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  #61  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2006, 5:28 PM
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Those are great pics of the 2nd crane Fender. This project is going to start coming together crazily fast during the Summer. I guess that new Residence Hall is really great for the University too. Maybe it will entice more students to come to Windsor if they know that they'll be living in a new Residence
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  #62  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2006, 10:22 PM
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Hey guys, I'm cujo8400's friend Owen. The two of us spent some time at the Portofino site yesterday, got some great pics.

It seems with each passing week the condo has an additional floor. The builder is moving quickly on this one (he's also going to be a resident)!

We also stopped by the Sales Office and met Gerry Pouget of Bob Pedler Realty. Gerry is the number one sales representative for the Portofino suites, and gave us some information on sales-to-date. As of yesterday afternoon, approx. 92 out of 125 condos in the 17 storey structure have been sold. Mr. Pouget also mentioned that the lower-end condos have moved up in price from $209,900 to ~$225,000. Heh, that and the single remaining 16th floor front-facing room is going for $800,000.

So here are the pics:


Portofino w/ Rusted Jesus Statue

Portofino Closeup

Portofino Side

Portofino Rear

Portofino Crane

Portofino

Sales Office Model from Front

Sales Office Model from Rear

Last edited by westerntragedy; Apr 6, 2006 at 4:28 AM.
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  #63  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2006, 10:55 PM
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Nice, thanks a lot. This is the first time I've seen what the rear will look like and I'm not sure I like it. Hopefully this development will kickstart that part of town.
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  #64  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2006, 12:26 AM
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ugh... i pitty the poor residents who will have to stare at the back side of that building.
seriously though, would it have killed them to put a little more glass and a bit of shape into the south facing side? because my bet is that this will end up being a big eyesore for years to come. much like most of the new condos that went up further down riverside drive out by the ford plant. whenever i used to take the train into or out of the city, the backside view of those new condos was awful. very cheap and commie block looking.
the city should demand better of developers looking to build on such prime real estate.
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  #65  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2006, 1:03 AM
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^What are your thoughts on the front?

Heh, about the only thing it beats is the back wall of the Hilton....at least with Portofino they threw some windows in.
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  #66  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2006, 1:10 AM
FenderStrat FenderStrat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnold
ugh... i pitty the poor residents who will have to stare at the back side of that building.
seriously though, would it have killed them to put a little more glass and a bit of shape into the south facing side? because my bet is that this will end up being a big eyesore for years to come. much like most of the new condos that went up further down riverside drive out by the ford plant. whenever i used to take the train into or out of the city, the backside view of those new condos was awful. very cheap and commie block looking.
the city should demand better of developers looking to build on such prime real estate.
Arnold I agree with you 100%. Cujo's pictures showed the "prettier" site of Portofino. Here is a picture of the back so that you guys can see exactly what Arnold is talking about.



Doesn't look like there will be any style whatsoever to the rear of the building and that's really unfortunate. The front should however look nice.


In other news, the construction workers at the casino have extended the site hoarding. Now Chatham St. is down to only one lane west of McDougall. I'm guessing this is so that they can park their supply trucks in there instead of in McDougall where they are rigiht now. This will enable them to start work on the tunnel below McDougall that will connect the underground parking below the new building to the underground parking of the existing building. This reasoning is pure speculation on my part, but I thought I would pass the word along though that Chatham St. is down to only one (very narrow) lane.
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  #67  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2006, 2:27 AM
arnold arnold is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz
^What are your thoughts on the front?

Heh, about the only thing it beats is the back wall of the Hilton....at least with Portofino they threw some windows in.
i actually have a soft spot for the back of the hilton. i always pictured that more of a giant blank canvas for when the city gets large enough for mega oversized advertising. or maybe some kind of gigantic public art.

but when you put windows on the backside (a la portofino) there's not much you can do with it after that.

and just for the record, i think that the front will do nicely. its not the most cutting edge facade that i've ever seen, but then again, its simple and clean. i do think that it's a touch too tall. but that's just me.....

edit: is this the only high rise condo under construction in the city? i was just looking aroung on the london thread and there was an article about a forest of condo towers going up this year. any sign of this phenomenon spreading to windsor?
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Last edited by arnold; Apr 6, 2006 at 2:50 AM.
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  #68  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2006, 4:25 AM
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Other Condo Projects? There's Club Lofts, which are in the "we are adding the loft parts to each... loft" phase right now. But that's not so much a 'construction' project as it is a total refitting of an existing building. And not exactly 'highrise' either heh. And there's also Crescent Condos going up at the old Crescent Lanes Bowling Alley site on the corner of Ottawa and Parent, but construction hasn't begun there yet.

Club Lofts as of yesterday:






Last edited by westerntragedy; Apr 6, 2006 at 4:32 AM.
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  #69  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2006, 7:36 PM
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Hey Portofino is nice! But the rear is well blah. Hope the rear isn't facing anything important.
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  #70  
Old Posted Apr 7, 2006, 6:40 PM
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From what I can recall, the back faces an old rail yard that has been converted to a walking trail / greenspace. It's in a really old and somewhat dilapidated part of town halfway between downtown and the university.
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  #71  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2006, 8:11 PM
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College, city near Cleary deal
St. Clair would take ‘financial albatross’ off municipality’s hands

By Dave Hall
The Windsor Star
Apr. 19, 2006


A tentative agreement turning over operations of the Cleary International Centre to St. Clair College and bringing hundreds of students into the downtown is expected to go before city council within two weeks, Mayor Eddie Francis said Tuesday.
Administrators from the city and college met Tuesday to discuss the final legal details and Francis said the agreement would go before council “as soon as possible.
“We had hoped to have it completed by now, but the recent strike at the college shut everything down and set us behind schedule,” said Francis. “The substantive parts of the agreement were included among the parameters set down by council when these discussions began and should not come as any surprise.”
College president John Strasser said, “We hope to have something ready for council by the end of April providing the minor details are worked out and then it’s up to council to decide.”

If approved by council, the agreement will enable the college to take over the underutilized Cleary International Centre and allow the city to rid itself of almost $800,000 in annual subsidies.
“Such an agreement will enable us to remove that financial albatross while at the same time bringing some more vitality to downtown,” said Coun. Alan Halberstadt.
Francis said he couldn’t divulge any details of the agreement until it has gone before council.
Francis and Strasser are expected to speak at today’s annual general meeting of the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association, but it’s unlikely that any announcements will be made regarding the agreement.
Strasser said between 500 and 1,000 students would be involved in programs including marketing, creative and graphic arts, hospitality, culinary arts and journalism as well as entertainment technology.
“If we’re able to offer hands-on training, partnerships and internships with downtown businesses in a setting such as the Cleary, it would be unique among Canadian colleges,” Strasser said. “For example, we’re in the middle of launching a production in a makeshift theatre at the college which seats 55.
“Can you imagine the tremendous selling point the Chrysler Theatre would be instead?”

Mark Boscariol, chairman of the DWBIA, said the long-anticipated agreement and the addition of students into the city centre would “generate a buzz and excitement about downtown that we can build on.
“We’ve already had a meeting of a task force specifically set up to work on collaborative partnerships between the BIA and the college,” Boscariol said on the eve of the DWBIA’s annual general meeting. “There are any numbers of ways they could participate including helping with marketing, our business recruitment literature and our downtown host program.”
“We’ve been looking for an anchor and some additional life for the west side of downtown and this could be it,” said Coun. Ron Jones, in whose ward the Cleary lies. “It would be a nice fit for everyone concerned.”
Strasser said that discussions have already been held with property owners in the city core over parking and residential options for students and staff.
He said some teachers have told him that “if we’re going to be teaching downtown then we might as well look for housing downtown and that’s a large part of why we embarked upon these discussions in the first place.”
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  #72  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2006, 8:12 PM
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double post
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  #73  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2006, 1:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnold
^
sounds cool. in fact, i'd really like to see a photo of that view. might anyone oblige?
Oh, I just meant the casino tower when it will be finished. It will look cool from Detroit when it's done. I like how the slender side of the tower will be facing the river. I'll be sure to take plenty of photos when it starts to rise up.
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  #74  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2006, 1:59 AM
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all of those students will definatley have a positive impact on the downtown core.

BTW, does anyone have the stats that show how many people currently live/work in DT windsor? i mean, just how will this influx of students relate to the total? didn't the chrysler move bring something like 800 people downtown? because if that's the case, this college thing could be really big...
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  #75  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2006, 2:11 AM
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I've never seen stats on how many people work or live there. Hopefully this will provide a kickstart to the urban village plans as well since an arena seems to be less and less likely downtown.
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  #76  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2006, 2:37 PM
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Market planned for core

By Dave Hall
The Windsor Star
Apr. 20, 2006

After an absence of almost 10 years, Windsor may again have a downtown farmers market.
Corey Versnel, chairman of the Essex County Associated Growers, said a market in the former University Avenue West armouries building is “an idea with a lot of potential,” providing the produce is locally grown.

The proposed seasonal market is a business venture of the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association, which has arranged to rent space in the city-owned armouries Fridays and Saturdays between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. from the end of May until the Labour Day weekend.
Judith Veresuk, executive director of the DWBIA, said the proposed market “is in response to suggestions and feedback from people across the community who have said they would like to see a farmers market downtown again.”
But Jan Wilson, executive director of leisure and recreation services for the city, said there has yet to be final approval of the market, so making an announcement is “a little premature.”
The former downtown city market, adjacent to Casino Windsor, closed in 1997 and is now the site of a $400-million casino, hotel and concert venue expansion.

Market Square on Walker Road at Ottawa Street replaced the former downtown market.
“I don’t really think it will draw much vendor business from the existing market at Market Square because it’s only open two days a week and most of the Market Square vendors have established customers on a sixday basis,” said Versnel. “I could see someone operating a second stand at the new market but again, you’d need the staff.”
Veresuk said the DWBIA is being asked to pay $19,200 for 32 market days in the armouries, a cost which will be shared by the 17 to 20 vendors expected to set up stalls once the market opens.
Veresuk said city officials have said they may offer a reduced rent because “we’re taking 32 days off their plate and, if that’s the case, we’ll pass the savings on to our vendors in the form of lower rates.
“This isn’t a money-making venture,” said Veresuk. “We’re attempting to bring some foot traffic back into the core and it’s an idea that has been considered for quite a while.”

Vendors will be limited to those selling fruit, vegetables, baked goods and flowers. “We can’t accommodate meat and cheese vendors because of refrigeration issues,” said Veresuk.
The city has made the armouries available for public rentals since it assumed ownership from the federal government while it considers more permanent uses for the 104-year-old building.
Versnel said the concept would only work if area farmers have the workers and equipment available during a busy summer.
“And one of the problems you occasionally run into at markets is the sale of out-of-country produce and to me, the whole point of a farmer’s market is to sell local, fresh produce,” said Versnel. “If that happens, there’s no reason why it won’t work.”
Market Square management couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.
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  #77  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2006, 4:03 PM
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The Cleary plan is an excellent idea. It would be wonderful for the University to offer classes downtown, too. Students definitely add to the vitality of a downtown, especially those who choose to live near where they study. Queen's University and its proximity to downtown Kingston is a wonderful example of a university student body contributing to a vibrant downtown.

I know that there are concerns about parking downtown now that the extra students will be at the Cleary. Has the College looked at a universal bus pass for its students? Transit Windsor could offer increased service from downtown to the College proper (potentially even express service). I know that the University students voted down a universal pass, but has this initiative been brought before the College students?

As for the downtown market: I believe that is the best use of the armouries and the city should close down Freedom Way while the market is open.
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  #78  
Old Posted Apr 22, 2006, 3:31 AM
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From today's Windsor Star. I may be wrong, but I don't think the Byward Market vendors in Ottawa have their own hand washing stations.

Rethink market

Gord Henderson, Windsor Star
Published: Saturday, April 22, 2006

Holy smoked salami. Here we go again.

That was my gut reaction this week when, out of the blue, the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association announced plans to open a farmers market by the end of May in the city-owned armouries.

The news, unveiled at the association's annual meeting, took a lot of folks by surprise, including Mayor Eddie Francis and senior city officials, and had critics like John Fairley, former Market Square manager, and yours truly, racing for the ramparts.

Good grief, I groaned. What does it take to keep a dumb idea dead and buried? This battle was decided nine years ago when city residents told councillors they didn't want their tax dollars spent on a downtown market building that would compete with private sector plans for a market in a vacant plant at Walker and Ottawa.

On April Fool's Day in 1997, council shelved plans for a $7.6-million market east of city hall. Several councillors said they were bowing to overwhelming public pressure and one, Donna Gamble, blamed me and The Star's editorial board for orchestrating public opposition to the "most well thought out" document she'd seen during her years on council.

The wisdom of that retreat became evident a month later when Market Square opened to huge crowds and its success triggered business investments that resurrected a forlorn section of Walker Road.

What concerns me is that the armouries plan, although it sounds like it's been whipped up on the back of a beer coaster, could be a test run for a larger scheme involving city assistance. As Coun. David Cassivi put it back in 1997 when he voted against the downtown market, a future council could "resurrect" the plans.

TRICKY BUSINESS

Fairley, a cable TV host and bingo industry representative, questions whether the initiative's backers understand just how tricky it is to get a farmers market up and running.

"You can't do it like we used to do it," said Fairley, explaining that Market Square had to close its tent operation because of costly health unit requirements that included hand-washing and produce-washing sinks at each vendor outlet. It's no longer a matter of throwing cabbages on portable tables and declaring yourself open for business.

If cheese or meat were to be included, said Fairley, costs would skyrocket. "Where's your refrigerators? Where's your temperature gauges? Where's the parking? What about the loading docks? Who's going to pay for the (daily) cleanup? Where's the garbage going to be kept?"

It better not be Windsor taxpayers picking up the tab. Fairley, who was bending ears, including those of the mayor, following the announcement Wednesday, said he's no longer concerned this will evolve into a debate between competing market views.

I'm not so sure. Mark Boscariol, association chairman, told me Friday his group has five vendors lined up and hopes to have 17 on -oard for the grand opening.

"We'll be less than half the size of Market Square and will have less than half the choice," said Boscariol. "It's really a temporary thing just to get it going." He defended the initiative as "private business" paid for by association members rather than taxpayers and noted that anyone could rent the armouries. "We're not inventing the wheel. Maybe we'll screw it up but I'm not going to back down," he vowed.

Fairley would like to see the business association go way beyond selling zucchinis in a dingy armouries.

"Be creative. We know festivals work in this city," said Fairley, explaining that Charles Clark Square, which is all but abandoned once the ice goes out, should be turned into an open-air "green market" Thursday and Friday afternoons and evenings in the summer.

He envisions a weekly happening involving area musicians, the local arts and crafts community, downtown restaurants, flower peddlers and other vendors that would create an ideal place for mingling and sipping.

"You need an experience to bring them downtown. Build on the Maiden Lane success," said Fairley. He said the square is ideal, given that it already has an amphitheatre, washrooms and concessions.

That's creative thinking. And it stands head and shoulders over the association's dubious plan to use dirt-cheap rent (about $600 a day) on a city-owned building to compete with a tax-paying private sector in the fruit and vegetable business.

Back to the drawing boards.

ghenderson@thestar.canwest.com

© The Windsor Star 2006

Last edited by upinottawa; Apr 22, 2006 at 11:05 PM.
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  #79  
Old Posted Apr 23, 2006, 12:50 AM
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gord henderson is a blow-hard and a terrible writer, to boot. i mean, come on... couldn't he get someone a little less biased than the former Market Square manager to interview for the article?

and why does he feel the need to waste ink railing against something as unobjectionable as a simple downtown farmers market? what's his gripe? that's it going to be held in the armoury? big deal. and what would the difference be if they decided to hold it in Charles Clark Square? how would that change his objections?

all i know is that we have a very successful weekend farmers market down here in san diego, and the people of windsor would be lucky to have something comparable. and contrary to the article, it really is just a bunch of people throwing their produce down on some portable tables and waiting for customers.

as for his complaint that it would be competing with the market square... from what i can remember the 'market square' up on walker road isn't really a farmers market at all. its more of a "st. lawrence market" or "granville market" type of venue that sells all types of foods, year round. hardly the same thing as what's being proposed here.
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  #80  
Old Posted Apr 23, 2006, 6:03 PM
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I usually agree with Gord, but not so much on this market issue.

As for the college, the deal is pretty much done - it should bring in the range of 800 students downtown. upinottawa, I don't think there has ever been a bus pass consideration at the college. Speaking of buses, construction should begin on the new downtown bus depot soon.
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