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View Full Version : Queen St - Clyde St Lots
Nov 12, 2008, 1:12 AM
Surprisingly there was no thread on this previously so despite the lack of news on these lands its time we have a spot for any future news on it.
For anyone unclear on the area it includes the two parking lots on Clyde Street, the Halifax Regional Library Site, Provincial Court House site, and the lands boardering Queen St between SGR and Morris St. The majority of these lands formerly housed the Old Halifax Infirmary and for the past couple of years have been used as gravel parking lots.
Reports on these lands are available HERE (http://www.halifax.ca/capitaldistrict/springqueen.html).
Credit: HERE (http://www.halifax.ca/capitaldistrict/springqueen.html)
Has anyone heard anything on these lands recently? All the reports are old and there hasn;t been anything in the news about them.
Nov 12, 2008, 1:32 AM
The last I heard was that the land swap with the province still hasn't been finalized -- not sure what the holdup is. HRM has appointed one of their planners as project manager for their end. They intend to issue a RFP for the entire thing -- their portion of the Infirmary site plus the 2 Clyde St parking lots. They want one big development of the entire site. Not sure how wise that strategy is; surely it will take them forever. Meanwhile Dal has the Morris St end of the Infirmary site and is thinking about what to do with it. Rumor has it that they may be thinking about some kind of mixed commercial/institutional development. Don't look for anything to happen for at least a couple of years, unfortunately.
Nov 12, 2008, 1:45 AM
Its nice to know that Dal owns a peice. That way we are more likely to see action. Of course with all the new buildings they have going up right (Management, LSRC, Bio ect) I can't blame them for delaying this parcel of land.
Nov 12, 2008, 3:25 AM
I absolutely despise the idea of grouping them all together into one development. I could see perhaps, maybe the two clyde street lots, but still. I want to see some variety.
Nov 28, 2008, 8:34 PM
Capital seeking capital assessment
Halifax asks for estimates on development potential of municipal properties
By AMY PUGSLEY FRASER City Hall Reporter
Fri. Nov 28 - 5:46 AM
The city wants to know how many millions it can make off the sale of its downtown landholdings.
The four parcels of land potentially on the block include the old regional library on Spring Garden Road and two surface parking lots on Clyde Street.
The lands have been in the speculation phase for years, says the director of the Spring Garden Area Merchants Association.
But the city’s recent ad, looking for "pre-development assessment," really moves up the timeline on development, says Bernie Smith.
His group is interested in making the city an offer for the two merchant parking lots, but says they’d let city hall keep ownership.
"We proposed to the city that we would develop it," Mr. Smith said Thursday, listing off a potential price of around $6 million.
In return, they’d pay the debt servicing charges.
"We would pay the equivalent of the borrowing cost of the money," says Mr. Smith, who was for years the treasurer for the old city of Halifax.
Parking is definitely part of their proposal, he says, because the merchants all along the street have an interest in providing spots for their shoppers, he says.
"It’s not important to keep it in the present form as it’s not really acceptable to have surface lots anymore . . . nor can anyone afford them," he said.
Instead, the association would like to see the lots redeveloped into first-floor retail, second-floor offices and an indoor parking garage, either underground or at grade.
There are tenants already earmarked for the space, he says.
"The retail is pretty vibrant around here," he says of the demand.
Recently, the area has welcomed Lululemon yoga-inspired athletic wear and Aigle, a French clothier.
Over the years, stores like H&M clothing and Chapters books have expressed an interest in setting up shop, too.
And the attraction with H&M, which listed employment ads just this week for its upcoming Dartmouth store – still exists.
"We keep trying to find them a spot," he said of bringing the business to the Halifax side of the harbour.
But there’s lots of space for everyone.
The total downtown land availability, which includes a piece on Queen Street coming from the province in a swap, constitutes close to 2.5 hectares.
Collectively, the parcels are assessed, for tax purposes, at about $13 million.
However, knowing what the land is truly worth is a bit tricky, says a local real estate appraiser. That’s because vacant land is hard to evaluate, says the professional, who didn’t want to be identified because their firm would likely apply to do the work for the city.
Instead, appraisers must rely on what could be built there, with higher-density buildings bringing in more value for the land they sit on. And although the tender outlines that the pre-development assessment is being undertaken so the city can put out a proposal for the sale of lands to the private sector, Mayor Peter Kelly says the city isn’t putting any restrictions or requirements on the land.
"It has valuable potential," he said Thursday. And the options are open, he says, through its sale — strategic infrastructure partnerships (formerly known as "P3"), a lease-to-purchase, or design-build.
"There are many different opportunities," he said.
He says the city will likely advertise for development opportunities once the assessment of the land is determined.
"Until you test the waters, you don’t know what you’ll get back."
Nov 28, 2008, 9:35 PM
This is good news, except they should have been at this stage years ago when the market was much better and when these retailers were first interested in setting up shop.
Putting in just one or two floors of retail/office with the rest being parking would be a huge waste. They could try to go for something like Park Lane, however, where they plan for a future condo tower on top to be built when the market improves.
Nov 28, 2008, 9:44 PM
^That could work the parking garage could be accessed from Burmingham/Dresdon. The viewplane/height restrictions (and the proposed ones from HRM by Design) could screw up the condo tower part though.
Nov 28, 2008, 10:11 PM
Do they even need a parking garage when we already have Park Lane? I don't think having a garage is going to suddenely woo people who aren't going downtown because it's a pain to take their car (that demographic is going out to Dartmouth Crossing and Bayers Lake). Better to build higher density instead to increase the number of local customers in the area. I'm not saying don't include parking, but don't give up valuable 1st floor space to dump what, maybe 20, 30 some odd cars there. That would be a big waste.
Nov 28, 2008, 10:17 PM
Do they even need a parking garage? I don't think having a garage is going to suddenely woo people who aren't going downtown because it's a pain to take their car (that demographic is going out to Dartmouth Crossing and Bayers Lake). Better to build higher density instead to increase the number of local customers in the area. I'm not saying don't include parking, but don't give up valuable 1st floor space to dump what, maybe 20, 30 some odd cars there. That would be a big waste.
Yes, the mentality that parking is going to "lure" shoppers is straight out of the 1950s and makes very little sense. Most of the suburban shoppers would go down during the evenings and weekends anyway, when there is plenty of available parking in garages like Park Lane since people have gone home from work.
Look across the country and you will see dozens of failed storefront retail areas with lots of parking and a handful of successful cases where parking is at a premium.
I see nothing wrong with putting in extra underground parking or whatever, which could easily make up for the lost surface parking (which is very little compared to what goes in one of the bigger garages), but to focus on building garages on the Clyde Street lots would really be missing the point.
Nov 28, 2008, 10:40 PM
Good news, these lots are an eyesore.
Feb 16, 2009, 8:35 PM
Exploratory Borehole Drilling for Spring Garden Development Assessment
(Friday, February 13, 2009) - Work is underway for the Spring Garden development assessment - HRM's consultants, Colliers International, will be conducting test drilling activities on the Municipality's Clyde Street parking lots. This activity will occur between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Monday, February 16, 2009 and Tuesday, February 17, 2009. Boreholes will be drilled at multiple locations on the sites. The purpose of the test drilling is to obtain soil and geological samples to assess the ability of the land to support potential development.
In January 2009, the Halifax Regional Municipality awarded a development assessment study for municipal lands in the Spring Garden Road area to a local consulting team led by Colliers International. Further to the recommendations of the Spring Garden/Queen Joint Public Lands (approved by Council in 2007) the results of this study will assist the Municipality in preparing a call for proposals to redevelop these lands in partnership with the private sector. The information gained through this study will also contribute to the planning for a proposed Central Library in the Spring Garden Road area.
Date: Monday, February 16th & Tuesday, February 17th from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Place: Clyde Street Parking Lots
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