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  #121  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2012, 7:05 PM
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Originally Posted by chrisallard5454 View Post
From what I have heard Glen Murray was not so great either, so I would hope someone new and fresh would come in. For me the ideal candidate would be someone who has no ties that would cause any sort of hidden agendas or conflict of interests. This person would also have thorough insight to the direction that urban planning is heading, with a mind for the future not just the present. This person would have a desire to make this city a "world class" city, in reality, not just on paper and in press releases. We need a Michael Bloomberg.
We need a Naheed Nenshi!
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  #122  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2012, 12:30 PM
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The Free Press editorial board came out today with an editorial in support of the Waterpark plan. Sigh...

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Splish splash at Forks

By: Editorial


"Since The Forks opened in 1989, few developments at the site, if any, were received without controversy. The hotel, parkade and other buildings were opposed. Even the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, which some critics say is one of the nicest buildings in Canada, was criticized as too large for the site and because it would interfere with the pedestrian bridge and the vista to St. Boniface.

Everyone has strongly and honestly held ideas about The Forks, particularly the notion that it should be green space and a gentle transition from the forested riverbank to the density of Portage and Main.

It's no surprise, then, that the latest plan for a water park and hotel is already running into stiff opposition from those who believe it is the wrong concept for the area."

Full story: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opi...147546335.html
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  #123  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2012, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by chrisallard5454 View Post
From what I have heard Glen Murray was not so great either, so I would hope someone new and fresh would come in. For me the ideal candidate would be someone who has no ties that would cause any sort of hidden agendas or conflict of interests. This person would also have thorough insight to the direction that urban planning is heading, with a mind for the future not just the present. This person would have a desire to make this city a "world class" city, in reality, not just on paper and in press releases. We need a Michael Bloomberg.
Not to rain on your parade, but Bloomberg has been heavily criticized over the years too.

Murray may have had flaws and his share of critics, but at least he had a vision for the city. Typically, Winnipeg's mayors are hawkish fiscal conservatives that adopt a "steady-as-she-goes" mentality. Norrie, Thompson, Katz -- what will they be remembered for? Filling potholes and freezing property taxes?

What will Murray be remembered for? The controversial Esplinade Riel? Kick starting the first attempt to build rapid transit? I'm not saying Murray was perfect, but he tried to push the city to do something different. Can't say the same for Katz, Thompson, or Norrie. Not since Juba have we seen any vision from our mayors.
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  #124  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2012, 12:46 PM
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Frustration has taken over...

My FP comment:

It almost seems as if Katz is part of the editorial staff. The sad thing is that the FP is now trying to spin all these negatives into positives as well. As much as I am in support for Parkades over parking lots, how in any way is the city's most valuable piece of property being turned into a parkade a good thing.

-Highway side Motel chain -That previously has never set up shop in a metropolis
-50 000 sq ft. glorified pool
-Parkade

Is this the epitome of world class now? Someone should call Bilbao's city council and inform them that they did it wrong. Mr. Katz and crew clearly unearthed the true meaning of world class with this one.

And in case people would like to argue that this park has the "potential" to be "world class" if we could just wait and see the proposal, unless the proposal changes the size of the park from 50 000 to 217 000 minimum (West Edmonton Mall's World Waterpark built in 1986) And the hotel chain is upgraded to a second Winnipeg Alt Hotel, I would rather not wait until I see the proposal.

You can colour it how you want, you can paint it with pretty designs too if you prefer, but in the end no matter what you do with it, a turd is still a turd.
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  #125  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2012, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Authentic_City View Post
The Free Press editorial board came out today with an editorial in support of the Waterpark plan. Sigh...

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Splish splash at Forks

By: Editorial


"Since The Forks opened in 1989, few developments at the site, if any, were received without controversy. The hotel, parkade and other buildings were opposed. Even the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, which some critics say is one of the nicest buildings in Canada, was criticized as too large for the site and because it would interfere with the pedestrian bridge and the vista to St. Boniface.

Everyone has strongly and honestly held ideas about The Forks, particularly the notion that it should be green space and a gentle transition from the forested riverbank to the density of Portage and Main.

It's no surprise, then, that the latest plan for a water park and hotel is already running into stiff opposition from those who believe it is the wrong concept for the area."

Full story: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opi...147546335.html
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  #126  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2012, 3:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Authentic_City View Post
Not to rain on your parade, but Bloomberg has been heavily criticized over the years too.

Murray may have had flaws and his share of critics, but at least he had a vision for the city. Typically, Winnipeg's mayors are hawkish fiscal conservatives that adopt a "steady-as-she-goes" mentality. Norrie, Thompson, Katz -- what will they be remembered for? Filling potholes and freezing property taxes?

What will Murray be remembered for? The controversial Esplinade Riel? Kick starting the first attempt to build rapid transit? I'm not saying Murray was perfect, but he tried to push the city to do something different. Can't say the same for Katz, Thompson, or Norrie. Not since Juba have we seen any vision from our mayors.

I agree with this, and well said
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  #127  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2012, 4:17 PM
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Maybe its simply too simplistic for me to say this, but I think what this city needs is an infusion of youth, forward thinking, and maybe even a little bit aggressiveness at city hall. Or at least, the city should consider partnering with University urban planning programs in developing walkable, liveable neighborhood plans, with a key component being making the buildings & outdoor areas work with the cold winters. Nobody has to adopt them as 'official' but they'd certainly get some creative ideas (for cheap... maybe create a few co-op student positions out of this).

I'm almost starting to wish I had finished my Urban Planning program; I think pushing the potential here in Winnipeg would be a very fun and fulfilling career.

Still not bending on the Waterpark location though.
Which scenario would it be for the typical family?

Summer:
1) nice summer morning at the waterpark with the kids... oh look, theres a baseball game this afternoon! Lets go! Our car is safely parked for an all-day rate at the 'shindico pay n park n pay'; maybe grab some ballpark food... put a little money in Katz's pocket... then go home.
OR
2) nice summer morning at the waterpark with the kids... then a visit to the Forks for lunch... then a visit to the CMHR...
Winter:
1) nice swim at the waterpark on a frigid winter morning... walk the kids out into the covered parkade (don't want that wet hair freezing), and drive to McDonalds in Suburbia.
OR
2) Morning skate on the river at the forks... then lunch at the forks... then afternoon at the waterpark... car parked at the 'shindico pay n park n pay' all day.

Busy days: How much parking is the waterpark going to eat up? Will access to the forks actually be harmed by that? I guess the ONLY solution to that is MORE parking.

Last edited by Mininari; Apr 16, 2012 at 4:28 PM.
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  #128  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2012, 4:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Mininari View Post
Maybe its simply too simplistic for me to say this, but I think what this city needs is an infusion of youth, forward thinking, and maybe even a little bit aggressiveness at city hall. Or at least, the city should consider partnering with University urban planning programs in developing walkable, liveable neighborhood plans, with a key component being making the buildings & outdoor areas work with the cold winters. Nobody has to adopt them as 'official' but they'd certainly get some creative ideas (for cheap... maybe create a few co-op student positions out of this).

I'm almost starting to wish I had finished my Urban Planning program; I think pushing the potential here in Winnipeg would be a very fun and fulfilling career.
Agreed.

Unfortunately, I'm starting to realize that there are only roughly 100 people in this city who think in these progressive terms, leaving roughly 674,900 people who don't.
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  #129  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2012, 6:49 PM
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Originally Posted by chrisallard5454 View Post
From what I have heard Glen Murray was not so great either, so I would hope someone new and fresh would come in. For me the ideal candidate would be someone who has no ties that would cause any sort of hidden agendas or conflict of interests. This person would also have thorough insight to the direction that urban planning is heading, with a mind for the future not just the present. This person would have a desire to make this city a "world class" city, in reality, not just on paper and in press releases. We need a Michael Bloomberg.
Chris Allard,

What Winnipeg needs is someone like you that does give a shit about what happens around here. Someone with youth, desire, and will see the job through to the end. The amount of time that you put in on this subject is proof enough that you have the persistence and determination. If elected, you can kick Eadie's ass at every council meeting, as well as Fielding's. I can see more support going to you then an old has-been that has to pay off his cronies for getting him in there like Katz, Thompson, Murray, Norrie,... want me to go on?

Put your name in the hat, continue on with the principles that you have shown here and you can go all the way. Have at it, son.
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  #130  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2012, 7:07 PM
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Originally Posted by bryanscott View Post
Agreed.

Unfortunately, I'm starting to realize that there are only roughly 100 people in this city who think in these progressive terms, leaving roughly 674,900 people who don't.
we just need to make the 100 the vocal minority.
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  #131  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2012, 5:02 PM
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Boy, Katz is a slippery operator!

Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Katz recuses himself from water-park vote


By: Staff Writer

Posted: 11:36 AM

"Mayor Sam Katz confirmed he will recuse himself from voting on a city plan to offer a $7-million grant to a private developer to build a water park."

[...]

Full story: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/bre...147770235.html


This proposal is being put to a vote at the EPC on Wednesday at 9 am. Contact EPC members and let them know what you think.

EPC Members:
Katz, Swandel, Browaty, Fielding, Havixbeck, Vandal and Wyatt.

skatz@winnipeg.ca, jswandel@winnipeg.ca, jbrowaty@winnipeg.ca, sfielding@winnipeg.ca, phavixbeck@winnipeg.ca, dvandal@winnipeg.ca, rwyatt@winnipeg.ca
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  #132  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2012, 5:11 PM
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that will pass 5-1.

2.2 ha is 230 000 square feet....for a building that will have roughly an 80 000 square foot main floor area....leaving a lovely 150 000 square feet of parking on that site forever and ever ah men.
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  #133  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2012, 5:28 PM
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that will pass 5-1.

2.2 ha is 230 000 square feet....for a building that will have roughly an 80 000 square foot main floor area....leaving a lovely 150 000 square feet of parking on that site forever and ever ah men.
Who's the 1 vote against? I was thinking the vote will be 6-0 in favor. Even Vandal seems to be on board. Yuk.
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  #134  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2012, 5:38 PM
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wyatt is apparently opposed.
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  #135  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2012, 5:42 PM
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Should at least let us see a proposal or something first? I don't like this at all.


And now Katz is recusing himself from voting???


If anything screams behind the scenes gentlemens agreements, thats certainly it
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  #136  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2012, 5:50 PM
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Missed the part of Katz saying that the area would "lose parking" and would therefore be a negative impact on his business across the street.

Excuse me?

Replace said surface parking with a huge traffic generator, consisting primarily of families with young kids, AND add a 450 stall parkade to the site? Not to mention add hotel guests who might decide to go to baseball games, and/or dine at a certain Asian Bistro across the street???

Wow.
Sure sounds like a really BAD impact. Guess you're gonna have to suck it up Mr. Mayor...
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  #137  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2012, 5:54 PM
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Justin Swandel:

Quote:
I'm not sure how this got off the track but there is quite a bit of misinformation/misunderstanding out there about this project. The project is going on land adjacent to the Forks not at the Forks. The plan is 2 phased; first, a 125 room hotel and a 50,000 sf indoor water park. The second phase will be another 125 room addition and a 450 stall parkade.

The only real issue here is whether or not it can meet the design standards and continuity with the existing built form. To ensure that happens we have 2 levels of accountability. The first is the Urban Design Guidelines and the design review process by the Urban Design Advisory Committee. For your convenience I've attached information on the guidelines and the committee. The second layer of design review is Plan Approval. As a condition of acceptance, the Downtown Committee insisted that final plans come back to committee for approval before any permits are issued. I can assure you the committee will be quite diligent in reviewing the plans.

This is not the first time folks have objected to something new at the Forks. Both the Skate board park and the Inn at the Forks raised similar concerns. Both projects have been an overwhelming success in spite of early objections. There have been other examples where objections have been raised to projects that have gone on to become some of the most valuable assets in our great City. The Eaton's Building/MTS Centre and Eplanade Riel/Provencher Bridge are two that quickly come to mind.

There is still other development to come at the Forks. The Forks itself has been discussing residential development and another parkade in that sea of surface parking along the Railroad on their property. If these move forward they would go through a similar design review process to ensure compatibility.

The final point I would like to make is regarding the City's $7million contribution and the public access agreement. For this money the City will get $700,000 annually of access for 25 years. This means that each year over 20,000 less fortunate Winnipegers, who might otherwise never see the inside of such a facility , will have access. We should be very proud of this achievement.

As you can see there is a lot more to this than a few flippant comments in a newspaper or deliberate misinformation campaigns in the blogsphere. Winnipeg is in a time of great success, this will only enhance that success and help keep the momentum going for many years to come rather than allowing the self-serving politically motivated naysayers to leave us with just a short blip of success.

It is hoped this commentary will help in your future discussions on the project. JS
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  #138  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2012, 7:10 PM
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Dear Mr. Swandel,

I am aware of your form letter response to people in opposition to this project and would like to clarify some of your own misinformation/misunderstanding.

You seem to believe that opposition is based on a response to development at the Forks (this may not be technically the Forks property, but functionally it is). The issue is not an aversion to development, it is a desire for a development that maximizes the vast potential of the most valuable civic property that we as a taxpayers own.

You reference the mixed use plan on the adjacent property. Are you unable to see how that type of development would make far more connection to its surroundings? It would help make the Forks more sustainable and the downtown more vibrant. A waterpark is a drive-in/drive-out facility reliant on huge areas of surface parking. The second phase is a bait and switch, be assured. Please note the gravel parking lot at Portage and Main next time you drive home. That is a 30 year old phase 2.

The issue is not how pretty the building is. It is not about design standard. It is about the relationship this type of project has with the Forks and the downtown. This is a site of great opportunity and the proposed development does not maximize that opportunity. It does not matter if it has brick on the front or stucco. Successful urban planning is not about what buildings look like.

Leaving trust in UDAC to make this a successful project is a misguided notion. That group has no teeth and has been circumvented in the past (WRHA Main Street). All the developer has to do is cry that they are being forced to incur extra cost and UDAC vanishes, particularly in council supported projects. This is a well-known fact to developers. I have personally seen it in action.

I understand that I am whistling in the wind and you will sell this opportunity for a paltry $6 million, but I hope that my opposition will one day lead you to educate yourself in successful urban planning principles. There is no reason this site could not have been open to an RFP for more appropriate development.

Read Jane Jacobs in your spare time, please.

Last edited by trueviking; Apr 17, 2012 at 7:28 PM.
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  #139  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2012, 7:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trueviking View Post
Dear Mr. Swandel,

I am aware of your form letter response to people in opposition to this project and would like to clarify some of your own misinformation/misunderstanding.

You seem to believe that opposition is based on a response to development at the Forks (this may not be technically the Forks property, but functionally it is). The issue is not an aversion to development, it is a desire for a development that maximizes the vast potential of the most valuable civic property that we as a taxpayers own.

You reference the mixed use plan on the adjacent property. Are you unable to see how that type of development would make far more connection to its surroundings? It would help make the Forks more sustainable and the downtown more vibrant. A waterpark is a drive-in/drive-out facility reliant on huge areas of surface parking. The second phase is a bait and switch, be assured. Please note the gravel parking lot at Portage and Main next time you drive home. That is a 30 year old phase 2.

The issue is not how pretty the building is. It is not about design standard. It is about the relationship this type of project has with the Forks and the downtown. This is a site of great opportunity and the proposed development does not maximize that opportunity. It does not matter if it has brick on the front or stucco. Successful urban planning is not about what buildings look like.

Leaving trust in UDAC to make this a successful project is a misguided notion. That group has no teeth and has been circumvented in the past (WRHA Main Street). All the developer has to do is cry that they are being forced to incur extra cost and UDAC vanishes, particularly in council supported projects. This is a well-known fact to developers. I have personally seen it in action.

I understand that I am whistling in the wind and you will sell this opportunity for a paltry $6 million, but I hope that my opposition will one day lead you to educate yourself in successful urban planning principles. There is no reason this site could not have been open to an RFP for more appropriate development.

Read Jane Jacobs in your spare time, please.
The land is within the Forks mandate area, which is outlined i believe in the Shareholder Agreement that the City would be a party to.
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  #140  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2012, 8:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Mininari View Post

Missed the part of Katz saying that the area would "lose parking" and would therefore be a negative impact on his business across the street.

Excuse me?

Replace said surface parking with a huge traffic generator, consisting primarily of families with young kids, AND add a 450 stall parkade to the site? Not to mention add hotel guests who might decide to go to baseball games, and/or dine at a certain Asian Bistro across the street???

Wow.
Sure sounds like a really BAD impact. Guess you're gonna have to suck it up Mr. Mayor...
Sure, why not. Katz was suppose to pave the parking lot, using HIS money, but he didn't want to pay the $59 bucks a square meter for the asphalt. He chose instead to let the gravel dust blow in the wind while him and his cronies found a sucker to do the dirty work for them (him).

Anything that will benefit Katz, he's all in favor of. Someone should start a Katz Thread and list all the bull shit Katz is involved in and bring it up at the next election.
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