatively soon.

RyeJay
Jan 2, 2012, 8:19 PM
Hopefully construction can begin relatively soon.

Hopefully, before the summer hits.

haligonia
Jan 2, 2012, 8:34 PM
As soon as the developer finds a tenant for the Financial Centre, we should begin to see some progress.

fenwick16
Jan 2, 2012, 10:54 PM
And our new downtown ''public art''

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7156/6602725267_269537c0ef.jpg

Is this meant to portray "dying businessmen"? Maybe the artist has connections with STV and is trying to say the convention business is a dying business?

Tourists must be shocked to see bodies left on a vacant lot. :)

haligonia
Jan 3, 2012, 12:35 AM
I like the art installation. Aesthetically, it doesn't do a whole lot for the site, but it lets a local artist explore their creativity in a unique environment. I'm sure whoever applied for the project was thrilled to find out that they would be able to use such an interesting space in the middle of the city.

pblaauw
Jan 3, 2012, 5:05 AM
A couple nights in a row, or at least in the same 7-day span, three Air Canada flights have arrived at YHZ from Toronto, all within minutes of each other. They've been either E190s or A320s/A319s. Wouldn't it be more economical to have ONE 767 or similar, instead of three small-to-medium planes?

My two cents on the "art" at the Nova Centre site: Too few mannequins for such a large space. I expect them to get festered and moldy.

EDIT On this particular night, there is a FOURTH Air Canada plane coming from Toronto, another E190.

RyeJay
Jan 3, 2012, 6:06 AM
Now the city is playing with its own scabs...
I feel like a parent, telling his kids to "stop picking at it!"

johnny_boy
Jan 3, 2012, 4:13 PM
A couple nights in a row, or at least in the same 7-day span, three Air Canada flights have arrived at YHZ from Toronto, all within minutes of each other. They've been either E190s or A320s/A319s. Wouldn't it be more economical to have ONE 767 or similar, instead of three small-to-medium planes?

EDIT On this particular night, there is a FOURTH Air Canada plane coming from Toronto, another E190.

Depends where the planes are going afterwards. They may have scheduled three smaller planes because they were headed on to three separate locations afterwards. For example, I know that when they do fly the 767 into Halifax it's because it then heads on to Heathrow.

halifaxboyns
Jan 3, 2012, 6:20 PM
Depends where the planes are going afterwards. They may have scheduled three smaller planes because they were headed on to three separate locations afterwards. For example, I know that when they do fly the 767 into Halifax it's because it then heads on to Heathrow.

This time of year, to have several jets like that arrive from YYZ is not uncommon because of all the additional flights put on for us easterners to come back.

If you pull up their schedule PDF, you'll notice some flights between YHZ and YYZ that are in the 1600's. Those are all extra flights to handle capacity. So some of those flights take a loss so aircraft can be repositioned for the extra flights. There is an extra flight put on from YHZ to Deer Lake (YDF) that operates as an E90 (AC1642/1643). My flight to YHZ and back was an extra flight and it operated as a 767-300. We went from Calgary, stop in Toronto, stop in Halifax, finish in St. john's and then reverse coming back (AC1604/1605). They also had the direct flight from Calgary to Halifax operating for a while before Christmas as a 319.

Have a look at the AC schedule PDF. All these flights will likely end by Friday.

pblaauw
Jan 3, 2012, 11:19 PM
It turns out at least one flight was all students, heading back to school after Christmas. A friend of mine is one of those students.

I still question the economics, even though I'm no economist. ;)

halifaxboyns
Jan 3, 2012, 11:45 PM
It turns out at least one flight was all students, heading back to school after Christmas. A friend of mine is one of those students.

I still question the economics, even though I'm no economist. ;)

It's not those short flights where they make the huge money. It's on the long flights to Calgary that they added for people like me.
My fare was pretty average, taxes and fees about $1000 round trip.

But at one point economy was more expensive than business (they had it 50% to fill it). The flight was completely full, I can assure you. But the economy fare was $920 one way at one point from YYC to YHZ.

fenwick16
Jan 4, 2012, 12:49 AM
There seems to be some very optimistic developers in the HRM. This story was in the Chronicle Herald.

(source: http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/48437-plan-halifax-projects-worth-100m)
Plan for Halifax projects worth $100m
January 3, 2012 - 7:50pm By CHRIS LAMBIE Business Editor

Developer: Residential, commercial buildings unrelated to shipyard deal

Halifax developer Besim Halef has an ambitious plan to build about $100-million worth of residential and commercial projects in the north and west ends of the city.

Each of the four buildings will cost about $25 million. And Halef, who heads Banc Developments Ltd., said the new projects aren’t being driven by Irving Shipbuilding’s $25-billion worth of shipbuilding work expected to employ thousands of people in the city over the next three decades.

“We bought all of these properties before the shipyard had anything to do with it,” Halef said Tuesday, before noting: “What came with the shipyard is positive, obviously.”
.
.
.
“We’re still working with the city on heights,” Halef said.

The peninsula needs to change, he said.

“I don’t know why we are so against density,” Halef said. “Really, we have no skyscrapers in Halifax. We have no tall buildings to identify us.”
.
.
.

-Harlington-
Jan 4, 2012, 1:49 AM
^^^ Good stuff hopefully he follows through with this .

More people and less empty lots ??

Make it happen, come on now .

RyeJay
Jan 4, 2012, 1:54 AM
“We’re still working with the city on heights,” Halef said.

The peninsula needs to change, he said.

“I don’t know why we are so against density,” Halef said. “Really, we have no skyscrapers in Halifax. We have no tall buildings to identify us.”

With this developer's ambitions of building in the northern and western portions of the peninsula, I'm hoping he gets his sought after height. The corner of Bilby and Robie Street is not within a viewplane.

I'm glad more and more developers are speaking out about this issue.

haligonia
Jan 4, 2012, 2:58 AM
While I agree with the fact that the general attitude towards height should change, I disagree with this last sentiment:

“Really, we have no skyscrapers in Halifax. We have no tall buildings to identify us.”


Halifax doesn't need tall buildings to identify itself. Also, tall buildings =/= density. Just look at Victoria. It has a lovely and dense downtown, however most of it's buildings don't exceed 15 stories tall. We need to prioritize density on the peninsula, but we can't get density confused with tall buildings.

someone123
Jan 4, 2012, 3:48 AM
With this developer's ambitions of building in the northern and western portions of the peninsula, I'm hoping he gets his sought after height. The corner of Bilby and Robie Street is not within a viewplane.

What I find horrible is that the city has to deal with practical fallout from what is really a transparent political ploy to garner the support of an emotional subset of voters. In most cases the height limits themselves are arbitrary. The important thing seems to be that numbers are made smaller and developers' lives are made more difficult. It is a fabricated adversarial situation that is harming the city and holding it back without really helping anybody. Hopefully it will naturally improve over time as attitudes change. It might also be nudged along a little with the reduction in the size of regional council, although it really depends on who gets elected.

Anyway, the Robie/Young area is a great spot for urban infill. There's lots of room for new buildings, not a lot of existing population, and there is a good framework of transit routes and shops/services for new people who move in. Ideally in 5-10 years there will be another couple thousand people living in the area centred around the Young/Robie/Windsor/Almon.

someone123
Jan 4, 2012, 4:00 AM
Halifax doesn't need tall buildings to identify itself. Also, tall buildings =/= density.

I agree, but I think it's sad that tall buildings are ruled out without good reason. Why can't there be a 40 storey building on Young Street or a 50 storey building on Hollis Street, if that's what somebody wants to build? What if somebody came along with an amazing design for a building that happened to be 84 m tall? It would be rejected summarily because some member of the Heritage Trust would be able to get up on the tip of their toes, squint, and see it protruding slightly over one tiny part of the ramparts from within the parade square of the Citadel? WTF?

The ramparts bylaws are just a pretext used to hide the fundamental, irrational fear of change and can't-do attitude of a vocal minority in the city.

If people don't want highrises, let them move to one of the many dying rural towns in the Maritimes that are not at risk of getting anything over 10 storeys. Halifax is the only real city in the region and should be allowed to grow up in a natural, creative, and interesting way. Halifax in 2030 should not be an expression of the 1970s-era hang-ups of a cabal of Luddites.

Dmajackson
Jan 4, 2012, 4:40 AM
I live on one the weird border streets between the North and West ends and I am estatic that Banc has three developments in the plans for my area. I live within a five minute walk of the Robie Street sites so seeing commercial pop up along there should be very pleasant. Robie north of Almon is almost unwalkable because of the sketchy alleys and lack of pedestrian safe areas (ie crosswalks, wide sidewalks).

RyeJay
Jan 4, 2012, 5:02 AM
What I find horrible is that the city has to deal with practical fallout from what is really a transparent political ploy to garner the support of an emotional subset of voters. In most cases the height limits themselves are arbitrary. The important thing seems to be that numbers are made smaller and developers' lives are made more difficult. It is a fabricated adversarial situation that is harming the city and holding it back without really helping anybody. Hopefully it will naturally improve over time as attitudes change. It might also be nudged along a little with the reduction in the size of regional council, although it really depends on who gets elected.

Emotional subset of voters?
I'm not going to go all North Korean over Halifax's height limits. ;)

Is tourism arbitrary?
(I suppose you believe that business generated from tourism doesn't make up for the apparent loses by height restrictions? How shall we measure this?)

I'm not implying that Halifax should develop based on what tourists think the city should be, but the city must also acknowledge the need to establish reasons for people to visit. Halifax has been around long enough to have created a solid reputation in North America: a bonsai city surrounded by a massive harbour. The tiny character of the downtown is one of the biggest factors in its charm -- and is well known by tourists.

I think business parks do more harm to a city's core than mere height restrictions.

someone123
Jan 4, 2012, 5:13 AM
Has anybody ever demonstrated that tourism would be harmed by the construction of taller buildings?

It keeps getting repeated but that doesn't make it true.

How is it that Quebec City, Boston, New Orleans, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Vancouver, etc. manage when they have taller buildings than Halifax?

fenwick16
Jan 4, 2012, 9:35 AM
I think the argument that tall buildings will keep tourists away is the biggest piece of BS that I have heard in a long time. There are many tourists that come to Halifax from small towns in the Maritimes who are probably impressed by the tall buildings of a city. Tourists from larger cities won't give a thought about some tall buildings. I can't imagine people from Toronto or Montreal being negatively impacted by seeing some tall buildings.

The STV types who feel tourists come to Halifax to see the unobstructed view from the Citadel should be laughed out of the city. Of course people don't travel to Halifax to see the view from the Citadel :no: (they might want to see the Citadel but not an unobstructed view - if that is what they want then they can stay in the small towns). In fact, I like the southern view from the citadel the best since it has the most highrises, the view of the downtown is just so so - it would be better with more highrises.

My only concern with buildings in the 30 - 50 storey range is that they may become expensive to maintain in 30 - 50 years, such as is happening with some condo towers in Toronto. However, I think buildings in the 20-25 storey range should be allowed almost anywhere on the peninsula. To go higher than that, I think a building design should be exceptional.

fenwick16
Jan 4, 2012, 9:49 AM
I agree, but I think it's sad that tall buildings are ruled out without good reason. Why can't there be a 40 storey building on Young Street or a 50 storey building on Hollis Street, if that's what somebody wants to build? What if somebody came along with an amazing design for a building that happened to be 84 m tall? It would be rejected summarily because some member of the Heritage Trust would be able to get up on the tip of their toes, squint, and see it protruding slightly over one tiny part of the ramparts from within the parade square of the Citadel? WTF?

If you look at the drawings of the Fenwick redevelopment, it shows that Fenwick Towers could go another 200 feet and still not be over the ramparts maximum. So I think a building on Younge Street could be 50 storeys high and still not be in the ramparts maximum. It might be a good place for a tall observation tower.

Keith P.
Jan 4, 2012, 1:37 PM
Emotional subset of voters?
I'm not going to go all North Korean over Halifax's height limits. ;)

Is tourism arbitrary?
(I suppose you believe that business generated from tourism doesn't make up for the apparent loses by height restrictions? How shall we measure this?)

I'm not implying that Halifax should develop based on what tourists think the city should be, but the city must also acknowledge the need to establish reasons for people to visit. Halifax has been around long enough to have created a solid reputation in North America: a bonsai city surrounded by a massive harbour. The tiny character of the downtown is one of the biggest factors in its charm -- and is well known by tourists.


What drivel.

Tourists do not look at Emporis before making their travel plans and start crossing destinations off their list of potential tours because they have tall buildings.

A tall building on Robie St will not drive potential tourists away. For that matter, neither will a tall building on Hollis St. - especially if it contains a hotel giving a vista that Citadel Hill on its best day never could.

Really, it is time for this type of nonsense to stop for good.

RyeJay
Jan 4, 2012, 2:16 PM
Has anybody ever demonstrated that tourism would be harmed by the construction of taller buildings?

It keeps getting repeated but that doesn't make it true.

How is it that Quebec City, Boston, New Orleans, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Vancouver, etc. manage when they have taller buildings than Halifax?

Are any of those cities not dealing with height restrictions? I know New Orleans currently is, as is Boston (but that's not surprising due to its age).

Vancouver recently relaxed their height restrictions to 650m? ...
Will saying goodbye to some mountain views be a big deal? No?

Downtown Halifax is going to finally get some density, despite the expansion of Brunside, and Bayers Lake, and Bedford business parks. We're finally getting a decently established atmosphere downtown. Would breaking the downtown's character harm what's been created? Maybe not at all....

Maybe when Quebec City starts developing tall towers in Old Quebec.

I think many more cities would appear to be very similar to each other if developers could build wherever, whatever they want.

When the day finally comes for the Grain Elevator on the peninsula to be taken down, perhaps a tower could go there? Maybe it could draw inspiration from 'The Bow' in Calgary?

RyeJay
Jan 4, 2012, 2:21 PM
What drivel.

Tourists do not look at Emporis before making their travel plans and start crossing destinations off their list of potential tours because they have tall buildings.

A tall building on Robie St will not drive potential tourists away. For that matter, neither will a tall building on Hollis St. - especially if it contains a hotel giving a vista that Citadel Hill on its best day never could.

Really, it is time for this type of nonsense to stop for good.

As well as how you address others.

halifaxboyns
Jan 4, 2012, 4:54 PM
Considering the interest in the area around Piercey's (with the apartment buildings to go up where Pizza Hut is), the existing towers that are near the sobeys, I think this whole area is ripe for taller buildings.

You won't get the STV crowd screaming bloody murder, there is good transit in this area and you have a superstore in walking distance. I could see this being a rather large cluster of high density in 15 years time.

As to the issue of a signature skyscraper, people don't really think about those things when they visit cities. I'd really love to see how a group like STV would show that tourism has dropped because of a tall building - you could poke holes in that so badly because of economic circumstances, us $ weakness, etc.

I think the comment made earlier about Victoria having a dense downtown is a reasonable comparison to what Halifax could have. We don't need to be Vancouver with 50 storey condo towers springing up everywhere, even though many want it. I'm not opposed to the idea, but there is the other side of the coin where you have a bunch of buildings in the 15 storey range too. I had originally envissioned Agricola being an area where you could see 30+ stories, but I'd be just as happy with 15-20. That's because either option would bring more people to the core.

kph06
Jan 4, 2012, 5:09 PM
Today on Q104 the morning guys and Greasy Gary were going on about building heights and how rediculous the STV groups are,they made their own facebook group "Screw the View", there are quite a few members since this morning. They were actually making some pretty informed arguments, so they must have done some research first.

q12
Jan 4, 2012, 5:37 PM
Today on Q104 the morning guys and Greasy Gary were going on about building heights and how rediculous the STV groups are,they made their own facebook group "Screw the View", there are quite a few members since this morning. They were actually making some pretty informed arguments, so they must have done some research first.

Screw the View, I love it!!! :worship::notacrook:

FuzzyWuz
Jan 4, 2012, 5:45 PM
If you look at the drawings of the Fenwick redevelopment, it shows that Fenwick Towers could go another 200 feet and still not be over the ramparts maximum. So I think a building on Younge Street could be 50 storeys high and still not be in the ramparts maximum. It might be a good place for a tall observation tower.

I was thinking just today that the Cogswell lands might be a good place for an observation tower. It's close to the harbour and the downtown area.

Keith P.
Jan 4, 2012, 6:33 PM
Considering the interest in the area around Piercey's (with the apartment buildings to go up where Pizza Hut is), the existing towers that are near the sobeys, I think this whole area is ripe for taller buildings.

You won't get the STV crowd screaming bloody murder, there is good transit in this area and you have a superstore in walking distance. I could see this being a rather large cluster of high density in 15 years time.


Don't be so sure. Look at the example of the St. Joseph's project. A relatively modest proposal of a bit over a dozen storeys was shouted down by the locals and the area councillor (shame!!!) as "TOO TALL!!!" so it has been gradually sawed down to what I believe is 9 floors. Totally ridiculous, but there is no reason to believe that a similar thing would not happen on Agricola or anywhere else. The problem is not the buildings, it is the tall-building phobia that has infected much of the populace. Instead of some decent proposals that have some height, which never get approved, we end up with the crap like that on the corner of Agricola and Cunard, which goes through without a whimper. Simply unbelievable.

halifaxboyns
Jan 4, 2012, 6:50 PM
Don't be so sure. Look at the example of the St. Joseph's project. A relatively modest proposal of a bit over a dozen storeys was shouted down by the locals and the area councillor (shame!!!) as "TOO TALL!!!" so it has been gradually sawed down to what I believe is 9 floors. Totally ridiculous, but there is no reason to believe that a similar thing would not happen on Agricola or anywhere else. The problem is not the buildings, it is the tall-building phobia that has infected much of the populace. Instead of some decent proposals that have some height, which never get approved, we end up with the crap like that on the corner of Agricola and Cunard, which goes through without a whimper. Simply unbelievable.

This is what I'm hoping the regional centre plan will finally put to rest. If you set out a minimum starting point (say 5 stories), then an specific area can go up to 25 through bonusing then you'll get some buildings that will go up to the 25, others that will hang back at about 10 because it will be all they are willing to do. But if you tied building height and density to bonusing, the city can leverage private money for public benefit.

It could be HRM's own form of the Beasley Vancouver model - where if an area is going to be intensified, there would also have to be some contribution for things like day care centres, public recreation and parks. This could be how projects like the commons master plan could be funded.

someone123
Jan 4, 2012, 7:51 PM
HRM by Design already has that to some degree but unfortunately the heights are way too conservative. In many cases the allowed heights are much lower than existing buildings. I expect that if a similar process were followed for an area like Agricola, the local residents would apply political pressure and heights for new buildings would remain severely limited without good reason.

Young Street is in a much better position because there are few neighbours to complain. Loblaws would not complain about a 16 storey apartment building next door -- they would be happy about it.

Ideally I think developers would be allowed to go much higher on Young, and to be honest it's not even really that clear why 16 is so much better than 20 or 29 or 48. I'm not sure if they would propose buildings of that height but right now they are handicapped for silly reasons.

Similarly we *should* be allowing tons of height around Cogswell because there are few residents nearby. The ramparts bylaw is too restrictive in this case. It costs a lot (no tall buildings anywhere downtown) and produces a very minor, subjective benefit.