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  #481  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2018, 6:03 PM
Arcologist Arcologist is offline
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I completely agree with Uhuniau's comment above. Too much gov't office space, and if more is to come, then there's no point sinking any more time or money into this effort.
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  #482  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2018, 7:56 PM
OTSkyline OTSkyline is offline
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Agreed something like the Gallerie in Milano would be an idea and would definitely help during the winter months. I would imagine a lot if not most of the workers in the CBD would use it to go for walks during breaks or lunch, grab a coffee, shop, have lunch on a patio during a cold Feb day etc... It would help gravitate most of the downtown traffic to Sparks as THE place to go. Now, Sparks is as cold, slushy or unattractive as Slater or Queen, so everyone is just spread out.

Unfortunately, given the different building heights and such I would imagine such project would cost a lot of money
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  #483  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2018, 8:24 PM
roger1818 roger1818 is offline
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Originally Posted by Arcologist View Post
I completely agree with Uhuniau's comment above. Too much gov't office space, and if more is to come, then there's no point sinking any more time or money into this effort.
At least at ground level. For Sparks street to work, it needs to be lined continuously with shops, restaurants, etc. There are large stretches of Sparks st. with little to no retail of any sort.
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  #484  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2018, 11:19 PM
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The city needs a way to compete with the blank walls the government is leaving. I think they should open the street up to more food carts and such. Do a pilot in the summer on it. The bad street frontage doesn't need to stop the street from working.

I think we also need city council to seriously challenge the government on their building management policies. They have a huge effect on the city itself, being such a huge real estate holder.
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  #485  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2018, 11:43 PM
acottawa acottawa is offline
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Originally Posted by silvergate View Post
The city needs a way to compete with the blank walls the government is leaving. I think they should open the street up to more food carts and such. Do a pilot in the summer on it. The bad street frontage doesn't need to stop the street from working.

I think we also need city council to seriously challenge the government on their building management policies. They have a huge effect on the city itself, being such a huge real estate holder.
I'm not sure the private sector owned south side is any better. The RBC, CBC and 240 Sparks buildings are blank walls, as are the gyms.
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  #486  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2018, 1:00 AM
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I'm not sure the private sector owned south side is any better. The RBC, CBC and 240 Sparks buildings are blank walls, as are the gyms.
Basically, the city needs to do what it can, with what it has. If you can't do anything about the sides, you can still do anything about the street.
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  #487  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2018, 3:41 AM
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I'm not sure trying to turn Sparks Street into a semi-enclosed mall would help it compete with the Rideau Centre.

The thing is the Sparks Street is a retail street in the middle of an office building district. Office building districts do not normally attract eclectic or high end stores, they attract things office workers can do on their lunch hour.
I doubt if Sparks Street could ever compete with RC. In fact, I think it should position itself outside that category. It has to carve itself a niche to fit in. Enclosing it and making it weather proofed would give it some edge, new possibilities to compete and repackage itself into a must-go tourist destination all year round, not just summer. It has to become something more than just where the office crowd would go after work.
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  #488  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2018, 3:47 AM
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Originally Posted by OTSkyline View Post
Agreed something like the Gallerie in Milano would be an idea and would definitely help during the winter months. I would imagine a lot if not most of the workers in the CBD would use it to go for walks during breaks or lunch, grab a coffee, shop, have lunch on a patio during a cold Feb day etc... It would help gravitate most of the downtown traffic to Sparks as THE place to go. Now, Sparks is as cold, slushy or unattractive as Slater or Queen, so everyone is just spread out.

Unfortunately, given the different building heights and such I would imagine such project would cost a lot of money
That's the idea. I believe it is doable architecturally since the majority of buildings are low-rise. Some serious engineering would be needed to get the roof up. It won't be cheap, obviously. Some deep pocket private sector may need to get involved. It's just a brain storming idea for now.
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  #489  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2018, 4:10 AM
kevinbottawa kevinbottawa is online now
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Originally Posted by silvergate View Post
The city needs a way to compete with the blank walls the government is leaving. I think they should open the street up to more food carts and such. Do a pilot in the summer on it. The bad street frontage doesn't need to stop the street from working.
I don't think the restaurants on Sparks Street would be open to food carts. They would see it as competition. They complained about the farmers market that was briefly on Sparks Street a few years ago and got it shut down.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa...shop-1.2667368
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  #490  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2018, 3:56 PM
roger1818 roger1818 is offline
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Basically, the city needs to do what it can, with what it has. If you can't do anything about the sides, you can still do anything about the street.
Not sure if the government pays property taxes (or if they do, even care about tax rates) but the city could give use tax incentives to encourage retail space on Spark street.
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  #491  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2018, 4:40 PM
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Cities cannot tax the federal government, instead the GoC makes Payments in-lieu of Taxes (PILT); there's a whole system of fed-prov agreements to establish the rates on different types of federal property (and the government certainly cares about the rates that it pays, as PILTS add up to real money across the country). PSPC is responsible:

https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/biens-...index-eng.html
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  #492  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2018, 4:57 PM
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One radical solution would be to lease all or most of the retail space on Sparks (and maybe the north side of Queen) to one corporation (maybe formed by the property owners themselves) who would then sublet and have the power to manage the retail mix like a real mall, allowing it to make deals that would attract key anchors and possibly move tenants around. Basically all the owners would get guaranteed minimum revenue regardless of whether their space leased or not, but owners of higher quality properties would get more when theirs are rented. It would be like a BIA on steroids
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  #493  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2018, 7:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Kitchissippi View Post
One radical solution would be to lease all or most of the retail space on Sparks (and maybe the north side of Queen) to one corporation (maybe formed by the property owners themselves) who would then sublet and have the power to manage the retail mix like a real mall, allowing it to make deals that would attract key anchors and possibly move tenants around. Basically all the owners would get guaranteed minimum revenue regardless of whether their space leased or not, but owners of higher quality properties would get more when theirs are rented. It would be like a BIA on steroids
This was the model of the ByWard Market building, and 240 Sparks if I'm not mistaken. Not to say it couldn't work, but it's not a panacea either!
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  #494  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2018, 9:29 PM
acottawa acottawa is offline
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I think part of the problem here is use of the word "mall"

I believe the usage intended for Sparks is the older meaning of "mall" meaning a "a sheltered walk or promenade" (like "Malls" in Washington and London) but people are interpreting it as the recent usage, meaning shopping centre.

A lot of the comments seemed to be focused on fixing the Sparks Shopping Centre, rather than trying to improve the Sparks Promenade. Nobody goes to St. James Park or Washington and complains about the lack of retail.
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  #495  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2018, 10:27 PM
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Sparks street was a shopping street before it was a "mall". The intent behind pedestrianizing it in the 1960s was to improve the shopping experience.
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  #496  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2018, 10:41 PM
Uhuniau Uhuniau is offline
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Originally Posted by acottawa View Post
I'm not sure the private sector owned south side is any better. The RBC, CBC and 240 Sparks buildings are blank walls, as are the gyms.
The GoodLife provides visual interest, but yeah - the CBC studios turned out to be a fiasco, and the RBC streetfront is in desperate need of a good de-popomo job.
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  #497  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2018, 10:43 PM
Uhuniau Uhuniau is offline
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Originally Posted by Kitchissippi View Post
Sparks street was a shopping street before it was a "mall". The intent behind pedestrianizing it in the 1960s was to improve the shopping experience.
And to make it more groovy by tying it to the mod new concept of a "mall".

I don't think Sparks Street "Mall" was ever intended to convey the classical concept of a Mall is in the Washington one or Pell Mell.
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  #498  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2018, 10:45 PM
Uhuniau Uhuniau is offline
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This was the model of the ByWard Market building, and 240 Sparks if I'm not mistaken. Not to say it couldn't work, but it's not a panacea either!
I was just wondering today who was responsible for 240 Sparks, and especially the ongoing clustereff of figuring out which entrance is actually functional on any given day.
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  #499  
Old Posted Yesterday, 1:42 PM
acottawa acottawa is offline
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Originally Posted by Kitchissippi View Post
Sparks street was a shopping street before it was a "mall". The intent behind pedestrianizing it in the 1960s was to improve the shopping experience.
Yes, but it has been in decline since about VE Day. The pedestrian mall provided a brief respite that didn't last after the novelty wore off. Nothing is going to bring back Murphy Gamble, or the Ladies who Lunch.
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