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fenwick16
Jan 7, 2010, 10:33 PM
I don't believe the plans for this Commons amphitheater is nearly as ambitious as it sounds. They are just going to turn the ball diamond closest the Citadel into a plaza, with mains services too for events I believe. This could look and be quite nice. No chance of a "football amphitheater" here and honestly, I wouldn't want CFL right on the Commons.

Yes, you are right. I actually sent Councillor Sloane an email about this and she stated that it was very small scale. I edited my post at the same time that you posted this reply.

I have to give Councillor Sloane credit for answering her emails. I have sent a few and she has responded right away to my questions even though she must have lots of others to reply to.

Empire
Jan 7, 2010, 10:49 PM
I don't believe the plans for this Commons amphitheater is nearly as ambitious as it sounds. They are just going to turn the ball diamond closest the Citadel into a plaza, with mains services too for events I believe. This could look and be quite nice. No chance of a "football amphitheater" here and honestly, I wouldn't want CFL right on the Commons.

Maybe a grass football field could be built on the north common. Then construct 20,000 temporary seats. This would stay in place for three years until a permanent stadium is funded and built. Once the new permanent stadium is built remove the temporary seating and leave the football field. At present the commons is consumed by baseball diamonds used by beer leagues. A football field would mix it up a bit.

fenwick16
Jan 7, 2010, 10:59 PM
Maybe a grass football field could be built on the north common. Then construct 20,000 temporary seats. This would stay in place for three years until a permanent stadium is funded and built. Once the new permanent stadium is built remove the temporary seating and leave the football field. At present the commons is consumed by baseball diamonds used by beer leagues. A football field would mix it up a bit.

I often wonder why this can't be done. There is the issue of washroom facilities but the HRM could use portable toilets like at the concerts.

Wishblade
Jan 7, 2010, 11:13 PM
Maybe a grass football field could be built on the north common. Then construct 20,000 temporary seats. This would stay in place for three years until a permanent stadium is funded and built. Once the new permanent stadium is built remove the temporary seating and leave the football field. At present the commons is consumed by baseball diamonds used by beer leagues. A football field would mix it up a bit.

As good of an idea as this sounds, and even though the stand are temporary, I honestly think people would totally freak if this were offered. I really don't see anything of any scale ever being built on the commons other than for rock shows in the summer.

sdm
Jan 8, 2010, 1:24 AM
As good of an idea as this sounds, and even though the stand are temporary, I honestly think people would totally freak if this were offered. I really don't see anything of any scale ever being built on the commons other than for rock shows in the summer.

agree.

rather see upgrades like benches and lighting, although there would be concerns over security. I rather it stay open and clear of structures.

kph06
Jan 10, 2010, 4:15 PM
Source (http://thechronicleherald.ca/Metro/1161576.html)

CBC site up for grabs in YMCA plan
Agencies team up for $22m proposal to build new Y

By BILL POWER Staff Reporter
Sun. Jan 10 - 4:46 AM

Demolition of the downtown CBC Radio building is on the table as part of a proposed $22-million replacement of the South Park YMCA, opposite the Halifax Public Gardens.

The YMCA and CBC/Radio-Canada have teamed up to prepare a development proposal for their properties. They are hunting for a third participant — a private developer — to get involved.

"Our plan (is) to bring in a third party interested in commercial, retail and hotel possibilities of the properties, and to use some of the income from this aspect of the project to reduce our capital costs," Bette Watson-Borg, YMCA president and CEO, said in an interview Saturday.

The YMCA has studied options for the 60-year-old South Park location for about four years. They have concluded the best move is to demolish it and start again, with something more suitable for the Halifax peninsula.

Halifax has been lucky that the area’s universities have opened up their recreational facilities to the public at large, but "there is a huge need for a facility focused on the requirements of the non-university community," said Ms. Watson-Borg.

Details are far from final, but the project involves a significant re-development of the area south of the Citadel National Historic Park, at the convergence of South Park and Sackville streets and Bell Road.

The future of the CBC/Radio-Canada broadcasting operation is unclear. The broadcaster has talked of departing the location in the past, but last year a CBC official said there was no rush to consolidate radio operations with the CBC-TV building a short distance away on Bell Road.

CBC has about 200 television, radio and French services staff at the two locations.

A website put up by the YMCA clearly indicates its new complex will be where the CBC Radio building now sits.

Officials with the CBC were unavailable Saturday for comment.

A new South Street YMCA would cost about $22 million. It would include features such as a rooftop atrium, new aquatics complex and upwards of 375 underground parking spaces.

And if the YMCA has dawdled about in the past with talk of replacing the South Street complex, things are happening quickly this time.

"We have entered into a partnership with the CBC and fully expect to have a joint development submission before Halifax Regional Municipality this summer," Ms. Watson-Borg said.

The president and CEO said the submission would have been submitted a year ago, except the YMCA was waiting for the completion of the HRMbyDesign plan, which was approved by the city in June 2009.

Some details about what the YMCA has in mind for its South Park property are available at: www.NewHalifaxYMCA.ca.

spaustin
Jan 10, 2010, 5:01 PM
hmm could be interesting. I have always really liked the CBC Radio Building though. It's street level on the corner is complete garbage what with the dark dingy inset parking and garage, but it's something that could be fixed. I have always liked the overall feel of the place. The gentle curve, windows and massing. Somehow, and I'm no architect so I could be way offbase, it makes me think of art deco and we don't have much from that era in Halifax (Dominion Public Building and the Vogue Building are all that come to mind). I would be sad to see it go. Then again, we don't know what would replace it so it's tough to judge with nothing to compare to. One things for sure, I won't shed any tears for the Y. The stone is nice, but the brick portion is unremarkable. Knocking it down and starting again seems like a good plan.

sdm
Jan 10, 2010, 5:19 PM
they have to keep the existing building.

the design possibilites are endless, and if done right could be one of Halifax's finest

Dmajackson
Jan 10, 2010, 6:10 PM
they have to keep the existing building.

the design possibilites are endless, and if done right could be one of Halifax's finest

Why would they have to keep the existing building? They aren't registered heritage buildings.

City_of_Lakes
Jan 11, 2010, 3:43 PM
I work out at the current South Park Y. @spaustin I agree that the CBC building has a certain quality that I like, but there have been some great looking proposals in recent times, and if it goes it could be well worth it

Takeo
Jan 11, 2010, 4:27 PM
I don't really like anything about the CBC building. Looks like a warehouse to me. To each his own I suppose.

-Harlington-
Jan 11, 2010, 4:34 PM
i kind of like the cbc building the arch it has is pretty cool, and theres never enough things that tell you the date and time and temp. i always want to know for some reason
but if it had to go for something better i wouldnt be heart broken.

Phalanx
Jan 11, 2010, 4:39 PM
Re: the CBC building
At a distance I can see some of the appeal - particularly with the upper two floors - but up close, and at ground level it looks old, tired, industrial, and doesn't make good use of street level space. If they were going to keep the current building, then I'd like to see it get a makeover (get rid of the driveway alcove, more glass etc.) I think a better alternative in this case would be to incorporate the lines and positive aspects of the aesthetics into a new building and expand it onto the YMCA portion of the lot, and use that as a podium for a tower (well, relatively speaking - height restrictions and all) above. Have the entrance at the curved South Park/Sackville/Bell corner, move parking access to Sackville, and have Y access and more commercial space along South Park. ...If any of that is possible. Just a few quick thoughts.

beyeas
Jan 12, 2010, 1:50 PM
Crap... Cafe Chianti and the Taj Mahal are on fire.
That may change the dynamic surrounding whether that site gets redeveloped!

Sucks because I actually really liked that little stretch of buildings.

Phalanx
Jan 12, 2010, 4:25 PM
Any idea how bad it is yet? The radio hasn't said much beyond 'it's on fire'. Is it a complete write-off, or something repairable?

beyeas
Jan 12, 2010, 4:34 PM
Any idea how bad it is yet? The radio hasn't said much beyond 'it's on fire'. Is it a complete write-off, or something repairable?

Not 100% sure... but the pics I have seen on the web look pretty bad (flames shooting out the windows of the Chianti building). The firefighters had to bust the windows out to ventilate it and the fire was apparently spreading through the floor joists into the Taj.

Anyone else on here who works down there who can give more comment?

sdm
Jan 12, 2010, 4:54 PM
Not 100% sure... but the pics I have seen on the web look pretty bad (flames shooting out the windows of the Chianti building). The firefighters had to bust the windows out to ventilate it and the fire was apparently spreading through the floor joists into the Taj.

Anyone else on here who works down there who can give more comment?

From some of the reports i've heard the fire is out. However damage is extensive,but no indication of a total loss yet.

I am sure Chianti has suffered extensive damage being located in the basement. A true shame as it is one of the best resturants in the city.

spaustin
Jan 12, 2010, 6:04 PM
Just on my lunch break (I live next door). The fire is indeed out. I ran into Dawn Sloane in Cornwallis Park and the building's aren't a total loss. They stopped it halfway along the row. All the restaurants have damage with Tomasino's taking the brunt of it. Chianti seems to have gotten off lightly. Thankfully no one was hurt. Will be interesting to see if this creates some kind of project here since they're going to have to rebuild at least part of the building.

Just some pictures from this morning from between 8:00 and 9:00
http://img37.imageshack.us/img37/226/pics015copy.jpg
http://img691.imageshack.us/img691/953/pics005copy.jpg
http://img37.imageshack.us/img37/254/pics009copy.jpg
http://img37.imageshack.us/img37/3562/pics008copy.jpg
http://img37.imageshack.us/img37/193/pics012copy.jpg

The aftermath
http://img37.imageshack.us/img37/6494/pics021copy.jpg

beyeas
Jan 12, 2010, 6:13 PM
Just on my lunch break (I live next door). The fire is indeed out. I ran into Dawn Sloane in Cornwallis Park and the building's aren't a total loss. They stopped it halfway along the row. All the restaurants have damage with Tomasino's taking the brunt of it. Chianti seems to have gotten off lightly. Will be interesting to see if this creates some kind of project here since they're going to have to rebuild at least part of the building.

Yeah the same thing ran through my head too (wrt to the development project that we had heard rumours about).

kph06
Jan 12, 2010, 9:02 PM
I was just talking to a friend who lives around the corner and the fire has started up again and the trucks are returning.

worldlyhaligonian
Jan 12, 2010, 9:47 PM
This fire is a bit suspicious to me, considering the plans for that property... I would like to see these brick units converted back into residential.

kph06
Jan 12, 2010, 10:11 PM
Its hard to imagine it would be arson, seems like that would be such a huge risk to the owner. The Brick buildings are owned by Tony Metlej (5552 Kaye Street owner), the Taj Maha building is a separate developer, but I believe they have worked together in the past.

miesh111
Jan 13, 2010, 3:15 PM
Its hard to imagine it would be arson, seems like that would be such a huge risk to the owner. The Brick buildings are owned by Tony Metlej (5552 Kaye Street owner), the Taj Maha building is a separate developer, but I believe they have worked together in the past.

Different Tony Metlej. Tony Metlege (yes different spelling and all) is building 5552 Kaye Street, has built the Fairmount condo's, and another building up off of Kearney Lake Road in Wedgewood.

Anthony (Tony) Metlej, owns the old Tupper House, a few houses in the west and south ends, the Chianti Building, and the Southhampton on Hollis Street. His Son is Elias Metlej (who is the guy wearing the black touqe in the last picture) and is a laywer with Blois Nickerson.

This fire is a bit suspicious to me, considering the plans for that property... I would like to see these brick units converted back into residential.

I don't think it was arson. Anthony Metlej burried his father on Monday. He was pretty torn up. Doesn't seem to me like burning down a profitable building was top of his mind...

kph06
Jan 13, 2010, 6:12 PM
Different Tony Metlej. Tony Metlege (yes different spelling and all) is building 5552 Kaye Street, has built the Fairmount condo's, and another building up off of Kearney Lake Road in Wedgewood.

Anthony (Tony) Metlej, owns the old Tupper House, a few houses in the west and south ends, the Chianti Building, and the Southhampton on Hollis Street. His Son is Elias Metlej (who is the guy wearing the black touqe in the last picture) and is a laywer with Blois Nickerson.


Haha, my mistake, I though I was getting a handle on who owned what, but I checked things again and you are right.

alps
Jan 13, 2010, 10:30 PM
Entrance to the new Keating Emergency and Trauma Centre at the QEII:

Video tour of the facility (http://www.cdha.nshealth.ca/video/keatingCentre/index.html)...looks very nice and modern.

http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l217/halps00/DSC_1892.jpg

New-ish renovations at the shopping centre

http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l217/halps00/DSC_1828.jpg

spaustin
Jan 17, 2010, 8:00 PM
Article in today's Herald. Not much new in it, basically just an interview with Andy Filmore. There was one little nugget though. In listing projects on the go or in the planning phase Filmore referenced a condo project for the Green Lantern Building on Barrington. Up until now I hadn't heard of any plans for that building. If true, that would be a big plus as the Green Lantern is a beautiful building, but it's in real bad shape and from what I gather has been really under used ever since Hurricane Juan took the roof off.


Bringing people back downtown, by design
HRM strategy involves revitalizing peninsular Halifax while maintaining the 260-year-old city’s historic character
By BRUCE ERSKINE Business Reporter
Sun. Jan 17 - 4:45 AM


PLANNED AND PROPOSED downtown developments will bring Halifax into the 21st century while retaining the city’s historic character, says the municipality’s urban design project manager.

"We’re looking at downtown as the next suburb," Andy Fillmore said Tuesday in an interview.

Mr. Fillmore led the Halifax by Design process, which streamlined development applications in Halifax Regional Municipality and established a precinct mechanism to manage downtown projects.

He said developments on the books or in the works will bring people back to the downtown to work, live and play.

"If you accept the premise, as I do and as (municipal) council did, that there aren’t enough people living and working downtown to make it viable, I’ve got to say this is fantastic," Mr. Fillmore said.

He said the population of peninsular Halifax shrank by 34 per cent, from 92,511 to 60,628, between 1961 and 2006.

A number of developments underway or planned for downtown focus on Barrington Street, which recently was designated a heritage precinct under Halifax by Design.

The designation offers building owners in the area matching financial incentives of up to $100,000 and tax breaks of 15 per cent for expenditures above $100,000 to maintain the historic facades of their properties.

Developments on Barrington include: rebuilding the Roy Building and adding a tower above it; transforming the Sam the Record Man and adjacent Granite Brewery properties into retail and commercial space; turning the Green Lantern building into condominiums; converting the National Film Board building into apartments; renovating the former Revenue Canada building; adding an apartment or office tower to the Discovery Centre; expanding the TD Bank; and turning the Freemason’s building into offices.

Rob Landry, property manager for Starfish Properties, which owns the Roy, Sam and Granite Brewery properties, said in a recent interview that the Barrington Street heritage designation and associated incentives would be an "important consideration" for any property owner.

Other planned or projected downtown developments include: a convention centre on Argyle Street; a central library on Queen Street at Spring Garden Road; a condominium tower at the old Keith’s Brewery; the Twisted Sisters towers at Hollis and Sackville streets; expansion of Fenwick Tower and City Centre Atlantic; Armour Group’s Waterside Centre and Queen’s Landing projects; Dexel Developments’ residential-commercial project at Morris and Hollis streets; Centennial Properties’ waterfront hotel project; and ECL Properties’ 22-storey office tower at the end of Granville Mall.

While there are no set timelines for many of the projects, Mr. Fillmore said there is a market for downtown apartments and condominiums that aren’t high-end, while office developers are taking an "if they build, people will come" approach.

"I see a lot of the projects moving ahead," he said.

Mr. Fillmore suggested that the only office developer who may hesitate is Sobey-controlled ECL, which would likely need a 60 per cent occupancy guarantee before proceeding.

Halifax by Design, which includes non-negotiable downtown building height limits ranging from 16.5 metres to 64.5 metres to address harbour view planes from Citadel Hill, replaces an outdated planning strategy that didn’t capitalize on the city’s strengths, said Mr. Fillmore.

"The community vision is a city that balances heritage and dynamic change and growth."

He said increasing downtown population density is environmentally sound and saves on expensive suburban infrastructure costs.

Christine Macy, dean of the faculty of architecture at Dalhousie University, said Halifax by Design is similar to planning strategies used successfully in cities like Boston. "The model is tested."

Ms. Macy said building skyward while maintaining pedestrian friendly streetscapes is a sensible way to balance the community’s desire for livable space with business demands for large floor plans.

"Halifax is catching up with the last part of the 20th century," she said, calling the municipality’s old planning strategy "scattershot" and subject to political pressures.

( berskine@herald.ca)

worldlyhaligonian
Jan 19, 2010, 11:35 PM
Cedar Street townhouses:

http://www.halifax.ca/planning/Case01248Details.html



Does anybody know the status of the lands right next to Atlantica Hotel?

sdm
Jan 20, 2010, 12:29 AM
Cedar Street townhouses:

http://www.halifax.ca/planning/Case01248Details.html



Does anybody know the status of the lands right next to Atlantica Hotel?

nope not those lands.

Keith P.
Jan 20, 2010, 12:31 AM
Today I heard Bev Miller interviewed on CBC Radio's Mainstreet. She was appearing in her role as co-chair of the "Friends of the Halifax Common" group, and the purpose of the item was to hype a meeting they were holding tonight to decry the proposed changes to the Common. Now, I'm not sure that spending $2.6 mil on some of these things is a smart move either. But I could not get past the unrelenting negativity of this woman, and the total vacuity of her arguments against them. She was saying dumb things like how open space contributes to better community health levels -- even though nobody is proposing building anything that would take that away -- and trying to make the case that allowing concerts to be held on the Common was somehow allowing a private business to make money off it. When asked what her group would like to see instead, all she could come up with were (get this) picnic tables and more benches. So having the thing covered with ball diamonds and soccer fields is OK, and you can make all the money you want off those, but bring along a musical instrument and somehow you're evil. This woman just needs to go away, quietly.

Halifax Hillbilly
Jan 20, 2010, 1:35 AM
I went to the first meeting of Friends of the Halifax Common and was very dissapointed. They're starting argument is the Commons are only 1/3 of their original size and go from there to demand amazing amounts of green space, despite the fact that most of the Common is underutilized most of the year and so empty at times it is downright dangerous. Central Halifax's problem is not lack of green space, rather what to do with a surplus of underutilized green space. I like some of the ideas presented; as with most HRM projects I'll wait to see how well they actually follow through.


From the interview with Andy Fillmore:

"We’re looking at downtown as the next suburb," Andy Fillmore said Tuesday in an interview.

Maybe not the best quote Andy could have given, maybe it would make more sense with some context.

"If you accept the premise, as I do and as (municipal) council did, that there aren’t enough people living and working downtown to make it viable, I’ve got to say this is fantastic," Mr. Fillmore said.

Downtown isn't viable? In what way? Despite its shortcomings many neighbourhoods on the peninsula are in demand places to live and offer a lot of amenities and small city urbanity within a reasonable walk. Not living up to potential, absolutely - not viable is an exaggeration.

Christine Macy, dean of the faculty of architecture at Dalhousie University, said Halifax by Design is similar to planning strategies used successfully in cities like Boston. "The model is tested."

A quote from the architecture school, not Phil Pacey. :banana: Well done, lets see more of this.

Great article Mr. Austin. Whether these developments happen, and how quickly, will test our theory that Barrington's recent hard times are a blip, at least partially caused by the wait for the new Heritage District and associated financial incentives.

someone123
Jan 20, 2010, 3:34 AM
Great article Mr. Austin. Whether these developments happen, and how quickly, will test our theory that Barrington's recent hard times are a blip, at least partially caused by the wait for the new Heritage District and associated financial incentives.

I really hope these projects happen, because Barrington Street is currently a disaster. I suspect that some of them will happen because the approval process has improved and the economy is doing well. Just doing something like renovating the NFB, Sam, and Green Lantern buildings would be huge, but I think the street also needs some larger new buildings with significant numbers of residents. Basically, it needs to be like Spring Garden Road, which probably has a few thousand people living right there within a block or two.

It's really unfortunate that the United Gulf towers never materialized, because they would have been a good starting point.

As for the Commons, the claim about how they've shrunk by 2/3 is true but it's very ignorant to expect that they should have stayed the same. Originally they were semi-rural lands meant for farmers to graze cattle on, etc. It was not a vast expanse of 18th century picnic tables and benches, it was undeveloped deforested land at the edge of the city.

alps
Jan 20, 2010, 5:59 AM
Does anybody know the status of the lands right next to Atlantica Hotel?
I remember watching the old houses there being demolished like, 12 years ago. IIRC at some point since then there was a 10-20 storey building proposed for the site but it was shot down by NIMBYS. I'd like to see high density development there eventually...it'd be neat if Robie was more of a transit corridor.

kph06
Jan 20, 2010, 11:00 AM
I remember watching the old houses there being demolished like, 12 years ago. IIRC at some point since then there was a 10-20 storey building proposed for the site but it was shot down by NIMBYS. I'd like to see high density development there eventually...it'd be neat if Robie was more of a transit corridor.

Peter Delefes used to, and may still live right beside this lot, so I'm sure he brought in the cavalry on that one.

worldlyhaligonian
Jan 20, 2010, 5:42 PM
I remember watching the old houses there being demolished like, 12 years ago. IIRC at some point since then there was a 10-20 storey building proposed for the site but it was shot down by NIMBYS. I'd like to see high density development there eventually...it'd be neat if Robie was more of a transit corridor.

I think that a 12 story tower (closer to the robie side) with townhouses on the two street sides and retail and groundfloor on the robie side would be amazing.

Wishblade
Jan 21, 2010, 1:06 AM
I found this little blurb within an article that had nothing to do development whatsoever (in true chronicle herald form):

Council approved a seven-storey extension to an apartment building on Anchor Drive in Halifax. After a public hearing, council gave the thumbs-up to a 22-unit structure that is to be built on a vacant lot and connected to the older building.

The planned development now goes to Chebucto community council.

Also, council approved the expansion of Burnside Park in Dartmouth after a public hearing on zoning and other changes needed under the Regional Municipal Planning Strategy. Planning staff said about 103.6 hectares of land west of Lake Charles is earmarked for Burnside’s growth.

No speakers came forward during the hearing to support or oppose the planning amendments.

The new land earmarked for Burnside would effectively fill in the entire area from Victoria rd to Hwy 118, and from the Circ all the way to Akerley blvd.

alps
Jan 21, 2010, 1:23 AM
The new land earmarked for Burnside would effectively fill in the entire area from Victoria rd to Hwy 118, and from the Circ all the way to Akerley blvd.

Had I known about the hearing beforehand I might have spoken on it. I understand we need new industrial land to grow the economy and I'm no irrational treehugger or whatever people would accuse me of for saying this, but the way they are doing it out that way is criminal. It's like our own little slice of Houston in Nova Scotia. I despise Dartmouth Crossing.

Empire
Jan 21, 2010, 5:19 AM
Cedar Street townhouses:

http://www.halifax.ca/planning/Case01248Details.html


Those townhouses look O.K. if that is real brick. W.M. Fares group know how to design.

Attachment B Sheet A1....http://www.halifax.ca/council/agendasc/documents/090428ca1113.pdf

Dmajackson
Jan 21, 2010, 6:05 AM
The new land earmarked for Burnside would effectively fill in the entire area from Victoria rd to Hwy 118, and from the Circ all the way to Akerley blvd.

Yay? :sly:

Has anyobdy been out to the new section of Burnside between the City of Lakes BP and Dartmouth Crossing BP? It's a completely empty yet the municipality wants to spend money expanding Burnside further.

Industrial lands are valuable I realize to the city but when you start filling out more when dozens, if not hundreds, of acres of serviced lands have not been developed it seems pointless. I have no problem with the older sections of Burnside where buildings are adajcent to each other and is actually a very dense community however I am disliking the new method of half-assing the protection of forest by having narrow strips of parkland cutting lots apart and not actually having a forest or wilderness area. It is much better to have a dense area of lots concentrated on the main roads (ie Wright Ave) then it is too have them isolated and connected by pointlessly wide roads.

beyeas
Jan 21, 2010, 1:20 PM
Had I known about the hearing beforehand I might have spoken on it. I understand we need new industrial land to grow the economy and I'm no irrational treehugger or whatever people would accuse me of for saying this, but the way they are doing it out that way is criminal. It's like our own little slice of Houston in Nova Scotia. I despise Dartmouth Crossing.

I agree. All Dartmouth Crossing achieved was a further hollowing out of urban areas, and even more so, used up what should have been industrial land to put shopping (at which point they used they presence of the shopping to then justify residential zoning in an industrial area, which just even further increases the suburban spread). The whole damn thing is just so completely counter to the sort of urban planning that results in livable cities, and feeds into the urban sprawl car culture.

(I know I sound like an irrational tree hugger here too, which I'm not. I just think that this is the wrong side of the balance sheet).

Empire
Jan 21, 2010, 1:26 PM
I agree. All Dartmouth Crossing achieved was a further hollowing out of urban areas, and even more so, used up what should have been industrial land to put shopping (at which point they used they presence of the shopping to then justify residential zoning in an industrial area, which just even further increases the suburban spread). The whole damn thing is just so completely counter to the sort of urban planning that results in livable cities, and feeds into the urban sprawl car culture.

(I know I sound like an irrational tree hugger here too, which I'm not. I just think that this is the wrong side of the balance sheet).

They should try a highrise node in the new section of Burnside...perhaps 10 acres. Four buildings at a min of 30fl. with ample green space etc. A metrolink would go downtown and other buses would service Burnside.

Jonovision
Jan 21, 2010, 7:20 PM
I agree. All Dartmouth Crossing achieved was a further hollowing out of urban areas, and even more so, used up what should have been industrial land to put shopping (at which point they used they presence of the shopping to then justify residential zoning in an industrial area, which just even further increases the suburban spread). The whole damn thing is just so completely counter to the sort of urban planning that results in livable cities, and feeds into the urban sprawl car culture.

(I know I sound like an irrational tree hugger here too, which I'm not. I just think that this is the wrong side of the balance sheet).

I completely agree with you. What I don't understand is lots of the offices in burnside don't necessarily need the industrial park setting. The density is way too thin. Some of it should be amalgamated into larger and taller buildings. And spreading even further out is not good planning.

Jonovision
Jan 21, 2010, 7:23 PM
Those townhouses look O.K. if that is real brick. W.M. Fares group know how to design.

Attachment B Sheet A1....http://www.halifax.ca/council/agendasc/documents/090428ca1113.pdf

I think they look quite nice. And I would love to see more brownstone style townhouses built on the peninsula. However, I hate seeing garages on the front of houses. Ideally they would be car free, but if they had to have them I would like them to be in the back off laneways.

someone123
Jan 21, 2010, 7:25 PM
Burnside mostly seems like a failure. It's primarily a cheap, worse alternative to the city for office space. It's not even really any better as far as traffic goes, and there aren't good options for living nearby. Nearby services are also bad, so if you're on lunch for example you mostly get to pick from McDonald's or Wendy's or whatever. It's for office space what Bayers Lake is before retail.

Had the city done things properly they could have had a bunch of office buildings around Young Street or something that would have served a similar purpose but instead been far better and far more efficient.

I agree about the garages as well. The houses would look better without them, although they're in the middle of the block so they'll barely be visible anyway. Maybe it doesn't matter.

Wishblade
Jan 21, 2010, 9:07 PM
Yay? :sly:

Has anyobdy been out to the new section of Burnside between the City of Lakes BP and Dartmouth Crossing BP? It's a completely empty yet the municipality wants to spend money expanding Burnside further.

Industrial lands are valuable I realize to the city but when you start filling out more when dozens, if not hundreds, of acres of serviced lands have not been developed it seems pointless. I have no problem with the older sections of Burnside where buildings are adajcent to each other and is actually a very dense community however I am disliking the new method of half-assing the protection of forest by having narrow strips of parkland cutting lots apart and not actually having a forest or wilderness area. It is much better to have a dense area of lots concentrated on the main roads (ie Wright Ave) then it is too have them isolated and connected by pointlessly wide roads.

lol, I never said it was particularly a good thing. I just remembered though, I thought that this land was going to become mid-high density residential. Honestly, I much rather would have seen that there.

sdm
Jan 21, 2010, 11:17 PM
Burnside mostly seems like a failure. It's primarily a cheap, worse alternative to the city for office space. It's not even really any better as far as traffic goes, and there aren't good options for living nearby. Nearby services are also bad, so if you're on lunch for example you mostly get to pick from McDonald's or Wendy's or whatever. It's for office space what Bayers Lake is before retail.



The city has drop the ball on burnside and continues to. Understanding, as being in the industry, the taxes now for companies and office users is passing downtown rates. Couple with this and the lack of bus service the park is at a disadvantage.

The city needs to clean up their act and stick to a plan. I rather see office development in parks, instead of being all over the city. Least then, with proper planning, infastructure can be put in place.

I will admit, the city of Lake portion of the park offers some very attractive office product that is far better then comparables though out the city, including the downtown.

worldlyhaligonian
Jan 22, 2010, 12:59 AM
Those townhouses look O.K. if that is real brick. W.M. Fares group know how to design.

Attachment B Sheet A1....http://www.halifax.ca/council/agendasc/documents/090428ca1113.pdf

It is so sad that we have to say "real brick" around here that it is almost comical. You are totally right about this one... it could look terrible if fake stone and brick are used although the design is good.

We must have the cheapest developers in Canada and potentially the developed world.

worldlyhaligonian
Jan 22, 2010, 1:00 AM
lol, I never said it was particularly a good thing. I just remembered though, I thought that this land was going to become mid-high density residential. Honestly, I much rather would have seen that there.

I thought they passed a subdivision for the northern border of DC?

alps
Jan 22, 2010, 2:44 AM
HRM to hold public meeting on future land use in Burnside
http://www.burnsidenews.com/index.cfm?sid=316425&sc=397
January 27 at the Dartmouth High School cafeteria

They should try a highrise node in the new section of Burnside...perhaps 10 acres. Four buildings at a min of 30fl. with ample green space etc. A metrolink would go downtown and other buses would service Burnside.

I don't like the idea of more office space drain to Burnside. I would rather development there be much more strictly controlled and preference given to development closer to the core, and I wish they weren't so wasteful with the land.

http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l217/halps00/stupid.jpg

What is the point of blowing all that money on sidewalks on both sides of the street if every other aspect of the development is designed so that cars are the most convenient form of transportation? With the newer sections being of such low density, I wonder how long I would have to sit there before someone actually walked by.

The interchange at Anderson Lake as part of the 107 extension is also something I am not fond of whatsoever...I don't want to see the entire area between the 102 and the 118 fill up with suburbs, but apparently that is what the city has in mind.

Dmajackson
Jan 22, 2010, 3:38 AM
HRM to hold public meeting on future land use in Burnside
http://www.burnsidenews.com/index.cfm?sid=316425&sc=397
January 27 at the Dartmouth High School cafeteria



I don't like the idea of more office space drain to Burnside. I would rather development there be much more strictly controlled and preference given to development closer to the core, and I wish they weren't so wasteful with the land.

http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l217/halps00/stupid.jpg

What is the point of blowing all that money on sidewalks on both sides of the street if every other aspect of the development is designed so that cars are the most convenient form of transportation? With the newer sections being of such low density, I wonder how long I would have to sit there before someone actually walked by.

The interchange at Anderson Lake as part of the 107 extension is also something I am not fond of whatsoever...I don't want to see the entire area between the 102 and the 118 fill up with suburbs, but apparently that is what the city has in mind.

If I'm not mistaken that is the corner of John Savage and Wright Ave.

From my research and what I've heard the city currently owns the land to the right, top and bottom of the photo. If I'm not mistaken the plan for the other two corners involve new RCMP headquarters (HRP is in the large building on the bottom left), and a MetroTransit terminal.

It's hard to notice becuase of it's well hidden nature from the street but Grassy Brook (Dartmouth Crossing) actually cuts through the top of the photo and crosses Wright Avenue somewheres before the set of lights at Countryview.

spaustin
Jan 22, 2010, 4:25 AM
It is so sad that we have to say "real brick" around here that it is almost comical. You are totally right about this one... it could look terrible if fake stone and brick are used although the design is good.

We must have the cheapest developers in Canada and potentially the developed world.

haha too true. Fake brick would look really terrible on this design. If they use real brick though this could look quite nice. That end of Henry has a few neat old brick and stone buildings so this would fit the neighbourhood rather well. I'm not a fan of the garage doors, but at least they have windows on them so they won't just be a blank white face. The real funny part about the look of this development is none of it is really hugely important because you won't really see anything from the street. Might as well just ask the few people whose yards back on it what they think and call it a day.

alps
Jan 24, 2010, 5:22 AM
http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l217/halps00/1-2.jpg

QEII "master plan" from the WHW Architects website. I dunno what the status of this is. A cut-away prow corner like that could be really cool if they do something modern, although the building seems a bit too far back from the street. I think the main pedestrian entrance should be ON the intersection rather than up Robie like it appears to be.

Dmajackson
Jan 24, 2010, 6:18 AM
http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l217/halps00/1-2.jpg

QEII "master plan" from the WHW Architects website. I dunno what the status of this is. A cut-away prow corner like that could be really cool if they do something modern, although the building seems a bit too far back from the street. I think the main pedestrian entrance should be ON the intersection rather than up Robie like it appears to be.

Nice find. :)

While I would agree with you that the entrance should be at the corner if I'm not mistaken the Willow Tree is in bad need of upgrades and might need a roundabout or more lanes which would mess with an entrance corner.

Empire
Jan 24, 2010, 1:09 PM
It is so sad that we have to say "real brick" around here that it is almost comical. You are totally right about this one... it could look terrible if fake stone and brick are used although the design is good.

We must have the cheapest developers in Canada and potentially the developed world.

What is so sad is that planning staff, council, HRM by Design, HT and the general public have not figured it out. Because of that we have some horrific looking buildings in Halifax. 90% of new buildings in Halifax display no pride of ownership and what's worse there is no respect for the buildings for the past that were all about pride of ownership. The result of these great buildings was an enriched community. We have cheapened a very rich urban landscape and it continues.

DigitalNinja
Jan 24, 2010, 8:22 PM
CD plus is closing down on barrington street, pretty horrible, that's basically the last retail spot on the street aside from a couple other stores.
Also, anyone know what was going on with the tim hortons on barrington? They have brown paper over the windows.
IMO they need to do something about Barrington, focusing on shopping is a bad idea, because it is only the business people who work down there who really shop there aside for a few tourists. That section should be focusing on all office space and restaurants IMO. There is not really enough parking for people who would want to go shop there even if it was lined with shops. People don't want to take the buses, so what can ya do?

Dmajackson
Jan 24, 2010, 9:09 PM
CD plus is closing down on barrington street, pretty horrible, that's basically the last retail spot on the street aside from a couple other stores.
Also, anyone know what was going on with the tim hortons on barrington? They have brown paper over the windows.
IMO they need to do something about Barrington, focusing on shopping is a bad idea, because it is only the business people who work down there who really shop there aside for a few tourists. That section should be focusing on all office space and restaurants IMO. There is not really enough parking for people who would want to go shop there even if it was lined with shops. People don't want to take the buses, so what can ya do?

By the Tim Horton's I'm assuming you mean the one downtown (at Sackville St I think) and not the other one in the South-End?

Keith P.
Jan 24, 2010, 9:22 PM
Also, anyone know what was going on with the tim hortons on barrington? They have brown paper over the windows.



The Tim's on the corner of Barrington and Sackville is closed permanently. Too many panhandlers and bums were hurting their business.

terrynorthend
Jan 24, 2010, 9:30 PM
The Tim's on the corner of Barrington and Sackville is closed permanently. Too many panhandlers and bums were hurting their business.

While true they had bums and panhandlers, i doubt it affected business much, its Tim Horton's after all. That location had a problem with either a sewage or an oil spill under the building. The fumes caused them to close.

ZET
Jan 24, 2010, 9:31 PM
Nice find. :)

While I would agree with you that the entrance should be at the corner if I'm not mistaken the Willow Tree is in bad need of upgrades and might need a roundabout or more lanes which would mess with an entrance corner.

Entrance would need to be at the south end by the parking garage. There would be very little foot traffic. Most would be walking over from the parking area. Lots of folks heading to hospitals have mobility issues, so car would be how most would arrive. ZET

Empire
Jan 24, 2010, 10:04 PM
The Tim's on the corner of Barrington and Sackville is closed permanently. Too many panhandlers and bums were hurting their business.

One rumour is there was an oil spill in the basement below Tims

someone123
Jan 25, 2010, 12:02 AM
CD plus is closing down on barrington street, pretty horrible, that's basically the last retail spot on the street aside from a couple other stores.
Also, anyone know what was going on with the tim hortons on barrington? They have brown paper over the windows.
IMO they need to do something about Barrington, focusing on shopping is a bad idea, because it is only the business people who work down there who really shop there aside for a few tourists. That section should be focusing on all office space and restaurants IMO. There is not really enough parking for people who would want to go shop there even if it was lined with shops. People don't want to take the buses, so what can ya do?

The problem on Barrington isn't retail, it's that the street is mostly heritage buildings. This might change with the new incentives, but traditionally heritage status in Halifax was nothing but an economic penalty - the city expects the owner to take on the job of paying inflated maintenance costs and prevents changes to bring buildings up to code, etc., but gives nothing in return. The HRM recognizes that heritage buildings are an important public good but has never stepped up to the plate to pay for them.

I'm not sure what will happen on Barrington, but there's no need for it to be in its current state. There were always two options; loosen up on the controls, or start paying out to make the street viable as a historic district. Either one would bring in lots of residents and businesses.

Dmajackson
Jan 25, 2010, 5:03 PM
A developer is proposing to build on four parcels of land in Downtown Dartmouth. Three are located on Pine Street Ext and one is on Ochterlonely. There are no specifics yet but a low-rise would be on the Octerlonely parcel, a highrise north of Pine St Ext and a midrise on the south-side of Pine St Ext. It mentions some limited retail included and a lot of work for the proposed Canal Greenway owned by HRM.

I'd read the document linked to below but here's the just of it I think. When the Dartmouth Downtown MPS was created in 2000 five oppurtunity sites were identified. Two have been developed since leaving three located at North & Alderney, Pine St Ext, and Prince & Alderney. The Pine St Ext site is the former bowling alley and is now owned by the developer. Another parcel of land now in the proposal was supposed to become a Sobey's but the plan fell through and it was never added to the oppurtunity site's list. As part of the proposal the two remaining parcels are going to be added to the list to ensure high quality construction.

The ammendment to add the lands to the oppurtunity site's list and include the parkland in the process (to make the developer pay for some upgrades) is going before council tomorrow night. Afterwards the standard Development Agreement process will proceed to develop the lands.

Case 15781 (http://halifax.ca/council/agendasc/documents/100126ca1015.pdf)

JET
Jan 25, 2010, 6:53 PM
A developer is proposing to build on four parcels of land in Downtown Dartmouth. Three are located on Pine Street Ext and one is on Ochterlonely. There are no specifics yet but a low-rise would be on the Octerlonely parcel, a highrise north of Pine St Ext and a midrise on the south-side of Pine St Ext. It mentions some limited retail included and a lot of work for the proposed Canal Greenway owned by HRM.

I'd read the document linked to below but here's the just of it I think. When the Dartmouth Downtown MPS was created in 2000 five oppurtunity sites were identified. Two have been developed since leaving three located at North & Alderney, Pine St Ext, and Prince & Alderney. The Pine St Ext site is the former bowling alley and is now owned by the developer. Another parcel of land now in the proposal was supposed to become a Sobey's but the plan fell through and it was never added to the oppurtunity site's list. As part of the proposal the two remaining parcels are going to be added to the list to ensure high quality construction.

The ammendment to add the lands to the oppurtunity site's list and include the parkland in the process (to make the developer pay for some upgrades) is going before council tomorrow night. Afterwards the standard Development Agreement process will proceed to develop the lands.

Case 15781 (http://halifax.ca/council/agendasc/documents/100126ca1015.pdf)

"This policy stresses the importance of properly relating the design of new
development on these parcels to complement historical, architectural and natural features. The policy
enabled approval of the ‘Lock 4 at Starr’ condo project in 2004, and the ‘Greenvale Lofts’ project
in 2007. Since the applicant is proposing to undertake improvements to the adjacent HRM land,
MPS policy should be revised to address the public lands together with the applicant’s lands. This would ensure that the development is complementary and that improvements to the public lands are
carried out through the development agreement process. The Shubenacadie Canal Commission will
be closely consulted as their mandate overlaps with HRM’s on these lands."

I wish that I could see proposed renderings. I can't imagine a "highrise" right next to the Greenvale, or beside the greenway. I like the idea of closing off Pine St ext and daylighting part of the 'canal'.
Sobey's bought the land to block superstore; I don't think they had any plan to put a store there.
Be nice to have something on these empty spots. Makes me nervous, that no designs have been put out. JET

terrynorthend
Jan 26, 2010, 2:31 AM
I wonder if this is at all related to "City issues request for tender to examine Dartmouth viewplanes" :sly:

Jonovision
Jan 26, 2010, 5:28 AM
Sounds promising to me. Of course I would really like to know the developer involved and then see a draft plan. That comment about Lock 4 fitting in makes me worry a little. That has to be one of the ugliest pieces of crap in downtown Dartmouth.

Empire
Jan 26, 2010, 12:10 PM
Sounds promising to me. Of course I would really like to know the developer involved and then see a draft plan. That comment about Lock 4 fitting in makes me worry a little. That has to be one of the ugliest pieces of crap in downtown Dartmouth.

There is major competition for ugly in downtown Dartmouth. The building on the corner of Portland and Prince Albert and one beside it couldn't be uglier.

JET
Jan 26, 2010, 1:02 PM
There is major competition for ugly in downtown Dartmouth. The building on the corner of Portland and Prince Albert and one beside it couldn't be uglier.

I don't mind the taller of the two, but the second one that was built looks like a two-bit motel and looks terrible on that plot of land. Both were built by Innovative, who did a good job on the greenvale bldg on Ochterloney and Victoria Rd. JET

Keith P.
Jan 26, 2010, 2:17 PM
Allnovascotia.com is reporting that Carsand-Mosher has put their building on Barrington up for sale at the price of $1.5 million, with a view to closing the store and leaving the street, and having the property redeveloped by the purchaser.

Empire
Jan 26, 2010, 3:11 PM
I don't mind the taller of the two, but the second one that was built looks like a two-bit motel and looks terrible on that plot of land. Both were built by Innovative, who did a good job on the greenvale bldg on Ochterloney and Victoria Rd. JET

The building that looks like a two-bit hotel has to be the worst in HRM. It shows how the planning dept. has no control over development of this type. This is happening in Hfx north end to a certain degree. This building appearance issue has to be addressed. The theory that you cannot legislate what a building looks like has to be scrapped and the new design review committee has to have the power to say go back to the drawing board.

kph06
Jan 26, 2010, 3:32 PM
Allnovascotia.com is reporting that Carsand-Mosher has put their building on Barrington up for sale at the price of $1.5 million, with a view to closing the store and leaving the street, and having the property redeveloped by the purchaser.

I noticed this last week on the Partner's Global Website (http://www.partnersglobal.com/files/drm/cac29ddb-8d13-4a29-a643-d5ce8b2946f2.pdf). The building falls directly under a viewplane, so theres no chance of any height here. For 1.5 million it might even be a stretch for it to be torn down just to add a floor or two.

sdm
Jan 26, 2010, 6:54 PM
I noticed this last week on the Partner's Global Website (http://www.partnersglobal.com/files/drm/cac29ddb-8d13-4a29-a643-d5ce8b2946f2.pdf). The building falls directly under a viewplane, so theres no chance of any height here. For 1.5 million it might even be a stretch for it to be torn down just to add a floor or two.

Its in the heritage district, so therefore there is little to nothing one can do with it, except adding on to in on the back side above mountain equipment.

I believe the height limit is 50 feet to.

At $150 a square foot it is a bit pricey

someone123
Jan 26, 2010, 9:30 PM
Does the district designation require that all of these buildings be preserved?

In a way, the style of the Carsand-Mosher building is appealing, but that strip of buildings just doesn't seem appropriate for Barrington. Having two storey neighbourhood-style commercial on a main street is a wasted opportunity. It would be way better if they were demolished or relocated and replaced with a four storey building. Maybe some residential units could also go in above MEC.

In the short term this seems like more bad news for Barrington.

Halifax Hillbilly
Jan 26, 2010, 11:55 PM
Sounds promising to me. Of course I would really like to know the developer involved and then see a draft plan. That comment about Lock 4 fitting in makes me worry a little. That has to be one of the ugliest pieces of crap in downtown Dartmouth.

Yes that's a disaster. Hopefully we can do better this time, but we've still got the same development control in Dartmouth.

Halifax Hillbilly
Jan 27, 2010, 12:09 AM
Does the district designation require that all of these buildings be preserved?

In a way, the style of the Carsand-Mosher building is appealing, but that strip of buildings just doesn't seem appropriate for Barrington. Having two storey neighbourhood-style commercial on a main street is a wasted opportunity. It would be way better if they were demolished or relocated and replaced with a four storey building. Maybe some residential units could also go in above MEC.

In the short term this seems like more bad news for Barrington.

Damn, what a great store. Knowledgable, friendly staff and great products.

So what is left open on the street? The Carsand Mosher building isn't too bad from the Barrington side, but doesn't do much for the cross street (Blowers?). Maybe this is an opportunity to tie Barrington in with MEC, which is about the only retail success story in downtown proper lately.

How much new retail space has been built in developments like Bishop's Landing and the Courtyard Marriot? Have any of the missing businesses on Barrington migrated elsewhere, or have they simply shut down. Maybe Jane Jacob's is right - a mix of old and new buildings is absolutely essential for a healthy street. Barrington doesn't have many new buildings at all and heritage buildings aren't right for all retail, office or residential uses. Diversity is really lacking, both in users and available space.

Good thing we built such a lovely parkade on Granville so that suburbanites could drive downtown and spend, spend spend. :rolleyes: Yeah that worked out well. The only thing I can keep saying is that Barrington is hopefully in bad shape due to property owners that were waiting for the Heritage incentives to kick in. There's issues that need to be dealt with, but Someone123 is right, the street is in much worse shape than it should be, especially considering the relative improvements throughout the rest of downtown. IMO things started to really go down hill when Sam closed down (music business problem, not necessarily the street) and later when Dooly's closed down (a healthy business where the lease wasn't renewed). After that it looks like momentum kicked in - papered over windows have that effect.

Let's hope it really is darkest before dawn.

sdm
Jan 27, 2010, 12:21 AM
Damn, what a great store. Knowledgable, friendly staff and great products.

So what is left open on the street? The Carsand Mosher building isn't too bad from the Barrington side, but doesn't do much for the cross street (Blowers?). Maybe this is an opportunity to tie Barrington in with MEC, which is about the only retail success story in downtown proper lately.

How much new retail space has been built in developments like Bishop's Landing and the Courtyard Marriot? Have any of the missing businesses on Barrington migrated elsewhere, or have they simply shut down. Maybe Jane Jacob's is right - a mix of old and new buildings is absolutely essential for a healthy street. Barrington doesn't have many new buildings at all and heritage buildings aren't right for all retail, office or residential uses. Diversity is really lacking, both in users and available space.


Let's hope it really is darkest before dawn.

Most of the retail tenants downtown have either closed because they could not make it, or have relocated to areas like SGR or burbs.

Look at historic properties, granville mall and barrington street. They are all either dying or dead retail wise.

I've said it before, the biggest problem is that SGR has sucked any hope of Barrington street ever making it retail wise.

coolmillion
Jan 27, 2010, 12:52 AM
I find the situation on Barrington St. troubling, but I think it has more to do with misguided managment on the part of the city (lack of incentives for upkeep and upgrading of buildings) and property owners (starfish is a prime example) than anything else. And it becomes a vicious circle - a store closes, potential shoppers have a worse impression of the street, existing businesses suffer, another one closes. It may take a leap of faith on the part of some well-known national retailers to revive the area by moving in. I have always thought that there is great potential for a massive overhaul of Scotia Square. There are so many people working around there, passing through to the huge parkade, eating the food court, connecting to a bus, etc. etc. but the shops are absolute crap and no one thinks of it as a place to buy anything remotely current or useful (exception - the source). Same with Barrington Place. If these malls had some decent stores, and if the former Birks site offered some relevant retail, this could serve as an anchor for the rest of the street. I still have hope that some people are willing to walk or take the bus to downtown shopping districts as they do in many cities in the world (less in the US and Canada than anywhere else). HRM and property managers should get their asses in gear.

sdm
Jan 27, 2010, 1:57 AM
I find the situation on Barrington St. troubling, but I think it has more to do with misguided managment on the part of the city (lack of incentives for upkeep and upgrading of buildings) and property owners (starfish is a prime example) than anything else. And it becomes a vicious circle - a store closes, potential shoppers have a worse impression of the street, existing businesses suffer, another one closes. It may take a leap of faith on the part of some well-known national retailers to revive the area by moving in. I have always thought that there is great potential for a massive overhaul of Scotia Square. There are so many people working around there, passing through to the huge parkade, eating the food court, connecting to a bus, etc. etc. but the shops are absolute crap and no one thinks of it as a place to buy anything remotely current or useful (exception - the source). Same with Barrington Place. If these malls had some decent stores, and if the former Birks site offered some relevant retail, this could serve as an anchor for the rest of the street. I still have hope that some people are willing to walk or take the bus to downtown shopping districts as they do in many cities in the world (less in the US and Canada than anywhere else). HRM and property managers should get their asses in gear.

From industry knowledege, the anchor retailers are looking for premises on SGR and will not consider the true downtown core.

I feel with evenual development of the clyde street lots that a further draw will be created in the SGR area.

I believe, as typical of Halifax, we have missed the boat yet again.

spaustin
Jan 27, 2010, 2:40 AM
Yep it has been one after the other on poor Barrington. Peep Show, Tim's, Dooly's, Sam's, CD Plus and now Carsand Mosher. I'm still hopeful that the street will turn the corner, but if there is no retail left, it'll be a lot tougher to lure any new retailers in to replace what's gone. One or two vacant storefronts is manageable, but as the street empties out it'll become harder and harder since no one is going to want to open on an empty street. It's noteworthy that what little activity has happened on Barrington lately hasn't been to add retail. The old theatre is some design place now and Freemason's Hall is all office. Maybe the street won't be a retail street anymore and will instead be a mix of restaurants, bars and office? If the street is going to survive as a retail street, luring a big national retailer that is a real draw into one of Starfish's projects would help a lot because both their properties are smack in the middle and offer the potential space to make it possible. At the end of the day, what Barrington really needs is more residential in the Downtown since it's clearly really difficult to survive on office workers alone!

Let's hope it really is darkest before dawn.

I really hope you're right because it's certainly becoming a starless and moonless night out there.

Halifax Hillbilly
Jan 27, 2010, 4:41 AM
Maybe the street won't be a retail street anymore and will instead be a mix of restaurants, bars and office? If the street is going to survive as a retail street, luring a big national retailer that is a real draw into one of Starfish's projects would help a lot because both their properties are smack in the middle and offer the potential space to make it possible. At the end of the day, what Barrington really needs is more residential in the Downtown since it's clearly really difficult to survive on office workers alone!

Maybe that is the problem - maybe it's not a retail street. SDM could be right, maybe the ship has sailed on Barrington as a rejuvenated retail destination. Maybe it's some other type of street - the right mix of office, residential, convenience retail, restaurants, etc. could make quite an exciting street. Not all great streets are shopping streets. If this is true though Barrington is in for a much harder ride than we've been hoping for.

When Barrington was the high-end retail street the street car line and high wealth government, banking and office jobs allowed a significant concentration of prestige retail near Grand Parade for a few decades, even without a significant residential population. That prestige retail is now on Spring Garden. The other big loss though is the department stores, the anchors - and if anchors are looking to Spring Garden then what is left for Barrington?

beyeas
Jan 27, 2010, 3:15 PM
Obviously the problem with Barrington has a lot of different roots.
Can you imagine the "local" demand for retail in that area if the condo towers proposed by UG and the one for the discovery centre existed though? A combined 40 stories of condos filled with people who moved there for downtown living? Sounds like something that would make a difference to me! In the end it is clear that Barrington is never again going to be a street that people drive to to shop... but it may survive someday as a mixed use street with shopping aimed at people who want to live "locally".

someone123
Jan 27, 2010, 8:19 PM
I think that Barrington definitely should be fully commercial, but that it's not going to be the 60s-style main street that it was in its heyday. The best-case scenario is to get a couple thousand people living nearby (keep in mind that this was true up until the 60s and 70s when lots of people moved out of the inner-city) who will create demand for an extra block or so of retail, and then the rest would be a mix of restaurants, some services for workers and residents, and then random interesting locally-owned shops.

Spring Garden Road is already the place for chains, and the suburbs are the place to go for cheap prices and lots of parking. Barrington shouldn't be competing directly with those other retail areas.

I also think it's totally true that retail areas get either in virtuous or vicious circles. Once a place has a decent mix of stores it's worth it for shoppers to go there to see what's happening - it gets a good reputation and continues to grow. When stores shut down, suddenly it becomes less and less interesting and then others move out. It's always good for retailers to have others nearby, particularly competitors that set up a situation where shoppers have many options.

Dmajackson
Jan 28, 2010, 3:29 PM
Carsand-Mosher to leave downtown
Building listed at $1.5m; company to stay in Bayers Lake
By BILL POWER Business Reporter
Thu. Jan 28 - 4:53 AM

Carsand-Mosher Photographic Ltd. is pulling out of its high-profile Barrington Street location to consolidate operations, a spokesman said Wednesday.

The two-storey building at 1559 Barrington St. is listed for $1.5 million. The company will now operate from its Bayers Lake Business Park store and its headquarters and processing centre in Truro.

A decision on the future of 15 workers at the downtown Halifax retail and processing centre is expected in about one week, said Roger Yorke, a member of the company’s management group.

"We can only confirm, at this point, that the building itself is for sale," Mr. Yorke said from the company’s Truro headquarters.

He said it was premature to comment on an eventual closing date for the Barrington Street site or the number of jobs to be lost.

Carsand-Mosher has operated out of its Barrington Street location since 1983. It is a two-storey complex of about 10,000 square feet, with about another 5,000 square feet in the basement.

Partners Global Corporate Real Estate Inc. is handling the sale. An advertisement on the broker’s website describes the building as offering "great exposure in a high-traffic area."

The photo equipment retailer and processor has a large retail operation in the Bayers Lake park at 201 Chain Lake Dr. and also a processing and retail operation at Truro at 56 Esplanade St.

The photographic-digital imaging business in the Halifax area became more competitive last year when Toronto-based Henry’s opened locations in Bayers Lake and at Dartmouth Crossing.

It is the latest in a string of recent Barrington Street closures.

The 60-year-old building at 1592 Barrington St. that is the home of CD Plus is also on the market. That two-storey building, originally a Tip Top Tailors location, is listed for $525,000. Greenwood Lane in Halifax is handling the sale.

-Harlington-
Jan 28, 2010, 7:39 PM
It is the latest in a string of recent Barrington Street closures.
great all i can say is RIP Barrington :shrug:

Phalanx
Jan 29, 2010, 4:49 AM
For those who may be interested... CBC radio's Mainstreet program is doing a piece on Barrington street and it's current situation on tomorrow's (Friday, January 29, that is) program.

sdm
Jan 29, 2010, 11:40 AM
Lou Reznick, Starfish properties is buying the Mosher building.

Lets hope the plans for the building move more quickly then his other projects.

Jonovision
Jan 29, 2010, 3:50 PM
Plum pickings in the downtown

By ROGER TAYLOR Business Columnist
Fri. Jan 29 - 4:53 AM



STRUCTURES like the two-storey Carsand-Mosher building on Barrington Street may have a hidden value that few would have considered prior to that part of downtown Halifax being designated an historic district last year.

Paul MacKinnon, executive-director of the Downtown Halifax Business Commission, says the fact the building doesn’t hold any particular significance offers an opportunity for redevelopment that is relatively free of the restrictions attached to the more historically important edifices on the street.

It was revealed this week that Carsand-Mosher Photographic Ltd. of Truro was asking $1.5 million for its property at 1559 Barrington St., which has been home to the company’s flagship store in Halifax for the past 27 years.

"We’re distinguishing this from just a regular retail closure," MacKinnon told me in a brief conversation Thursday.

Although he doesn’t hold any inside information about the sale, MacKinnon prefers to think of it as a landowner deciding to sell a valued asset.

I’ve been told by sources that well-known property owner Lou Reznick of Toronto, through his holding company, has already made an offer on the Carsand-Mosher property, and they suggest he’s willing to pay top dollar.

Dan Sangster, vice-president of Partners Global Corporate Real Estate Inc., who is handling the sale, declined to comment Thursday, and Roger Yorke, who speaks on behalf of Carsand-Mosher, wasn’t available.

If it is Reznick’s company that has acquired the property, MacKinnon said the landlord has already had a "huge impact" on the street. His planned redevelopment of the former Sam the Record Man building on Barrington will probably be the first project to go through the new HRM by Design development process.

Reznick’s plans for the Roy Building, directly across the street from Sam’s, have been grandfathered under older development rules. MacKinnon, who was a member of the HRM by Design task force, said that plan will probably take a little longer to pass through the regulatory process.

He said the downtown business commission generally views the sale of structures like the Carsand-Mosher building as a positive event. The Barrington Street Heritage Conservation Revitalization District Plan identified "a couple of sites" that were prime opportunities for redevelopment, and the Carsand-Mosher property is one of them.

It may or may not be a simple decision to close a faltering retail operation, but MacKinnon said he has the sense the company realized the building was at its maximum value and this is an opportunity to cash out.

The old Tip-Top Tailors building at 1592 Barrington St. is in the same situation, he said. The building is owned by the proprietor of the CD Plus store that has operated there for a number of years. The two-storey building is listed for $525,000 by broker Greenwood Lane Inc.

So far, there haven’t been any signs of a deal for the Tip-Top property, but MacKinnon said he believes it would provide a great development opportunity.

"I don’t think it would be very controversial if they proposed to make significant changes or even demolition of that property and they could do something much more significant there," he said.

While the sale of properties may be an indication of the level of interest in the long-term prospects for historic Barrington Street, there are currently plenty of empty shops and that doesn’t bode well for the immediate health of the downtown district.

No matter how rosy one tries to paint the current situation, the long-suffering business district is going through a painful period once again.

( rtaylor@herald.ca)

Dmajackson
Jan 29, 2010, 7:45 PM
There's no link available yet but the Dartmouth oppurtunity site information I posted earlier this week has lead to a public information meeting on February 15, 2010 at the Dartmouth High School @ 7pm.

Case 15781 - Application by 3233503 NS Ltd. and 3200892 NS Ltd. to amend the Downtown Dartmouth MPS to allow mid to high rise residential development on Pine Street Extension & Ochterloney Street

haligonia
Jan 30, 2010, 3:02 AM
Lou Reznick, Starfish properties is buying the Mosher building.

Lets hope the plans for the building move more quickly then his other projects.

What are the plans for this building?
I hope that they will either tear down the building and rebuild something nice and modern (barrington really needs a modern landmark building) or at least renovate the entire building, keeping the original structure. As long as they remove that frightning yellow cladding:yuck:, I'll be happy.

haligonia
Jan 30, 2010, 3:04 AM
Lou Reznick, Starfish properties is buying the Mosher building.

Lets hope the plans for the building move more quickly then his other projects.

What are the plans for this building?
I hope that they will either tear down the building and rebuild something nice and modern (barrington really needs a new landmark building) or at least renovate the entire building, keeping the original structure. As long as they remove that frightning yellow cladding:yuck:, I'll be happy.

Sorry, double post.

spaustin
Jan 30, 2010, 4:55 AM
What are the plans for this building?

More display windows for Attica? :haha:

In all seriousness, Barrington's future is really his to decide now. Starfish's holdings there just keep growing. Hopefully they'll do something interesting with the site. Maybe he'll buy CD Plus as well.

Jonovision
Jan 30, 2010, 3:38 PM
There's no link available yet but the Dartmouth oppurtunity site information I posted earlier this week has lead to a public information meeting on February 15, 2010 at the Dartmouth High School @ 7pm.

Case 15781 - Application by 3233503 NS Ltd. and 3200892 NS Ltd. to amend the Downtown Dartmouth MPS to allow mid to high rise residential development on Pine Street Extension & Ochterloney Street

Thanks for the info. I will definitely be there.

Jonovision
Jan 30, 2010, 3:39 PM
Also from todays Herald.

Businesses upset with funding change


By JUDY MYRDEN

Business Reporter

Downtown business groups are upset with Halifax council’s de cision to transfer $3.2 million from downtown projects to fund other initiatives.

But a municipal councillor says council voted to switch the funding to match federal stimu lus money earmarked for pro jects such as the new central li brary in Halifax and a fire sta tion in Sheet Harbour. That mon ey must be spent by March 31.

“The business improvement districts were neither informed nor consulted on the decision and it came as a complete sur prise," said Bernie Smith, man ager of the Spring Garden Road Area Business Association, on Friday.

Mr. Smith said the municipal funding was going to be used to make street upgrades on major routes in Halifax and Dart mouth.

“This sets us a back another year," said Mr. Smith.

Coun. Tim Outhit (Bedford) said the funding was transferred to ensure the federal stimulus projects go ahead.

“We are scrambling to come up with our portion," said Mr. Out hit.

Mr. Outhit said the funding for the business groups will proba bly be set aside in upcoming bud get talks for this year.

Mr. Smith said $2 million of the total transferred had been in tended as an initial contribution to a five-year streetscaping plan that would see a makeover of ma jor portions of downtown Hali fax and Dartmouth streets.

(jmyrden@herald.ca)

spaustin
Jan 30, 2010, 4:28 PM
Didn't the Spring Garden Road Merchants actively scuttle the streetscape plan? Seems kind of backward to sabotage something and then be upset when the money gets diverted elsewhere. Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly?

someone123
Jan 31, 2010, 7:22 AM
Yeah, they griped about it until it was delayed. This is a big part of why the downtown's so run down.

sdm
Jan 31, 2010, 11:17 AM
Yeah, they griped about it until it was delayed. This is a big part of why the downtown's so run down.

its sad that money has to be pulled from other projects to fund Kellys mistake of proceeding with the four plex without proper funding.

Jstaleness
Jan 31, 2010, 11:30 PM
I was looking through the Halifax Diagrams tonight and a thought occurred. If this was ever mentioned in previous posts I apologize.
Between 1971-1975 five of Halifax's tallest were built. (Six if you include Maritime Centre in'77). This was before my time so I'm just curious as to what caused the boom in construction during that short time? Anyone think that its possible that it's happening again? I doubt that we'll see that many tall (i struggle to use Highrise) buildings like that but there is lots of projects close to or already approved that should be starting soon. Anyway, just thought I would ask.

miesh111
Feb 1, 2010, 2:16 PM
I wasn't around either, but my study of history would indicate that between the late 60's and mid 70's, restrictions on heights and heritage buildings were pretty much completely lifted as part of the thought of the period: Urban Renewal and the implementation of "New, Modern" buildings, back then it was all about concrete.

Obviously that didn't work, as we lost a lot of good buildings simiply because their owners would sell to a developer.

This period was good for high rises but bad overall for the city, it resulted in the cogswell interchange, demolition of many historic buildings, and the wipeout of affricville. Yes we saw a boom, but at what cost?

To an extent we have again seen that relaxation now with defined development requirements for properties, but the difference this time is we have identified our heritage and it is protected. We can see a boom, provided recession and banking liquidity don't hold anything up.

Wishblade
Feb 2, 2010, 2:45 PM
South end to get green apartments
Southwest Properties plans 113-unit LEED-certified complex


A green apartment complex is in the works for south-end Halifax.

The 113-unit, six-storey LEED-certified project destined for South Bland Street will cost about $15 million to build, said Jim Spatz, the chief executive officer of Southwest Properties Ltd.

It will sit alongside the Terraces, another company building created in the late 1980s.

"That’s a very exciting project for us," Mr. Spatz said in a recent interview. "We will be finished our plans in a little under two months and we hope to get a shovel in the ground in 2010."

Southwest Properties hopes to have the building ready for tenants by the spring or early summer of 2012.

The company is hoping it will be the first LEED-certified apartment building in Atlantic Canada.

The acronym stands for leadership in energy and environmental design, a widely used North American standard.

"We’re learning a lot and having a lot of fun with it," Mr. Spatz said.

The project’s carbon footprint will be somewhere between 30 and 40 per cent less than a typical building, he said.

"I think that will attract a lot of customers who will like to live in an environmentally responsible building."

The loft-like building will have more open space than most typical apartments, and lots of windows, Mr. Spatz said.

The building will have in-floor radiant heating, coupled with "a gas-fired heating system that gets up to about 97 per cent efficiency," he said.

"We’ve got solar panels on the roof for domestic hot water. And we’ll have the typical water conservation stuff like dual-flush toilets and low-flow showers. But we’ll actually have water metering in the units so that if somebody uses less hot and cold water, they’ll pay a little less rent."

A little over 60 per cent of the apartments will be two-bedroom units, with the balance having one bedroom.

The rent will be "mid-market for apartments in the south end," Mr. Spatz said.

"The largest part of the market will be 30ish-year-old people who work downtown. The design’s going to be fabulous."

The building won’t have a grass roof. But there will be an enclosed exercise facility on the top with a large roof deck "for the nice days," Mr. Spatz said.

"The interesting thing about building a green building is that much of the stuff that you do is quite economically feasible today. It’s not some pie-in-the-sky kind of thing."

The project will cost between three and five per cent more than it would to put up a conventional apartment building, he said.

"But we’ll get a good return on that three to five per cent that we’ve put in, so it just makes sense."

Windows of the building will allow a maximum amount of daylight into the project, said Richard Kassner of Kassner/Goodspeed Architects Ltd.

"Some of the appliances are a little bit more progressive than you’re seeing in your average apartment or condominium — condensing dryers, ductless dryers, things like that that are more efficient energy-wise and, in the long run, are much more cost-effective than the standard approach," Mr. Kassner said.

The design calls for systems that will delay flood water from hitting the storm-sewer pipes, he said.

The building will have solar chimneys in the mechanical penthouse to preheat air entering the ventilation system, Mr. Kassner said.

He explored the possibility of using geothermal heating for the project.

"It was about a 40-year payback, which didn’t make any sense. The problem being that the bigger the building, the more concentrated the footprint, the harder it is to get enough energy on the site."

He has made allowances in the design to put a photovoltaic array on the roof if the price comes down.

"We can see, at the speed PV is moving, that within another five to 10 years, it will be a very cost-effective way of producing energy."

The new building will look like something it never was.

"The general image we’re trying to achieve is a converted warehouse," Mr. Kassner said.

Dmajackson
Feb 2, 2010, 8:07 PM
Thanks for posting that Wishblade the forum wouldn't let me on this morning.

However this project does have its own thread somewheres so I'm going to copy it there. :)

DigitalNinja
Feb 2, 2010, 8:36 PM
I just wanted to mention something about what I heard on the radio this morning. Now this is politcal, but I assume most of you will agree with me. Two, HRM counselors were arguing on public radio. Ms. Uteck, and some other one, I forget her name, over some stupid... Shit.
Instead of focusing on what's good for the people and the city it seems like they cannot see past their own big ass noses.
And then they blame the Mayor of the city when they can't agree on anything. How stupid can you be? They can't agree on anything because they are only looking out for themselves.
HRM counselors have to stop thinking that their own shit don't stink and grow some political ballz. Pisses me off when NIMBYS like these get voted in and don't do jack shit.

/rant over.

Jonovision
Feb 3, 2010, 3:51 PM
From todays Retail and Services section in the Herald.

It mentions two new developments for downtown Dartmouth in the works. Both by Urchin.

Retail, service businesses move into downtown Dartmouth


By Melanie Furlong

Special Features Writer

The economic potential for downtown Dartmouth is tremendous, says Tim Olive, executive director of the Downtown Dart mouth Business Commission.

“It’s never been this good. People have never been this optimistic that things are going to change."

The reason for this optimism stems from several residential and commercial devel opments that are either newly built or in the works.

Founders Corner, a building by Nova New England featuring 32 new condomini ums with retail space on the ground floor — at Wentworth and Ochterloney — is now open. Olive says their Two By Sea Cafe has taken right off and there is some talk of a small farmers’ market type-shop on another corner.

Another residential/commercial devel opment is under construction at Pine and Ochterloney.

“It’s a redevelopment of the old Green vale High School," says Olive, “and it’s an excellent use of a very historic building built and designed by Andrew J. Cobb. It’s a win for heritage groups and for people looking for high-end apartments in Dart mouth. It’s been an empty building for 15 years or so." The new building is being done by Dexel and will include beautiful, high-ceilinged apartments and some com mercial space on the ground.

The biggest project of all, King’s Wharf, which will cost an estimated $300 million, will mean three 12-storey apartment build ings with commercial space on the ground and one 10-storey building for commercial and office space.

“We expect that to break ground this spring or summer," says Olive. “That’s going to be just huge for the retail down town. We’re going to have 1,200 condomi niums built over the next seven years and that means more than 2,000 new residents all living within a two or three block dis tance from our retail sector."

Olive says the King’s Wharf project has attracted a host of other buildings and businesses. Urchin is interested in putting up a large residential/commercial complex on the corner of Queen Street behind the historic Sterns building over the next few years. Another site they’d like to put com mercial and residential property is at the corner of Victoria and Portland where they have a vacant lot attached to Sea Coast Towers.

“When you look at the prospects for retail growth in Dartmouth and the number of units that are going up and those that are planned for the future, you can see it will result in thousands of more residents in the downtown. The retail market is very, very positive."

Seventeen new retail and service businesses moved into downtown Dartmouth in 2009, says Olive.

“New people who have moved in are saying, ‘Wow, I’m here at the right time.’ That number of new businesses is unheard of in downtown. People are usually looking at shopping malls."

One of those new businesses was Head Space Design, owned by Kevin Springer.

“Downtown Dartmouth is ideal," says Springer.

“We all live close by, we have the banks, all the businesses, and the post office is just across the way. Historic downtown Dartmouth has more of an old world feel.

The people at the post office know your name and Tim Olive and the DDBC do a good job developing a sense of community. It’s a great lifestyle."

Springer says economics are another part of their decision to operate in Dart mouth. “We’d be paying three times the amount for rent in Halifax for the same size unit," he says.





Bringing Barrington back as a retail destination


By Melanie Furlong

Special Features Writer

The Downtown Halifax Business Com mission, representing the area from Citadel Hill to the waterfront, is seeing lots of investment by property owners right now, especially those on Barrington Street.

“Barrrington Street is the bell-weather for downtown Halifax," says Paul Mac Kinnon, executive director of the Down town Halifax Business Commission. “Last year we had some papered up windows on the street, but behind that paper, things were happening. Now we’re starting to see some results due to the Barrington Street Historic District that was put into place in October 2009."

The Barrington Street Historic District has a five-year program offering grants and tax incentives through HRM to properties meeting its requirements.

“The idea behind it was to get some revitalization in downtown Halifax," ex plains MacKinnon. “There’s a sense the city can spark a lot of private investment. We have a great collection of historic buildings on Barrington Street. We’re trying to pre serve these buildings for the general public as well as the property owners."

Two commercial buildings on Barrington were renovated in accordance with the Barrington Street Historic District — the Caldwell Building, home to Certainly Cin namon on the ground floor, and the Free masons’ Building, at the corner of Salter and Barrington.

Another two buildings on Barrington have been restored as well. One is the former National Film Board Theatre, now owned by Costa Elles and Chris Tzanteas, which burned down about 15 years ago.

“That’s been just a facade for years. The intention is to build a brand new building behind it for loft apartments and maintain the facade."

Across the street, the upper floors of the Green Lantern building, housing the Pogue Fado, have been unoccupied since Hurri cane Juan damaged it. It’s being converted to office and residential space.

Finally, the owner of the former Sam the Record Man store is planning to rehabil itate that building along with two others and adding two storeys. Retail, office and some residential space may be available.

“These great historic buildings are being re-done with modern, exciting retail on the ground floor and will bring Barrington back as a retail destination," says Mac Kinnon.

A new World Trade and Convention Centre planned for Argyle Street is also exciting for downtown Halifax.

“A new WTCC will bring in millions of dollars of economic spin-off with new conventions, tourism and a whole new development around hotels."

Although no decisions have been made about the existing WTCC, MacKinnon suggests it could become office space for City Hall.

Plans for a mixed-use residential, hotel and office space next to Bishop’s Landing have also been approved by the province and the waterfront development. The com plex will include an indoor skating rink and can go ahead at any time.

“Right now we have a lot of new devel opment moving forward when we’ve com plained for years that things aren’t moving forward," says MacKinnon.