PDA

You are viewing a trimmed-down version of the SkyscraperPage.com discussion forum.  For the full version follow the link below.

View Full Version : General Updates and News



Pages : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 [86] 87 88 89 90 91

OldDartmouthMark
Jun 9, 2017, 4:12 PM
I've always felt this was the case for many buildings in Halifax. I often wonder if Fenwick would have been just as well served by a pressure wash as it will be by the re-cladding.

I think so, but I was wondering if they were also attempting to modernize the appearance of the building with cladding rather than the bare concrete that used to be more popular 40 or 50 years ago.

OldDartmouthMark
Jun 9, 2017, 4:13 PM
Have you seen the wood planks that have started multiplying across the facade? I can't tell if they're intended to be backing for something else, or are going to be the final finish.

Haven't seen that, but maybe there are further plans to finish the exterior in some other way.

Drybrain
Jun 9, 2017, 7:19 PM
Have you seen the wood planks that have started multiplying across the facade? I can't tell if they're intended to be backing for something else, or are going to be the final finish.

Given the tacky intererior, I'm assuming the worst.

Keith P.
Jun 9, 2017, 8:14 PM
Given the tacky intererior, I'm assuming the worst.

Agricola St hipsters need their wood. Maybe they are going to set up an axe-throwing venue on the sidewalk. :koko:

counterfactual
Jun 11, 2017, 3:09 AM
Argyle Street streetscaping project has begun.

http://68.media.tumblr.com/5475a5616f045b80898e8646bbe5689c/tumblr_or3q3yPmTX1tvjdq8o1_540.jpg
Halifax Developments Blog (Photo by David Jackson) (http://urbanhalifax.tumblr.com/)

Why did they wait until the summer is just about to begin, in order to commence this? They're killing the best time of the year for that street.

HRM Planning...

Keith P.
Jun 11, 2017, 12:14 PM
Why did they wait until the summer is just about to begin, in order to commence this? They're killing the best time of the year for that street.

HRM Planning...

Chief HRM Staff Apologist Mason claims this is the only time such work could be done.

Cue the screams of anguish from bars in 3, 2, 1...

Seriously, they have focused on Argyle St far too much. There are many other areas of the downtown that need attention.

terrynorthend
Jun 11, 2017, 1:08 PM
Why did they wait until the summer is just about to begin, in order to commence this? They're killing the best time of the year for that street.

HRM Planning...

My best guess, borne out by media interviews with various stakeholders a couple months ago, is that this timing suits Nova Centre best.

With NC's construction presence on Argyle, they would be getting in each other's way if they didn't coordinate. Also, I suspect NC needed to get to a certain point of completion on the Argyle street level facade, so they wouldn't ruin any work with their heavy equipment after the streetscaping is complete.

Phalanx
Jun 11, 2017, 3:08 PM
My best guess, borne out by media interviews with various stakeholders a couple months ago, is that this timing suits Nova Centre best.

With NC's construction presence on Argyle, they would be getting in each other's way if they didn't coordinate. Also, I suspect NC needed to get to a certain point of completion on the Argyle street level facade, so they wouldn't ruin any work with their heavy equipment after the streetscaping is complete.

Yeah, this wasn't a city planning issue, this was a Nova Centre issue. Half of Argyle was still blocked by construction equipment and supplies and concrete barriers until very recently.

IanWatson
Jun 12, 2017, 12:14 PM
Late summer and early fall are also apparently the best time for the bars, rather than early summer. So I guess this was the "best of bad options" time to get the work done.

Phalanx
Jun 30, 2017, 6:54 PM
Conceptual drawings unveiled for new Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre

The drawings, by Group ATN and Ekistics Plan + Design, show two main buildings, with the Friendship Centre on the corner, and public space between the two.

http://www.metronews.ca/content/dam/thestar/uploads/2017/6/30/ddhix1qwsaq4iu6.jpg
...


More info/images from the Source (http://www.metronews.ca/news/halifax/2017/06/30/drawings-unveiled-for-new-mikmaw-native-friendship-centre.html)

Jstaleness
Jun 30, 2017, 7:01 PM
Of course I want more height but for the the location it looks cool. I believe the Adsum House for women will also be sharing some of this location.

Keith P.
Jun 30, 2017, 7:32 PM
Who's going to be paying for all this? Wait, don't answer that.

stevencourchene
Jun 30, 2017, 9:25 PM
Who really cares who's paying for it I was in the centre two nights ago for my first time in many years and they could use a new home all fresh and shiny I think this is great for all this plan and someone had mentioned about adsum house maybe with in the development and I don't know where they are getting their information but they could sure use a new shiny home too.


I think development design is fantastic and I hope to see is come alive.

alps
Jul 1, 2017, 4:37 AM
I like the positive relationship between these buildings and the street, vs. the big setback of all the surrounding buildings like the swimming pool, police station, and former Red Cross building. Will be exciting to see this giant run-down block slowly become urbanised and much more walkable.

ILoveHalifax
Jul 1, 2017, 9:50 AM
More info/images from the Source (http://www.metronews.ca/news/halifax/2017/06/30/drawings-unveiled-for-new-mikmaw-native-friendship-centre.html)

WOW!
Nice looking building and so good to see the Friendship Center get a place of prominence in the city. Good to see something shiny and new rather than something left over. Just maybe with Ottawa's involvement in reconciliation these days Canada can lift it's dismal record of dealings with our native people.

ILoveHalifax
Jul 1, 2017, 9:52 AM
Who's going to be paying for all this? Wait, don't answer that.

The money will come from the same place where the money came from for all your fancy traffic circles and bike lanes

Keith P.
Jul 1, 2017, 1:29 PM
The money will come from the same place where the money came from for all your fancy traffic circles and bike lanes

Rather than building a shiny monument in the downtown maybe some of those millions could be used on water systems and housing on the reserves.

ILoveHalifax
Jul 1, 2017, 5:40 PM
Rather than building a shiny monument in the downtown maybe some of those millions could be used on water systems and housing on the reserves.

THAT TOO

Since many indigenous people do not live on reserves out in remote areas, away from the cities and opportunities, where they were put, some just might need cultural services in the city.

Keith you got all your traffic circles, now don't be selfish

NDPer4life
Jul 1, 2017, 11:38 PM
I smile to see this porject. Let it enrage the hate filled. People need help, that's what's important. :cheers:;):P:notacrook::tup::yes::worship::haha:

someone123
Jul 2, 2017, 6:40 PM
Looks great. I like how the ground floor seems open and inviting. Will they have something like exhibit space in the lobby? The current centre does not seem very open to the general public, and probably doesn't have space for anything like that.

Now's the time to redevelop this area and Gottingen Street so they can be fully tied in with Cogswell in 5 or 10 years.

There was a proposal for the west end of this block but it seems inactive.

TheNovaScotian
Jul 3, 2017, 4:14 AM
I had always thought that entire triangle lot should be redeveloped into an aquatics facility similar to the CGC. The Centennial pool is old and run down plus if the parking was put underground that entire surface parking lot could be put to good use.

This is nice design and definitely long overdue just not sold on the location but I'm probably just being biased.

KnoxfordGuy
Jul 3, 2017, 11:51 PM
Saw this on Twitter and thought I'd share here :)

Halifax: Boom Town

http://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/canada/welcome-to-boomtown-halifax-the-anti-toronto-1.3486772

TheNovaScotian
Jul 4, 2017, 4:58 AM
Saw this on Twitter and thought I'd share here :)

Halifax: Boom Town

http://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/canada/welcome-to-boomtown-halifax-the-anti-toronto-1.3486772

It's a really good read, these type of articles are awesome for this city and it's image issues.

The good news keeps rolling in! Halifax will soon be officially announced a new expansion franchise in The NLL along with Philadelphia, San Diego and Dallas.
Bringing a professional lacrosse team to Atlantic Canada is going to be great for the entertainment scene in this city! Scotiabank Centre is going to be a lot busier spot with Mooseheads, Hurricanes, concerts, events and now this to be announced team. :D

https://twitter.com/Marisa_Ingemi/status/881642167386734596

someone123
Jul 4, 2017, 5:00 AM
Halifax stacks up really well against other cities for quality of life. On SSP Canada there are a lot of loud voices going on about buying multimillion dollar homes and how important great nightlife is but the reality is that those things are unattainable and unimportant to most people. Halifax has the widely appealing stuff; it's got a good economy that allows average people to live in safe, clean, attractive environments, and it's got lots of stuff to do. Most people will attain a better standard of living there than in the largest Canadian cities, let alone the major international cities. Halifax also has more character and culture and a better climate and natural setting than most Canadian cities.

I think it would be a much more popular city if its reputation from coast to coast more closely matched reality. Many people think it has a bad economy. Some people also think NS is all rural and that Halifax is a tiny town (i.e. what's depicted in the tourism ads). NS has a bit of an image issue in the sense that many people think the picturesque rural areas are all there is to the province.

Another problem for the city is the availability and cost of flights around the country. Toronto-Halifax is quick and frequent but costly. There are only direct Vancouver-Halifax flights for part of the year and they're about expensive as flying to Asia! If you could get to Halifax on $50-100 flights from Toronto it would seem a lot closer to people. That may sound like a pipe dream but flight costs like that are the reality in many other countries. It's just Canada that's super expensive, and Canadians don't travel or move around the country as frequently because of that.

Drybrain
Jul 4, 2017, 1:36 PM
Another problem for the city is the availability and cost of flights around the country. Toronto-Halifax is quick and frequent but costly. There are only direct Vancouver-Halifax flights for part of the year and they're about expensive as flying to Asia! If you could get to Halifax on $50-100 flights from Toronto it would seem a lot closer to people. That may sound like a pipe dream but flight costs like that are the reality in many other countries. It's just Canada that's super expensive, and Canadians don't travel or move around the country as frequently because of that.

Just to test this, I plugged random cities into Google Flights for a mid-August round trip. Indeed, it's about the same price to fly from Halifax to London or Amsterdam, as it is to Edmonton or Vancouver or Victoria. It's significantly cheaper to fly to west-coast US cities like San Francisco or Los Angeles.

Of course there are deals and seat sales, and I know it's a big country, but it should be easier for people to travel within their own country. The fact that it can often be cheaper to other continents than to fly between two provincial capitals is a problem.

OldDartmouthMark
Jul 4, 2017, 4:06 PM
http://www.metronews.ca/content/dam/thestar/uploads/2017/6/30/ddhix1qwsaq4iu6.jpg
More info/images from the Source (http://www.metronews.ca/news/halifax/2017/06/30/drawings-unveiled-for-new-mikmaw-native-friendship-centre.html)

http://www.metronews.ca/content/dam/thestar/uploads/2017/6/30/ddhix1rxgaevp1i.jpg

Aesthetically, I think it blends in very well, and definitely will be an improvement over what is there now.

On other levels, it's just the right thing to do. Their current location leaves a lot to be desired and it's time for an improvement.

https://www.google.ca/maps/@44.6526148,-63.5842101,3a,90y,205.75h,94.72t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sRkjmtFofCWC8OaCW_NKU0Q!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo1.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DRkjmtFofCWC8OaCW_NKU0Q%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dsearch.TACTILE.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D234%26h%3D106%26yaw%3D226.77988%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656

I think the world will be a better place if we can all try to find ways to care about and respect one another, and this is a step in the right direction. Lots more needs to be done, including the water situation to which Keith alludes.

I'm hoping that this will be brought to fruition.

OldDartmouthMark
Jul 4, 2017, 4:39 PM
It's a really good read, these type of articles are awesome for this city and it's image issues.

The good news keeps rolling in! Halifax will soon be officially announced a new expansion franchise in The NLL along with Philadelphia, San Diego and Dallas.
Bringing a professional lacrosse team to Atlantic Canada is going to be great for the entertainment scene in this city! Scotiabank Centre is going to be a lot busier spot with Mooseheads, Hurricanes, concerts, events and now this to be announced team. :D

https://twitter.com/Marisa_Ingemi/status/881642167386734596

:iagree: Though somewhat ironically this type of situation has the potential to turn Halifax into the very kind of place that people are trying to get away from, if growth happens too quickly.

Many of the reasons mentioned in the article:
But the city's charm may come from what it doesn't have: Million-dollar tear-downs, gruelling commutes to increasingly expensive, far-flung bedroom communities, summertime smog warnings, crush-loaded transit.

...could become reality in the face of a boom that's not properly recognized and planned for by those in charge.

Don't get me wrong, I look at this as a positive for Halifax, but IMHO it wouldn't take much to put it over the edge towards being overcrowded and undersupported. :2cents:

RoshanMcG
Jul 5, 2017, 12:48 AM
New mural on the side of the Stubborn Goat that glows in the dark at night:

http://i.imgur.com/kUvmgNq.jpg?1 (http://imgur.com/kUvmgNq)

hoser111
Jul 5, 2017, 5:39 AM
:iagree: Though somewhat ironically this type of situation has the potential to turn Halifax into the very kind of place that people are trying to get away from, if growth happens too quickly.

Many of the reasons mentioned in the article:


...could become reality in the face of a boom that's not properly recognized and planned for by those in charge.

Don't get me wrong, I look at this as a positive for Halifax, but IMHO it wouldn't take much to put it over the edge towards being overcrowded and undersupported. :2cents:

+1 Definitely "Be careful what you wish for".

Jonovision
Jul 12, 2017, 4:04 PM
Don't know if this has its own thread but it appears to now be topped out on Dresden and Queen.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4255/35748280271_6d790a00e5_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/WsXhgR)20170711_203005 (https://flic.kr/p/WsXhgR) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

Dmajackson
Jul 12, 2017, 5:08 PM
Demolition is well underway at the military barracks at Stadacona. The land will be used for relocating the main entrance to allow for a 4-way signalized intersection at Gottingen and Almon.

http://68.media.tumblr.com/c8e8c05df9417c6fc8ff4b9a9092e268/tumblr_osxvtxostL1tvjdq8o1_540.jpg
Halifax Developments Blog (Photo by David Jackson) (http://urbanhalifax.tumblr.com)

someone123
Jul 12, 2017, 5:54 PM
Don't know if this has its own thread but it appears to now be topped out on Dresden and Queen.

It's a small area but I like these walls of narrow 3-5 storey buildings. Some of Schmidtville has this feel too; medium density and lots of variety. In the past it was broken up by parking lots, but soon the Spring Garden Road area will be built out with larger commercial development plus this on side streets. This is a prime type of pedestrian-oriented neighbourhood that you find in larger, older cities but that is rare in Canada.

TheGreenBastard
Jul 12, 2017, 7:22 PM
It's a small area but I like these walls of narrow 3-5 storey buildings. Some of Schmidtville has this feel too; medium density and lots of variety. In the past it was broken up by parking lots, but soon the Spring Garden Road area will be built out with larger commercial development plus this on side streets. This is a prime type of pedestrian-oriented neighbourhood that you find in larger, older cities but that is rare in Canada.

Really love the feel of Dresden Row. :cheers:

Dmajackson
Jul 14, 2017, 6:34 PM
Footings are going in for the pedway across Lower Water Street. This is part of the 5151 Terminal Road renovations.

http://68.media.tumblr.com/7984bdba572661f5a9db3eeea263761e/tumblr_ot2490Wk8p1tvjdq8o1_1280.jpg
Halifax Developments Blog (Photo by David Jackson) (http://urbanhalifax.tumblr.com/)

Jonovision
Jul 15, 2017, 3:50 PM
There also hoists up along the North side for what I assume will be used for the staging for the reclad.

counterfactual
Jul 19, 2017, 2:38 PM
Saw this on Twitter and thought I'd share here :)

Halifax: Boom Town

http://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/canada/welcome-to-boomtown-halifax-the-anti-toronto-1.3486772

Great article.

Agree with what Mark said earlier about needing to plan for growth.

But I think that's an excellent problem to have, given that forever, Halifax (and NS) had serious aging population problems. New Canadians and migrants from within Province are mitigating that concern.

One interesting part of the story, is that the Alberta energy industry's weakness has arguably been Halifax's gain. 15% of the population growth in Halifax last year came from within NS.

Historically, those people would move out west for jobs rather than moving to Halifax. It's basically a part of our provincial mythology -- for politicians here, it's always been more PC to let rural Nova Scotians move to Alberta than to tell them to move to Halifax, otherwise Halifax is thus

These attitudes have often been reflected in bad provincial and federal policy that has discouraged urban migration in Nova Scotia that has more naturally occurred in other provinces and significant benefited cities and economic growth within those provinces overall (innovation, growth, and the future is in cities, unfortunately).

Finally, Halifax is benefiting, despite enduring anti-Halifax attitudes among dingbat NS politicians of all parties. And the City we're doing a decent job accommodating this growth with better/smarter leadership (Savage) and a and more astute Councillors compared to historically, though I still think there is too many sprawlparks and too much NIMBYism and anti-Torontoism among Halifax residents, City bureaucrats, and planning more generally. That is, some fear that if we allow more density and height all of a sudden we're going to turn into Toronto.

Dmajackson
Jul 21, 2017, 6:24 PM
Paving stones are going in along Grafton Street.

http://68.media.tumblr.com/8f20d8d70a63b58afa5f1faf5b2b5fe3/tumblr_otesm7guDs1tvjdq8o1_540.jpg
Halifax Developments Blog (Photo by David Jackson) (http://urbanhalifax.tumblr.com/)

teddifax
Jul 22, 2017, 3:10 AM
I sent a message to Joe Metlege on Fenwick Towers / The Vuze and he has updated his Facebook page - Vision of Fenwick Tower. Take a look.

fenwick16
Jul 22, 2017, 8:53 AM
I sent a message to Joe Metlege on Fenwick Towers / The Vuze and he has updated his Facebook page - Vision of Fenwick Tower. Take a look.


Is this the link - https://www.facebook.com/SouthVillageHfx/posts/1096287763826418? I posted some pictures from this link in the South Village thread - http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?p=7872598#post7872598. It is good to see some recent exterior shots.

Jonovision
Jul 23, 2017, 4:15 PM
There are quite a few large yachts along the waterfront at the moment. Took a stroll last night and couldn't help but be mesmerized by the harbour/fish tank. We need to get more underwater lights installed along the boardwalk.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4317/35269337224_cf5ee5e97a_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/VJCzc7)20170722_220132 (https://flic.kr/p/VJCzc7) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4314/35269337124_e3ea5c3714_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/VJCzao)20170722_220032 (https://flic.kr/p/VJCzao) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

counterfactual
Jul 25, 2017, 6:36 AM
I like it too, but there are counterveiling concerns too: do underwater lights disturb the natural ecosystem at all? There is some evidence of this:

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/04/artificial-light-may-alter-underwater-ecosystems

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/light-pollution-is-messing-ocean-ecosystems-180955142/

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/49787/20150430/new-research-tags-artificial-lights-in-coastal-areas-as-pollutants-harmful-to-marine-life.htm

Dmajackson
Jul 28, 2017, 5:17 PM
Halifax planning staff have come up with a list going forward to Regional Council next week that identifies existing planning applications and decide on if they have merit for consideration under the Centre Plan.

CASE NUMBER | PROPOSAL NAME | MAX. FLOORS | DECISION | LINK TO DISCUSSION THREAD | PROPOSED ZONING (MAX. FLOORS ALLOWED)

20148 | ROBIE & PEPPERELL | 14 FL | YES | No Thread | Quinpool Centre (^15 Fl)
20158 | DUFFUS & ROBIE | 6 FL | YES | No Thread | Higher Order Residential (^6 Fl)
20159 | VICTORIA & SOUTH PARK | 9 FL | YES | No Thread | Established Residential (NA)
20218 | SPRING GARDEN WEST | 30 FL | YES | Thread (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=224716) | Spring Garden Centre (^20 Fl)
20267 | CHEBUCTO & BEECH | 5 FL | YES | Thread (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=214841) | Corridor (^6 Fl)
20323 | BEN'S BAKERY QUINPOOL | 10 FL | MAYBE | Thread (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=220751) | Quinpool Centre (^6 Fl) & Established Residential (NA)
20436 | 102 ALBRO LAKE ROAD | 1 FL | MAYBE | No Thread | Victoria Road Corridor (^6 Fl)
20520 | QUINPOOL MCDONALD'S | 10 FL | NO | No Thread | Quinpool Centre (^6 Fl)
20577 | ROBIE & CUNARD | 8 FL | YES | No Thread | Robie Street Corridor (^6 Fl)
20632 | 2440-2454 AGRICOLA STREET | 5 FL | YES | No Thread | Agricola Street Corridor (^6 Fl)
20658 | BAYERS & YOUNG | 5 FL | YES | No Thread | Bayers Road Corridor (^6 Fl) & Established Residential (NA)
20669 | UNITED MEMORIAL YOUNG STREET | 7 FL | NO | No Thread | Established Residential (NA)
20761 | ROBIE & COLLEGE | 26 FL | YES | No Thread | Spring Garden Centre (^20 Fl) & Established Residential (NA)
20774 | 1110-1132 WELLINGTON STREET | 11 FL | NO | No Thread | Higher Order Residential (^6 Fl)
20831 | CANAL STREET (DARTMOUTH) | 21 FL | YES | Thread (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=226525) | Downtown Dartmouth (TBD)
20860 | VICTORIA & QUEEN (DARTMOUTH) | 16 FL | YES | No Thread | Downtown Dartmouth (TBD)
20876 | SOUTH & HARVEY | 8 FL | NO | No Thread | Established Residential (NA)
20898 | 1027-1037 LUCKNOW STREET | 9 FL | NO | No Thread | Established Residential (NA)
20980 | QUINPOOL ARMDALE ROTARY | 17 FL | NO | No Thread | Higher Order Residential (^6 Fl)
20981 | 101 KING STREET (DARTMOUTH) | 15 FL | YES | No Thread | Downtown Dartmouth Opportunity Site (TBD)
21115 | 6290-6302 QUINPOOL | 11 FL | NO | No Thread | Quinpool Centre (^6 Fl)
21240 | SOUTH & SOUTH PARK SW CORNER | 12 FL | NO | No Thread | Higher Order Residential (^6 Fl)

The report is available here; https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/city-hall/regional-council/170801rc14110.pdf

Keith P.
Jul 28, 2017, 11:48 PM
But the Centre Plan has not been approved. How can proposals be assessed against rules that are not in effect?

yal
Jul 29, 2017, 5:21 PM
Does anyone know anything about the last project?

21240 | SOUTH & SOUTH PARK | NO |

Phalanx
Jul 29, 2017, 10:31 PM
I'm a little disappointed that several of the Quinpool developments seem to have fallen through. I understand the decision in terms of the current context, but I think that when looked at as a whole most of the proposals could have worked (IE if all of these developments had been given the thumbs up and gone ahead together, then overall context of being much taller than their neigbhours isn't mitigated somewhat).

Hopefully they'll come back with a couple of stories chopped off, because I think that Quinpool is a prime candidate for renewal and densification.

IanWatson
Jul 31, 2017, 11:46 AM
But the Centre Plan has not been approved. How can proposals be assessed against rules that are not in effect?

All of these applications are requests to amend the Municipal Planning Strategy. Since the Planning Strategy is the rules, amendments to it don't actually have any "rules" to assess. Basically a council can amend a Planning Strategy using whatever guiding principles they want, and in this case they've said that the Centre Plan document is going to be their guidebook.

IanWatson
Jul 31, 2017, 11:49 AM
Hopefully they'll come back with a couple of stories chopped off, because I think that Quinpool is a prime candidate for renewal and densification.

Centre Plan has Quinpool as a "Centre", so it is indeed targeted for renewal and densification. It's just that Centre Plan has it being a little more orderly, with the height at the Robie end, and gradually sloping down towards the west end.

So yes, these proposals will probably be able to come back with some modifications and easily go through the Centre Plan rules once they're adopted.

Keith P.
Jul 31, 2017, 2:34 PM
Hopefully they'll come back with a couple of stories chopped off, because I think that Quinpool is a prime candidate for renewal and densification.

Yes, the CP will allow a dizzying 6 or 7 floors on Quinpool. :koko:

worldlyhaligonian
Jul 31, 2017, 10:44 PM
Wow, some of those proposed heights seem fine for the areas (e.g. Quinpool at the rotary).

What is the actual basis for the height limits and is it possible for them to increase in the future? Looks like this plan is just going to contribute to further urban sprawl.

counterfactual
Aug 1, 2017, 12:27 PM
IMHO, the Center Plan is a total disaster; a complete and utter NIMBY document that will kill great proposals all over the city, but particularly around Quinpool.

Incredible disappointment. I hope they're forced to back to the drawing board, just like the RP+5 plan was a joke and City Planners forced to fix.

Phalanx
Aug 1, 2017, 3:03 PM
I'm also fine with the heights as proposed, but I'm not sure it's a winnable battle with the plan as it is. Like I said, looked at individually a lot of these would stand out as being very high when compared to their neigbhours, but viewed together they're okay, and it would make it easier for the rest of the street to 'grow up' with time.

All that said, there's not much that can be done for Pepperell in the near future. I suspect that was the main sticking point, even with most/all of these proposals stepping down toward Pepperell, it would have been a sharp transition from one block to the next.

counterfactual
Aug 2, 2017, 8:36 AM
And why is Planning Staff acting/pretending that the Centre Plan is law / enacted policy? Rejecting new proposals because it's inconsistent with a plan that has no legitimacy.

Pathetic 6 floor height limit on a bunch of Quinpool zoned proposals.

kph06
Aug 2, 2017, 11:24 AM
Here is a link with updated information on these proposals:

Applications for site-specific SMPS amendments in the Regional Centre (https://www.halifax.ca/business/planning-development/applications/applications-site-specific-smps-amendments-regional)

IanWatson
Aug 2, 2017, 11:28 AM
And why is Planning Staff acting/pretending that the Centre Plan is law / enacted policy? Rejecting new proposals because it's inconsistent with a plan that has no legitimacy.

Because these proposals are PLAN amendments. They are amendments to create new policy, but HRM is already creating new policy: Centre Plan. I literally said this six posts up.

Keith P.
Aug 2, 2017, 12:41 PM
Because these proposals are PLAN amendments. They are amendments to create new policy, but HRM is already creating new policy: Centre Plan. I literally said this six posts up.

These are site-specific amendments which is how development approval in Halifax has been done for years in the absence of actual zoning that would allow more than a 2-storey building in most areas. The Centre Plan was supposed to eliminate this but has not been passed because it has many flaws and no consensus has been reached on height limits or if they should exist in it at all. Yet we are rejecting developments worth many millions of dollars in tax revenue because of a policy that has not been accepted by Council. This is a clear case of the inmate planners running the asylum.

IanWatson
Aug 2, 2017, 2:00 PM
These are site-specific amendments which is how development approval in Halifax has been done for years in the absence of actual zoning that would allow more than a 2-storey building in most areas. The Centre Plan was supposed to eliminate this but has not been passed because it has many flaws and no consensus has been reached on height limits or if they should exist in it at all. Yet we are rejecting developments worth many millions of dollars in tax revenue because of a policy that has not been accepted by Council. This is a clear case of the inmate planners running the asylum.

Site specific or not, they are plan amendments, so there is no policy to guide whether they are appropriate or not. Instead, planners and Council evaluate plan amendments based on public consultation and an analysis of the effects of the amendments (Are they appropriate? Do they make good planning sense?).

HRM has just done that consultation and analysis in the form of the Centre Plan draft. Staff is saying "There is no need to repeat this work, it has been done, and it has been done in a more comprehensive manner than could ever be done for a one-off application."

Keith P.
Aug 2, 2017, 4:59 PM
HRM has just done that consultation and analysis in the form of the Centre Plan draft. Staff is saying "There is no need to repeat this work, it has been done, and it has been done in a more comprehensive manner than could ever be done for a one-off application."

Comprehensive as in covering a large swath of the peninsula, but less so when it comes to each individual site. This is the foolhardy part of municipal planning, trying to apply very specific rules to all sites in a given area in a broad-brush manner, in the absence of understanding market conditions or the ability and willingness of developers to invest money. These projects have passed that last test already. It only makes sense to do an analysis of each on their own merits.

Dmajackson
Aug 2, 2017, 5:02 PM
Regional Council voted last night to allow the "Yes" and "Maybe" projects to continue through public consultation provided they meet some requirements. So the list looks like this;

CASE NUMBER | PROPOSAL NAME | MAX. FLOORS | LINK TO DISCUSSION THREAD | PROPOSED ZONING (MAX. FLOORS ALLOWED)

20148 | ROBIE & PEPPERELL | 14 FL | Thread (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=229299) | Quinpool Centre (^15 Fl)
20158 | DUFFUS & ROBIE | 6 FL | No Thread | Higher Order Residential (^6 Fl)
20159 | VICTORIA & SOUTH PARK | 9 FL | No Thread | Established Residential (NA)
20218 | SPRING GARDEN WEST | 30 FL | Thread (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=224716) | Spring Garden Centre (^20 Fl)
20267 | CHEBUCTO & BEECH | 5 FL | Thread (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=214841) | Corridor (^6 Fl)
20323 | BEN'S BAKERY QUINPOOL | 10 FL | Thread (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=220751) | Quinpool Centre (^6 Fl) & Established Residential (NA)
20436 | 102 ALBRO LAKE ROAD | 1 FL | No Thread | Victoria Road Corridor (^6 Fl)
20577 | ROBIE & CUNARD | 8 FL | No Thread | Robie Street Corridor (^6 Fl)
20632 | 2440-2454 AGRICOLA STREET | 5 FL | No Thread | Agricola Street Corridor (^6 Fl)
20658 | BAYERS & YOUNG | 5 FL | No Thread | Bayers Road Corridor (^6 Fl) & Established Residential (NA)
20761 | ROBIE & COLLEGE | 26 FL | No Thread | Spring Garden Centre (^20 Fl) & Established Residential (NA)
20831 | CANAL STREET (DARTMOUTH) | 21 FL | Thread (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=226525) | Downtown Dartmouth (TBD)
20860 | VICTORIA & QUEEN (DARTMOUTH) | 16 FL | Thread (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=229306) | Downtown Dartmouth (TBD)
20981 | 101 KING STREET (DARTMOUTH) | 15 FL | No Thread | Downtown Dartmouth Opportunity Site (TBD)

The report is available here; https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/city-hall/regional-council/170801rc14110.pdf

IanWatson
Aug 2, 2017, 6:09 PM
Comprehensive as in covering a large swath of the peninsula, but less so when it comes to each individual site. This is the foolhardy part of municipal planning, trying to apply very specific rules to all sites in a given area in a broad-brush manner, in the absence of understanding market conditions or the ability and willingness of developers to invest money. These projects have passed that last test already. It only makes sense to do an analysis of each on their own merits.

No, not just comprehensive in area. Comprehensive in analysis too. Things like servicing capacity, total market demand, transit access, and transportation capacity. These are things that never get done on a site-specific basis. So while I wouldn't call any of these proposals bad when looked at in isolation, they actually have effects beyond the site. Sure, a 10 story building might work just as well as a 6 story building on a site, but it sucks up 4 extra storeys of sewer capacity and market demand that don't get to be put somewhere else. That's not planning, that's piecemeal.

someone123
Aug 2, 2017, 6:12 PM
Questions of planning aside, I'd say that the nicest and most interesting proposals survived anyway. I hope Robie and Pepperell gets built because that site is so ugly and has sat empty for about 2 decades. In general, more major development is going to have to happen outside of the traditional boundaries of downtown, because it is filling up with new construction and most of what's left is historic buildings. The Spring Garden Road area is close to being completely built out; it was half parking lots 20 years ago. It's getting more and more important for the city to increase heritage protections downtown to save the remaining buildings while creating an alternate path for development to follow as the city grows. Cogswell could be a part of that but that land isn't available yet, and many of the remaining surface lots downtown are publicly-owned.

I also think downtown Dartmouth has enormous potential. It's in a good location, it has lots of amenities, and it has lots of opportunity sites.

counterfactual
Aug 3, 2017, 11:09 AM
Because these proposals are PLAN amendments. They are amendments to create new policy, but HRM is already creating new policy: Centre Plan. I literally said this six posts up.

And your answer is still plainly inadequate six posts later. CP shouldn't be treating the Plan as policy if it's not even passed, even if via site specific amendments.

Keith's answer's you aptly:

Comprehensive as in covering a large swath of the peninsula, but less so when it comes to each individual site. This is the foolhardy part of municipal planning, trying to apply very specific rules to all sites in a given area in a broad-brush manner, in the absence of understanding market conditions or the ability and willingness of developers to invest money. These projects have passed that last test already. It only makes sense to do an analysis of each on their own merits.

HRM planning should examine each proposal on its own merits, not pretend that it has "consulted" on the appropriateness of each proposal by citing skewed consultations on CP (before the full draft was even released) that has not itself received enough public scrutiny nor is it passed. It has no basis in law or policy; it's a proposal and nothing else. They're just using CP as a pre-text to reject more proposals. I hope City Councillors see pass this BS and reject all of their recommendations.

IanWatson
Aug 3, 2017, 12:31 PM
And your answer is still plainly inadequate six posts later. CP shouldn't be treating the Plan as policy if it's not even passed, even if via site specific amendments.

How can I put this another way. When you do plan amendments (whether site specific or community-wide), you are creating NEW policy. So HRM has to write and adopt NEW policy for each of these sites. But HRM already has NEW policy written and waiting to be adopted that would cover each of these sites: Centre Plan. To do a bunch of site-specific amendments, and then on top of that adopt Centre plan, is to go through the process twice. This is a) a waste of resources, that takes staff away from other things and delays other planning approvals, and b) bad planning.

As I said in my response to Keith, site-specific amendments are not good planning. Buildings have ripples in things beyond their site (traffic, servicing capacity, market demand, character of the area, etc. etc.); things that need to be considered comprehensively; things that don't get looked at on a site-specific basis.

Ziobrop
Aug 3, 2017, 2:21 PM
And why is Planning Staff acting/pretending that the Centre Plan is law / enacted policy? Rejecting new proposals because it's inconsistent with a plan that has no legitimacy.

Pathetic 6 floor height limit on a bunch of Quinpool zoned proposals.

they arnt. these don't fit the existing rules - so they are already exceptions, and could be killed outright now, under current rules.

Staff/council evaluated these proposals to see if they kinda work with the draft Center plan rules, and if they do, they will move forward, and likely get approved by Development agreement, and thus be exempt from Center plan rules.

The other projects arn't dead, they can still come back and re-submit.


FWIW, 6 stories will give quinpool a nice streetwall, without overwhelming the neighbors. I think once fully developed it will be much better then blocks of High rise.

Keith P.
Aug 3, 2017, 3:04 PM
they arnt. these don't fit the existing rules - so they are already exceptions, and could be killed outright now, under current rules.


The objective of planning staff should not be to kill development proposals based on obsolete 1950s rules. This is the fundamental problem. In the absence of any approved policy that is appropriate to today (which is not the CP since it has not been approved by Council and may never be), they should be welcoming development proposals and trying to find ways to say yes, not saying no constantly.

Jonovision
Aug 3, 2017, 4:15 PM
The objective of planning staff should not be to kill development proposals based on obsolete 1950s rules. This is the fundamental problem. In the absence of any approved policy that is appropriate to today (which is not the CP since it has not been approved by Council and may never be), they should be welcoming development proposals and trying to find ways to say yes, not saying no constantly.

It has not been fully approved by council true, but it has been endorsed and seen by council who have given direction to continue with the process of turning it into policy. Given the overall context I think that is acceptable in this situation.

eastcoastal
Aug 3, 2017, 4:24 PM
The objective of planning staff should not be to kill development proposals based on obsolete 1950s rules...

I don't think the "objective" of staff is to kill proposals based on 1950s rules. In fact, I think that the process by which they consider the proposals against current thinking in terms of urban planning and design is something quite different than evaluating against 1950s rules.

... In the absence of any approved policy that is appropriate to today (which is not the CP since it has not been approved by Council and may never be), they should be welcoming development proposals and trying to find ways to say yes, not saying no constantly.
In the "absence of any approved policy that is appropriate to today," I think it is the role of planning staff to provide professional guidance.

I also don't think saying no to 8/22 is the same as "no constantly."

If we pretend for a moment that the Centre Plan has been incorporating current thinking from the world of planning and urban design, and we think that proposals should be good for the city (versus good for the developer.... but hopefully they're good for both), then it's probably fine they've evaluated them the way that they did.

Now... whether or not the Centre Plan actually DOES incorporate current thinking with respect to best practices in advancing good urban design is another discussion. I don't have an answer, but I know you don't believe so.

Dmajackson
Aug 3, 2017, 5:04 PM
I've created threads for a couple of the larger proposals given the go-ahead by Regional Council.

As for my two cents I think overall staff made the correct decisions regarding these proposals and Council made the correct decision by allowing the "Maybe" projects to proceed as well. The "No" projects were all incorrectly proportioned for their respective locations. The only projects I could support coming back would be the three along Quinpool Road. The two between Preston and Oxford should be scaled down slightly to be no taller or bigger than the Keep (U/C) at 8 floors. The other project down at Armdale should come back at up to 12 floors and be less bulky.

Jonovision
Aug 5, 2017, 10:10 PM
Dresden Rowe infill taking shape.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4432/36392011075_40315146dd_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/XrQz1P)20170804_145342_HDR (https://flic.kr/p/XrQz1P) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

Keith P.
Aug 5, 2017, 10:24 PM
Ah, the old CSS Insurance building is no more...

Dmajackson
Aug 6, 2017, 5:04 PM
2533 Agricola Street future home of Compass Distillery

http://68.media.tumblr.com/9e1cd4126852e265556c330baaeaf9a8/tumblr_ou9w2zS0MS1tvjdq8o1_540.jpg
Halifax Developments Blog (Photo by David Jackson) (http://urbanhalifax.tumblr.com/)

OldDartmouthMark
Aug 8, 2017, 3:31 PM
No, not just comprehensive in area. Comprehensive in analysis too. Things like servicing capacity, total market demand, transit access, and transportation capacity. These are things that never get done on a site-specific basis. So while I wouldn't call any of these proposals bad when looked at in isolation, they actually have effects beyond the site. Sure, a 10 story building might work just as well as a 6 story building on a site, but it sucks up 4 extra storeys of sewer capacity and market demand that don't get to be put somewhere else. That's not planning, that's piecemeal.

These are important points that tend to get glossed over while 'we' are demanding taller buildings and more of them.

Presumably the calculations have been done regarding service capacity and traffic studies have been done to consider increased strain on our roadways, so these are prime considerations that have to be taken into account before we just approve each individual project on its own merit, IMHO.

If we are getting near capacity on these things, then there would have to be a plan to deal with these situations or we are painting ourselves in a corner, so to speak. One would think that this is part of the regular planning process, which would lead me to believe that several potential scenarios have been considered, i.e. :
- replacing sewage services with larger/more pipes,
- increasing sewage treatment capacity if necessary,
- increasing water service size/capacity and perhaps incorporate an additional supply source for fresh water,
- increased/improved transit availability,
- improved traffic management
- etc. etc.

Large infrastructure improvements can be massively expensive, and would make me tend to believe that those in the position of making decisions have determined that Halifax isn't at the point in its growth that it could support such a large infrastructure investment, or doesn't need to have density concentrated into a few specific areas that would create an overcapacity situation when they have the option of spreading population density a little more evenly throughout the city. I can only guess, but this seems logical to me.

All in all, I don't see the centre plan as being the massive failure that some seem to feel it is, but like anything, it will likely need some tweaking before it becomes final, and then more as years pass and philosophies/requirements change. :2cents:

Keith P.
Aug 8, 2017, 8:43 PM
The fundamental problem is that you have a 10 storey proposal ready to break ground once approved. A 6-storey "acceptable" proposal may not exist as it likely does not have a business case to make it profitable. So you are left with an empty lot. Assuming that other proposals will magically come along and be built according to the planner's vision of future nirvana is foolhardy.

counterfactual
Aug 9, 2017, 10:35 AM
How can I put this another way. When you do plan amendments (whether site specific or community-wide), you are creating NEW policy. So HRM has to write and adopt NEW policy for each of these sites. But HRM already has NEW policy written and waiting to be adopted that would cover each of these sites: Centre Plan. To do a bunch of site-specific amendments, and then on top of that adopt Centre plan, is to go through the process twice. This is a) a waste of resources, that takes staff away from other things and delays other planning approvals, and b) bad planning.

As I said in my response to Keith, site-specific amendments are not good planning. Buildings have ripples in things beyond their site (traffic, servicing capacity, market demand, character of the area, etc. etc.); things that need to be considered comprehensively; things that don't get looked at on a site-specific basis.

And how can I make my point another way? It's obvious that these proposals are not allowed under existing zoning rules which are literally decades old and are nonsensical and totally inadequate for our City today. And thus, to proceed, there would need to be amendments.

And my point is that each proposal should be assessed on its merits to proceed-- as in allow the site-specific change-- rather than assessing it against a Centre Plan policy that isn't even legitimate law or policy now.

Site-specific amendments are not necessarily "new" policy. They are exceptions to exist policy, as in, exceptions to zoning rules that represent decades old zoning policy.

Perhaps you can develop a new policy to deal with site-specific amendments in a more uniform way--THAT would be actual policy--but this new uniform policy should be legitimized through some democratic debate/adoption by Council and not done simply by fiat by un-elected planning staff pretending that the few people-- mainly retired NIMBYs with too much time on their hands-- that show up at consultations grants that policy an imprimatur of legitimacy. The same goes for the Centre Plan. If you want to develop such a policy, or abide by new Centre Plan rules, fine. But again, the policy should be democratically debated and enacted first before knocking down proposals.

I support democratic policy formulation and enactment. Such hubris!


FWIW, 6 stories will give quinpool a nice streetwall, without overwhelming the neighbors. I think once fully developed it will be much better then blocks of High rise.

6 stories is better than what is allowed now, but it is far too short for an area that should be designated for high density development. It's an ideal zone for this, much like Spring Garden/Robie area.

I mean if we are doing to have taller buildings and greater density developments outside the HRMxD zone, where would be more appropriate than here?


-


For all the posters on here concerned with losing more heritage buildings downtown, we'd probably see fewer bulldozed in the heritage-laden HRMxD area if we allowed for greater density outside that zone in well equipped places-- with existing dense towers-- like Quinpool/Robie.

IanWatson
Aug 9, 2017, 12:46 PM
And how can I make my point another way? It's obvious that these proposals are not allowed under existing zoning rules which are literally decades old and are nonsensical and totally inadequate for our City today. And thus, to proceed, there would need to be amendments.

Agreed.

And my point is that each proposal should be assessed on its merits to proceed-- as in allow the site-specific change--

No. That's exactly what shouldn't be done. The whole point of Centre Plan is to get away from this. Site-specific amendments don't look at the big picture. So you end up approving a building that's maybe reasonable when looked at just on that site, but ends up having negative effects beyond its site. A site-specific amendment will never look at things holistically. Yes, the proponent will do a sewage study that says "there is enough capacity in the sewer for this project", but they will never do a study to ask "how much of that capacity is needed for other development?", and it would be unreasonable to ask for such a study on a site-specific basis because it would need to be so comprehensive (and expensive).

OldDartmouthMark
Aug 9, 2017, 2:24 PM
For all the posters on here concerned with losing more heritage buildings downtown, we'd probably see fewer bulldozed in the heritage-laden HRMxD area if we allowed for greater density outside that zone in well equipped places-- with existing dense towers-- like Quinpool/Robie.

That would be me, and one or two other skyscraper members...

It's a good point, but I'm not sure we can assume that relationship. Downtown is where the majority of the at-risk heritage buildings are located, and coincidentally it is the same area that would be considered prime for higher-end residential, i.e. highest profit margin for developers.

I don't think that most condo buyers would consider a condo on Quinpool, for example, to have equivalent desirability to one on Barrington, for example.

We could build up surrounding areas, if there is a market for it, but the point of my post (which was a reflection of the facts that Ian presented) was to say that there is much more involved than just approving height on its own merit.

I would like to see those areas built up even more, but again, it's just that "I would like to see it"; not "I have done the calculations and created a cost/benefit study and determined that it is viable to plan in this fashion".

IMHO, the heritage issue could be easily solved by some stronger rules/laws such as those in place in other cities, but there still doesn't seem to be much political will to do it. Haligonians have long disregarded its own history, for some reason, and it still seems to be reflected in the lack of desire to preserve what is left of our built history.

So, I see centre plan height limits and protection of heritage properties as separate issues that may be related, but one doesn't guarantee a positive effect on the other. :2cents:

Drybrain
Aug 9, 2017, 2:47 PM
The fundamental problem is that you have a 10 storey proposal ready to break ground once approved. A 6-storey "acceptable" proposal may not exist as it likely does not have a business case to make it profitable. So you are left with an empty lot. Assuming that other proposals will magically come along and be built according to the planner's vision of future nirvana is foolhardy.

Honestly, I find it very doubtful that land prices anywhere in Halifax are such that a six-storey building can't be profitable. Structures of that scale are still being built in central parts of Toronto, Brooklyn, the main thoroughfares in Vancouver outside of the immediate downtown.

I'm not against a ten-storey buildings here, but the argument that such a height is necessary for a profitable development ring really false.

As for preserving heritage by permitting more height elsewhere: Sure, maybe. But market incentives to preserve heritage don't seem to be working as well here as in some other places. We need staightforward rules, including rules that developers might not like, and we need to enforce them.

someone123
Aug 9, 2017, 4:08 PM
Honestly, I find it very doubtful that land prices anywhere in Halifax are such that a six-storey building can't be profitable. Structures of that scale are still being built in central parts of Toronto, Brooklyn, the main thoroughfares in Vancouver outside of the immediate downtown.

This is true but the units in these boutique developments in expensive cities are often millions of dollars. Land costs alone are, say, $10M divided by 15 or 20 units. It is impossible for market-rate developments like this to be affordable. Vancouver is in the middle of a horrible, extremely unfair affordability crisis, and restrictive zoning has played a huge role in that. The local media give us "balanced" reports about public consultation where poor elderly Kitsilano folks worried about sunshine and traffic argue against rich developers. But these poor old folks are actually extremely privileged accidental multi-millionaires and they are fighting to prevent the creation of affordable housing.

Property owners will always tend to argue for restrictive zoning, because it drives up the value of their assets. Meanwhile working class poorer and younger people are harmed by policies and they don't have much of a voice in municipal politics. The people who couldn't move to a city because it became too expensive have no voice.

If planners are going to advocate for constraints on developers it would be nice if they at least explicitly had some economic model that acknowledged the trade-offs. Cut off 4 floors, sure, but at least be open about the fact that people are going to pay $30,000 more for their units (or looking at it another way, an average person will have to work for one whole extra year to get that amount after tax plus pay interest on their housing unit in this more carefully-planned area).

IanWatson
Aug 9, 2017, 5:47 PM
Land costs alone are, say, $10M divided by 15 or 20 units.

But land prices are established by how many units you can get on that piece of land, assuming there's no other, more profitable, development option (say, office) for that land. Some developers will pay more than they would based on what a piece of land strictly allows under the hope that they can push for more units, but even then they factor in risk and adjust what they'll pay accordingly.

someone123
Aug 9, 2017, 6:14 PM
But land prices are established by how many units you can get on that piece of land, assuming there's no other, more profitable, development option (say, office) for that land. Some developers will pay more than they would based on what a piece of land strictly allows under the hope that they can push for more units, but even then they factor in risk and adjust what they'll pay accordingly.

In Vancouver it is easy to find plots of land that have been sold and resold multiple times for millions of dollars but sit empty. Land has been commoditized and is traded back and forth based on speculation and the presumption of its future expected value.

The number of units permitted on a piece of land is also a moving target. There is no guarantee that after the next election there won't be a different HRM council that throws out a bunch of the current rules. So it is possible that people will pay a currently uneconomical price for land and leave it fallow hoping that the site becomes profitable to develop in the future due to a better economy or more favourable planning rules. This was very common in Halifax for many years. There are lots in downtown Halifax that have been empty for 50 years; planning rules have come and gone during that period, and the corporate owners have happily kept the empty lots as part of their portfolio.

The planning rules really ought to take all of this into account in order to keep housing affordable and give people a good standard of living with a decent amount of living space, short commutes, and more money for discretionary spending after they've paid for housing. This hasn't been happening at all in cities like Toronto and Vancouver and the track record in Halifax is mediocre at best.

counterfactual
Aug 10, 2017, 7:12 AM
Agreed.



No. That's exactly what shouldn't be done. The whole point of Centre Plan is to get away from this. Site-specific amendments don't look at the big picture. So you end up approving a building that's maybe reasonable when looked at just on that site, but ends up having negative effects beyond its site. A site-specific amendment will never look at things holistically. Yes, the proponent will do a sewage study that says "there is enough capacity in the sewer for this project", but they will never do a study to ask "how much of that capacity is needed for other development?", and it would be unreasonable to ask for such a study on a site-specific basis because it would need to be so comprehensive (and expensive).

It seems we don't disagree on much. I actually agree it makes far more sense to have a uniform policy than do one-off amendments, which leads to bad planning and uneven outcomes.

Where we seem to only disagree is that before proposals are knocked down, the Centre Plan, which Planning Staff seem to be using for this purpose (approaching site specific amendments in a more uniform way), should be first debated and enacted, before knocking down individual proposals and using the CP as justification.

My sense is that the CP will be changed in that democratic process, perhaps amended to allow for more heights and other allowances in certain areas, that may make certain proposals now being rejected, more feasible.

If CP is passed, site specific proposals won't be needed anyways. In short: let proposals go forward that meet CP criteria now, but allow those proposals that do not sit in abeyance until CP is finalized. Developers may still change proposals in the meantime, or democratically lobby for amendments to the CP through that process just like everyone else.

counterfactual
Aug 10, 2017, 7:19 AM
Honestly, I find it very doubtful that land prices anywhere in Halifax are such that a six-storey building can't be profitable. Structures of that scale are still being built in central parts of Toronto, Brooklyn, the main thoroughfares in Vancouver outside of the immediate downtown.

I'm not against a ten-storey buildings here, but the argument that such a height is necessary for a profitable development ring really false.

As for preserving heritage by permitting more height elsewhere: Sure, maybe. But market incentives to preserve heritage don't seem to be working as well here as in some other places. We need staightforward rules, including rules that developers might not like, and we need to enforce them.

Come on, Dry, it's silly to compare the housing market in Halifax to some of the most expensive in the world, literally -- Toronto, Brooklyn, Vancouver!

As someone123 says, a developer can obviously make more money out of a 6 storey building there, given they can sell the units for a million each, or rent them out for multiple times the rental rate they'd fetch in Halifax. It's simply not a fair or reasonable comparison. Nor is Paris or San Fran or anywhere else where you have super high density and higher housing prices at lower heights.

This is true but the units in these boutique developments in expensive cities are often millions of dollars. Land costs alone are, say, $10M divided by 15 or 20 units. It is impossible for market-rate developments like this to be affordable. Vancouver is in the middle of a horrible, extremely unfair affordability crisis, and restrictive zoning has played a huge role in that. The local media give us "balanced" reports about public consultation where poor elderly Kitsilano folks worried about sunshine and traffic argue against rich developers. But these poor old folks are actually extremely privileged accidental multi-millionaires and they are fighting to prevent the creation of affordable housing.

Property owners will always tend to argue for restrictive zoning, because it drives up the value of their assets. Meanwhile working class poorer and younger people are harmed by policies and they don't have much of a voice in municipal politics. The people who couldn't move to a city because it became too expensive have no voice.

If planners are going to advocate for constraints on developers it would be nice if they at least explicitly had some economic model that acknowledged the trade-offs. Cut off 4 floors, sure, but at least be open about the fact that people are going to pay $30,000 more for their units (or looking at it another way, an average person will have to work for one whole extra year to get that amount after tax plus pay interest on their housing unit in this more carefully-planned area).

Agree on all counts!

counterfactual
Aug 10, 2017, 7:27 AM
That would be me, and one or two other skyscraper members...

It's a good point, but I'm not sure we can assume that relationship. Downtown is where the majority of the at-risk heritage buildings are located, and coincidentally it is the same area that would be considered prime for higher-end residential, i.e. highest profit margin for developers.

I don't think that most condo buyers would consider a condo on Quinpool, for example, to have equivalent desirability to one on Barrington, for example.

We could build up surrounding areas, if there is a market for it, but the point of my post (which was a reflection of the facts that Ian presented) was to say that there is much more involved than just approving height on its own merit.

I would like to see those areas built up even more, but again, it's just that "I would like to see it"; not "I have done the calculations and created a cost/benefit study and determined that it is viable to plan in this fashion".

IMHO, the heritage issue could be easily solved by some stronger rules/laws such as those in place in other cities, but there still doesn't seem to be much political will to do it. Haligonians have long disregarded its own history, for some reason, and it still seems to be reflected in the lack of desire to preserve what is left of our built history.

So, I see centre plan height limits and protection of heritage properties as separate issues that may be related, but one doesn't guarantee a positive effect on the other. :2cents:

As usual, Mark, all good points.

However, I'd also say I'm one of the posters on here concerned about heritage downtown -- even if I'm also one of the posters who often argues for more density and taller height allowances, because I don't think the two are mutually exclusive!

You're right there's no guaranteed relationship between higher allowances outside HRMxD and the downtown bulldozing, but I think if you allow for more density in places like Quinpool/Robie, then you'll see changes in that area that will make it more desirable to potential buyers (who are also looking around HRMxD places on Barrington). More density will bring more small businesses, more shopping, cafes, lifestyle services, etc, which is what may make a place on Barrington more desirable. Plus, the prices here may be cheaper than downtown and thus more attractive-- this is fine for the developer if more height is allowed and thus more units can be rented/sold compared to Barrington. Instead, now we're getting the opposite result, with lower heights and thus likely more expensive prices in this area.

If you get that more demand here, developers will look here as a very good alternative, than deal with view planes and congestion and the costs of building downtown and thus, decide *not* to buy up that plot and bulldoze that heritage building.

IanWatson
Aug 10, 2017, 11:22 AM
My sense is that the CP will be changed in that democratic process, perhaps amended to allow for more heights and other allowances in certain areas, that may make certain proposals now being rejected, more feasible.

If CP is passed, site specific proposals won't be needed anyways. In short: let proposals go forward that meet CP criteria now, but allow those proposals that do not sit in abeyance until CP is finalized. Developers may still change proposals in the meantime, or democratically lobby for amendments to the CP through that process just like everyone else.

Alright, I'm with ya!

Drybrain
Aug 10, 2017, 1:24 PM
Come on, Dry, it's silly to compare the housing market in Halifax to some of the most expensive in the world, literally -- Toronto, Brooklyn, Vancouver!

As someone123 says, a developer can obviously make more money out of a 6 storey building there, given they can sell the units for a million each, or rent them out for multiple times the rental rate they'd fetch in Halifax. It's simply not a fair or reasonable comparison. Nor is Paris or San Fran or anywhere else where you have super high density and higher housing prices at lower heights.



Well, forgetting about today's absurd prices, which are detached from reality, let's travel back to Toronto circa 2012. You could find new-build townhouses in central Toronto for 600-700k, despite far higher land prices than along Quinpool, for example. That's what the market could bear. And today, we can look at realtor.ca and find examples of mid-rise and low-rise in less expensive cities than Halifax. Here's a low-rise in Winnipeg (https://www.buzzbuzzhome.com/ca/24seven) that's starting at 220k.

And here in Halifax we see some reasonably priced low-rise. I don't know how much the units in the NFB restoration will be, but I bet they won't start at a million. The Q Lofts start at 400k. The Keep starts at 335k. (I doubt knocking two floors off would cause those lower end units to double in price or something.) 3090 Oxford is five storeys and 27 units. Prices don't seem to be available yet, but I'm sure they'll considerably less than the downtown high-rises like the Roy and the Maple.

The line of argument on here seems to be that developers need to build into the double digits or it's next to impossible to build at affordable prices. Based on my experience of other cities, and what's happening right here, I don't think that's true. I'm pro-height, and certainly adding housing stock will assist in maintaining affordability. But to assert that mid-rise or townhouse developments are economically unfeasible is, well, not an argument that holds up. I'd actually be interested in a meta-comparison of Halifax condo prices relative to other cities with similar market fundamentals and average housing prices. I think we'd find that Halifax condos are already price rather highly.

someone123
Aug 10, 2017, 3:41 PM
Housing prices all across Canada are a bit detached from reality. One old rule of thumb for example used to be that you should borrow at most 3.5 times your gross income for housing. That works out to $300,000 as an upper bound for the average family in Halifax that earns $85,000 a year. A lot of households earn less than that.

Canadians from coast to coast are hugely weighed down with debt right now. The norms of property valuation and consumer spending in Canada assume easy credit and ever-growing debt.

My point isn't that the construction of tall buildings should be encouraged. I don't think highrises are necessarily cheaper, although they can sometimes be optimal depending on the site and level of demand. I simply argue that planning measures come at a cost that is usually ignored (try to find information about costs anywhere in the planning documents that talk about approving this height or that height), and we have seen an erosion in housing affordability across Canada.

Housing really should be falling in price over time, because construction technology is improving. It doesn't cost very much to build a simple condo; maybe $100,000. The price in most cities is dominated by the artificial cost imposed by planning regulations. This includes the higher profits that go to developers because of increased industry regulation that makes it harder for others to enter the market. Here in Vancouver people love to pretend that zoning is used to squeeze greedy developers but it's exactly the large, politically-connected developers that can navigate the political landscape here. They love the fact that construction is banned in most areas while they are allowed to make huge real estate plays in certain other areas. They are also careful to meter out the supply of new condos so that the price doesn't fall. That would not be possible in a more competitive industry; somebody else would see the opportunity and build.

IanWatson
Aug 10, 2017, 4:29 PM
That would not be possible in a more competitive industry; somebody else would see the opportunity and build.

I think that's one of the reasons these mid-rise areas in Centre Plan are so important. As much as 20-story towers have their place, let's face it: there are only a handful of outfits in town who are capable of financing and constructing this type of development. But if you create a bunch of 6-story areas with easy approvals and a clear signal to landowners about what their land is worth (i.e. head off speculation) you open up the market to a lot of new entrants.

worldlyhaligonian
Aug 10, 2017, 11:04 PM
I think that's one of the reasons these mid-rise areas in Centre Plan are so important. As much as 20-story towers have their place, let's face it: there are only a handful of outfits in town who are capable of financing and constructing this type of development. But if you create a bunch of 6-story areas with easy approvals and a clear signal to landowners about what their land is worth (i.e. head off speculation) you open up the market to a lot of new entrants.

Couldn't it make for easy 6 story approvals without eliminating the opportunity for better land use on the larger lots?

I think there is a missed opportunity in some of these areas that isn't speculation based at all.

We could just fill up all existing land with lower densities, but I don't think this is going to help Halifax's distance-based issues or lack of competition in the apartment rental market.

NDPer4life
Aug 10, 2017, 11:22 PM
The TD builng and the BMO builngds on spring garden road are both short. They are perfect examples of why this entire arguement is foolish. These examples prove yo can build short and make money.

worldlyhaligonian
Aug 11, 2017, 11:19 AM
The TD builng and the BMO builngds on spring garden road are both short. They are perfect examples of why this entire arguement is foolish. These examples prove yo can build short and make money.

Which argument? I'm not against buildings of this height, I'm against arbitrary restrictions on certain lots.

Both lots you mention are very small and the density is perfect for them. The Ben's bakery lot on Quinpool might be a missed opportunity for more density and to reduce the outward sprawl of Halifax.

NDPer4life
Aug 11, 2017, 1:59 PM
[QUOTE=Keith P.;7887804 A 6-storey "acceptable" proposal may not exist as it likely does not have a business case to make it profitable.[/QUOTE]

I was referring to comments like this. Try to keep up to date worldly

Keith P.
Aug 11, 2017, 5:37 PM
I was referring to comments like this. Try to keep up to date worldly

What would an "NDPer4life" know about a business case? It's not the kind that businessmen carry around to hold their important papers. NDPers only want to suck money out of the taxpayer.

Franco401
Aug 11, 2017, 10:39 PM
What would an "NDPer4life" know about a business case? It's not the kind that businessmen carry around to hold their important papers. NDPers only want to suck money out of the taxpayer.

That's the kind of great constructive discussion that this board needs.

Keith P.
Aug 11, 2017, 11:28 PM
That's the kind of great constructive discussion that this board needs.

Sorry, but I was just responding to this person's ongoing attacks.

Jonovision
Aug 17, 2017, 4:11 PM
Some new insulation which will lead to new cladding has gone up on the old Coast Guard base.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4423/36234563460_f6d4e3403d_h.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/XcVBjL)20170816_192113 (https://flic.kr/p/XcVBjL) by Jonovision23 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/36229421@N02/), on Flickr

Dmajackson
Aug 18, 2017, 4:22 PM
Argyle Street update;

http://68.media.tumblr.com/9227dea0c70c9cea4e78c5e725b2708e/tumblr_ouw1kt0NP31tvjdq8o1_1280.jpg
Halifax Developments Blog (Photo by David Jackson) (http://urbanhalifax.tumblr.com/)

robotropolis
Aug 18, 2017, 5:02 PM
August 17, 2017 The Coast OPINION » VOICE OF THE CITY

A nightmare of evocation as Halifax falls to the wrecking ball

Halifax is surely and inexorably being destroyed by rampant developers and an obliging council.

By Larry Haiven


https://www.thecoast.ca/halifax/a-nightmare-of-evocation-as-halifax-falls-to-the-wrecking-ball/Content?oid=8902578


"One of my dystopian nightmares (I know that term is redundant but I want to emphasize just how scared and disgusted it makes me) goes like this: At some point in the not-so-distant future, everything that makes Halifax livable, lovable and distinct (common lands, public spaces, historic buildings, heritage neighbourhoods) has been razed and replaced by a dead zone of tall buildings. "

Keith P.
Aug 18, 2017, 6:46 PM
I haven't been on Argyle in so long that I am confused by an establishment called the Grafton Tavern on what would logically seem to be the wrong street.

OldDartmouthMark
Aug 18, 2017, 9:39 PM
August 17, 2017 The Coast OPINION » VOICE OF THE CITY

A nightmare of evocation as Halifax falls to the wrecking ball

Halifax is surely and inexorably being destroyed by rampant developers and an obliging council.

By Larry Haiven


https://www.thecoast.ca/halifax/a-nightmare-of-evocation-as-halifax-falls-to-the-wrecking-ball/Content?oid=8902578


"One of my dystopian nightmares (I know that term is redundant but I want to emphasize just how scared and disgusted it makes me) goes like this: At some point in the not-so-distant future, everything that makes Halifax livable, lovable and distinct (common lands, public spaces, historic buildings, heritage neighbourhoods) has been razed and replaced by a dead zone of tall buildings. "

I have to say that I agree with many of his points, although some of the buildings he is referring to are on lots that had been leveled decades ago, or sites that contain(ed) unremarkable buildings (such as the one on the corner of Quinpool and Robie, or on the Queen's Marque site), so if the new building is named after something that was there before I don't think it's a bad thing. We can't erase the mistakes that our predecessors made 30+ years ago.

However he makes a good argument overall that we really need to think about how we are shaping our city and how much character we are potentially destroying in the name of density. i.e. We should be very careful where and how we build, in terms of maintaining the character of heritage properties & neighborhoods, and the quality of new buildings that we are allowing to be built.

I did chuckle at his comment about The Roy, as it kinda reflects my thoughts as well:
The Roy (22 storeys, at Barrington near Sackville, evoking the classic building that it replaces, and mocking us with its “outdoor museums” quote) and this right smack in the middle of the Barrington Street Heritage Conservation District, no less.

Though ironically, of all the new buildings going up, The Roy has the potential to be one of the nicest. The point is not lost, though, as it appears that very early they abandoned their promise to reuse a substantial part of the materials salvaged from the old building.

:2cents:, Take it for what it's worth.

yal
Aug 18, 2017, 9:53 PM
August 17, 2017 The Coast OPINION » VOICE OF THE CITY

A nightmare of evocation as Halifax falls to the wrecking ball

Halifax is surely and inexorably being destroyed by rampant developers and an obliging council.

By Larry Haiven


https://www.thecoast.ca/halifax/a-nightmare-of-evocation-as-halifax-falls-to-the-wrecking-ball/Content?oid=8902578


"One of my dystopian nightmares (I know that term is redundant but I want to emphasize just how scared and disgusted it makes me) goes like this: At some point in the not-so-distant future, everything that makes Halifax livable, lovable and distinct (common lands, public spaces, historic buildings, heritage neighbourhoods) has been razed and replaced by a dead zone of tall buildings. "

Perfect example of an elder, wealthy NIMBY in this region.

OldDartmouthMark
Aug 18, 2017, 10:59 PM
Perfect example of an elder, wealthy NIMBY in this region.

OK, from the pic, it appears that he is a little older. He's a professor, does that make him wealthy? Does his financial status matter?

But really, I don't understand how his views would be considered NIMBY. He seems to have concerns about the loss of history and character of the entire city. Could you explain how this is NIMBY? Not questioning your views, but I really want to understand.