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alps
May 30, 2016, 8:57 AM
That looks good! Are the church windows still boarded up?

Thanks for the pics.

Keith P.
May 30, 2016, 12:49 PM
#1 The issue at Colonial Honda isn't the quality of the proposed housing, it's the replacement use.

#2 "Slums" are inhabited by people who require shelter.

#3 The area has clearly been gentrifying, as photos like this show (http://i.cbc.ca/1.3582438.1463186811!/fileImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/original_620/colonial-honda.jpg). These two houses on the right were renovated in 2013-14.

In the country's larger cities we tend to see the fine-grained fabric of main streets much better respected by developers. No one is buying up blocks of Yonge Street or wherever and bulldozing them.

But they do here, and all it will take is two or three bad developments to destroy what makes Agricola successful and special, for example. A lot of Halifax developers simply don't have a clue what makes for good city-building, and our planning regime doesn't meaningfully enforce anything.

<Moved to this discussion to save the Roy Building discussion for that purpose>


Replacing run-down rooming houses and drug dens is a good thing. To pretend otherwise is folly. Yes, people need to live somewhere. But there comes a time when we as society tend to say "Enough!" when those shelters fall too far into disrepair. A couple of renos with fresh vinyl siding still was not enough to convince the owners of those properties to keep them. They sold, not with a gun to their head, but of their own free will after reaching a price that was agreeable to them. This is the part of the discussion that absolutely astounds me. Nobody is forcing this. It is not like the properties have been expropriated.

The anti-Steele faction seems to be of the view that property ownership is of no value if it does not fit into their dogmatic view of the world. Land use is transitory, and always has been. In 10 years Steele may well sell and relocate. These same groups may well then protest the proposed gentrification of their neighborhood. Should we replace the crack houses and ramshackle housing at that point?

hokus83
May 30, 2016, 8:46 PM
<Moved to this discussion to save the Roy Building discussion for that purpose>


Replacing run-down rooming houses and drug dens is a good thing. To pretend otherwise is folly. Yes, people need to live somewhere. But there comes a time when we as society tend to say "Enough!" when those shelters fall too far into disrepair. A couple of renos with fresh vinyl siding still was not enough to convince the owners of those properties to keep them. They sold, not with a gun to their head, but of their own free will after reaching a price that was agreeable to them. This is the part of the discussion that absolutely astounds me. Nobody is forcing this. It is not like the properties have been expropriated.

The anti-Steele faction seems to be of the view that property ownership is of no value if it does not fit into their dogmatic view of the world. Land use is transitory, and always has been. In 10 years Steele may well sell and relocate. These same groups may well then protest the proposed gentrification of their neighborhood. Should we replace the crack houses and ramshackle housing at that point?

And if someone bought all your neighbours homes and knocked them down and turned the surrounding land around you into a parking lot for an auto port you'd be find with it I guess. You should go door to door and ask neighbours if they would mind their homes being knocked down for a parking lot. Or is that the wrong thing to do for a privileged contemptible inept person.

Keith P.
May 30, 2016, 10:09 PM
And if someone bought all your neighbours homes and knocked them down and turned the surrounding land around you into a parking lot for an auto port you'd be find with it I guess. You should go door to door and ask neighbours if they would mind their homes being knocked down for a parking lot. Or is that the wrong thing to do for a privileged contemptible inept person.

Well, thank you for that compliment.

I find it interesting how the anti lobby is calling it a parking lot. It is not a parking lot. Park your unicycle there and see how long it stays there. It is a new car dealership that is displaying their inventory. The more space they have, the more successful they can be. Of course among the urbanist class this is automatically a bad thing.

As for your theoretical question: if someone offered me and my neighbors cash money for our properties at what was likely a significant premium over the market you can damn well believe that most of us would take the money and run.

TheNovaScotian
May 30, 2016, 10:11 PM
In regards to Colonial Honda it's a done deal. Is it a step backwards? yes. Is it the end of the world? no. If the city can widen Robie in a deal with the Steeles, it is not a complete loss.

To argue these were "drug dens" is short sighted and shows your contempt for the lower classes Keith. I was always reminded growing up, that it is a long and hard fall off the tall horse of righteousness and I have not met many that are more self-righteous than you.

So as you look down your nose at these people, they deserve to know why the city failed them because they are taxpayers just like you. I'm sure if a company was doing the same thing in your area, you would be demanding answers. The city failed these citizens by not having the centre plan completed, it's long overdue and blame can largely be placed at Richards Butts feet. Not that the planning department is without blame but funding is out of their hands. They took on more than they could chew and in my opinion prioritized poorly. ;)

Most of the people that sold were under the impression the homes they were selling were going to be occupied and be neighbors to the people already in the area. If they were told at the time your home will be demolished and turned into a parking lot, this would have probably turned out differently. Most thought that in 2016, we had modernized enough as a city and that this wasn't a possibility. This reeks of 1970's "urban renewal" especially since Steele used 2 different shell companies to buy up the properties under people's noses and tearing it down for a parking lot?! (It sounds like a terrible Scooby Doo mystery.:D)
It's 2016, in Japan right now there are car elevators garages. Wouldn't this system be great to use in car dealership designs? It would lower environmental damage on the vehicles during the winter and allow for the 101 better uses for the rest of that property. :yes:

teddifax
May 30, 2016, 10:26 PM
I have thought on this one as well and agree this site could be redesigned probably without doing a lot of what they have stated. I think a multi level operation such as BMW just built, would be much better and save expanding the lot's footprint by such a large scale. This building could have elevators, saving the size of the building and cars could be stored inside, saving snow removal and the cars would be well protected. I am surprised this hasn't been considered by them.

Keith P.
May 30, 2016, 11:04 PM
In regards to Colonial Honda it's a done deal. Is it a step backwards? yes. Is it the end of the world? no. If the city can widen Robie in a deal with the Steeles, it is not a complete loss.

To argue these were "drug dens" is short sighted and shows your contempt for the lower classes Keith. I was always reminded growing up, that it is a long and hard fall off the tall horse of righteousness and I have not met many that are more self-righteous than you.

But some of them were that. Others were squalid run-down transitory rentals. A murder of a police officer occurred in one of them last year. Most of these were not nice properties by any measure.

So as you look down your nose at these people, they deserve to know why the city failed them because they are taxpayers just like you. I'm sure if a company was doing the same thing in your area, you would be demanding answers. The city failed these citizens by not having the centre plan completed, it's long overdue and blame can largely be placed at Richards Butts feet. Not that the planning department is without blame but funding is out of their hands. They took on more than they could chew and in my opinion prioritized poorly. ;)

Most of the people that sold were under the impression the homes they were selling were going to be occupied and be neighbors to the people already in the area. If they were told at the time your home will be demolished and turned into a parking lot, this would have probably turned out differently. Most thought that in 2016, we had modernized enough as a city and that this wasn't a possibility. This reeks of 1970's "urban renewal" especially since Steele used 2 different shell companies to buy up the properties under people's noses and tearing it down for a parking lot?! (It sounds like a terrible Scooby Doo mystery.:D)

It is my understanding that most of the properties were occupied by renters, not owners. Where you get your information about what the owners were told is interesting, if not totally believable. It sounds like the kind of thing that gets circulated by people trying to rally support for a cause.

It's 2016, in Japan right now there are car elevators garages. Wouldn't this system be great to use in car dealership designs? It would lower environmental damage on the vehicles during the winter and allow for the 101 better uses for the rest of that property. :yes:

Do you really think Rob Steele wouldn't be aware of that? Don't you also think that land values in Japan are rather different than those on McCully St? Guys like Rob do what is best for their business. In this case it is a win-win: he assembles a large plot of land that is sure to go up in value, he gets to use it for adecade or so to improve his dealership's business, and when the time is right he can sell it for development. Which, no doubt, will be opposed by those in the neighborhood because it fails to meet their expectations, or because it represents gentification of the area.

I honestly don't know if the kind of foolishness we have seen over this is unique to Halifax or not. But we sure have a knack for making a mountain out of a molehill and opposing any kind of change.

Hali87
May 31, 2016, 12:07 AM
But some of them were that. Others were squalid run-down transitory rentals. A murder of a police officer occurred in one of them last year. Most of these were not nice properties by any measure...
It is my understanding that most of the properties were occupied by renters, not owners.

This is something else that complicates the issue. It's one thing to say that "the owners willingly sold their properties, no one was forcing them to" (regardless of whether they would have sold knowing that the houses would be torn down), but if the houses were for the most part not owner-occupied, then the people bearing the negative effects (streetscape, residential density notwithstanding) are the tenants, who almost certainly had no say in any of this. Whether or not some of them used drugs (as many people in this city do) or were "the kind of people who live in squalid conditions", they still need to live somewhere.

I'm not saying that tenants should be able to veto property sales, but to frame this as "well everyone involved got what they wanted" is not really accurate, because most of the people who are/were actually living there do not seem to be getting what they want. It is true to a point if, again, you are looking at this from a market-uber-alles point of view, but there are consequences here that are not easily accounted for from a market perspective - where will the displaced residents go? (of course this is not your problem, but it is still a problem), what will be the effects on nearby businesses that were frequented by the displaced residents? What will be the effects on the city's efforts to increase residential density and the viability of non-automobile forms of transportation in core areas?

I honestly don't know if the kind of foolishness we have seen over this is unique to Halifax or not. But we sure have a knack for making a mountain out of a molehill and opposing any kind of change.

I'm fairly sure this would be seen as a negative in most cities in Canada at this point. The general trends, country-wide, are in favour of walkability, densification, etc. and the large-scale destruction of vernacular housing is generally seen as a bad thing. FWIW this particular case came up in the Canada section of SSP and the responses that I saw were universally negative (anecdotal, I know). I don't think that "we as a city" oppose change any more or less than other cities in Canada, the "opposing any kind of change" argument usually seems to mean "opposing changes that I support". The people unhappy with this decision aren't necessarily the "it's too tall" or "friends of whatever" crowd. There is also probably not a great deal of overlap between people who oppose this and people who opposed the Central Library, or bike lanes, which are also "change".

Do you really think Rob Steele wouldn't be aware of that? Don't you also think that land values in Japan are rather different than those on McCully St? Guys like Rob do what is best for their business. In this case it is a win-win: he assembles a large plot of land that is sure to go up in value, he gets to use it for adecade or so to improve his dealership's business, and when the time is right he can sell it for development. Which, no doubt, will be opposed by those in the neighborhood because it fails to meet their expectations, or because it represents gentification of the area.


The likely outcome here isn't what I would have liked to see, personally, but I'll concede that Steele is fully within its rights to demolish the houses and expand their display lot and that there doesn't really seem to be any kind of mechanism to intervene. I do think that there should be measures put in place to limit the extent to which this can happen in the future though, particularly in areas where the explicit goal is to increase density, walkability, etc.

Having the lot eventually redeveloped as residential would be a positive compared to it being paved over, but it does actually represent the worst effects of gentrification, because the existing residents are actively being pushed out of the area (because their homes are literally being destroyed).

TheNovaScotian
May 31, 2016, 1:26 AM
But some of them were that. Others were squalid run-down transitory rentals. A murder of a police officer occurred in one of them last year. Most of these were not nice properties by any measure.

Haha You're deplorable. You're going use the optics of a police officer being killed as if she was shot while on patrol to condemn a entire area as a crime ridden neighborhood rife with illegal activity. She was off duty on a date and what happened was unfortunate. So I get it, whatever it takes to support your argument will do. That argument falls flat, it wasn't a noticeably high crime area. I can't argue about the property rights because the Steele group did all their paperwork correctly, bought the properties and applied for the right permits. In a city that has it's shit together, this wouldn't have happened in the first place.



It is my understanding that most of the properties were occupied by renters, not owners. Where you get your information about what the owners were told is interesting, if not totally believable. It sounds like the kind of thing that gets circulated by people trying to rally support for a cause.

They wouldn't have been told anything. The buyer doesn't have to divulge the future plans for the property. Just a price on a offer sheet.
I honestly have just a passing interest in the whole thing so my information is from CBC or other local rags.
You always seem oddly paranoid of peoples intentions in this situation. If these people choose to protest, who cares? It's not you, so you've done your job to perpetuate the status quo.


Do you really think Rob Steele wouldn't be aware of that? Don't you also think that land values in Japan are rather different than those on McCully St? Guys like Rob do what is best for their business. In this case it is a win-win: he assembles a large plot of land that is sure to go up in value, he gets to use it for a decade or so to improve his dealership's business, and when the time is right he can sell it for development. Which, no doubt, will be opposed by those in the neighborhood because it fails to meet their expectations, or because it represents gentrification of the area.

I honestly don't know if the kind of foolishness we have seen over this is unique to Halifax or not. But we sure have a knack for making a mountain out of a molehill and opposing any kind of change.

You prove my point in your own argument, He won't do much more than the bare minimum for that very reason. Why spend a lot of money on something that's going to be torn down in 10-15 years. He definitely won't be braking the mold on this design.

There needs to be people that care enough to protest if they want to, just the same as you who agree with it. c'est la vie.
I go back to my original statement
In regards to Colonial Honda it's a done deal. Is it a step backwards? yes. Is it the end of the world? no. If the city can widen Robie in a deal with the Steeles, it is not a complete loss.

Ziobrop
May 31, 2016, 1:47 AM
Well, thank you for that compliment.

I find it interesting how the anti lobby is calling it a parking lot. It is not a parking lot. Park your unicycle there and see how long it stays there. It is a new car dealership that is displaying their inventory. The more space they have, the more successful they can be. Of course among the urbanist class this is automatically a bad thing.

As for your theoretical question: if someone offered me and my neighbors cash money for our properties at what was likely a significant premium over the market you can damn well believe that most of us would take the money and run.

no its a parking lot. full of shiny new cars - but its still a parking lot.
Honda Makes a finite number of Models - and even if you include all the trim levels, its still maybe 30 actual vehicles they need to show.

I walked the area last week. Some houses were crap. much of fern lane appeared to be in good condition. I support Colonial Honda's expansion, bu more parking lot is not the way to do it.

Phalanx
May 31, 2016, 1:50 PM
Stumbled across this blog piece and found it relevant to the Honda dealership issue:

http://dalepollak.com/2011/03/03/size-shape-matter/

OldDartmouthMark
May 31, 2016, 1:51 PM
no its a parking lot. full of shiny new cars - but its still a parking lot.
Honda Makes a finite number of Models - and even if you include all the trim levels, its still maybe 30 actual vehicles they need to show.

I walked the area last week. Some houses were crap. much of fern lane appeared to be in good condition. I support Colonial Honda's expansion, bu more parking lot is not the way to do it.

Yeah, I think to be more accurate, it's really just a storage lot, so it's more convenient for them to access a particular unit for PDI or sales rather than to ferry the vehicles back and forth from a remote lot. The additional parking space is just to house more inventory rather than to have additional 'display' area (which is mainly the function of the showroom, FWIW). It would, however allow a customer to see a particular vehicle in a particular trim level and colour, rather than be told that it is in a remote lot somewhere and would take an hour or two to get somebody to bring it to the dealership, etc.

I find it interesting that the idea of multi-level parking has been tossed around. Dealers used to do that in the city. The (now demolished) Scotia Chev/CBC building was a prime example of that. Halifax Chrysler-Dodge used to have a multi-level storage lot when it was on Kempt Road as well. I think the availability of cheap land led to the demise of that practice sometime in the 1960s or 70s (Keith probably knows). I can't help but wonder if they did decide to build, say, a 5-level parking garage on their existing lot if there would be concerns expressed about it being an inappropriate structure for the neighborhood.

Keith P.
May 31, 2016, 2:59 PM
Yeah, I think to be more accurate, it's really just a storage lot, so it's more convenient for them to access a particular unit for PDI or sales rather than to ferry the vehicles back and forth from a remote lot. The additional parking space is just to house more inventory rather than to have additional 'display' area (which is mainly the function of the showroom, FWIW). It would, however allow a customer to see a particular vehicle in a particular trim level and colour, rather than be told that it is in a remote lot somewhere and would take an hour or two to get somebody to bring it to the dealership, etc.

I find it interesting that the idea of multi-level parking has been tossed around. Dealers used to do that in the city. The (now demolished) Scotia Chev/CBC building was a prime example of that. Halifax Chrysler-Dodge used to have a multi-level storage lot when it was on Kempt Road as well. I think the availability of cheap land led to the demise of that practice sometime in the 1960s or 70s (Keith probably knows). I can't help but wonder if they did decide to build, say, a 5-level parking garage on their existing lot if there would be concerns expressed about it being an inappropriate structure for the neighborhood.

I think you underestimate the value to the car business of having a large assortment of models. In this market where dealers are traditionally closed on Saturday afternoons and Sundays, there is a large amount of lot-browsing that goes on at those times where potential buyers can window-shop without being pestered by salespeople. I know if you go to the Mercedes dealer on a Sunday there are more people there than when they are open. This is something somewhat unique to us here unlike places elsewhere that are open 7 days a week.

The other thing to keep in mind that used car sales are far more profitable to a dealer than selling a new car. The new car profit comes from accessory, parts and after-sale service business rather than from the car itself. A used car, though, usually has a few thousand in pure profit attached to it. Being a used car, it is necessary for a potential buyer to look it over to see overall condition, wear and tear, any potential issues, etc. They are all different so a buyer needs to see them in person. This requires display space.

While Tesla and some other emerging manufacturers are trying to move the industry to a different sales model where inventory is not needed and in fact the dealership is a very different place, we are a long way from that yet for most buyers. I had no experience with the old Scotia Chev building with inventory on the roof, but I well remember the Halifax Chrysler Dodge facility on Kempt. They simply ran out of room and had the idea of building a deck above part of their lot for inventory. It was ready by the early 1970s if memory serves. I don't think it worked very well. The cars stored underneath were largely in the dark and so browsers could not get a good look at them. For whatever reason, after leaving the upper level accessible for a few years, at some point they fenced it off and locked it to make access outside of business hours impossible. Security issues I suppose. I guess they had problems. Anyway it eventually fell into disuse and of course the dealership was eventually sold and relocated.

Dartmouth Dodge, which is in a bad location off of Portland St, has rooftop storage of some of their inventory at present. You cannot access it as a customer. I am unsure what issues they might have had with it, good or bad.

OldDartmouthMark
May 31, 2016, 3:07 PM
Stumbled across this blog piece and found it relevant to the Honda dealership issue:

http://dalepollak.com/2011/03/03/size-shape-matter/

On top of the showroom is an open-air parking deck structure for customer parking and new and used car display. Unlike the high-cost prime real estate dirt, the air above the showroom is free from both acquisition cost and taxation. Further, the open-air parking deck structure provides dealers with very low-cost construction, maintenance and is completely free from heating and air conditioning.

Sounds familiar? Not a new idea...

http://i54.tinypic.com/wgrkma.jpg

http://i46.tinypic.com/w7zas3.jpg

OldDartmouthMark
May 31, 2016, 3:09 PM
I think you underestimate the value to the car business of having a large assortment of models. In this market where dealers are traditionally closed on Saturday afternoons and Sundays, there is a large amount of lot-browsing that goes on at those times where potential buyers can window-shop without being pestered by salespeople. I know if you go to the Mercedes dealer on a Sunday there are more people there than when they are open. This is something somewhat unique to us here unlike places elsewhere that are open 7 days a week.

The other thing to keep in mind that used car sales are far more profitable to a dealer than selling a new car. The new car profit comes from accessory, parts and after-sale service business rather than from the car itself. A used car, though, usually has a few thousand in pure profit attached to it. Being a used car, it is necessary for a potential buyer to look it over to see overall condition, wear and tear, any potential issues, etc. They are all different so a buyer needs to see them in person. This requires display space.

While Tesla and some other emerging manufacturers are trying to move the industry to a different sales model where inventory is not needed and in fact the dealership is a very different place, we are a long way from that yet for most buyers. I had no experience with the old Scotia Chev building with inventory on the roof, but I well remember the Halifax Chrysler Dodge facility on Kempt. They simply ran out of room and had the idea of building a deck above part of their lot for inventory. It was ready by the early 1970s if memory serves. I don't think it worked very well. The cars stored underneath were largely in the dark and so browsers could not get a good look at them. For whatever reason, after leaving the upper level accessible for a few years, at some point they fenced it off and locked it to make access outside of business hours impossible. Security issues I suppose. I guess they had problems. Anyway it eventually fell into disuse and of course the dealership was eventually sold and relocated.

Dartmouth Dodge, which is in a bad location off of Portland St, has rooftop storage of some of their inventory at present. You cannot access it as a customer. I am unsure what issues they might have had with it, good or bad.

Good points. You seem to have a solid knowledge of the auto dealership business.

Keith P.
May 31, 2016, 4:10 PM
Good points. You seem to have a solid knowledge of the auto dealership business.

God forbid anyone here knows what they are talking about! ;)


I can't help but wonder if they did decide to build, say, a 5-level parking garage on their existing lot if there would be concerns expressed about it being an inappropriate structure for the neighborhood.

Well, I think that goes without saying. The protesters and objectors don't want Colonial there, period. They just want them gone, banished to Kempt or Bayers Lake or elsewhere far away. They seem to think that there is no place in the immediate area for anything other than "fine-grained" housing and small commercial, which is of course never how the area was ever developed historically. There has always been a variety of both industrial and residential uses there. But the new world order for this part of town seems to be one of wanting all those other uses to go away. Not just Colonial, but the O'Regans facility, the Irving station, the Mazda dealer, Shoppers, Rona, etc., though I suspect the magic combo development of NSLC and Cyclesmith might get a free pass.

Personally I find this kind of thinking rather narrow-minded and self-serving, but maybe that's just me. :shrug:

curnhalio
May 31, 2016, 4:39 PM
I can't help but wonder if they did decide to build, say, a 5-level parking garage on their existing lot if there would be concerns expressed about it being an inappropriate structure for the neighborhood.

All together now, "IT'S TOO TALL!!!"

Seriously, I think even if Honda were to announce to skip out and move elsewhere, you would see the usual foot-dragging and bugaboos that would accompany whatever was proposed to replace the lot.

FWIW, some of the purchased houses on Fern are in the process of being knocked down as we type.

Drybrain
May 31, 2016, 4:49 PM
All together now, "IT'S TOO TALL!!!"

Seriously, I think even if Honda were to announce to skip out and move elsewhere, you would see the usual foot-dragging and bugaboos that would accompany whatever was proposed to replace the lot.

FWIW, some of the purchased houses on Fern are in the process of being knocked down as we type.

Actually, the group opposing the demolition have asked Steele to pause the demolition and sit down with planners and neighbourhood representatives to consider a denser, more urban (i.e., taller) dealership expansion that will result in less demolition, and have received the equivalent of a "fuck off" from Steele.

OldDartmouthMark
May 31, 2016, 5:31 PM
Actually, the group opposing the demolition have asked Steele to pause the demolition and sit down with planners and neighbourhood representatives to consider a denser, more urban (i.e., taller) dealership expansion that will result in less demolition, and have received the equivalent of a "fuck off" from Steele.

This was what prompted my comment initially. Just speculating that, if they had first proposed building a multi-level parkade without ever talking about the possibility of razing the neighborhood to expand their lot, there would likely have been some opposition to the building of said parkade.

:2cents:

Keith P.
May 31, 2016, 5:33 PM
Actually, the group opposing the demolition have asked Steele to pause the demolition and sit down with planners and neighbourhood representatives to consider a denser, more urban (i.e., taller) dealership expansion that will result in less demolition, and have received the equivalent of a "fuck off" from Steele.

Rather like asking for horses after leaving the barn door open, don't you think?

Seriously, after the tantrums and character assassination the anti-Honda group undertook, they are lucky they even got a response.

To my amazement, aside from the incendiary headline, this item is far more balanced than I ever expected considering it is on the gawdawful Vice site:

http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/how-one-rich-guy-is-razing-an-entire-halifax-neighborhood-to-build-a-parking-lot?utm_source=vicetwitterca

Jonovision
Jun 1, 2016, 2:44 PM
A few more pictures of the rectory conversion at St Pats.

https://c5.staticflickr.com/8/7387/27120455860_12138ba92c_k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/HjxqEy)20160531_205341_HDR (https://flic.kr/p/HjxqEy) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

https://c4.staticflickr.com/8/7564/27324975371_d0bd9afcb0_k.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/HCBDc2)20160531_205216_HDR (https://flic.kr/p/HCBDc2) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

JET
Jun 7, 2016, 11:41 AM
4 storeys, 6 units, TOO TALL :)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/development-battle-brewing-over-mahone-bay-project-1.3619349

Ziobrop
Jun 7, 2016, 1:22 PM
4 storeys, 6 units, TOO TALL :)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/development-battle-brewing-over-mahone-bay-project-1.3619349

wtf?? that's perfectly in character for the neighborhood.
thats nimby sour grapes.

traffic?? from 6 units!! FFS.

visualman57
Jun 8, 2016, 1:30 AM
4 storeys, 6 units, TOO TALL :)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/development-battle-brewing-over-mahone-bay-project-1.3619349

considering the decrease in traffic, both pedestrian and road, over the last few years and the increasing number of empty storefronts, I would think any development that will bring people to town would be welcomed. Mahone Bay seems to be losing it's tourist cachet, in favour of Lunenburg and other spots on the shore.

counterfactual
Jun 8, 2016, 2:34 PM
You'd think NIMBYs would actually come up with better arguments when you're talking about such a small development. Incredibly, they just rehash the same stupid arguments: traffic, wind, out of character with neighborhood, etc.

curnhalio
Jun 8, 2016, 4:19 PM
This guy doesn't want to lose his view of the water, that's all this is about.

Jonovision
Jun 9, 2016, 12:45 AM
The results from the final engagement session for Spring Garden West are now online. Full info and presentation: http://www.livewellonsgw.com/the-latest

https://66.media.tumblr.com/ced38903b3bc9ff2a2ffb7eab1ed8974/tumblr_o8hb72cssp1sk8kjeo4_1280.jpg

https://67.media.tumblr.com/1cbc500425633bf69b0ba8330881c1c1/tumblr_o8hb72cssp1sk8kjeo1_1280.jpg

https://66.media.tumblr.com/00c74c9b33f68344b9e0694601a85e19/tumblr_o8hb72cssp1sk8kjeo2_1280.jpg

https://66.media.tumblr.com/c7adf8bce0371091a64b50b177e1bd5e/tumblr_o8hb72cssp1sk8kjeo3_1280.jpg

https://66.media.tumblr.com/3212eccfde27f499cefe0ea2bb12d61e/tumblr_o8hb72cssp1sk8kjeo5_1280.jpg

https://67.media.tumblr.com/9778bf425a65a1943a848a40a470a311/tumblr_o8hb72cssp1sk8kjeo6_1280.jpg

beyeas
Jun 9, 2016, 11:02 AM
The results from the final engagement session for Spring Garden West are now online. Full info and presentation

The streetscape aspects are interesting. Especially the comment in the presentation that it depends on the city playing ball and reducing the street width, given that they feel the street is wider than needed for the existing traffic.

Expect the usual hysteria about how people won't shop there because they are incapable of walking more than 6 feet from their car, followed by snide attacks on why are we giving priority to a bus stop for the poor and unclean when good taxpaying people must park their lexus around the corner, and why won't someone think of the children, yada yada yada. Probably throw in some solid attacks on SGR street people and this will inevitably be voted down by councillors from upper south southeastern Chezzabay.

Keith P.
Jun 9, 2016, 12:03 PM
The streetscape aspects are interesting. Especially the comment in the presentation that it depends on the city playing ball and reducing the street width, given that they feel the street is wider than needed for the existing traffic.

Expect the usual hysteria about how people won't shop there because they are incapable of walking more than 6 feet from their car, followed by snide attacks on why are we giving priority to a bus stop for the poor and unclean when good taxpaying people must park their lexus around the corner, and why won't someone think of the children, yada yada yada. Probably throw in some solid attacks on SGR street people and this will inevitably be voted down by councillors from upper south southeastern Chezzabay.


You left out the most important item:

"It's TOO TALL!!!" :slob:

Drybrain
Jun 9, 2016, 1:39 PM
I still wish they were retaining the Coburg Apartments building, but it looks pretty snazzy altogether. Definitely better than I expected.

OldDartmouthMark
Jun 11, 2016, 4:20 AM
Razing of homes near north-end Halifax car dealership begins (https://www.localxpress.ca/local-news/razing-of-homes-near-north-end-halifax-car-dealership-begins-315211)

someone123
Jun 11, 2016, 5:59 AM
Interesting perspective on a few projects under construction. Unfortunately the United Gulf lot is still plainly visible though:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cj41M5kWsAAFSM0.jpg:large
Source (https://twitter.com/SusanEDonlan/media)

someone123
Jun 11, 2016, 6:01 AM
I still wish they were retaining the Coburg Apartments building, but it looks pretty snazzy altogether. Definitely better than I expected.

If you look closely on the Robie Street side, it appears that part of the building is still there. Or maybe I'm just imagining it. One of the bits of feedback listed on the website was about preserving the apartment building.

Keith P.
Jun 11, 2016, 3:29 PM
Razing of homes near north-end Halifax car dealership begins (https://www.localxpress.ca/local-news/razing-of-homes-near-north-end-halifax-car-dealership-begins-315211)

Long overdue. Can't understand why they waited so long.

The funny thing is that the article makes it sound like people in the area support the teardown, unlike the narrative we have seen in the media to date. It is amazing the amount of coverage the media gives a few loud voices.

mr.wheels
Jun 13, 2016, 6:02 PM
more cars, more pollution, more car salesmen, more bullshit, more ugly...

OldDartmouthMark
Jun 13, 2016, 6:54 PM
From Saturday's CH:

Flash mob protest aims to halt Colonial Honda expansion (http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/1371641-flash-mob-protest-aims-to-halt-colonial-honda-expansion)

http://thechronicleherald.ca/sites/default/files/imagecache/ch_article_main_image/articles/Fram_protest.jpg

While I agree in principle that leveling a neighborhood to expand a car lot is a step in the wrong direction, I'm a little dismayed that the protest groups don't seem to understand what they are protesting. For example the photo I linked to above makes it appear that it is an "anti-car" protest. Same with the "Homes Not Hondas" slogan, which suggests that we either have a choice of a house or a car - which as we know isn't the case.

This is a simply a choice of whether the land is used as a place for people to reside, or is used for a place of business (though not 100% true, as some of the buildings were already being used as businesses). This business just happened to be an auto dealership, but could just as easily have been an office building, a store, or a small factory (I know it's likely not zoned for this, but just an example for the sake of argument). Would there have been equal opposition if this were anything but an expansion of a paved lot on which to store cars?

What if the buildings were being torn down to make way for urban farming? The land would still be uninhabitable, but the product would be food instead of automobiles? Would that make a difference?

A couple of quotes from the article:
“I live in the neighbourhood and I don’t want to see the houses come down,” said local resident Bobbi Dunham. “We just don’t need a car lot.”
- Seems to indicate that this person would only be happy if they eliminated the existing car lot, which has been in that location for 40 years. I thought the protest was about tearing down houses, not whether a car lot is needed in the area. This doesn't appear to be the case.

She said that it was “inappropriate,” to have a car lot in a neighbourhood like hers, which she described as a friendly residential area that is home to local families.
- Again, the car lot has been there for 40 years - probably longer than her family has lived there. How is that "inappropriate"? Did they not know that there was a car dealership there before they moved in? If the dealership has been such a problem, why is this the first time they've protested about it?

To be honest, I'm in favour of the people who want to retain what's left of the residential neighborhood, I understand the impact on the feelings of the neighbors of razing a block to pave it over.

However, based on what I'm reading, I'm not sure that this is what all the movement is actually about - and this is affecting my opinion of the group's work in general. I don't know why they can't seem to focus on the actual issue, but it is taking some of the sting out of their argument.

:2cents:

Drybrain
Jun 13, 2016, 8:01 PM
To be honest, I'm in favour of the people who want to retain what's left of the residential neighborhood, I understand the impact on the feelings of the neighbors of razing a block to pave it over.

However, based on what I'm reading, I'm not sure that this is what all the movement is actually about - and this is affecting my opinion of the group's work in general. I don't know why they can't seem to focus on the actual issue, but it is taking some of the sting out of their argument.

:2cents:

Honestly, the reason for that is that there hundreds of people working against it in the North End, and a few dozen who have been very active in organizing protests and other campaigning. They all bring their particular ideas to the table, and unfortunately, since it's a grassroots protest-y thing, there's no disciplined message.

The overall idea is that paving houses to expand a parking lot is bad. Beyond that you have your anti-development types, and people who seem to believe this has something to do with gentrification, and people who think it's equivalent to the demolition of Africville, and people who don't care at all about the houses but think a parking lot is terrible, and on and on.

Because the coalition is so loose, the message is scattershot. I don't think that undermines the central premise (houses are better than a parking lot) but there's not really a group, per se. It's a bunch of barely organized individuals with different ideas of what they're opposing.

OldDartmouthMark
Jun 13, 2016, 8:30 PM
Honestly, the reason for that is that there hundreds of people working against it in the North End, and a few dozen who have been very active in organizing protests and other campaigning. They all bring their particular ideas to the table, and unfortunately, since it's a grassroots protest-y thing, there's no disciplined message.

The overall idea is that paving houses to expand a parking lot is bad. Beyond that you have your anti-development types, and people who seem to believe this has something to do with gentrification, and people who think it's equivalent to the demolition of Africville, and people who don't care at all about the houses but think a parking lot is terrible, and on and on.

Because the coalition is so loose, the message is scattershot. I don't think that undermines the central premise (houses are better than a parking lot) but there's not really a group, per se. It's a bunch of barely organized individuals with different ideas of what they're opposing.

Thanks for the perspective. That explains a lot.

I guess I've been paying too much attention to the various media stories, which generally give the feeling that it's a concerted effort from one organized group. Then I see the pics and read comments by participants and ask "wtf?"...

OldDartmouthMark
Jun 13, 2016, 9:33 PM
If you look closely on the Robie Street side, it appears that part of the building is still there. Or maybe I'm just imagining it. One of the bits of feedback listed on the website was about preserving the apartment building.

I'm not seeing it:

https://html1-f.scribdassets.com/1k24uwl9ds5asyrp/images/45-558b8687f6.jpg

Source (https://www.scribd.com/doc/315073359/Untitled?secret_password=HrCQcQfJF15Br1DvjGlq#fullscreen)

Robie and Spring Garden on Google Maps (https://www.google.ca/maps/place/robie+and+spring+garden+halifax/@44.6404327,-63.5867949,3a,75y,89.53h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sxyfFvJLP3WZps0zwCVjyew!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0xf77c7c3ec28b21b3!6m1!1e1)

Ziobrop
Jun 14, 2016, 4:37 PM
Thanks for the perspective. That explains a lot.

I guess I've been paying too much attention to the various media stories, which generally give the feeling that it's a concerted effort from one organized group. Then I see the pics and read comments by participants and ask "wtf?"...

This interaction seems to indicate that even the EAC isnt against development, or the dealer being there - just leveling the neighborhood to build a car lot.
http://66.media.tumblr.com/d8a664b553e9ea205d441568c98b8188/tumblr_o8rsj6c6uP1tjuslyo1_400.png

yah - the message is confusing, and i think activists of all sorts are coming out to bring their own related but off point message.

Drybrain
Jun 14, 2016, 5:55 PM
yah - the message is confusing, and i think activists of all sorts are coming out to bring their own related but off point message.

Yep. It's the bring-your-own-placard approach to protesting. Everyone has their own hobbyhorse. I was at a meeting at the EAC about this a month ago, and some EAC staff mentioned the seven-storey passive house project planned for Agricola Street as an example of a good development (as opposed to the parking lot).

Some people nonetheless grumbled about that too, even though the EAC people were excited about it.

Keith P.
Jun 14, 2016, 6:56 PM
EAC is really good at spending other people's money.

ns_kid
Jun 16, 2016, 3:51 PM
The province today issued a call for proposals to redevelop the Dennis Building (1740 Granville Street) and the adjacent Hansard Building (1724 Granville Street), including the parking lot in between.

In a news release (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20160616001), Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal says it's looking for "innovative and creative ideas" to "develop a prime piece of downtown Halifax real estate". It specifies that proposals must preserve the historic facade.

It describes the Dennis as being "beyond repair" while the Hansard needs "significant repairs".

It asks private sector respondents to "prepare a vision" for the site that will retain the facades of both buildings into any new development.

The deadline for submissions is July 28.

The Request for Information is located on the province's tenders website (http://novascotia.ca/tenders/tenders/tender-details.aspx?id=60149446).

If the proposals have any merit, we may soon need a unique thread for a Dennis project.

ns_kid
Jun 16, 2016, 4:05 PM
Hansard Building:

https://c7.staticflickr.com/8/7406/27098000574_a685c99e92.jpg


Dennis Building:
https://c3.staticflickr.com/8/7372/27676351066_73d61c2726.jpg

Drybrain
Jun 16, 2016, 6:01 PM
The Dennis being "beyond repair" is nonsense, based only on Kassner Goodspeed's inadequate assessment, which was clearly conducted with a pre-ordained conclusion in mind.

Anyway, it'll be interesting to see what developers come up with. I'm worried we're going to get some glass slab with the granite facade of the Dennis plastered awkwardly onto the first four storeys. For that matter, I'm worried the same will happen to the Hansard. Just one big monolithic building, constructed to achieve maximum lot coverage, with the two old facades stuck on the front like wallpaper.

I really hope I'm wrong and something better gets proposed.

OldDartmouthMark
Jun 16, 2016, 6:10 PM
The Dennis being "beyond repair" is nonsense, based only on Kassner Goodspeed's inadequate assessment, which was clearly conducted with a pre-ordained conclusion in mind.

Anyway, it'll be interesting to see what developers come up with. I'm worried we're going to get some glass slab with the granite facade of the Dennis plastered awkwardly onto the first four storeys. For that matter, I'm worried the same will happen to the Hansard. Just one big monolithic building, constructed to achieve maximum lot coverage, with the two old facades stuck on the front like wallpaper.

I really hope I'm wrong and something better gets proposed.

:iagree:

worldlyhaligonian
Jun 16, 2016, 6:31 PM
The Dennis being "beyond repair" is nonsense, based only on Kassner Goodspeed's inadequate assessment, which was clearly conducted with a pre-ordained conclusion in mind.

Anyway, it'll be interesting to see what developers come up with. I'm worried we're going to get some glass slab with the granite facade of the Dennis plastered awkwardly onto the first four storeys. For that matter, I'm worried the same will happen to the Hansard. Just one big monolithic building, constructed to achieve maximum lot coverage, with the two old facades stuck on the front like wallpaper.

I really hope I'm wrong and something better gets proposed.

I agree as well and hope that it can be a glass tower in what is currently the parking lot and on the Hansard side, a stone entrance for the tower in behind (which should not go all the way into the Dennis building so as to not make the Dennis look like wallpaper).

In fact, a giant glass box in the current parking lot space would be cool if done like this with the exposed stone walls inside:

http://lovingnewyork.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Apple-Store-New-York-Upper-West-Side-Broadway.jpg Credit: Lovingnewyork.co.uk

Drybrain
Jun 16, 2016, 7:09 PM
I wonder how much weight the RFP will place on the cost-effectiveness to government. Hopefully they don't just go with the lowest bidder.

eastcoastal
Jun 16, 2016, 8:05 PM
I wonder how much weight the RFP will place on the cost-effectiveness to government. Hopefully they don't just go with the lowest bidder.

I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a government RFP that didn't go to the lowest bidder. Too risky and complex to define value as anything other than cheapest.

*sigh*

Keith P.
Jun 16, 2016, 8:50 PM
Years ago I saw a render that took the gray granite exterior of One Government Place and applied it to a "bridge" structure of a couple floors in height over the Hansard Building to attach OGP to a new similarly-styled building on the parking lot and Dennis site. I don't recall if it kept the facade of the Dennis or not on the Granville side but certainly the back side was all OGP-style.

This CBC article suggests several possibilities: (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/dennis-building-hansard-acadian-recorder-development-province-1.3638221)

Some development ideas that surfaced during informal talks include:

-Turning the Dennis Building into a boutique hotel.
-Using the entire site for a mixed-use building with office space and apartments.
-Constructing a building with ground-floor businesses and offices above, and installing above-ground parking in the shell of the Dennis Building.


"Every developer had a different vision for the Dennis Building and that is why we left this RFI open to the developers coming forward and bringing us their ideas," Kousoulis said.

"Whichever one ties in the best with the legislature, and with the area there, and whichever one is the most cost-effective to government would be the proponent going forward," he said.


That last option is certainly different.

someone123
Jun 16, 2016, 9:53 PM
It's not clear yet how this will turn out but I think this is about the best we could have hoped for. Further delays without upkeep would put the buildings at greater risk.

A good development on this lot would be a huge boost for the downtown area. This lot and the NFB building were the two worst properties along Barrington. If all goes well the street will be enormously improved in a few years.

Drybrain
Jun 16, 2016, 10:23 PM
That last option is certainly different.

Oh, man. That would be a pretty ignominious fate for the Dennis.

someone123
Jun 19, 2016, 7:40 PM
Looks like the new blue building on Gottingen is nearly finished:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ClFYjadUkAIKdL2.jpg
Source (https://twitter.com/RhondaBrown5/media)

I wonder what's up with the Housing Trust of NS and former Gottingen Terrace projects.

counterfactual
Jun 20, 2016, 9:39 AM
It's not clear yet how this will turn out but I think this is about the best we could have hoped for. Further delays without upkeep would put the buildings at greater risk.

A good development on this lot would be a huge boost for the downtown area. This lot and the NFB building were the two worst properties along Barrington. If all goes well the street will be enormously improved in a few years.

I agree -- I think it's excellent that the facades, at least, will be retained, and that it won't be just bulldozed to create another parking lot for lazy and useless provincial politicians.

OldDartmouthMark
Jun 21, 2016, 2:16 PM
Years ago I saw a render that took the gray granite exterior of One Government Place and applied it to a "bridge" structure of a couple floors in height over the Hansard Building to attach OGP to a new similarly-styled building on the parking lot and Dennis site. I don't recall if it kept the facade of the Dennis or not on the Granville side but certainly the back side was all OGP-style.

This CBC article suggests several possibilities: (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/dennis-building-hansard-acadian-recorder-development-province-1.3638221)




That last option is certainly different.

To me, the first option of a boutique hotel seems like the best choice. I'm not sure what is left of the internal structure of the building, but I'm imagining that if they could do something like what is being done with The Dillon at the moment, retaining and making visible the internal beams/structure as a feature of the building, it could be a great, well-known landmark for Halifax - a place where people would want to stay to be in the center of the downtown and soak up the history of the building/location.

The second option sounds good as well, with less hope of retaining internal structure of the building, as practicality would likely trump the ability to make it more whimsical, such as the nature of a boutique hotel. If handled properly, though, it too could be a very good use of the buildings.

The third option is, well, bizarre...

JET
Jun 21, 2016, 3:26 PM
To me, the first option of a boutique hotel seems like the best choice. I'm not sure what is left of the internal structure of the building, but I'm imagining that if they could do something like what is being done with The Dillon at the moment, retaining and making visible the internal beams/structure as a feature of the building, it could be a great, well-known landmark for Halifax - a place where people would want to stay to be in the center of the downtown and soak up the history of the building/location.

The second option sounds good as well, with less hope of retaining internal structure of the building, as practicality would likely trump the ability to make it more whimsical, such as the nature of a boutique hotel. If handled properly, though, it too could be a very good use of the buildings.

The third option is, well, bizarre...

It would make a nice boutique Hotel: http://murraypremiseshotel.com/rooms.html :tup:

OldDartmouthMark
Jun 21, 2016, 3:59 PM
It would make a nice boutique Hotel: http://murraypremiseshotel.com/rooms.html :tup:

:yes:

Thanks for posting that link - very interesting!

History

Built in 1846, the Murray Premises, a National Historic Site, is the oldest collection of mercantile buildings related to the fishing industry in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Murray Premises, which survived the Great Fires, was named after Andrew H. Murray, a 19th century merchant of salt, coal, and general supplies. These buildings have been used as warehouses, offices, and machine shops and for more than one hundred years, the Murray Premises has been a major highlight of the St. John's waterfront.

The buildings were originally built on pilings sunk into the harbour floor. Most were constructed with masonry walls, wood floors, and wood interior supports. Some feature brick infill interior walls of timber frame not unlike the half-timber construction of the European middle ages.

In the 1970s the Newfoundland Historic Trust and the St. John's Heritage Foundation saved the Premises from destruction and helped begin the preservation of the structures. The restoration plan allowed for as much of the original character of the buildings to be maintained while converting the buildings into a modern commercial complex. Within approximately eight months after the restoration began, 70 percent of the commercial space was leased. The official Grand Re-opening of the Premises was held on November 30, 1979.

During the 1980s and 1990s, ownership of the Murray Premises changed several times. In 1996, a local businessman, William Mahoney, purchased the property and is still the owner.

The story of Murray Premises Hotel began in early 2000 when the third and fourth floors were renovated and developed into hotel guest rooms. Guests began staying at St. John's first boutique hotel in May 2001, at which time the hotel had 28 rooms.

The success of Murray Premises Hotel was instant and the realization for additional guest rooms was imminent. In July of 2006, the property continued its growth with the addition of the second floor Executive Suites, bringing the total number of rooms to 47. The last major expansion was completed in early 2010, with 20 new rooms in the east wing bringing the total to 67 guestrooms.

Last but not least, addition meeting space was added along with two business suites off the main lobby, completed in August 2013. Today, Murray Premises Hotel, with 69 guestrooms, continues to welcome visitors to this beautiful historic building to experience old world charm with new world comfort.

Drybrain
Jun 21, 2016, 4:52 PM
To me, the first option of a boutique hotel seems like the best choice. I'm not sure what is left of the internal structure of the building, but I'm imagining that if they could do something like what is being done with The Dillon at the moment, retaining and making visible the internal beams/structure as a feature of the building, it could be a great, well-known landmark for Halifax - a place where people would want to stay to be in the center of the downtown and soak up the history of the building/location.


I don't think much is left of the interior. Bad renovations in previous decades pretty much eliminated anything historically valuable, and the government recently removed even that. There aren't even any interior walls; it's just the empty shell.

But, that does provide the unique chance to create a thoroughly modern interior inside.

Of course at least some in our local development community don't see it that way. Peter Polley, the head of Polycorp developments, told the site that shall not be named yesterday that restoring it will be too expensive and irresponsible to taxpayers, so the province should just tear it down and make a park. This is the kind of thinking that leads me to fear that the low-bid option, regardless of how crappy it is, will win out in the end and the building will be ruined.

The sagging floors in the Hansard building also pose a rehab option that's pricier than simply a TD-tower-style facade, which would be a real insult to the building, but entirely possible.

RoshanMcG
Jun 21, 2016, 5:00 PM
Dal's SUB is beginning to look really nice.

http://i67.tinypic.com/2a98tif.jpg

http://i63.tinypic.com/2iaetzb.jpg

OldDartmouthMark
Jun 21, 2016, 5:05 PM
I don't think much is left of the interior. Bad renovations in previous decades pretty much eliminated anything historically valuable, and the government recently removed even that. There aren't even any interior walls; it's just the empty shell.

But, that does provide the unique chance to create a thoroughly modern interior inside.

Of course at least some in our local development community don't see it that way. Peter Polley, the head of Polycorp developments, told the site that shall not be named yesterday that restoring it will be too expensive and irresponsible to taxpayers, so the province should just tear it down and make a park. This is the kind of thinking that leads me to fear that the low-bid option, regardless of how crappy it is, will win out in the end and the building will be ruined.

The sagging floors in the Hansard building also pose a rehab option that's pricier than simply a TD-tower-style facade, which would be a real insult to the building, but entirely possible.

Ugh. Your thoughts, though realistic, are very discouraging.

I'm trying to be optimistic and hope that somebody the provincial government will have at least a glimmer of a clue as to how important it is to save as much of these buildings as possible.

Surely there must be some sense of historical importance among the politicians from one of the areas that basically founded Canada... :shrug:

Drybrain
Jun 21, 2016, 5:42 PM
Ugh. Your thoughts, though realistic, are very discouraging.

I'm trying to be optimistic and hope that somebody the provincial government will have at least a glimmer of a clue as to how important it is to save as much of these buildings as possible.

Surely there must be some sense of historical importance among the politicians from one of the areas that basically founded Canada... :shrug:

I think there's a good chance there will be really good proposals from developers. It's a matter of how the government will balance quality and budget. I take it from their RFI that heritage is a concern but not their overriding concern, whereas it certainly is for me at this stage.

So does anyone know how the RFI differs from an RFP, and whether or not the various proposals will be released to the public afterwards?

I mean, christ, much as I would hate to see the Dennis turned into a parking garage, I'd rather see that than have the first four storeys turned into something like this: http://www.lydonlynch.ca/wp-content/themes/lydon-lynch/images/td-centre-back4.jpg

JET
Jun 21, 2016, 5:49 PM
The sagging floors in the Hansard building also pose a rehab option that's pricier than simply a TD-tower-style facade, which would be a real insult to the building, but entirely possible.[/QUOTE]

1566 Barrington Street, Attica; I remember being in the main floor of that building in the late 1980's when it was an antique shop. The floors were covered with carpeting and the floor was so spongy it felt like the carpets were the only thing keeping me from falling into the basement. Spongy floors are not such a big thing. If there's a will most things can be fixed/improved. Attica is a great example of that.

Drybrain
Jun 21, 2016, 6:11 PM
1566 Barrington Street, Attica; I remember being in the main floor of that building in the late 1980's when it was an antique shop. The floors were covered with carpeting and the floor was so spongy it felt like the carpets were the only thing keeping me from falling into the basement. Spongy floors are not such a big thing. If there's a will most things can be fixed/improved. Attica is a great example of that.

Oh, there's a way, no doubt. It's the will(ingness) to spend the money needed to do it right that may be lacking.

teddifax
Jun 21, 2016, 6:15 PM
I can't remember seeing anything on the building going up at 303 Washmill Lake Court. It is going to be a huge building. Is there a site for this one? It is at about 10 storeys now and still going. It is across from the faux-copper topped building that openend last year and is supposed to have 3 other buildings.

OldDartmouthMark
Jun 21, 2016, 6:26 PM
Yes, while it is better than nothing, Disneyfied facadism such as on the TD project is really a loss and should not have been allowed to happen. Here's how the real building looked before demolition (at the link).

https://www.google.ca/maps/@44.6485206,-63.5739658,3a,75y,289.22h,87.67t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sGXdSlaGgbEkvmvefyR6jcg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

OldDartmouthMark
Jun 21, 2016, 6:33 PM
The sagging floors in the Hansard building also pose a rehab option that's pricier than simply a TD-tower-style facade, which would be a real insult to the building, but entirely possible.

1566 Barrington Street, Attica; I remember being in the main floor of that building in the late 1980's when it was an antique shop. The floors were covered with carpeting and the floor was so spongy it felt like the carpets were the only thing keeping me from falling into the basement. Spongy floors are not such a big thing. If there's a will most things can be fixed/improved. Attica is a great example of that.

Yup. But they will often use whatever excuse they can to try to convince the public that it's better to just tear it down or subject it to some form of structural taxidermy. Hidden in the rhetoric is a simple fact that it's cheaper and faster to do this, and thus more profitable.

someone123
Jun 21, 2016, 6:35 PM
Of course at least some in our local development community don't see it that way. Peter Polley, the head of Polycorp developments, told the site that shall not be named yesterday that restoring it will be too expensive and irresponsible to taxpayers, so the province should just tear it down and make a park. This is the kind of thinking that leads me to fear that the low-bid option, regardless of how crappy it is, will win out in the end and the building will be ruined.

That feedback item left me shaking my head.

Converting this part of the block into a park would not even be an improvement to the public spaces nearby, because they were designed around the George Street axis. Public spaces like the Grand Parade and Province House grounds work better when they are well-defined and enclosed.

The spending trade-off as presented in that feedback was also suspect. How is building a park instead of selling the space off to developers going to result in net savings for the province (and city which stands to collect taxes on prime developed land)? And why should we jump to assuming that we have to go with an inferior building to save money before the bids are even known?

This kind of thinking reminds me of "knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing". Except in this case the price is not known but instead plucked from the air.

Keith P.
Jun 21, 2016, 6:53 PM
Yes, while it is better than nothing, Disneyfied facadism such as on the TD project is really a loss and should not have been allowed to happen. Here's how the real building looked before demolition (at the link).

https://www.google.ca/maps/@44.6485206,-63.5739658,3a,75y,289.22h,87.67t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sGXdSlaGgbEkvmvefyR6jcg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

What "should not have been allowed to happen"? The original building was quite literally falling down. I remember going by and seeing the collapsed ceiling inside. So they did what appears to me to be a nice job of reconstruction with a pretty faithful rendition of what might have been there when the place was new. That is now "facadism"? If that was facadism, what isn't?

Cripes. Some people always have to be unhappy.

OldDartmouthMark
Jun 21, 2016, 7:27 PM
What "should not have been allowed to happen"? The original building was quite literally falling down. I remember going by and seeing the collapsed ceiling inside. So they did what appears to me to be a nice job of reconstruction with a pretty faithful rendition of what might have been there when the place was new. That is now "facadism"? If that was facadism, what isn't?

Cripes. Some people always have to be unhappy.

Ha ha... You wouldn't know this, but I am actually quite a happy guy in day to day life. In fact it's kinda sounding a little like a pot/kettle situation, but I digress... :haha:

Maybe I'm mistaken. Are you telling me that the building was restored? They kept the stone walls and stayed failthful to the interior structure of the building? If so I apologize - I was under the impression that they ripped out all that and just built 'a bank building' behind it.

Oops... just looked back at page 15 of the TD thread and found this pic:

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8353/8254374070_fb49fcbacc_b.jpg

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=177100&page=15

Looks like facadism to me - apology retracted. :haha:

Still a happy person, though... :koko:

OldDartmouthMark
Jun 21, 2016, 7:35 PM
Another one from page 18... no facadism to be seen here (unless you actually look at the photo...) :haha:

http://img28.imageshack.us/img28/2949/camera0k.jpg

But they did do a nice job on the Disneyfication of it.

Keith P.
Jun 21, 2016, 8:31 PM
You need something to be there to restore it. It was rotted and leaking and unrentable in its found form. But go ahead, whine about "Disneyfication". :uhh:

OldDartmouthMark
Jun 21, 2016, 8:57 PM
You need something to be there to restore it. It was rotted and leaking and unrentable in its found form. But go ahead, whine about "Disneyfication". :uhh:

Right now you're not offering any valuable information over and above what the photos are showing, which is typical. I would contest your claim of unrentable as there were tenants in the building until just before it was gutted.

Evidence:

June 2012 - busy storefront.
https://www.google.ca/maps/@44.6486347,-63.5740213,3a,75y,289.22h,87.67t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sDd74u8JLMcV1QuxU1QNbig!2e0!5s20120601T000000!7i13312!8i6656

Stores vacated Sep. 2012
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=177100&page=13


I see the usual cycle starting here - you seem to prefer to simply dig your heels in and yell louder than the next guy rather than introduce researched, factual information. Then throw in a few thinly disguised personal insults by accusing the person with an opposing view of "whining" or "not wanting change" or "always having to be unhappy" or any other demeaning descriptor you can manage to think of at the time.

But, whatever, you know we will always inherently disagree on this topic, and at this time I don't see much point in clogging up the forum with our 'debate'. I will not further engage on this topic with you.

Have a nice evening, Keith.

Drybrain
Jun 21, 2016, 10:35 PM
That feedback item left me shaking my head.

Converting this part of the block into a park would not even be an improvement to the public spaces nearby, because they were designed around the George Street axis. Public spaces like the Grand Parade and Province House grounds work better when they are well-defined and enclosed.

The spending trade-off as presented in that feedback was also suspect. How is building a park instead of selling the space off to developers going to result in net savings for the province (and city which stands to collect taxes on prime developed land)? And why should we jump to assuming that we have to go with an inferior building to save money before the bids are even known?

This kind of thinking reminds me of "knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing". Except in this case the price is not known but instead plucked from the air.

I don't really even understand why he was weighing in on it, let alone why they would report his comments.

Oh well.

Quick question on TD tower facadism--I don't recall if they've at least turned that facade into a working storefront. That 2012 picture really makes apparent what a unique and impressive storefront space it is. Some of that could be recaptured if it actually served as the doorway to a functioning commercial business.

someone123
Jun 21, 2016, 11:02 PM
Quick question on TD tower facadism--I don't recall if they've at least turned that facade into a working storefront. That 2012 picture really makes apparent what a unique and impressive storefront space it is. Some of that could be recaptured if it actually served as the doorway to a functioning commercial business.

I am pretty sure the preserved facade was shown as a storefront with its own entrance in the floor plans, along with the sandstone-clad portion to the south. It might take a while but businesses will move in eventually assuming the area continues to improve.

One sad aspect of this is that there used to be an interesting four storey brick building with another two-storey glass storefront next door where that gravel lot was. It was torn down just a few years before this project; had council apply pressure to preserve the building for a while instead of rubber stamping the demolition permit it might still be there.

There were highrise redevelopment plans for years on this site, which is why the buildings were left to deteriorate even though one or both were registered heritage buildings. The problem isn't that they weren't economically viable to operate, it's that replacing them with a larger building was more lucrative (for the building owners who know as far as I know don't even live in Canada anymore).

Keith P.
Jun 21, 2016, 11:56 PM
Right now you're not offering any valuable information over and above what the photos are showing, which is typical. I would contest your claim of unrentable as there were tenants in the building until just before it was gutted.

Evidence:

June 2012 - busy storefront.
https://www.google.ca/maps/@44.6486347,-63.5740213,3a,75y,289.22h,87.67t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sDd74u8JLMcV1QuxU1QNbig!2e0!5s20120601T000000!7i13312!8i6656



You know what? I was mistaken. I was thinking of the Kelly's Building next door. That was the one with the collapsed ceiling. The businesses that were in this one I had patronized a few times and while their spaces were not in great shape, they were functional. I would presume that at some point the new space will also house a retail operation of some sort.

someone123
Jun 22, 2016, 12:24 AM
Here's a picture of the building that formerly housed Kelly's Leather. I am not sure when the business closed; I just remember it being vacant. The building was in very rough shape before it was demolished, but it was unusual and a bit imposing (I think this part of Granville is one of the few parts of Halifax with a larger city feel):

http://www.halifaxhistory.ca/kellys01.jpg
http://www.halifaxhistory.ca/Kellys.htm

Early TD tower renderings showed this facade preserved as part of the redevelopment. Had the facade been stabilized for a while and preserved I think it would have added a lot of architectural interest and could have become a nice retail space.

There's a larger list of demolished buildings here: http://www.halifaxhistory.ca/Vanish.html

There's a handful of losses on that list (Kelly, YWCA facade, maybe a portion of the infirmary, maybe the former Simpson's) but a lot of them were not great. A few, like the old Dal management building, were awful. The old generating station I would argue is a great example of adaptive reuse rather than a loss.

Keith P.
Jun 22, 2016, 1:09 AM
Here's a picture of the building that formerly housed Kelly's Leather. I am not sure when the business closed; I just remember it being vacant. The building was in very rough shape before it was demolished, but it was unusual and a bit imposing (I think this part of Granville is one of the few parts of Halifax with a larger city feel):

http://www.halifaxhistory.ca/kellys01.jpg
http://www.halifaxhistory.ca/Kellys.htm

Early TD tower renderings showed this facade preserved as part of the redevelopment. Had the facade been stabilized for a while and preserved I think it would have added a lot of architectural interest and could have become a nice retail space.


That webpage you cite gives all the details. It closed and was vacant since the early 1980s. In the 1990s an assessment of the vacant building concluded it was not feasible to save it due to its poor condition. In 2005 HRM Council funded another study to determine if it could be incorporated into any sort of new development. It was determined it was not feasible and it was demolished the next year. I am unaware of an renderings of the TD Building redevelopment existing at that time.

In reality the building sat vacant and rundown for over 30 years and several attempts to prevent the inevitable failed.

Drybrain
Jun 22, 2016, 1:54 AM
That webpage you cite gives all the details. It closed and was vacant since the early 1980s. In the 1990s an assessment of the vacant building concluded it was not feasible to save it due to its poor condition. In 2005 HRM Council funded another study to determine if it could be incorporated into any sort of new development. It was determined it was not feasible and it was demolished the next year. I am unaware of an renderings of the TD Building redevelopment existing at that time.

In reality the building sat vacant and rundown for over 30 years and several attempts to prevent the inevitable failed.

Even then, an NFB-style project using the facade and building a new rear portion to the building could have been done, I guess, but yeah, sometimes a building really does get so far gone than it's unsalvageable.

Too bad, it was very unique.

someone123
Jun 22, 2016, 2:27 AM
Here's the rendering (from the TD thread):

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_f-enLI8Mi_U/S08q78zM3JI/AAAAAAAAACU/ePfHI7_alF0/td%20tower%202.JPG

OldDartmouthMark
Jun 22, 2016, 12:01 PM
You know what? I was mistaken. I was thinking of the Kelly's Building next door. That was the one with the collapsed ceiling. The businesses that were in this one I had patronized a few times and while their spaces were not in great shape, they were functional. I would presume that at some point the new space will also house a retail operation of some sort.

Apology accepted. ;)

OldDartmouthMark
Jun 22, 2016, 12:13 PM
Even then, an NFB-style project using the facade and building a new rear portion to the building could have been done, I guess, but yeah, sometimes a building really does get so far gone than it's unsalvageable.

Too bad, it was very unique.

Yeah, you can't save 'em all. Sometimes you have no choice when safety becomes an issue. Though I will say I've seen some pretty questionable structures brought back from the dead.

I can't think of any other buildings from the era in Halifax that had that style of 2-storey glass store frontage. Would have been cool to have been able to keep them around. It's encouraging that the facaded building will at least be able to function as an independent shop.

Drybrain
Jun 22, 2016, 12:37 PM
Yeah, you can't save 'em all. Sometimes you have no choice when safety becomes an issue. Though I will say I've seen some pretty questionable structures brought back from the dead.

I can't think of any other buildings from the era in Halifax that had that style of 2-storey glass store frontage. Would have been cool to have been able to keep them around. It's encouraging that the facaded building will at least be able to function as an independent shop.

Oh yeah. I really doubt there are any truly unfixable structures in Halifax at this moment, or anything even close, really.

Drybrain
Jun 22, 2016, 12:40 PM
Here's the rendering (from the TD thread):

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_f-enLI8Mi_U/S08q78zM3JI/AAAAAAAAACU/ePfHI7_alF0/td%20tower%202.JPG

It's too bad the Kelly Building was lost, and it's too bad the remaining building was so heavily facaded, but at least the end result is better than that. Ugh.

I'm afraid we'll see something like that at the Dennis/Hansard site, which would be really terrible. This kind of facadism is like pinning the corpse of the old building to the new one. It does neither any favours.

JET
Jun 22, 2016, 1:20 PM
You know what? I was mistaken. I was thinking of the Kelly's Building next door. That was the one with the collapsed ceiling. The businesses that were in this one I had patronized a few times and while their spaces were not in great shape, they were functional. I would presume that at some point the new space will also house a retail operation of some sort.


Mistaken? Hmm.. " mis·tak·en / məˈstākən/ adjective:

wrong in one's opinion or judgment "

Well, OK, if you say so; there's a first time for everything, I guess. :)

It was good of Mark to accept your apology.

Keith P.
Jun 22, 2016, 1:31 PM
Here's the rendering (from the TD thread):

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_f-enLI8Mi_U/S08q78zM3JI/AAAAAAAAACU/ePfHI7_alF0/td%20tower%202.JPG


Except that the rendering dates from 2010. At that point the building had been demolished for 4 years. There would be no "preservation" of it. It was gone and landfilled by then. It would be, to use Mark's phrase, a Disneyfied re-creation of what somebody thought it would have been like. I'm not sure how that is any better or worse than what eventually was built.

portapetey
Jun 22, 2016, 2:17 PM
Oh, you two.

KnoxfordGuy
Jun 23, 2016, 11:47 PM
when will the gravel lot across the street from The Maple be built on? Any projects down the line?

musicman
Jun 24, 2016, 8:05 PM
when will the gravel lot across the street from The Maple be built on? Any projects down the line?

The gravel lot across the street has had numerous proposals over the last bunch of years. It has been a resounding ****show from the moment the city sold the lot to the yahoos that now own it.

Phalanx
Jun 26, 2016, 6:31 AM
Plans for Dartmouth Sportsplex makeover unveiled
A $23-million makeover of Dartmouth Sportsplex will include a double gymnasium, new front entrance and lobby, new community spaces, refurbished racquetball courts, new fitness-cardio rooms, and improvements to the swimming pool and slides.


Full Story (and image) (http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/1375002-plans-for-dartmouth-sportsplex-makeover-unveiled)

OldDartmouthMark
Jun 28, 2016, 10:23 AM
Six ‘prominent parties’ submit bids for Halifax’s Waverley Inn (http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/1375883-six-‘prominent-parties’-submit-bids-for-halifax’s-waverley-inn)

Uh-oh...
There are no shortage of bids for Halifax’s Waverley Inn, with Louie Lawen’s Dexel Developments among the developers currently vying for ownership of the historic downtown property.

counterfactual
Jun 28, 2016, 10:50 AM
when will the gravel lot across the street from The Maple be built on? Any projects down the line?

That's the TexPark lot. Years ago, the city using it's usually clueless approach to RFPs, rather than choosing a bid from a reputable and serious developer instead chose a bid from UG, which offered a little more money compared to others. It's been a clown show since, first they fought for years to develop the "Twisted Sisters" development only to let the DA expire.

And then they proposed the "Skye Tower", which never going to happen, because it would have gutted HRMxD only a year or so after it was enacted.

I don't think they've ever been serious about building anything there.

The City has the right to buyback the property from UG; it should do it promptly, but on stuff like this, the municipality rarely shows any backbone.

Drybrain
Jun 28, 2016, 1:10 PM
Six ‘prominent parties’ submit bids for Halifax’s Waverley Inn (http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/1375883-six-‘prominent-parties’-submit-bids-for-halifax’s-waverley-inn)

Uh-oh...

God, I hope Starfish or Ghosn get it. I have no doubt that Dexel will just rip it down, as they seem to be doing their very best to tear down as much of the Old South Suburb HCD as they can already. The timing of this is just the worst. Another few months and the HCD will be in place, which won't be a bulletproof protection, but certainly better than this.

OldDartmouthMark
Jun 28, 2016, 2:39 PM
God, I hope Starfish or Ghosn get it. I have no doubt that Dexel will just rip it down, as they seem to be doing their very best to tear down as much of the Old South Suburb HCD as they can already. The timing of this is just the worst. Another few months and the HCD will be in place, which won't be a bulletproof protection, but certainly better than this.

I'm curious - can't the city intervene if this is the case, given that the HCD is in the works but just not ready to be put into place yet? I'm talking about a hold on development until everybody knows what the rules will be for sure.

Is Waye Mason still on this forum? I'd love for him to chime in on it.

As it looks we stand to lose a lot of significant structures in the future heritage conservation district from an attempt to get in 'under the wire'. It seems shameful that such a loophole would even exist given the future plan for the neighborhood. :2cents:

Drybrain
Jun 28, 2016, 2:50 PM
I'm curious - can't the city intervene if this is the case, given that the HCD is in the works but just not ready to be put into place yet? I'm talking about a hold on development until everybody knows what the rules will be for sure.

Is Waye Mason still on this forum? I'd love for him to chime in on it.

As it looks we stand to lose a lot of significant structures in the future heritage conservation district from an attempt to get in 'under the wire'. It seems shameful that such a loophole would even exist given the future plan for the neighborhood. :2cents:

Council talked about these kinds of interim control measures a few weeks ago out relation to the Colonial Honda expansion. The takeaway was that councillors who fancy themselves friends of business and development think it's not the city's place to implement those kinds of restrictions (though zillions of other cities do, to hell their betterment), so it probably wouldn't pass a council vote.

The best thing to do is probably write an email to Waye and Seamus McGreal, the city's chief heritage planner (and maybe chief planner Jacob Ritchie) and ask them to do something already: https://www.halifax.ca/heritage-properties/

Designating this building heritage won't anger any property developers, since no one owns it yet. The city should just do it. We're seeing like a 1970s pace of historic demolition. It's completely pathetic, and at this point we can't just blame developers: city councillors (all of them) and planners have big-time dropped the ball on this.

JET
Jun 28, 2016, 3:17 PM
Maybe the office where development and demolition applications are given should just close for awhile until heritage protection with some teeth can be put in place. That seems to be the argument up to now: "Well they had all their applications and approvals in order." Just stop!

Dmajackson
Jun 29, 2016, 1:21 PM
The former Nauss bicycle shop at 2533 Agricola Street has some fencing up and an "addition to commercial building" permit in the window. The applicant is listed as Ecohomes & North Woods . Anybody have an idea of what may be going on?

Keith P.
Jun 29, 2016, 3:40 PM
The former Nauss bicycle shop at 2533 Agricola Street has some fencing up and an "addition to commercial building" permit in the window. The applicant is listed as Ecohomes & Northwood. Anybody have an idea of what may be going on?

I thought that was going to be the location of the hipster Agricola St distillery, but I don't think Northwood is going into the booze business. :shrug:

Dmajackson
Jul 4, 2016, 7:34 PM
There is finally some public information on the building going up at 5540 Kaye Street at the Hydrostone Market. The building will be 5-storeys (3 spa / 2 office) with a residential penthouse. A development agreement (http://www.halifax.ca/planning/applications/Case20489Details.php) has to be issued to permit the residential unit.

http://67.media.tumblr.com/0b0bde0d29b8d528f0be133a88bf363c/tumblr_o8mrfgv2AD1tvjdq8o1_540.jpg
Halifax Developments Blog (Photo by David Jackson) (http://urbanhalifax.tumblr.com/)

someone123
Jul 4, 2016, 11:15 PM
Kind of interesting that they did a DA for this when it is relatively small and close to what could be built as of right.

It is hard to tell from the elevation drawings but if it turns out well it'll be a neat little project. I like the use of a fairly narrow lot. There are a lot of spaces like this around the peninsula that are underused and could be filled with small-footprint buildings.

Not all of the new buildings around the Hydrostone market turned out great but it's definitely more of a medium density neighbourhood than it used to be. As recently as 10 years ago or so it was more like a semi-suburban area with a nice landmark.

Drybrain
Jul 4, 2016, 11:26 PM
When I moved to the hydrostone last year I was a bit wary that it might be a bit too suburban (and it certainly is placid, let's say) but it is filling out quite nicely. The peninsula's overall urbanity is slowly moving outward, and this area especially will probably become noticeably denser and more city-ish over the next few years.