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  #1  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2008, 10:02 PM
Spitfire75 Spitfire75 is offline
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Cogswell Interchange

Figured we should have a thread about this as well.
Let me start it off with an article from today's newspaper.



Jury’s out on interchange
Will — and bill — to demolish Cogswell is high, but what will replace it still remains uncertain
By MICHAEL LIGHTSTONE Staff Reporter
Fri. Apr 18 - 1:12 PM


File photo


NO ONE CAN SAY for sure what’s going to happen to the Cogswell interchange.

But one thing is clear: There’s been political will at Halifax city hall for some time to demolish the thing and redevelop the area so it would attract locals and visitors.

Planners with the HRM by Design project, which Halifax city hall launched about 20 months ago at a cost of $405,400, have noted there was already plenty of talk around town about what to do with the Cogswell maze before the urban revitalization plan began.

Among the suggestions that have been floated in the past few years are replacing the interchange with a new Metro Centre, highrise office and / or residential buildings, a large plaza or downtown park, art galleries, a mixed-use neighbourhood with commercial, residential and open space elements, a new convention centre and a grand theatre to host cultural events.

Mayor Peter Kelly said recently it’ll cost about $8 million to tear down the interchange, which handles traffic near Casino Nova Scotia and the city’s new sewage plant. But a municipal staffer said Wednesday demolition could cost up to $12 million.

The proposed demolition would free up some six hectares of land to be developed, the mayor said.

"Its time has come," Mr. Kelly said. "Its time should have never been, but unfortunately, the remnants still remain, and the time has passed for this structure to be removed."

Asked what would be done with debris from the demolition, if it happens, city staff this week couldn’t say where the stuff would go.

According to the final draft report on refurbishing Halifax’s downtown the Cogswell area could be redesigned with "modern landmark buildings." Some of those buildings might be 20 storeys or higher, the report suggests.

The report was released last week and public comment is being accepted until April 23.

In the Cogswell district of the future, it says, "towers will sit on low-rise podiums that reinforce human-scaled streetscapes while accommodating roof gardens and amenity spaces for their inhabitants."

Phil Pacey, president of the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia, said he’d support tall buildings in the Cogswell area if it took redevelopment pressure off heritage buildings and the structures surrounding them.

"It is not true that the Heritage Trust is opposed to tall buildings, full stop. We just don’t want to see tall buildings replace heritage buildings and we don’t want to see tall buildings next to heritage buildings."

Whether there’s a market out there for the ambitious transformation that the city’s Toronto consultants and local advisers have envisioned for the Cogswell interchange is another matter.

"Careful planning is required to ensure that the market is considered," HRM by Design planners say.

The draft of the downtown scheme says a modern, high-density look that could evolve from a Cogswell conversion "will enhance and update the downtown skyline and potentially redefine (Halifax Regional Municipality’s) image."

But Mike Hanusiak, a former senior planner with the municipality, has said the jury’s still out on the transformation of the Cogswell interchange.

"There is insufficient information to properly evaluate the financial and technical aspects of removing the interchange," he told the Nova Scotia Business Journal earlier this year. "There are no guarantees that the residual land will be quickly absorbed into the marketplace."

Mr. Hanusiak, president of the Urban Development Institute of Nova Scotia, a private-sector organization representing developers, said in a February letter to the HRM by Design task force that planners should scale down their preferred scenarios for the interchange.

He said his group supports developing existing vacant properties in the downtown core before replacing the interchange, which opponents have called a blight on the landscape.

"As an industry, we remain skeptical that the Cogswell interchange will be removed in the foreseeable future," Mr. Hanusiak said in his letter. "Rather than accept it as an ugly piece of concrete and asphalt, a modest amount of monies should be allocated to ‘greening’ the interchange with hanging plants, better sidewalks, street trees, and banners that celebrate one’s arrival in the downtown."

Mr. Hanusiak said many North American cities have upgraded their infrastructure "to produce beautiful urban landscapes."

In February, three recommendations hooked to the downtown plan were passed unanimously by Halifax regional council. They included:

•approve HRM by Design’s "vision" for downtown renewal;

•ask the provincial government to make legislative changes that’ll affect future private-sector developments;

•and begin planning and design work on the redevelopment of the Cogswell interchange.

Coun. Dawn Sloane (Halifax Downtown) said recently that redeveloping the Cogswell area could take up to 10 years, though she hopes it won’t be nearly that long. She said she’d like to see a mixed-use project that "reconnects" to neighbourhoods to the north.

"I would like to see an area of prominent business accommodation . . . with a smattering of residential buildings there, too," said Ms. Sloane.

To obtain a free copy of the draft plan for downtown, a five-volume report, go to www.hrmbydesign.ca or go to the planners’ office at the Halifax ferry terminal on George Street.

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  #2  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2008, 11:41 AM
Takeo Takeo is offline
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Did anyone read the comments for this article? Very hard to believe. Almost every single poster was AGAINST tearing it down?! Wow. And the reasons were things like... it's going to cause gridlock... who cares because downtown is for drunks and bums and we should just let it die and stop spending money there... etc. Surprisingly though, no one brought up the cat bylaw. That's one good thing. LOL. I sure hope this is the vocal minority.
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Old Posted Apr 19, 2008, 5:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Takeo View Post
Did anyone read the comments for this article? Very hard to believe. Almost every single poster was AGAINST tearing it down?! Wow. And the reasons were things like... it's going to cause gridlock... who cares because downtown is for drunks and bums and we should just let it die and stop spending money there... etc. Surprisingly though, no one brought up the cat bylaw. That's one good thing. LOL. I sure hope this is the vocal minority.
No, they weren't all against. But those that were are rightly dubious of HRM Traffic Authority's ability to replace it with soemthing that won't cause major problems. Look at the mess that is Bayers Lake as one person noted -- starting from scratch, they created an absolute nightmare and have done nothing to make it better. I think it is proper to have serious concerns about what will be done with traffic when the interchange falls down.
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Old Posted Apr 19, 2008, 5:10 PM
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It's valid to have concerns but then again most people commenting on the Herald website are pretty clueless. When somebody says something like "the downtown's done, time to build in Burnside!" (is traffic even much better there..?) it's a good sign they're out to lunch.
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Old Posted Apr 19, 2008, 5:57 PM
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I agree... we need to be concerned about what takes it's place. I just thought a few of the comments were over the top and / or out to lunch. But I guess that's to be expected online.
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  #6  
Old Posted Apr 24, 2008, 6:25 PM
Spitfire75 Spitfire75 is offline
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Which jury is out?

By DAWN SLOANE
Thu. Apr 24 - 5:44 AM
In Michael Lightstone’s April 18 article on the Cogswell interchange, he quoted a developers’ representative as saying "the jury is out" on whether or not to demolish the Cogswell interchange. Before any jury steps out to render a decision, they should be in possession of all the facts.

The article talks about the cost of the reconfiguration of the interchange, not the economic opportunities this redevelopment will provide to the municipality.

The Cogswell interchange sits on 14.8 acres of land. If knocking down the interchange provided a yield of 80 per cent developable land, this would create 518,000 square feet of salable area. Recently published land transactions in the downtown area indicate a value of approximately $200 per square foot. Therefore, the market value of this redevelopment would be over $100 million – almost 10 times the estimate of the cost quoted in Mr. Lightstone’s article!

Another major factor in favour of redevelopment is the absence of any building height or style restrictions. The interchange is outside the downtown core, which means we won’t have to waste time, energy and money debating whether or not to put tall buildings there! Even Phillip Pacey has no argument with tall buildings in this area.

Another thing to tell the jury is that redeveloping this area is actually a smart idea. For example, most of the required capital infrastructure is already in place. People will be able to live and work in the downtown area without any new expensive infrastructure. That means no need for new buses (at $500,000 per bus) – and certainly no need for a new $1.4-billion bridge. People will actually live and work in a healthy, efficient compact city.

Allow me to make one final summation to the jury. HRM is sitting on an anticipated $80-million surplus. That money could be used to help build a vibrant city core. Imagine a new library, a new convention centre, enhanced green spaces and streetscapes, a new municipal museum – even a new hockey rink next to the Centennial Pool. The incremental tax revenue without any corresponding capital budget deficit will continue to subsidize services to all of HRM for years to come.

Now, let’s send the jury out to make an informed decision – and move on with a call for proposals to redevelop this massive urban planning mistake from the 1960s.

Dawn Sloane is councillor for District 12, Halifax Regional Municipality.
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  #7  
Old Posted Apr 24, 2008, 8:04 PM
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There isn't much doubt that the interchange will go, so I'm not sure of the point of the article except to give Sloane some ink. But even at that it raises some questions.

- 80% developable land seems very unrealistic looking at the street grid in HBD
- "Even Phillip Pacey has no argument with tall buildings in this area."? What is he, some lind of czar that has to give royal assent?
- She is presuming significant residential development, which, given the office space deficit, seems rather unlikely
- How the heck does HRM have a $80M surplus given that they were singing the blues about snow removal costs and are planing to raise taxes nearly 6%?


As usual, anything Sloane says needs to be regarded as highly suspect.
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Old Posted Apr 24, 2008, 8:10 PM
sdm sdm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire75 View Post
Which jury is out?

By DAWN SLOANE
Thu. Apr 24 - 5:44 AM
In Michael Lightstone’s April 18 article on the Cogswell interchange, he quoted a developers’ representative as saying "the jury is out" on whether or not to demolish the Cogswell interchange. Before any jury steps out to render a decision, they should be in possession of all the facts.

The article talks about the cost of the reconfiguration of the interchange, not the economic opportunities this redevelopment will provide to the municipality.

The Cogswell interchange sits on 14.8 acres of land. If knocking down the interchange provided a yield of 80 per cent developable land, this would create 518,000 square feet of salable area. Recently published land transactions in the downtown area indicate a value of approximately $200 per square foot. Therefore, the market value of this redevelopment would be over $100 million – almost 10 times the estimate of the cost quoted in Mr. Lightstone’s article!

Another major factor in favour of redevelopment is the absence of any building height or style restrictions. The interchange is outside the downtown core, which means we won’t have to waste time, energy and money debating whether or not to put tall buildings there! Even Phillip Pacey has no argument with tall buildings in this area.

Another thing to tell the jury is that redeveloping this area is actually a smart idea. For example, most of the required capital infrastructure is already in place. People will be able to live and work in the downtown area without any new expensive infrastructure. That means no need for new buses (at $500,000 per bus) – and certainly no need for a new $1.4-billion bridge. People will actually live and work in a healthy, efficient compact city.

Allow me to make one final summation to the jury. HRM is sitting on an anticipated $80-million surplus. That money could be used to help build a vibrant city core. Imagine a new library, a new convention centre, enhanced green spaces and streetscapes, a new municipal museum – even a new hockey rink next to the Centennial Pool. The incremental tax revenue without any corresponding capital budget deficit will continue to subsidize services to all of HRM for years to come.

Now, let’s send the jury out to make an informed decision – and move on with a call for proposals to redevelop this massive urban planning mistake from the 1960s.

Dawn Sloane is councillor for District 12, Halifax Regional Municipality.
Where the heck did you find this article. The old blowhard is full of b.s. again.

To bad mr Pacey is actually opposed to the cogswell street interchange being home for tall buildings.

500k for a bus, whats the floors made of gold?

Got to love this one, not only is she a clown, a engineer, lawyer, urban planner, but now a broker for real estate. Whats next.......
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Old Posted Apr 25, 2008, 12:30 AM
hfx_chris hfx_chris is offline
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500k for a bus, whats the floors made of gold?
You're right, $500k is a bit high. They're actually between $430 and $450k each.

I find some of her other numbers equally as suspect...
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Old Posted Jan 6, 2010, 8:39 PM
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How feasible would this be? To have a short tunnel built to get the maximum out of the land that is available. I have made a diagram to show what I mean.
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Old Posted Jan 6, 2010, 10:15 PM
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How feasible would this be? To have a short tunnel built to get the maximum out of the land that is available. I have made a diagram to show what I mean.
Umm..how feasible? Not feasible, practical or desired in any way. I'm not really sure what would be the point of this - a tunnel that funnels high speed traffic to Hollis Street / Lower Water street? Huge cost, nearly no benefit. You can build the crap out of this site without having to resort to a tunnel!
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Old Posted Jan 6, 2010, 10:32 PM
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Umm..how feasible? Not feasible, practical or desired in any way. I'm not really sure what would be the point of this - a tunnel that funnels high speed traffic to Hollis Street / Lower Water street? Huge cost, nearly no benefit. You can build the crap out of this site without having to resort to a tunnel!
I don't really know anything about the traffic patterns that part of halifax...but I figured since thats where the traffic was heading before that it would work. does the plan for the north part of barrington street work? or having cogswell turn onto "south barrington"
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Old Posted Jan 7, 2010, 1:49 AM
hfx_chris hfx_chris is offline
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You've inspired me to think about this...here's my suggestion:



Note that in my vision, Barrington turns into Upper Water just north of the sewage plant. The street then travels around the perimeter of the dockyard land, casino, Purdy's Wharf buildings where it forks southbound onto Hollis, and from Lower Water northbound. This would be the primary route into downtown, with Lower Water being made one-way the entire length.
Barrington Street would pretty much travel the same way it does today, although it would intersect with Upper Water just north of the sewage plant. Provo Wallis (the street that goes into the Dockyard) would be re-aligned to create a four-way intersection with Barrington and Upper Water.
Cogswell would continue down the hill intersecting with Barrington, continuing on to terminate at an intersection with Upper Water where the casino parkade entrance is.
One interesting thing that could be done is removing that silly pedestrian mall on Granville and continue it along to terminate at Cogswell. Or it could be maintained as a shopping street, with street-level retail along it from Duke to Cogswell.


I think there's one thing we can all (hopefully) agree on: Hollis and Lower Water have pretty much become the primary downtown throughfare, so it just makes sense to continue Barrington onto those two streets somehow. This meets that criteria, while also maintaining easy access to Barrington and Cogswell streets. I see Barrington as becoming either more of a local street, or having some sort of public transit component. The only problem I see with my vision is that Spring Garden terminates on Barrington


Note that the image has been updated, you may need to refresh

Last edited by hfx_chris; Jan 7, 2010 at 2:20 AM.
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Old Posted Jan 7, 2010, 2:33 AM
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I like your Idea Chris, one suggestion would be where barrington turns into upper water, have a 3rd lane for some time there for people heading towards the rest of barrington street, so people could easily get down. Removing the granville pedestrian street is also a good idea, if there was a way to intersect it with upper water, would be cool as well, having 2 streets as 1 way in and out, then another going both directions would be good and clear up a lot.
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Old Posted Jan 7, 2010, 3:56 AM
hfx_chris hfx_chris is offline
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I'm not sure if Granville could ever really be a major street downtown. It's pretty narrow for most of its' length, and it ends at Salter.
And you're right, the Barrington/Upper Water intersection would definitely have to be done in some way to make it easy for people continuing southbound on Barrington.
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Old Posted Jan 7, 2010, 6:06 PM
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I don't think that removing the Granville pedestrian mall is a good idea. The problem with the Mall right now is it doesn't go anywhere. It's effectively a deadend because it ends in a brick wall. Instead of tearing it up to continue what is a minor street it would make more sense to me to have it link into whatever goes on the Cogswell. Besides, it's not like you could turn Granville back into a roadway because Crombie owns most of the end of it. Crombie isn't about to give any of that space up since they have a free and clear approval to build International Place that is good until the end of time. Check out the old renderings of International Place that clearly have the building coming out at least halfway across the end of the Mall
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...=153694&page=3
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Old Posted Jan 7, 2010, 11:07 PM
worldlyhaligonian worldlyhaligonian is offline
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Umm..how feasible? Not feasible, practical or desired in any way. I'm not really sure what would be the point of this - a tunnel that funnels high speed traffic to Hollis Street / Lower Water street? Huge cost, nearly no benefit. You can build the crap out of this site without having to resort to a tunnel!
I love it... Imagine a purely pedestrian CBD with a plaza with towers surrounding it and traffic passing beneath. They could have underground entrances to the towers with a place to park.
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Old Posted Jan 8, 2010, 4:36 PM
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You guys could always go with some Chicago-style double and triple-decker streets. A big area downtown has at least a secondary level for thru traffic, while the upper decks are for accessing buildings.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multile...ets_in_Chicago
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Old Posted Jan 8, 2010, 6:34 PM
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Spice Condos

Will the units at spice on Cornwallis go up in value when all this takes place??
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  #20  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2010, 6:58 PM
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This is just something that we have come up with on the forum, there is not a set proposal by the city as of yet.
I assume, that if this goes through though, and there becomes a business district on that end of the street, then yeah, those prices would increase, but you wont see anything at all for atleast 7 years probably.
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