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-   -   [Halifax] Velo Apartments (2300 Gottingen) | ? m | 5 fl | U/C (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=169804)

someone123 May 30, 2009 12:24 AM

[Halifax] Velo Apartments (2300 Gottingen) | ? m | 5 fl | U/C
 
This is an affordable housing project that consists of 48 townhouse units to be built on Gottingen Street between Cunard and Buddy Daye Street.

Rendering:

http://www.ahans.ca/Gottingen_Terrac.../rowhouses.jpg

Details available here: http://www.ahans.ca/Gottingen_Terrace/index.htm

Keith P. May 30, 2009 12:58 AM

Pricing is from $130k to $200K per condo apartment depending upon size. That might keep it from being a slum.

Empire May 30, 2009 1:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keith P. (Post 4277424)
Pricing is from $130k to $200K per condo apartment depending upon size. That might keep it from being a slum.

Keep your eye on Creighton/Gerrish Developments because they are promoters of substandard developments like this one.

Dmajackson May 30, 2009 2:01 AM

It looks okay but seeing the other buildings on the site I'm not getting my hopes up.

Does anyone happen to know how many projects they are planning to put up all together?

Oh and "Someone123" the max. height is 36 feet so 11m. :)

spaustin May 30, 2009 2:18 AM

Yuck. It's great that they're planning on doing something with what is just a vacant lot right now, but really Gottingen deserves better. The problem with this isn't that it's affordable housing, but that it presents such a blank and fairly repetitive street face. This is a real lost opportunity to do something interesting. They should be looking to put affordable housing on top of commercial space or at least have some commercial component. Instead they're going to drop boring pods onto what should be one of the city's main streets.

someone123 May 30, 2009 9:52 AM

Does this have a retail component? Doesn't look like it..?

Not sure what to make of the facade. It does have some blank areas but I think the final look will depend a lot on the materials used. If they are somehow textured it could be okay.

Keith P. May 30, 2009 11:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 4277935)
Does this have a retail component? Doesn't look like it..?

Not sure what to make of the facade. It does have some blank areas but I think the final look will depend a lot on the materials used. If they are somehow textured it could be okay.

When you blow up the pdf brochure it is clear that there is no retail.

That brochure has only a drawing of the facade so things may turn out different. It shows sections that are red brick, and the mansard style section at the top looks suspiciously like vertical metal siding. There is a gray area of the facade that could be anything from concrete block to metal cladding, but is impossible to tell.

Takeo May 30, 2009 12:48 PM

There is no retail. Just look at the floor plans. Personally, I think it looks great. Nice development. Very nice design. And that end of Gottingen is not really a mercantile area anyway. Currently it's very residential. It would be nice of course if it were more commercial... but honestly... I think if you built a long retail strip there... it would be all boarded up anyway. Just look at what's there now. No shortage of boarded up retail spaces or retail spaces being used for community services instead of retail. Adding more market housing to that area will be good for the area. Then hopefully the more southern end of the street will come back to life as a 'main street'.

Empire May 30, 2009 7:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spaustin (Post 4277548)
Yuck. It's great that they're planning on doing something with what is just a vacant lot right now, but really Gottingen deserves better. The problem with this isn't that it's affordable housing, but that it presents such a blank and fairly repetitive street face. This is a real lost opportunity to do something interesting. They should be looking to put affordable housing on top of commercial space or at least have some commercial component. Instead they're going to drop boring pods onto what should be one of the city's main streets.

I agree it is a lost opportunity. The design is very utilitarian and is no different than the buildings in Mulgrave park or Uniacke Sq. This section of Gottingen should have at least some retail. This site has the potential for retail, office, institutional, affordable and higher end housing. This is not the highest and best use for this section of the city. This is a huge mistake similar to the mistake of putting the turning point shelter and the sewage treatment plant on prime high density/high traffic downtown sites.

planarchy May 30, 2009 9:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Empire (Post 4278411)
I agree it is a lost opportunity. The design is very utilitarian and is no different than the buildings in Mulgrave park or Uniacke Sq. This section of Gottingen should have at least some retail. This site has the potential for retail, office, institutional, affordable and higher end housing. This is not the highest and best use for this section of the city. This is a huge mistake similar to the mistake of putting the turning point shelter and the sewage treatment plant on prime high density/high traffic downtown sites.

No different that Mulgrave Park? Come on! While it may not be the best use for the site and should offer more density this is a good project and a good design, especially for Halifax standards. Grant Wanzel, dean of Dal's school of architecture, is (or at least was) the president of Creighton/Gerrish Development so you have to assume that the design of the project has been given much consideration.

As well, the fact that these units are for purchase completely destroys any comparison with the condition/challenges of Uniacke Square. The morphology of Uniacke Square is fine, it is more that fact that they are rentals that has produced all the negative consequences (I assume, but don't know for sure, that Mulgrave Park is rental units too).

This is a solid project and offers much needed affordable housing units in the heart of the city. It offers a continuous facade with little or no setback and will improve the overall character of the street. Although trend of clustering affordable housing in the neighborhood should be reconsidered.

someone123 May 30, 2009 9:13 PM

I guess there are other theoretical forms of development that could happen, but the fact is that this site has sat empty for decades while many of the retail spaces even farther south are boarded up.

The lack of retail is not such a problem given that the development does not include the two ends of the block. To have low retail vacancy you need a good ratio of residential to retail properties and that ratio was destroyed when thousands of people moved out of the neighbourhood in the 60s and 70s.

Aren't Mulgrave Park and Uniacke Square structured more like rentals, except where the government owns the units instead of a private landlord? They are also larger developments and don't integrate as well into the rest of the city. These are just townhouses for sale with some private subsidy and restrictions.

Edit: planarchy said roughly the same thing above while I was writing my reply. :)

Jonovision May 31, 2009 1:13 AM

I don't know how I feel about the look of this. I was hoping for something bigger. The site could definitely handle it. But I do like that it is a continuous facade. That in itself will do a lot for the street. I think as long as the quality of the materials is high than this should look great. I worry looking at their past project though. This most resembles their project on the corner of Buddy Daye Street which I feel personally is not a very warm building. I hope that these are inviting looking. For one thing though it does look like a very modern design. Something we have not seen before, so in that respect I do welcome it.

Empire May 31, 2009 3:14 AM

Anyone want to take a stab at what the upper level cladding or the red section material will be?

- upper level cladding.....cheapest tin siding available
- red section material.....glorified chip board like spice

Takeo May 31, 2009 3:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Empire (Post 4278995)
Anyone want to take a stab at what the upper level cladding or the red section material will be?

- upper level cladding.....cheapest tin siding available
- red section material.....glorified chip board like spice

It's Gottingen St... not Park Avenue. And 1BR units go for under $130K... minutes away from the heart of downtown. What you you expect... limestone?

My guess is that you're correct... Spice style chip board (whatever that material is) and corrugated metal. And I'm fine with that. I think it's a great looking building. I love the way the red totemic elements are varied all along the facade... with different heights and different "bites" taken out of them. I love the corner windows in those same elements. Nice work. It's very modern looking and about a million times nicer than just about any other thoughtless new residential development on the peninsula... like the two new Hyrdostone buildings for instance (on Gottingen/Kaye and Russell/Iseville).

I think this is the perfect example of good design being about DESIGN... not materials (with the exception of stucco and vinyl siding of course) . Nice materials expand your options and your palette and are nice to have... but they're not necessarily required. You can design a great looking building with cinder blocks and chain link fencing if you know what you're doing. Some of Brian MacKay's most stunning interiors are nothing but plywood, concrete and cheap industrial fixtures... and they're awesome! A good designer is one who can take a set of extremely tight requirements (i.e. ridiculously tight budget... like this project... I'm sure) and still make something nice.

As for the retail question... I've already spoken about that. I don't think that area has a market for retail. The south end of the street is on life support as it is.

Barrington south May 31, 2009 4:53 PM

Hmmmm, I wonder if anyone on here is Tim Bousque in disguise.......he's let it slip out before that he is aware of these sites and at the very least sporadicly monitors them....one time he mentioned the chat boards where buzzing about some development.... (I think waterford)....so there is a good Chance anytime he starts spewing his biased left wing (anti)-development news, he'll come on here to gage his reviews.......we'll if your Reading' this.....congratulations, Timbit......for once... a victory for the down and outers that you desperately admire......and most people on this forum generally agree.......it's a fairly positive development.....but don't let it get to your head......I still have the same amount of respect for you, your thoughts and your vision as Gerry Adam's has for the queen and everything the monarchy stands for

Waye Mason May 31, 2009 4:53 PM

I am glad to see this project finally go ahead. C/GA is a great idea. The idea is to created OWNED affordable housing, so you can graduate out of social housing of Metro Housing Authority into something with equity. The neighbourhood needs more owned property, right now planning has allowed a neighbourhood with 85% rental and 50% of those are on social assistance. That is not a tenable situation. We need some affordable housing mixed in on the peninsula, and not more housing projects run by MHA.

As for street level retail, that was fought and lost a decade ago, the planning strategy for the street calls for street level retail from Cogswell to Cunard corner only.

Barrington south May 31, 2009 6:05 PM

where is someone in social housing going to come up with the 5% down payment for the morgadge......bare minimum $6000 plus all the other coast's included.....this sounds more like in the young professional price range......not likely what most consider to be really poor people could ever dream of this.....but I'm glad, I think young professionals and young family's are exactly what the area needs.....not the opportunity for welfare recipients from spryfield....bless their hearts...... to move closer to the downtown

someone123 May 31, 2009 9:44 PM

I like the idea of privately owned housing with sliding subsidy to take care of a range of people, from the disabled to the working poor.

One of the problems I've seen with some social housing is that they take the poorest people, so there is an incentive to avoid work. Being on welfare in public housing can be better than working minimum wage and paying rent in certain cases (seems like it would happen a lot here in Vancouver, and new public housing units often cost on the order of $500k each to build).

It would be interesting if the MHA also did something like set aside a small chunk of rent every month that could eventually be used as a down payment.

Of course, there are many different kinds of people who need some sort of social housing and some of them will never be able to handle a mortgage. In the worst case they really just need a basic apartment looked after by the government along with a bunch of social services or they end up on the street.

eastcoastal Jun 1, 2009 1:46 AM

I like the design of these things... lol, but looks like I'm in a minority here. They look modern takes on the traditional massing and approach to the street in North End Halifax. I like the subtle variations within the repetition, and planning-wise, I love that there is a mix of unit types which I would like to think will encourage a variety of family types.

The transitional housing piece (I think that's what it is...) at the corner of Buddy Daye and Gottingen is a strong piece of architecture, and a good piece of urban design.

Up on Buddy Daye and Creighton, I don't think the building design is super sucessful.

I really like the duplexes on Creighton St. The metal reveals and trim pieces at the corners look particularly sharp with the cementitious siding. And as hideous as it is, I think it's pretty humorous that someone decorated the metal column by their front door with a faux-greek wrapper.

All in all, I'm hopeful for these, and I think that they are bringing a nice form of density to the street.

JET Jun 1, 2009 11:54 AM

East coastal mentions the new building on Buddy Daye and Gottingen; very nice and they spent some good time making a quality building (unlike Spice). A dreadful new building is just down from Gus's pub, duplex that all garage on the street, and probably not cheap to buy.
Barington south, I don't get your rant on welfare recipients, "bless their hearts"; what are your thoughts on habitat for Humanity? JET

Barrington south Jun 2, 2009 12:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JET (Post 4280667)
East coastal mentions the new building on Buddy Daye and Gottingen; very nice and they spent some good time making a quality building (unlike Spice). A dreadful new building is just down from Gus's pub, duplex that all garage on the street, and probably not cheap to buy.
Barington south, I don't get your rant on welfare recipients, "bless their hearts"; what are your thoughts on habitat for Humanity? JET

ummmm, look up the definition of the word rant..... that wasn't a rant.....(I'm the first to admit if I am ranting....I don't care....(and i rant alot).....what I said sounds more like sarcasm to me....habitat for humanity?......if that's how people want to spend their time...I couldn't care less...but don't come running to me gloating about your do gooder little heart... ....do I help anyone personaly??.....well I employ 28 full time people, and a half dozen part time'ers so I help people get habitat the old fashioned way.....working for it....

JET Jun 2, 2009 2:25 PM

Yep, that clarifies it for me. JET

Takeo Jun 3, 2009 2:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Barrington south (Post 4282065)
I employ 28 full time people, and a half dozen part time'ers so I help people get habitat the old fashioned way.

Do gooder :P

planarchy Aug 25, 2009 5:44 PM

This is an excerpt from an article in the July 2009 issue of Canadian Architect. The whole article discussion more about the C/GDA and their 3 other completed projects.


C/GDA master plan:

http://www.cdnarchitect.com/common_s...0plan_fmt.jpeg

Project Gottingen Terrace, Gottingen Street
Architect Niall Savage Architecture
Client C/GDA
Architect Team Niall Savage, Rayleen Hill, Tom Evans with Grant Wanzel consulting
Structural Campbell Comeau Engineeering
Contractor Bird Rideau
Area 44,000 ft2
Budget $5.5 M
Completion July 2011

Gottingen Terrace--Phase 4: 48 condominiums
Not yet built, Gottingen Terrace is comprised of 16 brick-and-metal four-storey townhouses with a frontage of 350 feet on Gottingen Street. This includes 16 two-bedroom units (560 to 615 square feet) on grade; 16 one-bedroom units (525 to 556 square feet) on the second floor, and 16 three-bedroom units (1,165 to 1,220 square feet) over two floors on the third and fourth levels. The design establishes a rhythm of eight paired four-storey terraced houses with common central stairs and side entrances. Entry porches and a variety of front balconies will animate Gottingen Street while brick screens will provide further relief to the large number of windows that enable all units to remain dual-aspect. All ground units have front and rear terraces, with landscaping, bicycle sheds and a play area in the rear, in addition to on-site parking accessible from Gerrish Lane. The creation of a laneway internal to the block takes parking off the street while the slope of the site assists in creating a series of continuous layers from the street to the inner block from both Gottingen and Creighton Streets. Urban design moves such as these also provide clues for the future development of the empty site behind the bank on Cunard Street. Although Gottingen Terrace is not taking advantage of any formal programs for funding, offsets have been created by the C/GDA in assembling a variety of other sources of benefit that have allowed the condominiums to be priced well under market value.

Background buildings that promote strong urban principles while forming part of the urban fabric have always been the hallmark of good design. The four designs by Niall Savage do exactly that--they pick up on street edges, balcony rhythms, housing typologies, and courtyard spaces. Instead of the classic commercial/ residential mix found in most mixed-use projects, the C/GDA has developed a model that provides mixed-income and mixed-tenure housing types through well-designed architecture, each project responding to a different urban condition and a different clientele. The resulting "quiet urbanism" of the overall master-planning strategy may go unnoticed as passersby walk along Gottingen or Creighton Streets. Although the Creighton/ Gerrish Development Association's incredible input and modest outcome causes this author to lament the great impoverishment brought about by homogeneous gentrification and myopic urban renewal in our North American cities, the lessons offered in the Creighton/Gerrish initiative underscore how much can be accomplished with a clear vision and an unswerving commitment to the process of housing. CA

Source: Canadian Architect July 2009

Dmajackson Oct 24, 2009 3:36 AM

Construction of affordable housing on Gottingen a go
Non-profit developer Grant Wanzell says Gottingen Terrace project across from the North Branch library doing "better than the private sector"
by Tim Bousquet

Gottingen Terrace, the affordable housing project planned for the old Sobeys site on Gottingen Street, across from the North Branch Library, is alive and well, says Grant Wanzell, president of the Creighton/Gerrish Development Association, the non-profit organization behind the development. The recession has slowed the housing industry everywhere, "but we're doing much better than the private sector," says Wanzell, pictured above. About a quarter of the 48 units have been pre-sold. People with household incomes as low as $33,000 can buy into the project.

Earlier this year, Wanzell had expressed hope that construction could start as soon as this fall, but now he's hoping for the spring. Prospective buyers can contact him at 789-2432.

Spitfire75 Oct 24, 2009 3:55 PM

Last time I drove down Gottingen, I noticed there's a billboard up for this project on the lot.

planarchy Feb 24, 2010 1:23 PM

I've heard that this is about 60% sold, with intention to start construction in early autumn 2010.

Halifax Hillbilly Feb 25, 2010 3:32 AM

Good to see this moving forward. Grant is a great guy, seems to have an enormous amount of patience and determination to move this forward.

This area already has a lot of lower income housing but not a lot is owner occupied and there is new money and new investment flowing in. These types of development will help keep a balance in the neighbourhood as new people move in.

Dmajackson Aug 31, 2010 6:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by planarchy (Post 4715888)
I've heard that this is about 60% sold, with intention to start construction in early autumn 2010.

According to their website this is now 50% sold.

Jonovision Sep 1, 2010 3:34 AM

The sign on site has had a 50% sold on it for a good 6 months now I think.

planarchy Sep 22, 2010 9:52 PM

Pre-sales on this project have been put on hold - and have been for the past 6 months or so - until a formal agreement with Province is reached. Hopefully something will be reached soon.

JET Sep 23, 2010 11:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by planarchy (Post 4990022)
Pre-sales on this project have been put on hold - and have been for the past 6 months or so - until a formal agreement with Province is reached. Hopefully something will be reached soon.

Seems odd for that location. Any idea what the hold up is?

JustinMacD Sep 25, 2010 5:24 PM

Gottigen Terrace is getting national attention:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1725247/

Rebuilding Halifax’s most feared neighbourhood, one project at a time
Chris Benjamin
Halifax— From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Sep. 24, 2010 10:00PM EDT
Last updated Friday, Sep. 24, 2010 10:18PM EDT

Gottingen Street, Halifax’s premier retail strip in the 1960s, has an unenviable reputation these days. Lining it are a mix of abandoned businesses, vacant lots, antique churches and the odd hip café. Violent crime is high, as is unemployment – one in 10 residents is on social assistance – and in a poll in May, Haligonians named it and the surrounding area the most feared neighbourhood in the city.

Perfect place, then, to build a chic, environmentally friendly condominium.

That’s Dalhousie University architecture professor Grant Wanzel’s vision, and while condo developments have begun popping up regularly here, his project does not aim for gentrification. The founder of Creighton/Gerrish Development Association, Prof. Wanzel intends for his condos to be affordable to those making as little as $31,000 a year.

The professor is known as an affordable-housing guru in this city, with a seat on the boards of Halifax’s non-profit housing society, the Metropolitan Regional Housing Authority, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. and countless other national housing coalitions. In the past 12 years, he’s made it his mission to transform the Gottingen Street area.

His latest effort, the 48-unit Gottingen Terrace, is in the planning stage and on the market with one-bedrooms starting at $124,500 and three-bedrooms at $189,500 – about $100,000 to $150,000 less than equivalent listings in the area. The monthly mortgage rate is only slightly higher than what CMHC calls “deeply affordable” rental rates.

Home-ownership schemes for low-income families exist in Vancouver, Montreal and Ontario, but no one has done it quite like Prof. Wanzel. He keeps prices low by mobilizing government bureaucracies, highly skilled volunteer architects and social service agencies.

Gary Chandler is one of 24 confirmed buyers for Gottingen Terrace. He grew up one street over and works as a hospital porter, earning a little over minimum wage. The condo, he said, “gives me a chance to pay for something brand new, something of my own. With no more rent increases.”

For Prof. Wanzel, this project has been his toughest challenge. It has received verbal support from the non-profit sector, all levels of government, and private and public loans, but it has not received the subsidies – from any level of government – that could make home ownership affordable to an even lower income bracket.

And while he has had a series of positive meetings with Nova Scotia’s deputy minister of policy and priorities, rising bank rates have already increased anticipated costs. “The loan was more expensive than I expected and the lender required a guarantee,” he said. “We went back to get the province to guarantee the loan. It’s been with them for several weeks now.”

Which means a stalled project for Prof. Wanzel.

Even if he gets a construction loan, without dedicated government funding to subsidize purchase prices, these properties will be inaccessible for low-income families. Ideally, the new homeowners would come from renters – 87 per cent of neighbourhood residents – particularly the half of them using social and public housing.

Dan Troke, director of housing at the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services, says his department is paying attention to Prof. Wanzel’s progress, but the province’s focus is on rental accommodation. “The highest need is where people are paying more than 30 per cent of their income on rent,” he said. “There is a lot of other activity happening in the Gottingen Street neighbourhood, with non-profits buying land and looking to develop rentals to balance out all the condo developments happening there now.”

Prof. Wanzel’s condo project is the fourth and final phase of a rebuild he started in 1998, when he persuaded the Halifax Regional Municipality to donate two properties and give tax exemptions on others as prices bottomed out. “The area was in serious decline,” he recalled. “There was lots of government investment but it wasn’t coming together. The slumlords were speculating on a vacant property … so we wanted to get it off the market and dedicate it to households with moderate means.”

The land has since tripled in value. The not-for-profit organization Prof. Wanzel founded, Creighton/Gerrish, parlayed those gains into building 29 single rental units, six affordable townhouses and 12 affordable family apartments.

Creighton-Gerrish then invested $2.5-million into a fund held by the provincial affordable-housing program. When a family buys a unit, it takes a share of that value as debt in the form of a second mortgage. If it sells within five years, it has to pay back the second mortgage to the province, but if it holds it longer, the second mortgage is forgiven. That prevents house flipping and the money can be recycled into more affordable housing.

“People keep telling us it’s had a visible impact,” Prof. Wanzel said.

Several new businesses have started up in recent years and the area has begun to draw students and artists. A few quality housing projects can’t single-handedly resolve interwoven issues of crime and income disparity, but Prof. Wanzel hopes that giving residents the chance to build equity will provide a layer of security they haven’t had before.

Special to The Globe and Mail

Keith P. Sep 25, 2010 9:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JustinMacD (Post 4993636)
When a family buys a unit, it takes a share of that value as debt in the form of a second mortgage. If it sells within five years, it has to pay back the second mortgage to the province, but if it holds it longer, the second mortgage is forgiven. That prevents house flipping and the money can be recycled into more affordable housing.

And I wonder how much this costs the taxpayer? Stay 5 years, flip the house, and pocket the proceeds.

I believe this is the same program that Coun. Dawn Sloane used (legally if not ethically) to obtain her taxpayer-subsidized home.

someone123 Mar 8, 2011 6:13 AM

Anybody know what's going on with this?

someone123 Apr 15, 2011 3:04 AM

Square Feet had a post on this: http://halifax.infomonkey.net/blog.d...?post_id=19861

Looks like financing is now in place and they are just about ready to begin construction.

I think these will be a huge shot in the arm for the street. The increased density will be helpful along with more "eyes on the street". They'll also look way better than the current giant derelict lot.

Empire Apr 15, 2011 4:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 5242065)
Square Feet had a post on this: http://halifax.infomonkey.net/blog.d...?post_id=19861

Looks like financing is now in place and they are just about ready to begin construction.

I think these will be a huge shot in the arm for the street. The increased density will be helpful along with more "eyes on the street". They'll also look way better than the current giant derelict lot.

The increased density will be good for the area. However, I am very, very, skeptical about this development. This same group built similar units on Buddy Day and they are by all accounts shoddy at best. The structure looks 40 years old, sports the very cheapest materials, has zero architectural detail and above all has the stamp of an ugly design....lots of graffiti. The development is 3 years old and looks very tired. I think the same prognosis is in store for this development. The cheapest materials will be used with no design detail. Within a couple of years of construction the units will be an eyesore due to a degraded materials. I hope the design can be addressed before construction begins because this is such a prime location. This type of development in the Gottingen area seems to be suffering from extremely poor craftsmanship as well. A number of new units show poor workmanship for items such as cladding on unit fire separation, roofing, siding, windows, entry systems etc.....(Spice included)

FuzzyWuz Apr 15, 2011 12:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Empire (Post 5242115)
...and above all has the stamp of an ugly design....lots of graffiti.

Are you saying graffiti artists show respect to well designed structures? How noble of them.

someone123 Oct 28, 2012 11:35 PM

There are still plans to redevelop this site but the townhouse plan has been cancelled. Some details are here: http://www.thecoast.ca/RealityBites/...housing-crisis

It's a sad article that shows just how disorganized the city and province are, and just how much the development process has been hijacked by groups like the Heritage Trust.

Phil Pacey's views as usual are absurd:

Pacey fears that if zoning is changed to allow new, taller buildings, existing affordable housing stock could be lost.

Completely backward. You do not lose affordable housing stock by upzoning vacant properties to 10 storeys and then building 120-unit affordable housing projects on them. More generally, allowing higher density causes the cost per unit to go down (increase in the housing supply) and makes it possible to house more people in the same area. As prices go up in the North End, the poorest will be pushed out. Saving some heritage houses is not going to stop that. It is dishonest to pretend that heritage preservation is about helping poor people. It's not.

...Pacey argues. "Older housing may have paid off its mortgage so the owners may be able to rent these properties for the cost of utilities, heat, maintenance and taxes."

Yeah, if I were a landlord with an expensive building on the Peninsula I'd love to rent out the odd unit to low-income residents at cost rather than waiting a few months and getting a tenant who can pay full price. The comment on mortgages being paid off is irrelevant; all that matters is the market value of the housing. Assuming he hasn't already, maybe Phil Pacey can lead the charge here by putting up somebody with a substance abuse problem in his basement.

halifaxboyns Oct 29, 2012 5:04 AM

I found the comment about the province not willing to amend the HRM charter to allow density bonusing for the Regional Centre troubling. If the Regional Centre plan is going to work (and if we want to build complete communities) - we need to make sure everyone can be included. The fact is, rents are going up and if we don't offer market adjusted rents or low income housing, the only a few people will get to enjoy up and coming areas while many will be left out.

That annoys me to no end.

someone123 Oct 29, 2012 5:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by halifaxboyns (Post 5883499)
I found the comment about the province not willing to amend the HRM charter to allow density bonusing for the Regional Centre troubling. If the Regional Centre plan is going to work (and if we want to build complete communities) - we need to make sure everyone can be included. The fact is, rents are going up and if we don't offer market adjusted rents or low income housing, the only a few people will get to enjoy up and coming areas while many will be left out.

That annoys me to no end.

It's a bit odd too since the city can set the across-the-board limits to whatever they want, e.g. zone all of Gottingen to 12 floors and be done with it (with HbD-style setbacks this would be totally fine), or they could just (currently, pre-Centre Plan) create DAs or include exceptions in the plan as they did with some of the grandfathered developments downtown. My understanding is that it's only the preferential "bonus" mechanism that requires the charter amendment. In other words, refusing to amend the charter for bonusing doesn't necessarily reduce heights, but it definitely hurts the ability of the city to reward more desirable development.

It is really terrible that heritage groups are apparently trying to derail other programs they have no clue about because they think it will further their goals. In practice I think the adversarial approach of people like Phil Pacey is counter-productive and creates a lot of unintended consequences. It also bothers me that the HT members or STV comment on economic issues or make pronouncements about what would work best for developers, and the media often lazily take them at face value rather than questioning their agenda.

worldlyhaligonian Oct 29, 2012 7:15 PM

This is really sad news... maybe something with height will be proposed.

Keith P. Oct 29, 2012 11:18 PM

I think this project is a victim of those who are trying to ensure Skye Halifax never happens. In their quest to convince everyone that HRMbD is perfect and does not need to be changed - their only defense against Skye - they cannot afford to admit that the Gottingen height restrictions are deeply flawed and also need change. If they admit HRMbD is wrong on Gottingen, their argument against Skye goes away.

eastcoastal Oct 31, 2012 10:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keith P. (Post 5884343)
...If they admit HRMbD is wrong on Gottingen, their argument against Skye goes away.

I wasn't aware that HRMbD rules had been extended beyond the downtown core yet. As far as I understood, previous rules still exist for the rest of the city: a patchwork of zoning, as-of-right, and Development Agreements.

Anybody have any more details?

spaustin Oct 31, 2012 4:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eastcoastal (Post 5885912)
I wasn't aware that HRMbD rules had been extended beyond the downtown core yet. As far as I understood, previous rules still exist for the rest of the city: a patchwork of zoning, as-of-right, and Development Agreements.

Anybody have any more details?

They haven't as far as I know. In the Downtown where HRMbyDesign applies is the only place where HRM can currently use density bonusing or any kind of height incentives. It's my understanding that the province has been refusing to give HRM that power even though every other municipality in the province can do it. Peter Kelly made a few noises about it as his swan song.
http://metronews.ca/news/halifax/403...with-province/

Just another example of needless provincial meddling in local affairs. It would be nice if we actually started to approach city governments in Canada like grown-up entities. The Halifax Charter should provide a more general and broader grant of power to HRM to govern local affairs because this process of constantly having to ask the province for amendments really doesn't work well. It encourages provincial micromanagement, creates long delays and stifles innovation. It comes up everywhere from solar city to density bonusing to even really small things like wanting to allow a pilot chicken coup! It's a very inefficient way to run a city and a province.

worldlyhaligonian Oct 31, 2012 6:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spaustin (Post 5886132)
It would be nice if we actually started to approach city governments in Canada like grown-up entities. The Halifax Charter should provide a more general and broader grant of power to HRM to govern local affairs because this process of constantly having to ask the province for amendments really doesn't work well. It encourages provincial micromanagement, creates long delays and stifles innovation. It comes up everywhere from solar city to density bonusing to even really small things like wanting to allow a pilot chicken coup! It's a very inefficient way to run a city and a province.

Well, I mean that is assuming that a) Council has qualified people and b) the provincial system is a good system for Canada. :cool:

Keith P. Nov 1, 2012 12:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eastcoastal (Post 5885912)
I wasn't aware that HRMbD rules had been extended beyond the downtown core yet. As far as I understood, previous rules still exist for the rest of the city: a patchwork of zoning, as-of-right, and Development Agreements.

Anybody have any more details?

I guess technically it isn't HRMbD but another of the myriad of HRM planning documents. But the argument remains. If planning documents are so sacrosanct, they cannot be changed if they are your only way to stop Skye.

Drybrain Feb 1, 2013 7:19 PM

So there's been a lot of stop and start on this, but now apparently it's back on, and maybe improved: potentially double the original number of units, and a mixture of subsidized and market-rate units, plus office space for local nonprofits.

Apparently the province wants it modelled after Toronto's so-far very succesful Regent Park rebuild by Daniels Corp.—hopefully they take some of the architectural quality of that project to heart as well. Who knows what this means, but it's not dead, and may end up better than before.

Keith P. Feb 1, 2013 7:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Drybrain (Post 5996930)
Apparently the province wants it modelled after Toronto's so-far very succesful Regent Park rebuild by Daniels Corp.—hopefully they take some of the architectural quality of that project to heart as well. Who knows what this means, but it's not dead, and may end up better than before.

Odd that the province is pointing to Daniels Corp. as an example of good development, when the province put together a taxpayer-subsidized bid to trump that of Daniels Corp. for the Bloomfield project. Hypocrites.

someone123 Feb 2, 2013 2:09 AM

It sounds better than the old proposal, which looked pretty good but was low density and didn't have a commercial component. Gottingen will have a lot more potential if it is built up with medium density buildings that include some modern retail space.

The comment under the article about employment around Regent Park is important too. One of the problems in the Gottingen area is the lack of local employment opportunities.


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