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  #21  
Old Posted Jan 3, 2018, 5:30 PM
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^ I hope whatever goes up on that block of Donald is not quite as massive as that building shown in the rendering Biff posted. I'm not really crazy about block-long buildings... I get that you have to do it in some cases (MTS Centre, Convention Centre) but I'd much rather see the block divided into two or three development sites.

But FWIW I'm pretty sure that building shown above IS built to the sidewalk... the cars in front just happen to be on Donald St.
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  #22  
Old Posted Jan 3, 2018, 9:08 PM
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It's that big yellow area in Biff's map that will only achieve critical mass with some outside intervention. It needs everything really, streetscaping, buildings, infrastructure in general. That area used to be sort of the downtown utility room until the 60s, then it just kind of faded into a sea of vacant lots over time and is pretty well starting from scratch now. Luckily it's something of a desirable location from both a commercial and residential standpoint given that it's wedged between the two most attractive parts of downtown... Portage and Main and The Forks, and it's convenient to Main Street.
Yes, this one is definitely the one that would require a good deal of planning finesse. A lot of issues here, like a greater diversity of land owners, Transit’s interest in a bus corridor east of Main, and the importance of integrating with the Forks/Railside and the Exchange District.
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  #23  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2018, 2:23 PM
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I know there are numerous land owners in the Yellow area but I can't for the life of me figure out why it is so barren. I would think that it would be one of the most desirable areas of downtown - in terms of office space, close to the P&M portion of the CBD - for residential, bordering the exchange and the Forks (I understand the rail line causes some issues - the Main strip is both sad and puzzling. The main entrance into downtown from the south and the east side is just a wasteland.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2018, 4:50 PM
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Speaking of the wastleland that is South Main....

Any idea what Earl's is planning to do with their site? I'd love to see that suburban style restaurant demolished and redeveloped in a way more fitting for a downtown location.
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  #25  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2018, 5:01 PM
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Speaking of the wastleland that is South Main....

Any idea what Earl's is planning to do with their site? I'd love to see that suburban style restaurant demolished and redeveloped in a way more fitting for a downtown location.
Maybe a year or two ago, Earl's applied for rezonings to build a replacement restaurant immediately north of the current one with parking to the south on the site of the current restaurant. The City (rightly) rejected the proposal, but nothing has been publicly released since.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2018, 7:14 PM
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Maybe a year or two ago, Earl's applied for rezonings to build a replacement restaurant immediately north of the current one with parking to the south on the site of the current restaurant. The City (rightly) rejected the proposal, but nothing has been publicly released since.
I don't believe Earls has made any move to redevelop the site since then. The Downtown Zoning By-law doesn't allow one-storey buildings or surface parking to front on Main Street (for obviously good reasons). Plus this is a property where high density could be done without any infrastructure upgrades. It would be a huge waste of potential to allow a new, single-use suburban-style development to go ahead here.
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  #27  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2018, 7:18 PM
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^ Thank God. It's a tangible sign of progress that crap like that doesn't get an automatic OK anymore.
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  #28  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2018, 7:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Biff View Post


I know there are numerous land owners in the Yellow area but I can't for the life of me figure out why it is so barren. I would think that it would be one of the most desirable areas of downtown - in terms of office space, close to the P&M portion of the CBD - for residential, bordering the exchange and the Forks (I understand the rail line causes some issues - the Main strip is both sad and puzzling. The main entrance into downtown from the south and the east side is just a wasteland.
I sometimes half-seriously think the lack of development in this part of downtown is because it's haunted.
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  #29  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2018, 8:54 PM
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I sometimes half-seriously think the lack of development in this part of downtown is because it's haunted.
This is actually one of the better explanations I've heard.
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  #30  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 1:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biff View Post


I know there are numerous land owners in the Yellow area but I can't for the life of me figure out why it is so barren. I would think that it would be one of the most desirable areas of downtown - in terms of office space, close to the P&M portion of the CBD - for residential, bordering the exchange and the Forks (I understand the rail line causes some issues - the Main strip is both sad and puzzling. The main entrance into downtown from the south and the east side is just a wasteland.
Richardson's project will take a chunk out of the yellow box.
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  #31  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 5:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esquire View Post
Maybe a year or two ago, Earl's applied for rezonings to build a replacement restaurant immediately north of the current one with parking to the south on the site of the current restaurant. The City (rightly) rejected the proposal, but nothing has been publicly released since.
Contrary to popular belief, that proposal from a few years back was actually for a brand new building right up to the Main Street property line on the north part of the parcel. The existing building was to remain in place, so density was actually going to be increased on the site. Unfortunately the building was only going to be 20 feet tall rather than the required 30 or 35. The "added" parking was really just shifting parking towards the tracks, as the city needed some of the property for eventual road widening of Main.



The existing "suburban" Earl's probably did more for that area of downtown in the 90s than anything else built at that time, but I digress.
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  #32  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 2:42 PM
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Originally Posted by trueviking View Post
Richardson's project will take a chunk out of the yellow box.
I know you have/are working with the Richardsons so you may know...do they own the surface lots that border Portage E-Westbrook-Lombard? Essentially the whole block from Main to Westbrook.

I hate those 3 surface lots at the top left corner of my yellow outline.
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  #33  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 3:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Bdog View Post
Contrary to popular belief, that proposal from a few years back was actually for a brand new building right up to the Main Street property line on the north part of the parcel. The existing building was to remain in place, so density was actually going to be increased on the site. Unfortunately the building was only going to be 20 feet tall rather than the required 30 or 35. The "added" parking was really just shifting parking towards the tracks, as the city needed some of the property for eventual road widening of Main.

Okay, so there would be two single-storey buildings on a 1.3 acre site instead of one. Technically this is increased density, but still not density appropriate for a downtown context.

Quote:
The existing "suburban" Earl's probably did more for that area of downtown in the 90s than anything else built at that time, but I digress.
That's saying very, very little.

No one would deny that Earls was a huge draw at a time when downtown didn't have many draws. But a low-density scattering of single-storey, single-use, pre-fab buildings (however busy they may be) is not what the downtown should be.

And anyway many Earls locations in other cities are in buildings two storeys or taller, and even the one at Polo Park is taller than what they were proposing on Main.
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  #34  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 4:35 PM
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Originally Posted by wardlow View Post
Okay, so there would be two single-storey buildings on a 1.3 acre site instead of one. Technically this is increased density, but still not density appropriate for a downtown context.



That's saying very, very little.

No one would deny that Earls was a huge draw at a time when downtown didn't have many draws. But a low-density scattering of single-storey, single-use, pre-fab buildings (however busy they may be) is not what the downtown should be.

And anyway many Earls locations in other cities are in buildings two storeys or taller, and even the one at Polo Park is taller than what they were proposing on Main.
To me, a brand new building (built right up to the property line) that attracts people at all times of day is a win for that area, particularly when it replaces dilapidated surface parking. If all of a sudden property values skyrocket in the area and there is demand for taller or "higher and better" uses, then it can be knocked down in 30 years (this shouldn't be an issue for anyone here, many who are hoping the existing building, not even 30 years old, be demolished).

Also, I don't get the pre-occupation with height over use, form, aesthetics, etc. Height is great, but why should it trump all other factors. Very, very few buildings along Osborne or Sherbrook (two of our most urban strips) are over 35 feet, and even fewer are 3 storeys or more. Same goes for the high streets in many of Canada's great urban downtowns.
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  #35  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 8:32 PM
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The "added" parking was really just shifting parking towards the tracks, as the city needed some of the property for eventual road widening of Main.
What widening of Main St?
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  #36  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 8:44 PM
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I sometimes half-seriously think the lack of development in this part of downtown is because it's haunted.
There may be some truth to that. Perhaps the curse is due to tearing down the Empire Hotel for a windswept surface parking lot. If that is the case, it is deserved.
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  #37  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 9:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bdog View Post
Contrary to popular belief, that proposal from a few years back was actually for a brand new building right up to the Main Street property line on the north part of the parcel. The existing building was to remain in place, so density was actually going to be increased on the site. Unfortunately the building was only going to be 20 feet tall rather than the required 30 or 35. The "added" parking was really just shifting parking towards the tracks, as the city needed some of the property for eventual road widening of Main.



The existing "suburban" Earl's probably did more for that area of downtown in the 90s than anything else built at that time, but I digress.
However, what's going to happen to the old earls? Probably sold or demo'd eventually.
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To me, a brand new building (built right up to the property line) that attracts people at all times of day is a win for that area, particularly when it replaces dilapidated surface parking. If all of a sudden property values skyrocket in the area and there is demand for taller or "higher and better" uses, then it can be knocked down in 30 years (this shouldn't be an issue for anyone here, many who are hoping the existing building, not even 30 years old, be demolished).

Also, I don't get the pre-occupation with height over use, form, aesthetics, etc. Height is great, but why should it trump all other factors. Very, very few buildings along Osborne or Sherbrook (two of our most urban strips) are over 35 feet, and even fewer are 3 storeys or more. Same goes for the high streets in many of Canada's great urban downtowns.
Height should matter at such a potentially good site... How nobody has seen value in that location confuses me... the highest traffic gateway between the forks and downtown, close proximity to major office buildings, prime frontage and exposure, and if it's beside an earls, adjacent to a Winnipeg Institution.

But if Earl's went 1 storey in that lot and somebody developed something with height where the current restaurant is... I'd be more flexible.
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  #38  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 10:02 PM
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Just for a bit of a laugh...

He was sitting in the lounge of the Empire Hotel
He was drinking for diversion
He was thinking for himself
A little money riding on the Maple Leafs
Along comes a lady in lacy sleeves
She says let me sit down
You know, drinkin' alone's a shame
It's a shame it's a crying shame
Look at those jokers
Glued to that damn hockey game
Hey honey-you've got lots of cash
Bring us round a bottle
And we'll have some laughs
Gin's what I'm drinking
I was raised on robbery

Raised on Robbery (first verse) (Joni Mitchell 1973)
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  #39  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by wardlow View Post
I sometimes half-seriously think the lack of development in this part of downtown is because it's haunted.
I don't think it's so hard to explain. It borders a busy, noisy stretch of train tracks. I really think that's the easiest explanation.
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  #40  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2018, 10:31 PM
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I don't think it's so hard to explain. It borders a busy, noisy stretch of train tracks. I really think that's the easiest explanation.
It still is right on the most dense trafic portion on a street with the name "Main"... despite the tracks, the location should sell itself.
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