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  #221  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2008, 2:41 AM
sdm sdm is offline
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Originally Posted by Bedford_DJ View Post
I was out tonight so I missed the whole thing. Can someone catch me up? How many were in support? opposition?

Whats the final verdict on this approved? rejected? or postponed?
Postponed. Typical naysayers are out. Seems to be support from all who were there, including me.
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  #222  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2008, 3:24 AM
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Dmajackson Dmajackson is offline
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Thanks "Haliguy" and "sdm".

Just to update my view on this (since my last view got torn to peices), as I've stated before I won't miss this if i gets rejected, but if the only other option is a parking lot then yes by all means build this. I just wish they would make it less of a "box" shape.
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  #223  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2008, 3:57 AM
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I did rather enjoy McCluskeys clarification for Mr Pacey. She totally called him out, and I almost felt bad for the man. I think he is in way over his head.
It was quite a night I'd have to say. I still haven't truly made up my mind on it though.
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  #224  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2008, 4:13 AM
worldlyhaligonian worldlyhaligonian is offline
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I am for this development after watching tonight.

It will add slightly to the skyline but definitely retain its old character at street level. Yeah, its a box, but its still office space downtown and the existing ground-level scheme.
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  #225  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2008, 10:21 AM
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I'm no fan of the "typical nay-sayers" but that kind of ideological, black and white discussion only inflames tensions and serves no one. The bottom line is, there are valid points on BOTH side with this one. Up until now, the HT was almost always fighting against in-fill development on empty lots. Ridiculous to say the least. This development is very different. We're talking about gutting half a dozen heritage properties. Blind support of anything and everything is no better than blind opposition to anything and everything.

Here are what I see as the main points.

1. No one wants to see these buildings demolished. I can't imagine it... but you never know. It could happen since Halifax's heritage buildings have almost no protection whatsoever.

2. The buildings are not in danger of falling down on their own... so they could be saved... but we have to accept that a restoration is simply not in that cards... not with the current owner.

3. The interiors are apparently a disaster of maze-like mismatched floors.

4. The proposed addition is an ugly and uninspired design from a by-gone architectural era. Bauhaus / International Style stopped being "modern" over half a century ago. I agree with the principles of early modernism of course, but can we do something a little more interesting please? This design is a dud.

Overall... I think that developing the buildings into modern office space may be the lesser of two evils. And unlike the old warehouses across the street which were successfully converted to office space without a radical gutting of the interior... here were have a mishmash of non-contiguous internal spaces that just won't work as offices. So maybe we have to accept that any plan with the current owner will involve gutting these buildings... but I would really like to see the designers burn their plans and go back to the "drawing board".
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  #226  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2008, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Takeo View Post
I'm no fan of the "typical nay-sayers" but that kind of ideological, black and white discussion only inflames tensions and serves no one. The bottom line is, there are valid points on BOTH side with this one. Up until now, the HT was almost always fighting against in-fill development on empty lots. Ridiculous to say the least. This development is very different. We're talking about gutting half a dozen heritage properties. Blind support of anything and everything is no better than blind opposition to anything and everything.

Here are what I see as the main points.

1. No one wants to see these buildings demolished. I can't imagine it... but you never know. It could happen since Halifax's heritage buildings have almost no protection whatsoever.

2. The buildings are not in danger of falling down on their own... so they could be saved... but we have to accept that a restoration is simply not in that cards... not with the current owner.

3. The interiors are apparently a disaster of maze-like mismatched floors.

4. The proposed addition is an ugly and uninspired design from a by-gone architectural era. Bauhaus / International Style stopped being "modern" over half a century ago. I agree with the principles of early modernism of course, but can we do something a little more interesting please? This design is a dud.

Overall... I think that developing the buildings into modern office space may be the lesser of two evils. And unlike the old warehouses across the street which were successfully converted to office space without a radical gutting of the interior... here were have a mishmash of non-contiguous internal spaces that just won't work as offices. So maybe we have to accept that any plan with the current owner will involve gutting these buildings... but I would really like to see the designers burn their plans and go back to the "drawing board".
here here. I feel bad for the heritage trust. They expended so much political capital fighting lesser proposals and that they have a real case they have a harder time getting taken seriously. It's a shame and the city is poorer for it. I actually felt that Pacey came off pretty well this evening. Passionate and articulate of their case (which they have this time). At the same time, after this evening, I'm pretty much ready to dismiss Fusion as the flip side of the coin. We challenge the Heritage Trust to find a development downtown that they actually support, but I also will be interested to see how long we go before Fusion actually finds something they don't like! This polarized debate is unfortunate.

I'm still mulling this one, but in general I don't like it. If we're not going to protect heritage here, really we're not going to protect it anywhere. This city doesn't have many blocks that have survived to today and this is one of them which to me requires special consideration. I don't think it's impossible to build on top of these buildings, but the design that has been proposed stinks. One thing that I have been wondering is whether their whole approach is well wrong. Instead of trying to jam office space here, maybe the answer is to go condos. The mismatched and difficult shapes, if done right, could actually appeal to condo buyers. As office it's a liability, but as condos it could be an asset. I don't know, just a thought. This one isn't a simple case.

At the end of the day, with International Place getting ready to go and NSP preparing to move to Electropolis, I don't think we need to approve this one just because we haven't had any office development downtown in recent years.

Last edited by spaustin; Apr 1, 2012 at 1:43 PM.
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  #227  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2008, 11:39 AM
hfx_chris hfx_chris is offline
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How late did it go until? I couldn't watch, so I had my PVR set to record until 10:30. I hope it didn't go longer...
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  #228  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2008, 5:12 PM
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Jonovision Jonovision is offline
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I second your points Takeo and Spaustin. I was really confused when a member of fusion got up and said they unanimously supported the development. I'm a member of that team, and I don't recall debating it. We did get a tour from the developer, but we never discussed it.

It ran until 11 last night, but I left myself at 10:30.
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  #229  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2008, 5:33 PM
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The heritage property act does not cover the interiors of the buildings, only the exteriors

THat being said the interiors are not original, they have been gutted long ago.

The international place development is not grounds to throw this proposal away. International place is a long shot, and even if it began construction tomorrow it would be almost 3 years till finished.

The vacancy rate downtown for A class buildings is well below 3%, with that 3% being small bits of area. If something doesn;t get built soon many of these companies will have no option but to expand into the sub's.
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  #230  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2008, 6:08 PM
hfx_chris hfx_chris is offline
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Originally Posted by Jonovision View Post
I second your points Takeo and Spaustin. I was really confused when a member of fusion got up and said they unanimously supported the development. I'm a member of that team, and I don't recall debating it. We did get a tour from the developer, but we never discussed it.

It ran until 11 last night, but I left myself at 10:30.
From the moment the first stories about them hit, I never liked them. Do they truly represent your views? It seems to me Fusion is the polar opposite of the Heritage Trust, which isn't necessarily a good thing.
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  #231  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2008, 6:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Takeo View Post
2. The buildings are not in danger of falling down on their own... so they could be saved... but we have to accept that a restoration is simply not in that cards... not with the current owner.

".
Well listening last night i was left believing one could.

I doubt anyone who might purchase these buildings from the current owner would restore them either.
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  #232  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2008, 7:11 PM
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hfx chris, I do like Fusion. And they represent an opening of dialogue between different groups. Especially that of the younger generation which doesn't seem to have much of a voice at city hall. My understanding of the urban design task force that I am part of, its aim is to get to know developers and get to a point where we have open discussion with them at the very beginning of the process. Before any designs are drawn and long before there is nothing that can be done. I am however a bit confused by last night. The task force never discussed this proposal and I am looking into what was said.
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  #233  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2008, 8:16 PM
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[QUOTE=Jonovision;3791267] My understanding of the urban design task force that I am part of, its aim is to get to know developers and get to a point where we have open discussion with them at the very beginning of the process. Before any designs are drawn and long before there is nothing that can be done. QUOTE]

So the task force is going tell developers how to design and build buildings? Sort of confused here.....
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  #234  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2008, 9:57 PM
hfx_chris hfx_chris is offline
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So the task force is going tell developers how to design and build buildings? Sort of confused here.....
All while not even discussing it with their own members first
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  #235  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2008, 11:17 PM
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lol, no. The aim is to work with developers to attain the best building in the end. Looking at different options and designs. We're hoping that developers will come to us as sort of consultants I think. It's just a good way to open up dialogue about what gets built in this city. It will no longer be the hard black and white, or yes or no. There will be a say in the actual design of the building.
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  #236  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2008, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by hfx_chris View Post
All while not even discussing it with their own members first
Well i am member of the fusion group, not the task force mind you, but if their role is to steer developers on how design a building etc i think they will have a major battle ahead for them.

My understanding of the task force was to gain insight on proposed developments and learn the details etc, not influence the design.
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  #237  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2008, 11:19 PM
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So the task force is going tell developers how to design and build buildings? Sort of confused here.....
I think one of the recommendations of HRM by design is for a design review committee. For the most part it is needed because most new developments in downtown are garbage. Purdy's Wharf was the last quality development.

Waterside is a bad development. The building is boring, it destroys an entire block of heritage buildings, it destroys what could be a very unique district. It will be a nightmare trying to get out of that underground parking right in front of Historic Properties and no doubt all of the buildings will be demolished because you can't excavate 35 down and not knock out the five feet of building that will be left behind. Ben McRea should withdraw the application and put the building up for auction.
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  #238  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2008, 11:44 PM
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I think one of the recommendations of HRM by design is for a design review committee. For the most part it is needed because most new developments in downtown are garbage. Purdy's Wharf was the last quality development.

Waterside is a bad development. The building is boring, it destroys an entire block of heritage buildings, it destroys what could be a very unique district. It will be a nightmare trying to get out of that underground parking right in front of Historic Properties and no doubt all of the buildings will be demolished because you can't excavate 35 down and not knock out the five feet of building that will be left behind. Ben McRea should withdraw the application and put the building up for auction.
Well considering there is only 16 stalls underground i doubt that will be a large nightmare.

No one will buy these buildings...
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  #239  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2008, 2:05 PM
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No one will buy these buildings...
Well, since the developer says they are worthless, someone will get a good deal.
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  #240  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2008, 6:20 PM
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Well, since the developer says they are worthless, someone will get a good deal.
I learnt one thing very early in life, there is never a good deal....
Anyhow, will just have to see won't we.
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