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Drybrain
Apr 27, 2013, 6:24 PM
Can anyone elaborate on why the design review committee would recommend against this? There seems to be no negative heritage impacts (most of the land covered by the increased limit is the wasteland-like area south of Hollis, on the east side of Barrington) and 22 metres isn't especially high anyway. What's the problem?

It's rare that I'll say something like this, but the whole east side of Barrington between Superstore and Smith Street is ripe for demolition. It looks like a 1970s industrial park got deposited into the middle of the city; there's not a single thing worth retaining. (There's a lot of junk on the west side of the street too, but also some great old houses that have a lot of potential to be adapted as street-facing commercial properties.) If raising the height limit will spur new development, it seems like a no-brainer.

Waye Mason
Apr 29, 2013, 12:12 AM
Can anyone elaborate on why the design review committee would recommend against this? There seems to be no negative heritage impacts (most of the land covered by the increased limit is the wasteland-like area south of Hollis, on the east side of Barrington) and 22 metres isn't especially high anyway. What's the problem?

It's rare that I'll say something like this, but the whole east side of Barrington between Superstore and Smith Street is ripe for demolition. It looks like a 1970s industrial park got deposited into the middle of the city; there's not a single thing worth retaining. (There's a lot of junk on the west side of the street too, but also some great old houses that have a lot of potential to be adapted as street-facing commercial properties.) If raising the height limit will spur new development, it seems like a no-brainer.

1 - it includes the train station, which is a heritage site of note

2 - to send a statement to management at HRM that they need to get the Barrington South conservation district done, rather than making excuses. What DRC said was "this should not be allowed as council put the 45' height in place UNTILL the district was completed".

They have a point about staff getting the job done, though the train station has Federal protection so it should be okay.

fenwick16
Apr 29, 2013, 2:32 AM
1 - it includes the train station, which is a heritage site of note

2 - to send a statement to management at HRM that they need to get the Barrington South conservation district done, rather than making excuses. What DRC said was "this should not be allowed as council put the 45' height in place UNTILL the district was completed".

They have a point about staff getting the job done, though the train station has Federal protection so it should be okay.

The area under consideration consists of a vacant lot, Atlantic Superstore with surface parking, Westin Hotel (already over 22 meters) and Via Station.

Here is a Birds Eye View (http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=rf5zm79q27p8&lvl=18.25&dir=266.95&sty=b&where1=Halifax%2C%20NS&form=LMLTCC) of the area under consideration and surrounding area that has 13.7 meter height limits. The blocks with 13.7 meter limits had become a nice neighbourhood of single detached homes and low rise residential (many in the 22 meter height vicinity). How long will the city be held back by these special interest groups and their unreasonable demands?

Hali87
Apr 29, 2013, 6:09 AM
I'd guess that many people are concerned about the train station being included. I didn't realize it was protected federally, and I think if this was made clear there would be less opposition. I don't understand why the height limits aren't just raised on the vacant properties and why the hotel and station are included; is it just a division of property thing?

someone123
Apr 29, 2013, 6:25 AM
They have a point about staff getting the job done, though the train station has Federal protection so it should be okay.

Thanks for the explanation. That is interesting.

It isn't clear how these pieces are directly related. I'm not sure that adding more roadblocks is a great way to speed up City Hall. In the past there's been a lot of "let's wait until it's perfect" sentiment from council for example (sincere or not -- false criticism can certainly be used as a delay tactic) and it has mostly resulted in extremely little getting accomplished. This is a city that can draw out studies on a library for almost 30 years. I am fully confident that it's possible to create a bureaucratic deadlock that would keep these parking lots around for some time.

Waye Mason
Apr 29, 2013, 11:17 AM
The area under consideration consists of a vacant lot, Atlantic Superstore with surface parking, Westin Hotel (already over 22 meters) and Via Station. <snip> How long will the city be held back by these special interest groups and their unreasonable demands?

Council and the citizens of HRM have made it clear that a heritage conservation district is desired in South Barrington. A major part of heritage districts is that the zoning be designed to conform to current building envelope. The issue is not wanting a heritage district, or allowing 22 meters, the issue is why can't HRM complete a simple HCD study in less than 8 years, so we can get on with our lives?

I'd guess that many people are concerned about the train station being included. I didn't realize it was protected federally, and I think if this was made clear there would be less opposition. I don't understand why the height limits aren't just raised on the vacant properties and why the hotel and station are included; is it just a division of property thing?

That is what the DRC was saying - just get the damn HCD done so we can have appropriate planning to protect the 35+ heritage buildings but allow the rest to be built and grow. I do not know why the staff has taken the case 17000 request for one lot and expanded it to the whole east side of the park. My understanding is the Superstore has not asked for this at this time.

It isn't clear how these pieces are directly related. I'm not sure that adding more roadblocks is a great way to speed up City Hall. In the past there's been a lot of "let's wait until it's perfect" sentiment from council for example (sincere or not -- false criticism can certainly be used as a delay tactic) and it has mostly resulted in extremely little getting accomplished. This is a city that can draw out studies on a library for almost 30 years. I am fully confident that it's possible to create a bureaucratic deadlock that would keep these parking lots around for some time.

If Superstore had a proposal in that would be one thing, but my gut says that is 10-20 years away. The HCD would provide clarity and take all the restrictions off non-heritage buildings.

Keith P.
Apr 29, 2013, 1:24 PM
I'd guess that many people are concerned about the train station being included. I didn't realize it was protected federally, and I think if this was made clear there would be less opposition. I don't understand why the height limits aren't just raised on the vacant properties and why the hotel and station are included; is it just a division of property thing?

It's not Penn Station, FFS, and I don't care that Phil Pacey seems to think it is. It is a pretty unremarkable building in reality. To suggest it is the reason for the lack of a policy to allow nearby parking lots and trash-strewn empty lots to be developed is simply posturing. I would suggest the same is true of the excuse that the Barrington South heritage plan or whatever it is needs to be finished before anything can be done. Once again we see development in Halifax held hostage by a fringe group of heritage loons who do not have broad public support. That area from Morris Street southbound is a disaster for the most part, with a handful of small interesting buildings scattered throughout slums, empty lots and 1950s industrial structures. It could be among the most valuable areas on the peninsula, but again HRM chooses to yield to obstructionists instead of making them get out of the way.

RyeJay
Apr 29, 2013, 2:40 PM
It's not Penn Station, FFS, and I don't care that Phil Pacey seems to think it is. It is a pretty unremarkable building in reality. To suggest it is the reason for the lack of a policy to allow nearby parking lots and trash-strewn empty lots to be developed is simply posturing. I would suggest the same is true of the excuse that the Barrington South heritage plan or whatever it is needs to be finished before anything can be done. Once again we see development in Halifax held hostage by a fringe group of heritage loons who do not have broad public support. That area from Morris Street southbound is a disaster for the most part, with a handful of small interesting buildings scattered throughout slums, empty lots and 1950s industrial structures. It could be among the most valuable areas on the peninsula, but again HRM chooses to yield to obstructionists instead of making them get out of the way.

While I agree that city council needs to be more pro-development instead of essentially bowing down to the heritage extremists -- your dramatic response would be more appropriate if there were actual proposals fighting for approval against this obstructionism.

Keith P.
Apr 29, 2013, 3:06 PM
While I agree that city council needs to be more pro-development instead of essentially bowing down to the heritage extremists -- your dramatic response would be more appropriate if there were actual proposals fighting for approval against this obstructionism.

Nobody is going to go to the time and expense of developing a proposal that cannot possibly be approved because of bureaucratic roadblocks.

Drybrain
Apr 29, 2013, 4:29 PM
I didn't know about the Barrington South HCD issue. That's annoying, but it makes sense if that was the original understanding. Of course, the way forward is obvious—let's hurry up and implement the HCD and raise the limit. (And ignore Pacey's silly appeal to make the train station the max building height.)

Anyway, I don't think city council does bow down to heritage extremism—as I think I've said before, Halifax's heritage-conversation laws are unusually weak even by Canada's not-so-good standards, and the Heritage Trust's objections rarely result in any real action. The reason the city is seen as anti-development is not because of onerous heritage laws, but a general excess of red tape, which, obviously affects heritage issues too, if the HCD has been eight years in the making. (At that rate, an increasingly urgently needed Spring Garden Road HCD should be along by, what 2030?)

Anyway, rebuilding and re-granding (if I can invent a word) the area around Cornwallis Park should be a pretty major priority.

RyeJay
Apr 29, 2013, 5:39 PM
Nobody is going to go to the time and expense of developing a proposal that cannot possibly be approved because of bureaucratic roadblocks.

Okay, simmer down Skye Halifax.

Hali87
Apr 29, 2013, 6:02 PM
It's not Penn Station, FFS, and I don't care that Phil Pacey seems to think it is. It is a pretty unremarkable building in reality. To suggest it is the reason for the lack of a policy to allow nearby parking lots and trash-strewn empty lots to be developed is simply posturing. I would suggest the same is true of the excuse that the Barrington South heritage plan or whatever it is needs to be finished before anything can be done. Once again we see development in Halifax held hostage by a fringe group of heritage loons who do not have broad public support. That area from Morris Street southbound is a disaster for the most part, with a handful of small interesting buildings scattered throughout slums, empty lots and 1950s industrial structures. It could be among the most valuable areas on the peninsula, but again HRM chooses to yield to obstructionists instead of making them get out of the way.

It's not Penn Station, but it is definitely worth protecting, IMO. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but I'd be pretty pissed if the train station was allowed to be knocked down because of oversight. If you find it unremarkable that's your prerogative but I don't find it unremarkable.

I do think that the rest of the properties should be developed though and I have no problem with the height limits being changed. It's a shame that the Superstore and Hollis/South lots are (for whatever reason) tied to the train station, and I think this would have probably gone much more smoothly if they were not.

I remember reading in HBD that the actual plan (in HBD!) was/is to raise height limits around Cornwallis park to intentionally create a sort of boxed-in "Central Park" effect. Is this still the plan?

I'm also beginning to realize that there seems to be a lot of variability in what different people consider to be "slums". I can't think of anything around Morris that I would think of as being a slum or even slum-like other than the handful of commercial buildings between Tim's and Superstore. And since they are commercial buildings I don't think of them as slums per se, although as other people have mentioned THOSE particular buildings would probably not be missed by anyone.

Keith P.
Apr 29, 2013, 8:23 PM
I'm also beginning to realize that there seems to be a lot of variability in what different people consider to be "slums". I can't think of anything around Morris that I would think of as being a slum or even slum-like other than the handful of commercial buildings between Tim's and Superstore. And since they are commercial buildings I don't think of them as slums per se, although as other people have mentioned THOSE particular buildings would probably not be missed by anyone.

I look at the southern corner of Morris and Barrington as being slummy (the c-store and the building with Gingergrass in it) along with most of the west side of Barrington including the buildings next to Gingergrass, the old Inn beyond that, the federal building beyond that which was closed down for years - is it back in use? - and then the numerous buildings across from the Superstore on Barrington, which includes the empty lot where the South end Diner burned down last year. Really, aside from the Henry House, there isn't much there worth saving.

OldDartmouthMark
Apr 29, 2013, 9:06 PM
I look at the southern corner of Morris and Barrington as being slummy (the c-store and the building with Gingergrass in it) along with most of the west side of Barrington including the buildings next to Gingergrass, the old Inn beyond that, the federal building beyond that which was closed down for years - is it back in use? - and then the numerous buildings across from the Superstore on Barrington, which includes the empty lot where the South end Diner burned down last year. Really, aside from the Henry House, there isn't much there worth saving.

The Waverley Inn? Slummy?

http://waverleyinn.com/aboutus

:shrug:

Drybrain
Apr 29, 2013, 9:18 PM
I look at the southern corner of Morris and Barrington as being slummy (the c-store and the building with Gingergrass in it) along with most of the west side of Barrington including the buildings next to Gingergrass, the old Inn beyond that, the federal building beyond that which was closed down for years - is it back in use? - and then the numerous buildings across from the Superstore on Barrington, which includes the empty lot where the South end Diner burned down last year. Really, aside from the Henry House, there isn't much there worth saving.

Boy, high standards! There's a lot of dreck on that stretch, but if you think that's slummy, I've got a neighbourhood in East Vancouver I'd like to show you...

There's a lot of good stuff too. I count ten buildings between Morris and South that should be protected for sure. (Not including the Papa Mario’s and Gingergrass buildings, but similar buildings have been given fantastic makeovers (http://halforbes.com/consulting.html) in the North End in the last few years.) The Waverly Inn, in particular, is a lovely building, and the ones adjacent to it would look great if someone were to do restore them to their original character.

Something like that is apparently in the works at 1230-1234 Barrington, which is supposed to undergo a restoration and rear-end addition.

fenwick16
Apr 30, 2013, 12:45 AM
Council and the citizens of HRM have made it clear that a heritage conservation district is desired in South Barrington. A major part of heritage districts is that the zoning be designed to conform to current building envelope. The issue is not wanting a heritage district, or allowing 22 meters, the issue is why can't HRM complete a simple HCD study in less than 8 years, so we can get on with our lives?

"Council and the citizens of HRM have made it clear that a heritage conservation district is desired in South Barrington". I can't accept this statement. I bet that if a poll were taken in the HRM that the results would indicate that close to 90% of citizens have neither heard of the South Barrington Heritage Conservation District nor could care a less about it. Although I think most citizens in the HRM want some level of heritage protection I would bet that most do not want entire sections of the city to become stagnant. Instead, heritage protection of heritage buildings would suffice.

This idea of stopping progress in whole areas of the city to protect a few buildings is just an example of Phil Pacey's over_the_top idealism spreading like a virus.

Hali87
Apr 30, 2013, 2:20 AM
I look at the southern corner of Morris and Barrington as being slummy (the c-store and the building with Gingergrass in it) along with most of the west side of Barrington including the buildings next to Gingergrass, the old Inn beyond that, the federal building beyond that which was closed down for years - is it back in use? - and then the numerous buildings across from the Superstore on Barrington, which includes the empty lot where the South end Diner burned down last year. Really, aside from the Henry House, there isn't much there worth saving.

Ok, I just wanted to make sure we were talking about the same area. I wouldn't consider this area slummy at all. Maybe a little subpar compared to the nicest parts of downtown, but still one of the nicer parts of the city. Definitely nicer than the average in many, many, parts of Canada.

When I think of "slum" I'm thinking of over-crowded, extremely unsafe, barely-held together neighbourhoods where peoples' everyday lives are literally struggles to survive. We don't really have much of this in the HRM. An example of a building that I would legitimately call "slummy" would have been the MET building on Gottingen, but that's gone now. I don't get the least bit uncomfortable when walking through the Barrington & Morris area and I certainly don't feel bad for the people living there (as I would for people living in actual slum conditions).

There are some forumers who think that Yonge St. in Toronto looks like it belongs in a third world country. I would say that calling Barrington & Morris "slummy" is an equivalent statement. I guess it's all relative.

Hali87
Apr 30, 2013, 2:23 AM
"Council and the citizens of HRM have made it clear that a heritage conservation district is desired in South Barrington". I can't accept this statement. I bet that if a poll were taken in the HRM that the results would indicate that close to 90% of citizens have neither heard of the South Barrington Heritage Conservation District nor could care a less about it. Although I think most citizens in the HRM want some level of heritage protection I would bet that most do not want entire sections of the city to become stagnant. Instead, heritage protection of heritage buildings would suffice.

This idea of stopping progress in whole areas of the city to protect a few buildings is just an example of Phil Pacey's over_the_top idealism spreading like a virus.

I would like to comment that I am totally behind the South Barrington Conservation district. It's not necessarily a bad idea just because Phil Pacey supports it.

fenwick16
Apr 30, 2013, 5:07 AM
I would like to comment that I am totally behind the South Barrington Conservation district. It's not necessarily a bad idea just because Phil Pacey supports it.

I don't disagree with the idea of protecting 35 heritage buildings in the proposed South Barrington Conservation district - that needs to be done.

However, at issue before Council on April 30th is the area illustrated below (I illustrated the area on a Bing Maps Birds Eye view). The staff presentation is a logical one. HRM_by_Design plans had originally intended for height limits in this area to be 22 meters and staff included excerpts from HRM_by_Design to illustrate this - http://halifax.ca/council/agendasc/documents/130430ca1015.pdf .

Two wrongs don't make a right (and won't result in progress). Waye Mason seems to be arguing against the amendment proposed by Staff. So what heritage building is being preserved if he votes against this amendment? The Via Station is already federally protected, the Westin Hotel is already well over 22 meters, The Atlantic Superstore isn't a heritage site and the vacant lot is vacant because of a fire.

Protection of the heritage buildings in the proposed South Barrington Heritage District can still be advocated without resorting to Phil Pacey type tactics of stopping unrelated progress.

https://imageshack.us/scaled/large/32/staffproposalforcornwal.jpg

Drybrain
Apr 30, 2013, 2:35 PM
I don't disagree with the idea of protecting 35 heritage buildings in the proposed South Barrington Conservation district - that needs to be done.



You're right for sure—and that map makes clear how badly the area needs redevelopment. But I think the issue (someone correct me if I'm wrong) is that the height increase was tied to the creation of the HCD, which still hasn't happened. So I think Mason is saying, let's get them both done, as soon as reasonably possible. (Again, if I'm wrong, correct me.)

Anyway, just a word on conservation districts: they're definitely not stagnant zones, and can actually expedite economic investment. Look at Toronto's conservation districts: 21 of them (http://www.toronto.ca/heritage-preservation/heritage_districts.htm#study), and ten more under study, including in high-development areas like Yorkville and Queen West.

As an aside, it's kind of lame that Metlej is tearing down the last South Street building that survived the fire.

ILoveHalifax
Apr 30, 2013, 5:48 PM
As an aside, it's kind of lame that Metlej is tearing down the last South Street building that survived the fire.

Too bad he could not get ahold of the old yellow building on the corner of Barrington at the same time. I'd love to see the whole block redeveloped.

halifaxboyns
Apr 30, 2013, 6:12 PM
1 - it includes the train station, which is a heritage site of note

2 - to send a statement to management at HRM that they need to get the Barrington South conservation district done, rather than making excuses. What DRC said was "this should not be allowed as council put the 45' height in place UNTILL the district was completed".

They have a point about staff getting the job done, though the train station has Federal protection so it should be okay.

Being a planner in another City, I do have to come to the defense of staff on this one. I realize it's frustrating that it's taking a while, but I give you the example of the situation Calgary is in for context.

We have somewhere around 40 different policy documents throughout the city, not including our new Municipal Development Plan and some other 'non-statutory policies' like the Infill Housing Guidelines. Most of these 40 policy documents are 20+ years old. Assuming 2 years to redo them all, that's a long time. That is on top of the policy documents being created now and the recently created ones that require mandatory 5 year updates (like the Hillhurst/Sunnyside TOD Plan and 16 Avenue TransCanada Corridor Plan).

The reality is that development doesn't stop while administrations struggle to get work done. It also doesn't help when requests to get resources are turned down and the department told to live within what it has, because you have to look at workloads holistically and not just based on one project (why wasn't that project done??). We have our work plans approved by council, but in a typical year we have about a dozen notices of motion that add to that work plan, which further takes away resources. Considering this is an election year in Calgary, we aren't even at the summer and last count was 10 NOM - so we'll have even more work than before...

I don't think the problem gets solved simply by throwing more money into the pot and adding more people though. We have to plan smarter with our policy documents and the Regional Centre plan is a great example of trying to do that. It will eliminate the Halifax and Dartmouth Plans and merge them into one document - we need to do more of that because it is more efficient. Consider the resources which we have here in Calgary to deal with planning and policy work - and we struggle. So it's not just HRM and I suspect the issue is only going to get worse before it gets better, due to the pressures from growth for the next decade.

essaysmith
May 1, 2013, 12:52 AM
I'd like to see a redevelopment as much as the next guy, but that old yellow building is really quite a nice classical looking building and I would hate to see it gone. They were just selling it for $3.4M like a month ago too, but withdrew it from the market.

Drybrain
May 1, 2013, 1:10 AM
I'd like to see a redevelopment as much as the next guy, but that old yellow building is really quite a nice classical looking building and I would hate to see it gone. They were just selling it for $3.4M like a month ago too, but withdrew it from the market.

Agreed. It's one of the very few biggish 19th-century apartment structures in the city, too. It's not a registered heritage property, which I believe means that council can't refuse a proposal to demolish it. (Which is silly. In Ontario and B.C., at least, city councils can vote to designate a building historical even in the face of a demolition application, and that happens sometimes. But that's impossible with HRM's owner-initiated heritage designations.)

But who knows what the owner plans to do with it. It's not under the proposed height increase area, so nothing taller can be built there anyway. Maybe the plan is to keep it as is, or refurbish it into luxe condos, which, given the location, would probably be a great medium-term strategy.

Anyway, regarding ILove's comment: The path to urban revitalization is not to destroy everything that looks a bit worn-out. We tried that, and whoa, boy, it didn't work. People like the old stuff, and example after example (http://www.theatlanticcities.com/design/2013/04/how-historic-architecture-can-anchor-economic-development/5428/) proves that market forces respond to that. Didn't we have this back-and-forth already? I think so!

planarchy
May 1, 2013, 2:40 AM
Agreed. It's one of the very few biggish 19th-century apartment structures in the city, too. It's not a registered heritage property, which I believe means that council can't refuse a proposal to demolish it. (Which is silly. In Ontario and B.C., at least, city councils can vote to designate a building historical even in the face of a demolition application, and that happens sometimes. But that's impossible with HRM's owner-initiated heritage designations.)

But who knows what the owner plans to do with it. It's not under the proposed height increase area, so nothing taller can be built there anyway. Maybe the plan is to keep it as is, or refurbish it into luxe condos, which, given the location, would probably be a great medium-term strategy.

Anyway, regarding ILove's comment: The path to urban revitalization is not to destroy everything that looks a bit worn-out. We tried that, and whoa, boy, it didn't work. People like the old stuff, and example after example (http://www.theatlanticcities.com/design/2013/04/how-historic-architecture-can-anchor-economic-development/5428/) proves that market forces respond to that. Didn't we have this back-and-forth already? I think so!

Love this building, but luxury condos is not a medium term strategy. Once condos, it is difficult to redevelop as 2/3 of owners must approve sale/changes. Never an easy task. Also code upgrades - like Victoria Hall on Gottingen - make is difficult to make heritage conversion projects profitable. Don't blame the developer, blame the over-engineered building code. :shrug:

hoser111
May 1, 2013, 2:42 AM
You're right for sure—and that map makes clear how badly the area needs redevelopment. But I think the issue (someone correct me if I'm wrong) is that the height increase was tied to the creation of the HCD, which still hasn't happened. So I think Mason is saying, let's get them both done, as soon as reasonably possible. (Again, if I'm wrong, correct me.)

Anyway, just a word on conservation districts: they're definitely not stagnant zones, and can actually expedite economic investment. Look at Toronto's conservation districts: 21 of them (http://www.toronto.ca/heritage-preservation/heritage_districts.htm#study), and ten more under study, including in high-development areas like Yorkville and Queen West.

As an aside, it's kind of lame that Metlej is tearing down the last South Street building that survived the fire.

A couple of years ago CN was on the street for Expressions of Interest for possible development of the train station and lands adjacent to all of this, and there was some discussion about the Superstore property as well. All speculative but I'm nonetheless curious if this plays into any of this.....

http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/28332-rail-wants-develop-halifax-train-station

Drybrain
May 1, 2013, 2:56 AM
Love this building, but luxury condos is not a medium term strategy. Once condos, it is difficult to redevelop as 2/3 of owners must approve sale/changes. Never an easy task. Also code upgrades - like Victoria Hall on Gottingen - make is difficult to make heritage conversion projects profitable. Don't blame the developer, blame the over-engineered building code. :shrug:

I'm not envisioning redevelopment, just renovation.I wouldn't imagine any redevelopment after such a conversion. It'd be owned homes.

I'm definitely ignorant of building-code stuff, but there's a project planned on Barrington to turn a small 19th century townhouse into a small condo building though, and the old church in Dartmouth last year, and the St. Joseph's convent in the North End was condo-ized some time ago...definitely precedents. Zillions of examples across Canada, for sure. Check this ramshackle old coffin factory (http://homesandcondosblog.com/home/in-development-89-niagara-st-6580.html) in Toronto. This is planned (http://urbantoronto.ca/news/2012/05/redevelopment-proposed-historic-coffin-factory-niagara-street), incorporating the whole old block.

someone123
May 1, 2013, 3:03 AM
Agreed. It's one of the very few biggish 19th-century apartment structures in the city, too.

This is a recurring theme I guess, but Halifax is far behind the times when it comes to heritage preservation. Like with transit, the dialogue surrounding heritage in Halifax is deeply uninformed and stuck out in left field.

Even if you don't care about heritage, it's clear that the level of land use in the old South End is a disaster. This is a central neighbourhood that could house a lot more people and businesses. It is half parking lots, and the development regime there is such that developers are tearing down existing buildings instead of building on those lots. Clearly something is not right, and a laissez-faire pro-development attitude is not by itself going to fix the situation because many of the problems are the product of perverse incentives created by ill-conceived municipal and provincial rules.

Of course I do also think there is a compelling argument for heritage buildings. There's a lot of value simply in having a mix of buildings, and it is painfully obvious that some people are willing to pay a big premium for nice older buildings with unique character. Halifax has a lot of exceptional buildings, but if it tears them all down it will be left at a distinct economic disadvantage. Quite frankly, if it were to lose all of its character, I'm not sure why people would choose to live there or visit. It would cease to hold the same sort of attraction it holds now for some non-locals, and that would result in a real economic hit.

ILoveHalifax
May 1, 2013, 12:15 PM
Anyway, regarding ILove's comment: The path to urban revitalization is not to destroy everything that looks a bit worn-out. We tried that, and whoa, boy, it didn't work. Didn't we have this back-and-forth already? I think so!

Good day Drybrain.
On April 27 you wrote about being pro demolition in the south Barrington area. Let me tell you that those buildings you want to demolish look like palaces compared to all those demolished to build Scotia Sq and Cogswell.
You seem to dismiss Keith's comments re Waverley Inn and section. I feel they were very accurate, and agree with Keith.

Now you tell me 'Didn`t we have his conversation already?' as if I have no right to comment on this thread. My comments were not directed at you, in fact I could care less what you think. I actually discount your thoughts because I don't think you know what you are talking about, but I have not told you how I feel about you as this is an open forum. If you dislike my comments then don't respond and certainly do not be dismissive. Learn some respect for others opinions.

Drybrain
May 1, 2013, 1:32 PM
Good day Drybrain.
On April 27 you wrote about being pro demolition in the south Barrington area. Let me tell you that those buildings you want to demolish look like palaces compared to all those demolished to build Scotia Sq and Cogswell.
You seem to dismiss Keith's comments re Waverley Inn and section. I feel they were very accurate, and agree with Keith.

Now you tell me 'Didn`t we have his conversation already?' as if I have no right to comment on this thread. My comments were not directed at you, in fact I could care less what you think. I actually discount your thoughts because I don't think you know what you are talking about, but I have not told you how I feel about you as this is an open forum. If you dislike my comments then don't respond and certainly do not be dismissive. Learn some respect for others opinions.

Oh, lord: The "didn't we have this already" was just to acknowledge that we've trod the same ground before, if anyone else reading it is getting tired of it. (Was a lighthearted comment.)

The Barrington South buildings I mean are the Tim Hortons, the metal-sided warehouses, the Superstore, etc.

It's nice that you agree with Keith, but my point is that both of you seem to want to repeat the failed, destructive policies of the 50-70s. Most cities have moved beyond that, and found much more success with preservation/re-use/infill than demolition. So should Halifax (it already is, a few unfortunately powerful developers aside).

Let's not get into it again though, okay? I think what I think you think what you think...that's alright.

halifaxboyns
May 1, 2013, 3:23 PM
Oh, lord: The "didn't we have this already" was just to acknowledge that we've trod the same ground before, if anyone else reading it is getting tired of it. (Was a lighthearted comment.)

The Barrington South buildings I mean are the Tim Hortons, the metal-sided warehouses, the Superstore, etc.

It's nice that you agree with Keith, but my point is that both of you seem to want to repeat the failed, destructive policies of the 50-70s. Most cities have moved beyond that, and found much more success with preservation/re-use/infill than demolition. So should Halifax (it already is, a few unfortunately powerful developers aside).

Let's not get into it again though, okay? I think what I think you think what you think...that's alright.

What is there to protect when the building already burnt down though?
What if the building you wish to protect structurally cannot support redevelopment or the cost to retool/reuse the building becomes so prohibitive it is cheaper to demolish or retain the facade and build behind it?
Are you prepared to support extension of the heritage grant money to this area to help support retention of buildings?
What if they want to to build an addition onto the building that is more significant that the building being retained?

These are just a few questions I came up with after having one sip of coffee...but you see where I'm going. You say that demolishing is failed policy, but I would also argue that retention is also a failed policy too, because often the cost can be quite prohibitive. So how do we solve that issue when building codes are not in the hands of the city?

someone123
May 1, 2013, 3:51 PM
I suspect that when the costs of preservation are considered a serious burden it's often because of how other development rules are set up. The squat 4-6 floor "NIMBY specials" are just about the worst case for preservation because of their large footprint and small number of units over which to spread costs. I think point towers would actually work out a lot better in the South End.

Drybrain
May 1, 2013, 4:32 PM
What if the building you wish to protect structurally cannot support redevelopment or the cost to retool/reuse the building becomes so prohibitive it is cheaper to demolish or retain the facade and build behind it?


I follow development issues around the country, and have seen more than enough proof that it's rarely the case, as is so often argued here, that older buildings are structurally inadequate to support new uses. That's just...so disproven, except in the most dire cases. As far as cost, what's cheaper is not always what's better, and urban developers are usually willing to splash out a bit for quality (see the links I posted up above). After all, it's cheaper to build a drywall-and-plywood box than to build an architect-designed structure, but nobody wants to live in a city full of the former.


Are you prepared to support extension of the heritage grant money to this area to help support retention of buildings?


Yes.


What if they want to to build an addition onto the building that is more significant that the building being retained?


That would be fine. I'm not Phil Pacey, after all!

Consider Victoria Hall--retaining and reno-ing the existing building (which I guarantee is totally viable) and putting up a tower, connected to the original building, in the large space to the rear would be the logical thing to do. In most cities, that's almost definitely what would happen.

Same thing could be done on a smaller scale with the Elmwood apartments (the yellow building under discussion). Tear down this unremarkable thing (https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=halifax&hl=en&ll=44.640349,-63.570078&spn=0.001334,0.00327&safe=off&hnear=Halifax,+Halifax+Regional+Municipality,+Nova+Scotia&gl=ca&t=h&z=19&layer=c&cbll=44.640264,-63.570547&panoid=pszLnljj97QHor27q61aXg&cbp=12,37.22,,0,-3.82) and you have room to put up a four-storey building behind it (and get Barrington frontage besides).

Empire
May 2, 2013, 3:52 AM
I would like to see the Taj Mahal building renovated and incorporated into a larger project. Yes, a clean site would allow a developer to make more money but there is a lot of value to the community in preserving our Victorian buildings. This building brings a lot of character to the area. The plywood addition shows how little we value buildings like this. If we had a heritage protection policy with teeth, buildings like this would be automatically protected.

Taj Mahal building.
http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&ll=44.640208,-63.569679&spn=0.000004,0.001813&t=h&z=19&layer=c&cbll=44.64018,-63.569812&panoid=ghiMIhWJI7TVBXTVV7PRew&cbp=12,24.45,,0,-2.74

someone123
May 2, 2013, 4:08 AM
There was an interesting article about Barrington Street in today's Herald: http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/1126431-survival-of-the-fittest-in-downtown-halifax

They specifically mention the Green Lantern building. Apparently the owner still intends to restore it but has been having trouble with insurance claims and City Hall. They don't get into a lot of details.

It's frustrating how preventable the problems on Barrington are. The streetscaping should have been done years ago, the Roy tenant was seemingly needlessly kicked out, the province abuses the street somewhat, etc. It probably won't be so bad as some of the new construction finishes up, but for now it is really hard for Barrington to function as a normal retail street because so much of it is out of commission for one reason or another.

Keith P.
May 2, 2013, 6:37 PM
I would like to see the Taj Mahal building renovated and incorporated into a larger project. Yes, a clean site would allow a developer to make more money but there is a lot of value to the community in preserving our Victorian buildings. This building brings a lot of character to the area. The plywood addition shows how little we value buildings like this. If we had a heritage protection policy with teeth, buildings like this would be automatically protected.

Taj Mahal building.
http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&ll=44.640208,-63.569679&spn=0.000004,0.001813&t=h&z=19&layer=c&cbll=44.64018,-63.569812&panoid=ghiMIhWJI7TVBXTVV7PRew&cbp=12,24.45,,0,-2.74

I see an ugly building with both front and rear additions that were needed to make it work as a restaurant space. If you want to take them off, you don't have viable commercial space any more. You are left with a single-family home, or the shell of one, that would require hugely expensive renovations to make it livable. I do not see any way that could be financially viable.

Drybrain
May 2, 2013, 7:14 PM
I see an ugly building with both front and rear additions that were needed to make it work as a restaurant space. If you want to take them off, you don't have viable commercial space any more. You are left with a single-family home, or the shell of one, that would require hugely expensive renovations to make it livable. I do not see any way that could be financially viable.

Funny that this (https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=yorkville+oxley+pub&hl=en&ll=43.670685,-79.393159&spn=0.001548,0.003629&sll=43.670749,-79.39304&sspn=0.024771,0.058064&t=h&gl=ca&hq=oxley+pub&hnear=Yorkville,+Toronto,+Toronto+Division,+Ontario&layer=c&cbll=43.670724,-79.393159&panoid=LiXqqSXctd99sHkFc1ax7A&cbp=12,141.78,,0,-11.1&z=19) or this (https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=halifax&ll=44.643849,-63.577312&spn=0.006091,0.014516&safe=off&hnear=Halifax,+Halifax+Regional+Municipality,+Nova+Scotia&gl=ca&t=h&z=17&layer=c&cbll=44.643668,-63.577226&panoid=lToYOHXlapjgnWlxwNMTDA&cbp=12,69.8,,0,-18.02) or this (https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=hollis+street&hl=en&ll=44.642117,-63.570049&spn=0.001382,0.007258&sll=44.642109,-63.570049&sspn=0.012244,0.029032&t=h&gl=ca&hnear=Hollis+St,+Halifax,+Nova+Scotia&z=18&layer=c&cbll=44.642116,-63.570048&panoid=3GGRDQdZzhtGWVeiLXbzfw&cbp=11,44.08,,0,-6.59) work as viable commercial/restaurant space. (That first one is split into two restaurants, both of which are huge on the inside.) Clearly someone found a way to make these similar spaces viable.

Empire
May 2, 2013, 10:25 PM
I see an ugly building with both front and rear additions that were needed to make it work as a restaurant space. If you want to take them off, you don't have viable commercial space any more. You are left with a single-family home, or the shell of one, that would require hugely expensive renovations to make it livable. I do not see any way that could be financially viable.

I know this is a different scale but an entire streetscape was constructed to reflect the structures around Princess Pl. and it seemed to work for the developer. It's the best part of the project as the Armoury Sq. is a very boring ugly building. I like the height and I think it should have been higher but not with that economy design. This is what I don't want to see on South ST. ......an Armoury Sq. without the Princess Pl.

Seems to work here
http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&ll=44.651135,-63.590621&spn=0.000008,0.003626&t=h&z=18&layer=c&cbll=44.651128,-63.590798&panoid=xsDY3_N8zw46U-_8PJZIiA&cbp=12,46.9,,0,0

ILoveHalifax
May 2, 2013, 11:47 PM
I know this is a different scale but an entire streetscape was constructed to reflect the structures around Princess Pl. and it seemed to work for the developer. It's the best part of the project as the Armoury Sq. is a very boring ugly building. I like the height and I think it should have been higher but not with that economy design. This is what I don't want to see on South ST. ......an Armoury Sq. without the Princess Pl.

Seems to work here
http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&ll=44.651135,-63.590621&spn=0.000008,0.003626&t=h&z=18&layer=c&cbll=44.651128,-63.590798&panoid=xsDY3_N8zw46U-_8PJZIiA&cbp=12,46.9,,0,0

Actually, I'm not so sure it worked for the developer. Those places took an awfully long time to sell and some on the other side of the complex are still empty.

spaustin
May 3, 2013, 1:07 PM
Love this building, but luxury condos is not a medium term strategy. Once condos, it is difficult to redevelop as 2/3 of owners must approve sale/changes. Never an easy task. Also code upgrades - like Victoria Hall on Gottingen - make is difficult to make heritage conversion projects profitable. Don't blame the developer, blame the over-engineered building code. :shrug:

I lived in the yellow building for a year before I bought my house in Dartmouth. Picked it deliberately after I had to move out of the old Vic because I love old buildings. It was actually once the Elmwood Hotel and there is still frosted glass with Elmwood written on it on the front door. It's unique and is one of only a few large wooden buildings left (5269 South Street, Victoria Hall and 5673 Cornwallis being the only others I can think of). The owners of Elmwood actually make good rental income off the property and they do minimal maintenance so I presume it's fairly profitable. My understanding is that development isn't really their thing. They're apartment operators who bought this place when property downtown wasn't worth anything. They've actually just finished adding basement apartments.

The issue of course is that Elmwood isn't a heritage building and it doesn't fill the lot. Under a different owner, it could easily be a target for demolition and our heritage rules don't have much in the way of teeth or incentives to stop that. Hopefully it's something that can be addressed. I'm all for allowing greater height next door and on the Superstore block (that just makes sense) but Elmwood is worth saving.

Here's an old pic from the NS archives going back to 1895-1905 when Elmwood was a hotel.
http://s19.postimg.org/4lwllqj83/Elmwood_Hotel_1895_1905.jpg

Keith P.
May 3, 2013, 2:13 PM
Funny that this (https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=yorkville+oxley+pub&hl=en&ll=43.670685,-79.393159&spn=0.001548,0.003629&sll=43.670749,-79.39304&sspn=0.024771,0.058064&t=h&gl=ca&hq=oxley+pub&hnear=Yorkville,+Toronto,+Toronto+Division,+Ontario&layer=c&cbll=43.670724,-79.393159&panoid=LiXqqSXctd99sHkFc1ax7A&cbp=12,141.78,,0,-11.1&z=19) or this (https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=halifax&ll=44.643849,-63.577312&spn=0.006091,0.014516&safe=off&hnear=Halifax,+Halifax+Regional+Municipality,+Nova+Scotia&gl=ca&t=h&z=17&layer=c&cbll=44.643668,-63.577226&panoid=lToYOHXlapjgnWlxwNMTDA&cbp=12,69.8,,0,-18.02) or this (https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=hollis+street&hl=en&ll=44.642117,-63.570049&spn=0.001382,0.007258&sll=44.642109,-63.570049&sspn=0.012244,0.029032&t=h&gl=ca&hnear=Hollis+St,+Halifax,+Nova+Scotia&z=18&layer=c&cbll=44.642116,-63.570048&panoid=3GGRDQdZzhtGWVeiLXbzfw&cbp=11,44.08,,0,-6.59) work as viable commercial/restaurant space. (That first one is split into two restaurants, both of which are huge on the inside.) Clearly someone found a way to make these similar spaces viable.

Totally irrelevant. Those are not what was deemed necessary for the Taj Mahal restaurant to operate successfully. So now you not only want to tell a business owner what his property should look like, but also tell him what kind of business to run?

There's nothing wrong with the Taj Mahal that a mysterious late-night fire wouldn't fix. That's what happens when you impose undue restrictions on what people can do with their buildings. If that happened, I suppose you would support the city spending a few hundred thou to prop up the facade for a couple of decades until some fool comes along and decides it can be reconstructed in the spirit of what used to be there.

Drybrain
May 3, 2013, 2:22 PM
I lived in the yellow building for a year before I bought my house in Dartmouth. Picked it deliberately after I had to move out of the old Vic because I love old buildings. It was actually once the Elmwood Hotel and there is still frosted glass with Elmwood written on it on the front door. It's unique and is one of only a few large wooden buildings left (5269 South Street, Victoria Hall and 5673 Cornwallis being the only others I can think of). The owners of Elmwood actually make good rental income off the property and they do minimal maintenance so I presume it's fairly profitable. My understanding is that development isn't really their thing. They're apartment operators who bought this place when property downtown wasn't worth anything. They've actually just finished adding basement apartments.

The issue of course is that Elmwood isn't a heritage building and it doesn't fill the lot. Under a different owner, it could easily be a target for demolition and our heritage rules don't have much in the way of teeth or incentives to stop that. Hopefully it's something that can be addressed. I'm all for allowing greater height next door and on the Superstore block (that just makes sense) but Elmwood is worth saving.

Here's an old pic from the NS archives going back to 1895-1905 when Elmwood was a hotel.
http://s19.postimg.org/4lwllqj83/Elmwood_Hotel_1895_1905.jpg

Cool. It does look well maintained (today, I mean). Maybe the owner can be persuaded to register it as a heritage property before selling it, if they plan on doing so.

ILoveHalifax
May 3, 2013, 8:26 PM
I haven't been inside that old yellow place for 30 years and IMO, it was in poor shape at that time. Doesn't look like it has had much by way of repair in that all this time.

haligonia
May 3, 2013, 9:24 PM
I haven't been inside that old yellow place for 30 years and IMO, it was in poor shape at that time. Doesn't look like it has had much by way of repair in that all this time.

I imagine that if the place is still being rented today, some interior updates must have been made since then.

Empire
May 3, 2013, 10:23 PM
Totally irrelevant. Those are not what was deemed necessary for the Taj Mahal restaurant to operate successfully. So now you not only want to tell a business owner what his property should look like, but also tell him what kind of business to run?

There's nothing wrong with the Taj Mahal that a mysterious late-night fire wouldn't fix. That's what happens when you impose undue restrictions on what people can do with their buildings. If that happened, I suppose you would support the city spending a few hundred thou to prop up the facade for a couple of decades until some fool comes along and decides it can be reconstructed in the spirit of what used to be there.

Keith, I'm not sure what you support, development for development sake or the complete demolition of every building that appears to be "run down" or not profitable for developers.

If you take a long hard look at the new buildings that have been constructed in the last 30 years in Halifax could you really point out one that has any architectural merit?

Halifax is the Grand Olde Dame and it's being destroyed by cheap, non-descript, concrete paneled, vinyl sided, chipboard garbage!

ILoveHalifax
May 3, 2013, 11:12 PM
Keith, I'm not sure what you support, development for development sake or the complete demolition of every building that appears to be "run down" or not profitable for developers.

If you take a long hard look at the new buildings that have been constructed in the last 30 years in Halifax could you really point out one that has any architectural merit?

Halifax is the Grand Olde Dame and it's being destroyed by cheap, non-descript, concrete paneled, vinyl sided, chipboard garbage!

If we leave every old run down building that is not profitable for developers we will become known for our slums just as we were known for our slums back in the 50s

Empire
May 3, 2013, 11:37 PM
Totally irrelevant. Those are not what was deemed necessary for the Taj Mahal restaurant to operate successfully. So now you not only want to tell a business owner what his property should look like, but also tell him what kind of business to run?

There's nothing wrong with the Taj Mahal that a mysterious late-night fire wouldn't fix. That's what happens when you impose undue restrictions on what people can do with their buildings. If that happened, I suppose you would support the city spending a few hundred thou to prop up the facade for a couple of decades until some fool comes along and decides it can be reconstructed in the spirit of what used to be there.

If you really want to see what we are doing wrong, then thumb throught this thread and look at the Quebec pics......

What Halifax does wrong.........
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=163051&page=94

Keith P.
May 4, 2013, 12:10 AM
If you really want to see what we are doing wrong, then thumb throught this thread and look at the Quebec pics......

What Halifax does wrong.........
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=163051&page=94

We don't have anything like that except for the re-creation of Historic Properties. But that is very Disney-fied. The random old building one finds in Halifax, in most cases, is run down and usually exists in isolation, making it difficult to be commercially viable.

Drybrain
May 4, 2013, 1:40 AM
We don't have anything like that except for the re-creation of Historic Properties. But that is very Disney-fied. The random old building one finds in Halifax, in most cases, is run down and usually exists in isolation, making it difficult to be commercially viable.

But your assumptions about what is and isn't viable are just that, assumptions. Your idea that Halifax has crazily restrictive bylaws around property use is actually the opposite of the real situation, and I hope you're kidding about arson--nobody has the right to risk adjacent properties (and lives) lives by burning down their properties if they don't get to do whatever they want with them.

I'm not trying to troll or be a jerk, but really. You and ILove are often sound like the anti-Paceys, just as extreme on the other end of the spectrum. Seriously: The urban clearcutting and rebuilding tactic was tried once, and it failed EVERY time, in EVERY city.

fenwick16
May 4, 2013, 6:15 AM
I lived in the yellow building for a year before I bought my house in Dartmouth. Picked it deliberately after I had to move out of the old Vic because I love old buildings. It was actually once the Elmwood Hotel and there is still frosted glass with Elmwood written on it on the front door. It's unique and is one of only a few large wooden buildings left (5269 South Street, Victoria Hall and 5673 Cornwallis being the only others I can think of). The owners of Elmwood actually make good rental income off the property and they do minimal maintenance so I presume it's fairly profitable. My understanding is that development isn't really their thing. They're apartment operators who bought this place when property downtown wasn't worth anything. They've actually just finished adding basement apartments.

The issue of course is that Elmwood isn't a heritage building and it doesn't fill the lot. Under a different owner, it could easily be a target for demolition and our heritage rules don't have much in the way of teeth or incentives to stop that. Hopefully it's something that can be addressed. I'm all for allowing greater height next door and on the Superstore block (that just makes sense) but Elmwood is worth saving.

Here's an old pic from the NS archives going back to 1895-1905 when Elmwood was a hotel.
http://s19.postimg.org/4lwllqj83/Elmwood_Hotel_1895_1905.jpg


This is a fine old building and I hope that it is properly maintained and upgraded so that it will last for another 100 - 200 years.

RyeJay
May 4, 2013, 8:23 AM
But your assumptions about what is and isn't viable are just that, assumptions. Your idea that Halifax has crazily restrictive bylaws around property use is actually the opposite of the real situation, and I hope you're kidding about arson--nobody has the right to risk adjacent properties (and lives) lives by burning down their properties if they don't get to do whatever they want with them.

I'm not trying to troll or be a jerk, but really. You and ILove are often sound like the anti-Paceys, just as extreme on the other end of the spectrum. Seriously: The urban clearcutting and rebuilding tactic was tried once, and it failed EVERY time, in EVERY city.

Well said.

ILoveHalifax
May 4, 2013, 9:22 AM
But your assumptions about what is and isn't viable are just that, assumptions. Your idea that Halifax has crazily restrictive bylaws around property use is actually the opposite of the real situation, and I hope you're kidding about arson--nobody has the right to risk adjacent properties (and lives) lives by burning down their properties if they don't get to do whatever they want with them.

I'm not trying to troll or be a jerk, but really. You and ILove are often sound like the anti-Paceys, just as extreme on the other end of the spectrum. Seriously: The urban clearcutting and rebuilding tactic was tried once, and it failed EVERY time, in EVERY city.

Let me tell you about ILove.
I am anti anybody, Phil Pacey or Drybrain, who thinks that they have all the answers and know how everybody else should live. I was raised by a control freak and I see too many in these conversations. Nobody is right all the time and on every issue.
I am anti those who are so sure that we should have saved all the rat infested slums in Halifax. I am anti those who insist that Scotia Square is a failure. It may not be perfect but it is better than what was there. I am anti the Jennifer Watts who visit Scandanavia and come back to tell us we have to build all new buildings with wood. I am anti those who read a book and think that they now are the authority on cities. I am anti those who live on the 14th floor and yet think that nobody else can live on the 19th floor because it is too high. I am anti those who live on a 40 by 100 foot lot telling everyone else their lot is too big. I am anti those who want to restrict traffic on their street to just those who live on the peninsula. I would love to see those in the suburbs block off the freeways that run thru their areas, so nobody could get in or out of the city. I am anti anybody who has not run a restaurant telling restaurant owners how to run their business, or those who have not been in retail telling store owners where they should set up shop. I am anti those who want everyone who lives on the peninsula to have to live in substandard accommodations because we do not want to build anything new. I am anti those who walk or ride bikes or use transit telling everybody they should not drive their cars.
I see a lot of our current thoughts on cities being an experiment and someday 50 years down the road we will look back and realize we too have made mistakes

worldlyhaligonian
May 4, 2013, 11:46 AM
Let me tell you about ILove.
I am anti anybody, Phil Pacey or Drybrain, who thinks that they have all the answers and know how everybody else should live. I was raised by a control freak and I see too many in these conversations. Nobody is right all the time and on every issue.
I am anti those who are so sure that we should have saved all the rat infested slums in Halifax. I am anti those who insist that Scotia Square is a failure. It may not be perfect but it is better than what was there. I am anti the Jennifer Watts who visit Scandanavia and come back to tell us we have to build all new buildings with wood. I am anti those who read a book and think that they now are the authority on cities. I am anti those who live on the 14th floor and yet think that nobody else can live on the 19th floor because it is too high. I am anti those who live on a 40 by 100 foot lot telling everyone else their lot is too big. I am anti those who want to restrict traffic on their street to just those who live on the peninsula. I would love to see those in the suburbs block off the freeways that run thru their areas, so nobody could get in or out of the city. I am anti anybody who has not run a restaurant telling restaurant owners how to run their business, or those who have not been in retail telling store owners where they should set up shop. I am anti those who want everyone who lives on the peninsula to have to live in substandard accommodations because we do not want to build anything new. I am anti those who walk or ride bikes or use transit telling everybody they should not drive their cars.
I see a lot of our current thoughts on cities being an experiment and someday 50 years down the road we will look back and realize we too have made mistakes

Nailed it.

worldlyhaligonian
May 4, 2013, 11:48 AM
I love it how you reference the "cutting the top floor off"... this tactic is used so that 18 becomes the new 19 and and its a downward spiral from there. The misinformation and tactics of the anti-development camps is exactly how they should not be operating.

fenwick16
May 4, 2013, 12:33 PM
Barrington Street height limit increase considered

Proposal will affect Westin Nova Scotian, Via Rail and Atlantic Superstore

CBC News
Posted: Mar 15, 2013 9:41 AM AT
Last Updated: Mar 15, 2013 12:00 PM AT

The Halifax Regional Municipality is considering increasing the height limit for several properties at the south end of Barrington Street, including a lot that has been vacant since a fire two years ago.

Although the current height restriction on the site is 45 feet or approximately 13.7 metres, planners with the municipality want to change that to nearly 22 metres — approximately seven storeys.
.
.
.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2013/03/15/ns-barrington-height-limit.html

------


Allnovascotia.com (May 1st, 2013 edition) provided results of the HRM Council vote on this issue. (my hand-typed excerpt is below):

City Hall Desk
Amy Pugsley Fraser
.
.
.
South Barrington Change Proposed

Despite rejection from its Design Review Committee, regional council has approved a staff plan to get moving on relaxing height restrictions on a few select properties in the South Barrington precinct.

A public hearing on the proposed amendments to the Downtown Halifax Secondary MPS & LUB will be held at an upcoming meeting.

Coun. Waye Mason (Downtown-Peninsula South) made the motion to increase the 10- and 13-metre height limits to 22 metres for properties at 1161-1203 Hollis St., 1075-1145 Barrington St. and 5161-5175 South St.

One building that housed Cafe Chianti burned down a few years ago.

Mason said the heritage aspects of the building no longer need to be protected through height limits.

Heritage Trust's Phil Pacey was opposed to the switch.
"We like the idea of keeping those height limits"

The Trust also want to see the city get moving on the Barrington South Conservation District to ensure the streetscape is protected for years to come.

CAO Richard Butts says the city will be bringing that plan forward in about a year.

The story didn't indicate who voted in favour and who voted against. Here is an illustration of the area that was in question (my sketch over a Bing Maps Birds eye view - https://imageshack.us/scaled/large/32/staffproposalforcornwal.jpg). The good thing is that it will be discussed at a public hearing so people can have their say.

Drybrain
May 4, 2013, 4:06 PM
Let me tell you about ILove.
I am anti anybody, Phil Pacey or Drybrain, who thinks that they have all the answers and know how everybody else should live. I was raised by a control freak and I see too many in these conversations. Nobody is right all the time and on every issue.

I see a lot of our current thoughts on cities being an experiment and someday 50 years down the road we will look back and realize we too have made mistakes

I'm not trying to tell people how to do their business, but it's important to realize that being against certain developments, or advocating for changes or compromises from property developers, is not anti development. It's part of being a citizen. We don't have a society in which property ownership gives you 100 per cent control over the property you own--we have community standards to abide by, and when you own a property in a city, what you do with it affects the whole community, so the whole community has some right to weigh in on it. (That's why your neighbour on a residential street can't, say, turn his house into a dance club.)

You and I both dislike substandard living conditions and sanctimonious cyclists and NIMBYs trying to prevent anything from happening. But it seems like you think old buildings are always or at least usually always substandard, cyclists are all sanctimonious and providing bike infrastructure is a waste, and lobbying developers or advocating for heritage protection is in and of itself anti-development.

And while you believe a lot of our current thinking on cities is theoretical or experimental, and we may regret it in 50 years, what about the fact that the ideas you're espousing reflect last century's theories, which, as a society we DO regret? (Tearing down too many buildings, highways through downtowns, treating private automobiles as the main means of transportation and relegatin others to secondary status.) You may think all that was dandy, but there's increasingly broad consensus that we made a lot of mistakes. The solution isn't to make them again.

Anyway, getting into circular arguments. Signing off!

Keith P.
May 4, 2013, 4:46 PM
I'm not trying to troll or be a jerk, but really. You and ILove are often sound like the anti-Paceys, just as extreme on the other end of the spectrum. Seriously: The urban clearcutting and rebuilding tactic was tried once, and it failed EVERY time, in EVERY city.

Preposterous.

You are stating that every urban redevelopment in the past 50 years has been a failure. That will come as a surprise to those who are living in vibrant, modern cities around the world.

The problem in Halifax is that we make huge issues out of saving buildings simply because they are old, not because they are old and good. We fail to see the possible because we remain slavishly devoted to the past and seem unable to move on from that. I would argue that the little development we have seen over the past 30 years in Halifax downtown has been vastly inferior to what it could have been because we have been forced to limit ourselves to ensuring it was "compatible" with the run-down old buildings nearby. The result has been a series of squat, short, faux-Victorian red brick buildings with styrofoam cornice detailing that look absolutely awful.

We need to wipe the slate clean. That doesn't mean tearing down every old building for the sake of tearing it down. But it does mean allowing modern developments to go forward when they are proposed and not de-railing them simply because there is an old wood-frame 2-storey Victorian slum nearby.

Keith P.
May 4, 2013, 4:47 PM
Let me tell you about ILove.
I am anti anybody, Phil Pacey or Drybrain, who thinks that they have all the answers and know how everybody else should live. I was raised by a control freak and I see too many in these conversations. Nobody is right all the time and on every issue.
I am anti those who are so sure that we should have saved all the rat infested slums in Halifax. I am anti those who insist that Scotia Square is a failure. It may not be perfect but it is better than what was there. I am anti the Jennifer Watts who visit Scandanavia and come back to tell us we have to build all new buildings with wood. I am anti those who read a book and think that they now are the authority on cities. I am anti those who live on the 14th floor and yet think that nobody else can live on the 19th floor because it is too high. I am anti those who live on a 40 by 100 foot lot telling everyone else their lot is too big. I am anti those who want to restrict traffic on their street to just those who live on the peninsula. I would love to see those in the suburbs block off the freeways that run thru their areas, so nobody could get in or out of the city. I am anti anybody who has not run a restaurant telling restaurant owners how to run their business, or those who have not been in retail telling store owners where they should set up shop. I am anti those who want everyone who lives on the peninsula to have to live in substandard accommodations because we do not want to build anything new. I am anti those who walk or ride bikes or use transit telling everybody they should not drive their cars.
I see a lot of our current thoughts on cities being an experiment and someday 50 years down the road we will look back and realize we too have made mistakes

Now THAT is truly "well said". :tup:

Duff
May 4, 2013, 8:53 PM
This building seems to be getting a renovation. Its across from Allen St. on Windsor St.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8126/8707506623_e433aa497d_b.jpg

Keith P.
May 5, 2013, 1:20 PM
This building seems to be getting a renovation. Its across from Allen St. on Windsor St.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8126/8707506623_e433aa497d_b.jpg


Well, that is interesting. I have gone past that building for what seems like forever and it has always been stuck in the '40s or '50s and has never seemed to change, not once except for a recent disturbing disfiguring of graffiti vandalism on its flanks, and the usual deterioration over time. I have often wondered why the owner never did anything to it. It is good to see some modifications and slight modernization.

http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll229/keith_p/allan_windsor_zpsba16b598.jpg

Empire
May 5, 2013, 3:13 PM
Well, that is interesting. I have gone past that building for what seems like forever and it has always been stuck in the '40s or '50s and has never seemed to change, not once except for a recent disturbing disfiguring of graffiti vandalism on its flanks, and the usual deterioration over time. I have often wondered why the owner never did anything to it. It is good to see some modifications and slight modernization.

http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll229/keith_p/allan_windsor_zpsba16b598.jpg

I assume they will move the oil tank.

Nifta
May 5, 2013, 3:20 PM
The interior is being completely gutted during the reno (including new interior walls). It's always looked fairly slummy, so I'm glad to see it happen.

Waye Mason
May 5, 2013, 5:31 PM
What is most fascinating about this Elmwood debate is a) it is outside the area under consideration for height limits and b) has seen substantial investment under the old and new owners, including several basement apartments being added (which are actually at ground level entered at grade from the east parking lot), the fire escape fixed, the whole outside restored and painted, windows fixed and repaired, and a host of interior and exterior renovations. I believe loft apartments in the attic 4th floor are contemplated or even done.

This is not a slum, for god sake, it is a highly desirable rental at a modest cost. It was good when I lived there in 1991 and it is far better today.

Drybrain
May 5, 2013, 5:35 PM
What is most fascinating about this Elmwood debate is a) it is outside the area under consideration for height limits and b) has seen substantial investment under the old and new owners, including several basement apartments being added (which are actually at ground level entered at grade from the east parking lot), the fire escape fixed, the whole outside restored and painted, windows fixed and repaired, and a host of interior and exterior renovations. I believe loft apartments in the attic 4th floor are contemplated or even done.

This is not a slum, for god sake, it is a highly desirable rental at a modest cost. It was good when I lived there in 1991 and it is far better today.

Exactly. It's freshly painted, has matching doors and trim, and little other bits of attention to detail that suggest good ownership. It's incomprehensible that anyone could call it slummy. (I think the concern about it's future, though, stems from the possibility of a sale--even though the lot is still subject to the old height limits, who knows what someone might try to do...)

fenwick16
May 5, 2013, 7:29 PM
A couple of years ago CN was on the street for Expressions of Interest for possible development of the train station and lands adjacent to all of this, and there was some discussion about the Superstore property as well. All speculative but I'm nonetheless curious if this plays into any of this.....

http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/28332-rail-wants-develop-halifax-train-station

Regarding hoser111's post, there was a story about this in the allnovascotia.com - "David Graham Poised to Redevelop Via Station" by Andrew MacDonald, April 25, 2013. I have hand-typed a few excerpts below:


David Graham Poised to Redevelop Via Station
by Andrew MacDonald

David Graham of Atlantic Developments is now in negotiations with Via Rail over a redevelopment of its historic Downtown Halifax train station.

Graham is not commenting on his plans, or the stage of negotiations. Via Rail did not respond to requests for information.

Graham, the son of prominent retired Liberal senator Al Graham, was the developer behind the successful Theatre Lofts condo development on Gottingen Street.
.
.
.
There is a 35-foot height restriction on the site, and zoning is complicated because only a portion of the Via lands fall under HRM by Design. Other parts are outside the development plan.

There are major transmission lines running through the site, as well as underground electrical services to the building, which divide the site in two.
.
.
.
The property is bounded by Marginal Road, owned by the Halifax Port Authority.


Looking at the image below, it appears as though the 35 foot (10.668 meter) height limit will be changed to 22 meters (which would allow for about 7 storeys). I am not sure how much of the surface parking lot between the Via Rail Station and Marginal Road is owned by Via Rail.

https://imageshack.us/scaled/large/32/staffproposalforcornwal.jpg

PS: I found this information regarding upgrades that have been completed on the Halifax Via Station - http://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail/capital-investment/article/halifax%E2%80%99s-old-heritage-building-looking-young-again

Keith P.
May 5, 2013, 8:31 PM
I am curious why the rail lines adjacent are not covered under the height change proposal. They used to have a structure covering them that was removed years ago, and it is not uncommon for structures to be built over lines in this kind of situation - as an example, the TD Garden in Boston and Madison Square Garden in NYC.

As for the Superstore property, while some may have hopes, I would not hold your breath that anything will occur there soon.

someone123
May 5, 2013, 9:17 PM
As for the Superstore property, while some may have hopes, I would not hold your breath that anything will occur there soon.

I think it's important to be forward-thinking and put the zoning in place now to encourage development, rather than leaving this silly height limit in place. If it's left alone it will be forgotten about until somebody finally does want to redevelop the area, at which point it will add months or years of needless delays.

Same thing goes for the rail lines you mentioned. It may take a long time to happen, but that whole area is ripe for redevelopment.

mcmcclassic
May 7, 2013, 1:51 PM
If David Graham re-develops the VIA rail train station, he had better put more quality and effort into the new structure. The Theatre Lofts on Gottingen St. look horrendous! It took lots of things that us forumers generally despise (stucco, vinyl siding, 4 stories in a spot where higher buildings should be) and I just pray that any development on the VIA rail site has none of these things.

The height limit currently there is fuel for a short building - which here seems to lead to miserable cladding and the sort. :2cents:

Drybrain
May 7, 2013, 2:10 PM
If David Graham re-develops the VIA rail train station, he had better put more quality and effort into the new structure. The Theatre Lofts on Gottingen St. look horrendous! It took lots of things that us forumers generally despise (stucco, vinyl siding, 4 stories in a spot where higher buildings should be) and I just pray that any development on the VIA rail site has none of these things.

The height limit currently there is fuel for a short building - which here seems to lead to miserable cladding and the sort. :2cents:

I think it's all about the architect—apparently Atlantic also did this renovation (http://theatrelofts.ca/QueenRichmond.pdf) in Toronto. I used to work in that building, and it's beautiful. About as far from Theatre Lofts as you can get.

Nifta
May 7, 2013, 5:06 PM
If they redesign the station, will it be based on the volume of traffic that goes through it? What is the schedule like now? One train every two days isn't it?

Something like this should be able to handle the traffic...

http://us.123rf.com/400wm/400/400/phillipminnis/phillipminnis0905/phillipminnis090500079/4946337-a-small-railway-station-wating-room-on-the-zig-zag-railway-near-lithgow-new-south-wales-australia.jpg

halifaxboyns
May 7, 2013, 6:55 PM
I am curious why the rail lines adjacent are not covered under the height change proposal. They used to have a structure covering them that was removed years ago, and it is not uncommon for structures to be built over lines in this kind of situation - as an example, the TD Garden in Boston and Madison Square Garden in NYC.

As for the Superstore property, while some may have hopes, I would not hold your breath that anything will occur there soon.

You are correct about the covered structured because where the Acadian (now whatever bus line it is) was the main office for Clarke Transport (where my mom worked). They had their freight yard which was most of the Superstore site, where trucks would be parked in a big gravel parking area and warehouse which was adjacent to the tracks under a big covered roof.

I would agree that it's odd that the provision doesn't cover the tracks, because one of the things that could happen over time (if a regional rail system was built and became busy) is the station could be expanded over the tracks. Certainly 22m would be more than enough for a second storey with a huge ceiling to give it a big roomy feeling.

pblaauw
May 8, 2013, 3:28 AM
I'll just leave this here.

https://twitter.com/ILOVELOCALHFX/status/331927434012278784

Jonovision
May 12, 2013, 12:20 AM
The first Doors Open Halifax is taking place on June 8th and 9th. So excited that this type of event has finally come to the city.
http://doorsopenhalifax.com/

ILoveHalifax
May 12, 2013, 12:32 PM
Anybody going to Cogswell Shake Up, Thursday evening?
Anybody want to meet for coffee before or after?
Might be nice to put some faces to the names.

RyeJay
May 12, 2013, 12:58 PM
Anybody going to Cogswell Shake Up, Thursday evening?
Anybody want to meet for coffee before or after?
Might be nice to put some faces to the names.

I wish I could go, but I won't be back in Halifax until Friday... :(

If anyone could post pics, that'd be great! I'm very interested in what will be discussed. Even though it's somewhat early for this kind of speculation, since we still have yet to determine the most appropriate streetscape after the Cogswell comes down -- I wonder if developers are already forming preliminary plans for what could be built there? It would certainly generate excitement, and encourage local officials to move more quickly on this issue.

halifaxboyns
May 12, 2013, 6:41 PM
The first Doors Open Halifax is taking place on June 8th and 9th. So excited that this type of event has finally come to the city.
http://doorsopenhalifax.com/

Would be nice though if more of the HRM side of things got involved. Calgary Transit got involved in that here and people got to go into the LRT garage and honk the horns and go through the wash in an LRT car. Something like that from Metro Transit (at either or both garages) would likely draw quite a crowd.

The same would be true if VIA rail participated - depending on the date. If it was the day a train arrived or an off day when a train was here, but not leaving - giving a tour of the station and the train might go over well too.

HaliStreaks
May 13, 2013, 12:41 AM
Anybody going to Cogswell Shake Up, Thursday evening?
Anybody want to meet for coffee before or after?
Might be nice to put some faces to the names.

I may go to check things out!

kph06
May 13, 2013, 12:45 AM
The crane came down on the Arthur St. Rebuild yesterday.

someone123
May 13, 2013, 2:36 AM
Here's an article about the renovation of the Fireworks building on Barrington Street: http://dorotheerosen.ca/notes/inspiring-vision-in-downtown-halifax/

HaliStreaks
May 13, 2013, 3:18 AM
Here's an article about the renovation of the Fireworks building on Barrington Street: http://dorotheerosen.ca/notes/inspiring-vision-in-downtown-halifax/

In all the photos leading up to the "big reveal" in the article with just seeing little bits and chunks, I was thinking "good god this is going to look awful...." I was delightfully mistaken.. that actually looks pretty cool.

pblaauw
May 13, 2013, 3:52 AM
Anybody going to Cogswell Shake Up, Thursday evening?
Anybody want to meet for coffee before or after?
Might be nice to put some faces to the names.

I might go. If you see a somewhat dishevelled guy in a wheelchair with reflective stickers on the wheels, that's probably me.

This is the most exciting thing to happen in the city since...well, all the construction notwithstanding....since forever.

Actually, it'll be the most exciting thing to happen here since the bridge redecking, since that will be happening first.

worldlyhaligonian
May 13, 2013, 4:56 PM
Big step for the city, and any bridge improvements are welcome as well.

Halifax seems to be getting it together.

Keith P.
May 13, 2013, 8:29 PM
Halifax seems to be getting it together.


Please, cut the hyperbole. That's just crazy talk!!! ;)

toones
May 15, 2013, 8:22 PM
Anybody else notice the 'high quality' siding going up on the King Edward Inn on Agricola. Beige Vinyl... :koko:

beyeas
May 15, 2013, 9:28 PM
Anybody else notice the 'high quality' siding going up on the King Edward Inn on Agricola. Beige Vinyl... :koko:

yeah my wife mentioned that the other day that she saw that. brutal.

Empire
May 15, 2013, 11:36 PM
yeah my wife mentioned that the other day that she saw that. brutal.

I saw that as well.

Vinyl is final. The worst building product ever invented and it should be banned.

King Edward Inn before the destruction:
http://maps.google.ca/maps?q=west+st+halifax&hl=en&ll=44.653097,-63.590326&spn=0.002194,0.003626&sll=44.004261,-62.918551&sspn=9.085143,14.853516&t=h&hnear=West+St,+Halifax,+Nova+Scotia&z=18&layer=c&cbll=44.653015,-63.590209&panoid=NPqdx4VZr9D3L5Uwxt4Whw&cbp=12,201.86,,0,0.59

Drybrain
May 16, 2013, 12:30 AM
Brutal. Does anyone have a pic?

Antigonish
May 16, 2013, 7:32 AM
I saw that as well.

Vinyl is final. The worst building product ever invented and it should be banned.

King Edward Inn before the destruction:
http://maps.google.ca/maps?q=west+st+halifax&hl=en&ll=44.653097,-63.590326&spn=0.002194,0.003626&sll=44.004261,-62.918551&sspn=9.085143,14.853516&t=h&hnear=West+St,+Halifax,+Nova+Scotia&z=18&layer=c&cbll=44.653015,-63.590209&panoid=NPqdx4VZr9D3L5Uwxt4Whw&cbp=12,201.86,,0,0.59
Who ever is responsible should be jailed for 10-15 years...

HalifaxRetales
May 16, 2013, 2:08 PM
http://halifax.retales.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/IMG_3867.jpg

moody
May 16, 2013, 4:36 PM
*barf*

Who thought that was a good idea?

Drybrain
May 16, 2013, 5:32 PM
Obviously it was time to replace the siding, and they went with the cheap option. I understand why they did it, but that doesn't make it okay. It's not an amazing building anyway, but it was unobtrusive and had a certain charm. Now it looks like a big-ass shed.

I wouldn't want to see Halifax go the museum-ification route of cities like Charleston (where the government makes you paint your house pre-approved, historically colours every five years) but it might be nice for something (tax credits? a small grant program for non-heritage properties?) to discourage such crapification. Or maybe just a ban on super crappy siding for any building above a certain size.

Upside: Unlike when owners ruin the facade of brick or stone buildings, this can always be fixed one day.

ILoveHalifax
May 16, 2013, 10:37 PM
I will try not to be too negative, but I just got back from Cogswell Shake Up.

I arrived at 5:40, it was supposed to start at 6:00. People were already speaking. BTW I was out of there before 6:00.

The space was way too small and crowded.

I was ssooooooooooooooooooo disappointed in the presentations or lack of presentations. You could stick colored dots on a chart. Some tables had a brochure with basically nothing on it. There were a few pictures from various cities around the world. One group laid lego in rows. One display showed some upside down boxes with windows drawn and indicating 4 to 7, 8 story buildings. There were lots of trees and grass.

Certainly not what I was expecting. If this is the best we can come up with I am going to start a group to save the Cogswell.

Keith P.
May 16, 2013, 11:27 PM
I will try not to be too negative, but I just got back from Cogswell Shake Up.

I arrived at 5:40, it was supposed to start at 6:00. People were already speaking. BTW I was out of there before 6:00.

The space was way too small and crowded.

I was ssooooooooooooooooooo disappointed in the presentations or lack of presentations. You could stick colored dots on a chart. Some tables had a brochure with basically nothing on it. There were a few pictures from various cities around the world. One group laid lego in rows. One display showed some upside down boxes with windows drawn and indicating 4 to 7, 8 story buildings. There were lots of trees and grass.

Certainly not what I was expecting. If this is the best we can come up with I am going to start a group to save the Cogswell.

Following some of it online it seemed a total waste. The usual suspects like the EAC and bike lobby were well-represented, but voices that supported the downtown business community seemed woefully absent. The voices were all slanted towards the "cars and business and tall buildings are bad, walking and biking and rooftop gardens are good" kind of thing. I expected nothing else though, and so the entire thing was an over-hyped waste of time. I heard Andy Fillmore was the force behind this, and if so, his credibility just took a major shot.

ILoveHalifax
May 17, 2013, 12:51 AM
I am so sorry about the times mentioned above. I changed watches and it had not been set to DST. Still didn't make it any better, though.

someone123
May 17, 2013, 12:54 AM
Cogswell is still at the "puppies and rainbows" stage, the same stage it has been in since the late 90's. It will only get real once the city commits to a timeline for dismantling the interchange. Hopefully that will happen soon.

ILoveHalifax
May 17, 2013, 1:22 AM
Would have been worth going if they had a puppy or two.

Empire
May 17, 2013, 1:51 AM
So far everyone is delusional about the Cogswell lands. There are no Cogswell lands. The claim of 6.5 hectares is wrong. This includes the ugly stinking sewer pit at the north end of the said "lands". The claim that half of that area will be required for traffic management is wrong. It is more like 70% and then you will have a massive bottleneck at the foot of Cogswell and on Cornwallis. Barrington must remain 4 lanes.

Why do people keep insisting that a stadium, Metro Centre or Arts Centre can go there? They cannot, tall towers with a small footprint similar to 1801 Hollis could be shoehorned in select wedges of land but there will still be a traffic nightmare. The streets have to go underground. It's too bad the city elected to put a 6ft dia. sewage collection line directly under the Cogswell exchange.

Also, I don't really see this connecting the north end to downtown. It connects the sewage treatment plant to downtown.

What could be there:
- transit hub- maybe a ferry terminal if someone is willing to give up waterfront property
- small pocket parks
- one midsized flatiron building
- four 35 storey office towers- connected underground with a retail network and connected to the downtown pedway system
- street level retail
- merge Hollis and Upper Water and go underground to the north end of the Cogswell interchange

someone123
May 17, 2013, 2:17 AM
I agree. I think the city will get a lot more out of the Cogswell lands if at least one street is buried, and even then the amount of land freed up will be much smaller than many people are anticipating.

I hope the debate will be brought into focus a little more. 4 storey buildings are not going to cut it if the intention is to recoup some of the cost of dismantling the interchange, and buildings with large footprints are not very feasible.

Nifta
May 17, 2013, 2:20 AM
http://halifax.retales.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/IMG_3867.jpg

Oh lord...


:(

hoser111
May 17, 2013, 2:46 AM
So far everyone is delusional about the Cogswell lands. There are no Cogswell lands. The claim of 6.5 hectares is wrong. This includes the ugly stinking sewer pit at the north end of the said "lands". The claim that half of that area will be required for traffic management is wrong. It is more like 70% and then you will have a massive bottleneck at the foot of Cogswell and on Cornwallis. Barrington must remain 4 lanes.

Why do people keep insisting that a stadium, Metro Centre or Arts Centre can go there? They cannot, tall towers with a small footprint similar to 1801 Hollis could be shoehorned in select wedges of land but there will still be a traffic nightmare. The streets have to go underground. It's too bad the city elected to put a 6ft dia. sewage collection line directly under the Cogswell exchange.

Also, I don't really see this connecting the north end to downtown. It connects the sewage treatment plant to downtown.

What could be there:
- transit hub- maybe a ferry terminal if someone is willing to give up waterfront property
- small pocket parks
- one midsized flatiron building
- four 35 storey office towers- connected underground with a retail network and connected to the downtown pedway system
- street level retail
- merge Hollis and Upper Water and go underground to the north end of the Cogswell interchange

I knew there was a sewage collection running through there, but I wonder how far down is it??