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  #61  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2016, 2:50 PM
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Backhoe working on site this morning.
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  #62  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2016, 10:07 PM
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BREAKING NEWS: Local area resident opposes this:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-s...erns-1.3744236

I dunno if there is even a grain of sense to any of it but she's a negative voice, so the CBC is all over it.
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  #63  
Old Posted Sep 2, 2016, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
BREAKING NEWS: Local area resident opposes this:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-s...erns-1.3744236

I dunno if there is even a grain of sense to any of it but she's a negative voice, so the CBC is all over it.
I don't think her fears are totally misguided. The lower-income residents in that area are definitely seeing lots of shiny new projects all around them, and the perception is that none of the shiny new projects are FOR them. To a certain extent, I'm sure they feel under siege - they probably love their home and feel a connection with their community. Higher-income residents moving in in a big rush can definitely impact the way in which the existing residents view their neighbours.

I don't know how successful the Creighton Gerrish developments were previously. Aside from some questionable exterior cladding on one of the three projects I am aware of, all three seem to be doing pretty well from my walking-past-observations. The woman interviewed suggests that the townhouse component of the developments are all still owned by the initial purchasers - sounds healthy and very neighbourly to me.

However. There's an error in her understanding as expressed in the last paragraph of the article: "It's not what the project was meant to be from the beginning." It's not the same project it was in the beginning, so it's maybe not reasonable to expect a new owner and new project to hold fast to previous plans, just because the location happens to be the same.

I understand the definition of "affordable" is fraught with political overtones and difficulty with clarity around what qualifies and what doesn't, but I DO think that some provision of affordable, family oriented (i.e. not bachelor or 1 bedroom) units is the right thing to do for the neighbourhood and the people in it.
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  #64  
Old Posted Sep 2, 2016, 1:09 PM
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I understand that people are disappointed that there's no affordable-housing component, especially in this neighbourhood, right on Gottingen. In fact, I think there absolutely should be. It's a missed opportunity.

But I also think that getting hysterical about gentrification re: this project is a bit over the top. It's a not a "luxury" development (whatever that over-used word means nowadays), it's a rental building, and the rents are in line with current neighbourhood averages. And as the developer points out, it's adding a fair bit of rental stock to the area, which does have a (modest) effect on keeping prices reasonable.

Overall, it seems like a wash for affordability. It's not going to make the area more affordable, but it's not going to make it less so, either.
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  #65  
Old Posted Sep 2, 2016, 4:23 PM
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Originally Posted by eastcoastal View Post
I don't think her fears are totally misguided. The lower-income residents in that area are definitely seeing lots of shiny new projects all around them, and the perception is that none of the shiny new projects are FOR them. To a certain extent, I'm sure they feel under siege - they probably love their home and feel a connection with their community. Higher-income residents moving in in a big rush can definitely impact the way in which the existing residents view their neighbours.

I don't know how successful the Creighton Gerrish developments were previously. Aside from some questionable exterior cladding on one of the three projects I am aware of, all three seem to be doing pretty well from my walking-past-observations. The woman interviewed suggests that the townhouse component of the developments are all still owned by the initial purchasers - sounds healthy and very neighbourly to me.

However. There's an error in her understanding as expressed in the last paragraph of the article: "It's not what the project was meant to be from the beginning." It's not the same project it was in the beginning, so it's maybe not reasonable to expect a new owner and new project to hold fast to previous plans, just because the location happens to be the same.

I understand the definition of "affordable" is fraught with political overtones and difficulty with clarity around what qualifies and what doesn't, but I DO think that some provision of affordable, family oriented (i.e. not bachelor or 1 bedroom) units is the right thing to do for the neighbourhood and the people in it.

Well, pretty much everything in that neighborhood would qualify as "affordable housing", WTF that is supposed to be. It may not be nice housing, but it is affordable. So this is nicer housing, still reasonably priced but perhaps not what this lady thinks is "affordable housing". I think she is way off base.

Those townhouses she points to as good examples of the genre were the ones that were subsidized by CMHC or whomever, weren't they? They're the ones that Dawn Sloane qualified for, no? Hopefully the deal included provisos that the people receiving the subsidy couldn't flip the properties for a quick profit, so maybe that's why the original owners are there.

I guess some folks would prefer the rundown parking lot stay that way for another 40 years.
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  #66  
Old Posted Sep 2, 2016, 4:34 PM
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Number of people displaced by this development: 0

Development is actually the only way to lower the cost of housing and better housing available to more people. You can have government-subsidized housing projects that are cheap for certain people, but at the end of the day if there's more demand than there are units you need to either pick winners and losers by government fiat or prices will rise to exclude some people from the market. Right now my understanding is that a lot of people are on subsidized housing waiting lists in Halifax and they are subject to market rates for housing; this development will be good for them, and it has no material impact on the people who already have permanent subsidized housing (like the lady who was interviewed for the CBC article).

Actually in the alternate scenario where there are blessed subsidized government housing projects and little else is added to the housing supply it's impossible to catch up, because the value of the subsidized housing grows, alternatives become more expensive, and consequently subsidized housing looks attractive to an ever-growing segment of the population. This happens in cities like New York or Boston where a public housing spot can be worth in the millions of dollars over a lifetime (markets where a small apartment is $3000+ per month). Unfortunately they also turn into golden (bronze?) handcuffs because the people who get those coveted spots can't move. In some particularly dysfunctional cases they do move but keep their subsidized housing unit as a pied-à-terre. In other cases they don't work or hunt for a slightly better job because the housing advantage is so huge compared to any gain they could hope to get from their labour.

I have a hard time seeing this development as anything but a huge net positive for the area. Right across the street there are two other developments sites where nonprofit apartment buildings are planned. If the Gottingen area is to be successful it needs a balanced mix. Gottingen circa 2000 was what you get when you have an area that is devoted exclusively to public housing and social services.
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  #67  
Old Posted Sep 2, 2016, 5:10 PM
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"I have a hard time seeing this development as anything but a huge net positive for the area. Right across the street there are two other developments sites where nonprofit apartment buildings are planned. If the Gottingen area is to be successful it needs a balanced mix. Gottingen circa 2000 was what you get when you have an area that is devoted exclusively to public housing and social services.[/QUOTE]

I see that as the key point for this area, the developments on both sides of the street will result in a mix, and that seems very healthy for neighborhoods.
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  #68  
Old Posted Sep 2, 2016, 6:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
Well, pretty much everything in that neighborhood would qualify as "affordable housing", WTF that is supposed to be. It may not be nice housing, but it is affordable. So this is nicer housing, still reasonably priced but perhaps not what this lady thinks is "affordable housing". I think she is way off base.
Yeah - I can't say what is ACTUAL "affordable" housing and what isn't. I suspect her comments are based mostly on fear for her neighbourhood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
Those townhouses she points to as good examples of the genre were the ones that were subsidized by CMHC or whomever, weren't they? They're the ones that Dawn Sloane qualified for, no? Hopefully the deal included provisos that the people receiving the subsidy couldn't flip the properties for a quick profit, so maybe that's why the original owners are there.
Yes - those are the ones. I don't know if it was CMHC, but there was funding of some sort (not sure if the project was funded, or individual buyers were funded). I believe you had to prove you'd lived in the neighbourhood already for a minimum period of time and your income had to be low enough to meet some definition of low-income.

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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
I guess some folks would prefer the rundown parking lot stay that way for another 40 years.
I don't think the two options are 1) build this exact proposal, or 2) build nothing. I also don't think she said she wanted it to stay a parking lot for 40 years. She was bemoaning the fact that there were 48 affordable townhouses planned for the site previously and now there are 100+ market-rate rentals. As Drybrain says though, this may be a wash for affordability.
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  #69  
Old Posted Sep 3, 2016, 12:59 AM
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I assume Sloan's and the others were a similar scheme to the proposed townhomes. There is an income threshold and a second mortgage is registered against the property for a percentage of the total value. This has to paid back upon the first sale. It discourages flipping. After the original buyer sells it is a standard market unit. The money paid back on the second mortgage goes back into a pot that is redistributed to other housing projects. The Daniel's Corporation in Toronto, people behind regent park reno, run similar programs I believe. This reduces the upfront cost for buyers but makes it up on back end.
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  #70  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2016, 4:29 PM
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Lots of concrete trucks and wood on site this week; footings? Is it going to be on slab/no below ground?
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  #71  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2016, 7:03 PM
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Lots of concrete trucks and wood on site this week; footings? Is it going to be on slab/no below ground?
Saw them pouring a retaining wall on the back of the site. Perhaps that's what they are for? Don't see this not going below ground
EDIT: Does anyone have a render of this one? All links are outdated
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  #72  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2016, 12:32 PM
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Saw them pouring a retaining wall on the back of the site. Perhaps that's what they are for? Don't see this not going below ground
EDIT: Does anyone have a render of this one? All links are outdated
Just getting a glimpse driving by but it does look like ground level footings and 2nd floor supports going in.
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  #73  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2016, 12:52 PM
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Just getting a glimpse driving by but it does look like ground level footings and 2nd floor supports going in.
There is no underground parking on this, may be some ground level indoor parking, hidden behind small commercial frontage, but that will be about it. I believe there is some surface parking in behind.
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  #74  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2016, 1:45 PM
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  #75  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2016, 12:40 PM
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This is the development I'm least looking forward to seeing. It could have been a game changer for that part of town instead 5 storeys with surface parking. I am sure this one would be better off in Clayton Park not the middle of the city.....
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  #76  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2016, 1:43 PM
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This is the development I'm least looking forward to seeing. It could have been a game changer for that part of town instead 5 storeys with surface parking. I am sure this one would be better off in Clayton Park not the middle of the city.....
No idea how this will turn out, but any surface parking is behind building, not along frontage, so you won't notice it. Also, with Lydon Lynch as the architect, you know that it will be a certain quality. That being said, we'll see how that actually build it and where the cut corners.
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  #77  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2016, 10:58 PM
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  #78  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2017, 3:59 PM
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  #79  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2017, 4:41 PM
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Here's a related news story about NS adopting national building codes that allow for construction of wood frame buildings up to 6 floors: http://www.metronews.ca/views/halifa...n-halifax.html

Ross Cantwell is interviewed as part of that and explains how it will be easier to get the economics of developments like this one to work out with a couple more floors and wood frame construction. With modern fire strategies for preventing and suppressing fires this seems reasonable. Some wooden buildings are noisier but there are lots of ways to deal with that too. You can have good and bad wooden buildings, just like there are good and bad concrete towers.

I think the old limit was 4 floors, but sometimes developments will have some concrete levels, and I believe parking garages must be concrete due to the fire hazard. So maybe this one has one ground floor of concrete and then 4 levels above of wood?

I wonder if we will see more proposals for areas like Gottingen or North End Dartmouth because of this change. It also has me wondering if the Housing Trust of NS projects will be changed to wood construction or if they will go through as-is.
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  #80  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2017, 6:33 PM
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Originally Posted by someone123 View Post
Here's a related news story about NS adopting national building codes that allow for construction of wood frame buildings up to 6 floors: http://www.metronews.ca/views/halifa...n-halifax.html

Ross Cantwell is interviewed as part of that and explains how it will be easier to get the economics of developments like this one to work out with a couple more floors and wood frame construction. With modern fire strategies for preventing and suppressing fires this seems reasonable. Some wooden buildings are noisier but there are lots of ways to deal with that too. You can have good and bad wooden buildings, just like there are good and bad concrete towers.

I think the old limit was 4 floors, but sometimes developments will have some concrete levels, and I believe parking garages must be concrete due to the fire hazard. So maybe this one has one ground floor of concrete and then 4 levels above of wood?

I wonder if we will see more proposals for areas like Gottingen or North End Dartmouth because of this change. It also has me wondering if the Housing Trust of NS projects will be changed to wood construction or if they will go through as-is.

Sorry, I don't buy it. Wood buildings in our wet climate are prone to rot and mould, and the glue-lam products used in the taller ones go up like matchsticks when fire is introduced. I certainly would not want to live in or purchase a unit in a 6-storey wood stick structure.
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