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  #81  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2011, 10:49 PM
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My guess is that they chose "compatible" because it wasn't objectionable at the time of drafting. Basically language like that puts off interpretation until later so we end up with a lack of clarity and a huge mess with each application.

The Heritage Trust thinks "compatible" means four storeys and brick. Their interpretation is unreasonable but technically consistent with the MPS.
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  #82  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2011, 11:18 PM
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From yesterday's student tuition hike protests:



http://twitpic.com/3vucgh
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  #83  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2011, 5:01 PM
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Hearings to be set for downtown tower proposals


By CHRIS LAMBIE

Business Editor

More than a year after the problem first came to light, Halifax Regional Municipal­ity says it ready to go ahead with reviews and public hearings on two large devel­opments on Barrington Street that were nearly sidelined by an “oversight."

Large towers planned for sites that now house the Discovery Centre and the Roy Building were grandfathered under the Downtown Halifax Secondary Municipal Planning Strategy. But city staffers realized in January 2010 that similar grandfather­ing’ provisions were required under the Barrington Street Heritage Conservation District Revitalization Plan.

“No question, it’s been a very long time just to get that hiccup fixed," Kelly Denty, the city’s supervisor of planning applica­tions, said Thursday. “It’s been a year. We had hoped it would be much shorter."

The city reported Thursday that the “two long-standing development proposals for Barrington Street will be considered through a development application process that predates HRMByDesign provisions."

Both proposals are taller than the 21 metres allowed under the new rules, Denty said. “For us it was a technical exercise because it was a bit of an oops," she said.

“We amended one document without remembering to amend the other and we thought it was pretty straightforward. But . . . it’s taken a year to get us back to where we were before we realized we needed the amendment."

The amendment went to public hearing in August and then to the province in September for the required approval, she said.

“We just got word back from the prov­ince, I think it was yesterday, that they had been signed off," she said Thursday.

Each project will now have to go to its own public hearing.

That should happen within 90 days, Denty said.

If the municipal planning strategy amendments are approved by council, they will be sent to the province for its approv­al, which normally takes a month, she said.

(clambie@herald.ca)
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  #84  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2011, 2:05 PM
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Article from today's Herald.

Red tape benefits developer

By CHRIS LAMBIE Business Editor
Tue, Feb 8 - 4:54 AM


Halifax developer Frank Medjuck says plans for his 117-unit apartment building on Barrington Street have benefited from a long delay at city hall.

He’s shaved a large chunk off what was originally proposed as a 20-storey building on the Discovery Centre site at 1595 Barrington St., while politicians and bureaucrats took more than a year to figure out how to correct a problem where two downtown proposals were grandfathered under one set of rules, but not under another.

"Some good has come of it," Medjuck said of the long delay.

The building as now proposed will be about 50.4 metres tall from the Barrington Street level to the top of the penthouse.

"We took off about four or five storeys," said Medjuck of Centennial Group Ltd.

After some "sober second thought on the design" and checking out public hearings for other buildings to see what kind of criticisms other developers were facing, he decided to avoid making the structure’s south side a long, blank wall.

The south-facing wall is on the property line, which means builders normally wouldn’t be able to put windows in it due to fire regulations, Medjuck said.

Now, he’s decided to use windows equipped with metal shutters that automatically slide down when the fire alarm sounds.

"It’s an expensive feature," he said in a recent interview. "We did that on the south wall and . . . it’s the best view. It’s the southern view of the head of the harbour."

Medjuck was able to make the change by moving the shear wall — usually the elevated core in the stairwell that supports the building when it moves in the wind — off the back wall toward the centre of the structure.

"The inside of the building is hollow anyway," he said. "That’s where the mezzanine is, so I was able not to remove surrounding pillars and supports and floors. They all stay intact."

Concerns about the project’s scale have prompted other design changes, he said.

"We’ve made it a rounder building and set it back from the street."

The building’s exterior, which was originally slated to be green, has been changed to fit in better with the surrounding area. "It’s going to be a bronze-y, golden-colour glass."

Medjuck intends to make the Barrington level commercial.

"The existing building has two levels of residential, which are those (two-floor) mezzanine units (that now house the Discovery Centre)," he said.

"Then I have another floor that’s also two-floor apartments — another high-ceilinged floor I’ll put in brand new on top of it."

Above that, the project will have another 10 storeys of regular apartments.

Medjuck said he doesn’t know what the rents will be yet because he still hasn’t calculated the cost of construction. The building will have underground parking.

"There’s none there at all and normally we’d have to rip out the entire inside (to) support it . . . with those crossbeams. But I don’t have to do any of that," he said.

"I’m coming in with a garage door entrance off of Sackville and another off of Granville. So they’re not linked together."

That will save on ramping and excavation, and it will allow Medjuck to preserve much of the building’s structure.

"The heritage people are very strong on keeping the original structure," Medjuck said. "They once called me a facade-ist (for) just saving the façade only."

Engineers must determine if the floors need to be reinforced to take the weight of cars, he said.

"It was built in the late ’30s. It’s a heavy, heavy concrete, steel-supported building," Medjuck said.

"I call this building nostalgic, not historic," he said of the existing structure. "I used to go there with my mother and sit at the soda counter, and as kids we ran around the aisles of Zellers and tormented everybody."

Reflections Cabaret, which is housed now in the basement of the building, will need to find a new location, he said.

Medjuck’s going to have to find a new name for his building, as the Discovery Centre is slated to move out.

Last fall, the science centre for children announced it was moving from its present Barrington Street location to the Lower Water Street complex that includes Nova Scotia Power’s new offices.

Medjuck said he’ll apply for a construction permit soon after the science centre moves out.

Developer Louis Reznick’s Roy Building project was the other large downtown building hampered by rules that needed to be changed at city hall, which also had to be approved by the province.

( clambie@herald.ca)
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  #85  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2011, 4:22 PM
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I'm sad he took off some of the building height. I'm really tired of the STV/HT crowd lately. But I guess anything is better than nothing! Plus the windows he describes sound really interesting!
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  #86  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2011, 5:41 PM
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Originally Posted by halifaxboyns View Post
I'm sad he took off some of the building height. I'm really tired of the STV/HT crowd lately. But I guess anything is better than nothing! Plus the windows he describes sound really interesting!
They're knocking off over a quarter of the proposed height? Such a disappointment.
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  #87  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2011, 6:05 PM
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It is a disapointment but at least they building has a better chance to go through, and it won't have a blank wall.
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  #88  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2011, 6:40 PM
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I don't mind the reduced height. The 117 units are key and will make a noticeable difference on Barrington if this is built. Hopefully it will proceed quickly.
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  #89  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2011, 6:50 PM
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I definitely want SOME of these lots on which it is theoretically possible to build taller buildings to hold back and wait until the climate is right to build up to the height limits...
But in the meantime clearly we won't get to that climate until we add more people downtown in parallel to office projects, so if shortening it helps with getting it built now (and not 6 years from now) then I am ok with it.
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  #90  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2011, 7:11 PM
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I would have to agree with someone - so long as the number of units stays close or at the 117 they had spoken of; that's important. Same with the roy building - getting these units into downtown will be the first major step in getting people back there (after Trillium).

I don't think there will be any better time than now to get projects like this approved and built. Let's face it, if the HT had its way the entire downtown would be 7 stories. Better to hit them over and over in one constant stream then give them time to settle. If you keep it up with Nova Centre, this project, Roy and any others - they have no time to deal with things other than with their standard line 'it's too tall'.
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  #91  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2011, 10:43 PM
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So is the new height going to be 15-16 stories or 12/13?
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  #92  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2011, 10:45 PM
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So is the new height going to be 15-16 stories or 12/13?
I would guess 15 to 16.
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  #93  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2011, 10:59 PM
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This is still a good height (50.4 meters which would be 15 - 16 residential storeys as halifaxboyns stated). In this case I would rather see quality and it sounds like the modifications will add appeal to the building.
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  #94  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2011, 1:26 AM
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It appears that this project is still quite some time from commencing. Possibly up to three years?

"Medjuck said he’ll apply for a construction permit soon after the science centre moves out."

http://www.nspower.ca/en/home/commun...e/default.aspx

The head of the centre also said in an October press conference (see YouTube) the move will take place "within three years."
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  #95  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2011, 1:29 AM
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Originally Posted by beyeas View Post
I definitely want SOME of these lots on which it is theoretically possible to build taller buildings to hold back and wait until the climate is right to build up to the height limits...
But in the meantime clearly we won't get to that climate until we add more people downtown in parallel to office projects, so if shortening it helps with getting it built now (and not 6 years from now) then I am ok with it.
Because the project is intended to be rental apartment it will be easier to proceed with the development as there is no requirement for preleasing (office) or preselling (condos).

The project's ability to secure a CMHC mortgage really makes it easier once the plans are approved.

Lets hope we see this one go through the pipe faster so we can get residential downtown. Question remains if this project will be completed before or after salter street.
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  #96  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2011, 1:46 AM
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I was wondering about Salter. Could it be started this year?

Having to wait for the Discovery Centre isn't so bad. The worst problem in Halifax is when developers start looking at options once the tenant is gone and the property is vacant for years.
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  #97  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2011, 1:55 AM
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I was wondering about Salter. Could it be started this year?

Having to wait for the Discovery Centre isn't so bad. The worst problem in Halifax is when developers start looking at options once the tenant is gone and the property is vacant for years.
the agreement between WDCL and the developer states footings and foundations by june of this year. It doesn't appear there is much work going on, therefore who knows.
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  #98  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2011, 2:22 AM
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Footing in place only - not foundations.

From the amended DA

5.3 In the event that development on the Lands has not commenced by May 31, 2011, the Agreement shall have no further force or effect and henceforth the development of the Lands shall conform with the provisions of the Land Use By-law. For the purposes of this section, “commenced” shall mean the issuance of Development and Building Permits, site excavation and the placement of footings for the underground parking of the development.

Still footings in place by May 31 is tight.
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  #99  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2011, 2:52 AM
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Lately everybody has been vitually screaming "we need more residential downtown" and now having to wait three years for this project to not be finished let alone even be started "isn't so bad." So Halifax.

Although I like it the Centennial project is for a competely different market. We need rental units downtown inhabited by money-spending young professionals more so than tight-fisted empty-nesting condo retirees.

In the five years it will take to compete this project those professionals who would fill the rental units (and walk to work) will be lost to cheaper condos along LUB all the while contributing to sprawl and forcing the residents of long-established neighbourhoods (with older schools, old roads, perpetually busting water mains, etc) to subsidize new infrastructure for new subdivisions in areas like Bedford West, etc.

So I guess you are saying that since it isn't so bad to wait five years for a building to be completed downtown it also isn't too bad to keep the residents of the "lost" 117 units on the already-clogged roads leading to downtown and to allow downtown to continue to die a slow painful death.
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  #100  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2011, 3:10 AM
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Footing in place only - not foundations.

From the amended DA

5.3 In the event that development on the Lands has not commenced by May 31, 2011, the Agreement shall have no further force or effect and henceforth the development of the Lands shall conform with the provisions of the Land Use By-law. For the purposes of this section, “commenced” shall mean the issuance of Development and Building Permits, site excavation and the placement of footings for the underground parking of the development.

Still footings in place by May 31 is tight.
thats the DA, there is also an agreement with WDCL
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