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  #1  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2009, 1:57 AM
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[Halifax] Green Lantern & 1595 Barrington | 51 & 22 m | 15 & 7 fl | U/C

This proposal is for either a ~100,000 square foot office building or 170 unit residential tower to be built atop the 3 storey 1920s era building that houses the Discovery Centre on Barrington Street.

Details: http://www.halifax.ca/planning/Case01231Details.html

Barrington Street elevation:

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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2009, 2:04 AM
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If you want a basic rendering just look in the Wind Impact Study.

Of course I'm witholding my stance until real renderings are out but so far it looks like a very good project for Barrington St. That street really needs a boost along the lines of a residential tower with a lot of commercial space.

EDIT: Now that I've looked over the rough line-drawings I think this is the second development to steal ideas from the Trillium (rounded corner, big base).
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Old Posted Feb 17, 2009, 2:09 AM
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I've wanted exactly this project for exactly this site for a while, basically.

Light green flashing and frames for the glass curtain wall makes me wonder a bit, though. Is this the same light green as some of the hideous lego-style roofs that have been built on some new buildings around town? The glass canopy, on the other hand, sounds like a great idea. A lot of these buildings originally had canopies and awnings that have been stripped and the street is harsher than it needs to be as a result.

Imagine what Sackville Street would be like this if this proposal went up along with United Gulf and the two convention centre towers. On top of all that, there is room for a tower on the block below Hollis. I am not convinced all this will happen since construction is lagging behind planning but this area has some good old buildings, good overall structure, and enormous potential.
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Old Posted Feb 17, 2009, 4:26 AM
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Looks good, I hope its residential.
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  #5  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2009, 5:30 PM
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Hopefully the bland concrete wall will morph into polished granite.
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Old Posted Feb 17, 2009, 8:00 PM
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looks fairly unimpressive to me...a faily basic tower...not exacly going to redifine the Halifax skyline...none the less, I'm still excited to see it go ahead, downtown is in serious need of development and this will also help add to the density, which is always good
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Old Posted Feb 17, 2009, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrington south View Post
looks fairly unimpressive to me...a faily basic tower...not exacly going to redifine the Halifax skyline...none the less, I'm still excited to see it go ahead, downtown is in serious need of development and this will also help add to the density, which is always good
My reaction exactly, although I want to see more renders before I really make up my mind. I'm actually hopeful that it'll be residential. Barrington and downtown in general could really benefit from having some more people living there. The Roy Building could be office or residential so if both of these go ahead we stand a good chance of having some more life on Barrington outside of 9-5. The one thing that I'm really disappointed to see is that they're not going to put an entrance on the corner. I think there use to be one there below the stone Z. This could be such a smarter project at street level if they were to go with a prominent corner entrance. Right where the sign is



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  #8  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2009, 10:49 PM
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A corner entrance would look nicer, although I think display windows down the Sackville Street side and a glass canopy will look good. There will also be retail space along Barrington.. not sure if that would remain the home of the Discovery Centre but it probably makes sense for them to look for a new home at this point anyway. What Barrington needs is more residents, more office workers, and some quality renovated retail spaces available for lease.

The big problem this development faces is that there is no question that it will be fought by the Heritage Trust. A number of people seem sold on the idea that Barrington should be kept in stasis indefinitely to preserve the heritage buildings and that is definitely one way to make sure it declines further.

I think even one project like this would go a long way to encourage owners to invest in restoration of other heritage properties like the Keith Building. If other projects like the United Gulf towers were to go ahead, the impact would be huge as there would be far more people in this area than there are currently.

Basically, the alternative on the one hand is some new glass towers with more activity and spin-off investment, and on the other it is to preserve the 1950s look of the street while half of the storefronts are vacant. It is hard for me to believe how anybody could go for option #2.

I agree that polished granite would look nicer than the concrete but I wouldn't hold my breath on that. It is true that this is not the most impressive project ever but it is on a small, restricted site. One block down is United Gulf, and if that is built it will change the skyline a lot.
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Old Posted Feb 17, 2009, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
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Imagine what Sackville Street would be like this if this proposal went up along with United Gulf and the two convention centre towers. On top of all that, there is room for a tower on the block below Hollis.
ya, the heritage trusts worst nightmare come true....I love it!!...
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Old Posted Feb 17, 2009, 11:46 PM
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That sidewalk grade is awfully steep for a corner entrance...

In one sense I'm kinda torn about this project. The Zellers building is one of my favourites downtown, so part of me would like to see it stay as is...
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  #11  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2009, 11:52 PM
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While I love the idea of developing the lot into a nice downtown tower I am also torn since according to the plans the Discovery Centre almost defenitely wouldn't be there any more.

I wonder what the Pacey's will do if any of these projects ever get built....Maybe they'll start chucking bricks at the developers
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Old Posted Feb 17, 2009, 11:59 PM
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Zellers never had an entrance at the corner.

Looks OK to me, certainly better than what's there now, namely nothing. I drove down Barrington on Friday and it really was depressing. It needs every bit of new development it can get.
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Old Posted Feb 18, 2009, 12:25 AM
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The architecture of this building is such that it will still have a major street presence even if a tower is built on top. If anything, this is probably good for the building since the facade itself will see some work. Obviously right now it is in poor shape with a missing place for a sign, cheap entrance with glass blocks, that cheap plastic sign on the corner...

The street needs serious work and nobody is going to get it done aside from private developers.
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Old Posted Feb 18, 2009, 1:44 AM
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Someone123 summed this development up perfectly.

Honestly, I think this is great news for the old building. The exterior could use a good restoration, and this will add a much needed modern look and density to Barrington.

I just hope this isn't another 'Waterside Center' battle in the making.
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  #15  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2009, 2:03 AM
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Ya... I remember going to the store once as a kid and it's hazy... but I don't recall a corner entrance (and Keith's post confirms this). I DO recall a really nice 'open to below' space however... which the Discovery Center still kinda has. I really hope they keep that and don't close it up. It would be great to restore the first two interior floors to their original 'grander'. Personally... I really like this proposal. The building almost looks like it was MADE to be a 'plinth' for a tower. Very nice. And I really like the Granville elevation. I'm not so sure about the curve... looks contrived and awkward in plan... but in elevation and 3D it will probably look nice and be a nice contrast for the mass below. This project makes so much more sense than that horrible Roy Building re-do. As for the usage... balconies on every floor would seem to suggest residential... but I guess it could be offices too. Also... I'll actually be glad to see the Discovery Center go. It's always seemed like a bizarre location to me... having a science center on a major mercantile strip... plus it's really run down and... to be honest... kind of a joke. It would be nice to see them relocate on the waterfront with lots of great new installations.
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Old Posted Feb 18, 2009, 3:55 AM
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They've actually made two sets of elevations and renderings. One is residential, with more floors (shorter ceiling heights) and balconies, while the other one is office and looks more like a typical office tower. I think I would prefer the residential option, since there are not many residents in this area and they generate a lot more business for nearby retail.

I agree about the interior. I've only been in the building maybe twice to see the Discovery Centre, but I distinctly remember the open central area and mezzanine type setup. Unfortunately, based on the floor plans it looks like they will just go for a single conventional main floor retail space plus a separate single floor lobby for the office or residential above.
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Old Posted Mar 5, 2009, 10:17 PM
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CTV just reported that the Discovery Centre is considering vacating and heading across the harbour to Alderney Landing. It might make sense since, if this project goes ahead, you have to wonder if they would be able to continue operating during construction. Still, more bad news for Barrington. Soon they'll be nothing left. The Roy, Sam's, Granite Brewery and now the Discovery Centre. It's fast becoming a street of empty storefronts. It's a real shame.
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Old Posted Mar 5, 2009, 10:56 PM
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^I will be sad to see the Discovery Centre move but its probably for the better.

It might encounter problems across the Harbour though. Not many tourists take the ferry across.

Lets just hope HRM by Design and new projects attract some new stores to the street. It'd be nice to see a continuous retail area stretching down SGR onto Barrington and up to Gottigen or Agricola.
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  #19  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2009, 11:09 PM
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Still, more bad news for Barrington. Soon they'll be nothing left. The Roy, Sam's, Granite Brewery and now the Discovery Centre. It's fast becoming a street of empty storefronts. It's a real shame.
Ya, I'm thinking of changing my name to "Spring Garden Road South"....
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  #20  
Old Posted Mar 6, 2009, 12:19 AM
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It might encounter problems across the Harbour though. Not many tourists take the ferry across.
Have you never taken the ferry in the mid-afternoon, in summer? It's usually packed...

I wonder where in Alderney Landing... there's no vacant space that I'm aware of, and nothing big enough for the Discovery Centre, unless they're moving to that building across the parking lot where the haunted house was last summer...even that can't be big enough.
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