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  #1  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2014, 10:30 PM
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[Halifax] 6395-6399 North Street | 27 m | 8 fl | Proposed

Regional Council has two reports that might be of interest to SSP;

1) Case #18388 - A proposal by Mythos Developments to construct a 7-storey residential building at 6395-6399 North Street. The building would wrap around North, Oxford, and Seaforth Streets. Staff is recommending against this proposal citing compatibility issues with SFH's nearby, parking entrance off of Seaforth, and the planned 5' blank wall wrapping around the property. IMO staff are correct to not support this project and while mixed housing options would be great for the West End this is not the way to get that. A rendering is available at the very end of the document.

2) Administrative Order 50 - Following new procedures HRM staff are recommending the selling of numerous surplus properties. Of note is the plan to sell Dartmouth City Hall, Khyber Building, and four properties along Maitland Street (part of an unknown proposal).
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  #2  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2014, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Dmajackson View Post
Regional Council has two reports that might be of interest to SSP;

1) Case #18388 - A proposal by Mythos Developments to construct a 7-storey residential building at 6395-6399 North Street. The building would wrap around North, Oxford, and Seaforth Streets. Staff is recommending against this proposal citing compatibility issues with SFH's nearby, parking entrance off of Seaforth, and the planned 5' blank wall wrapping around the property. IMO staff are correct to not support this project and while mixed housing options would be great for the West End this is not the way to get that. A rendering is available at the very end of the document.
Here is the rendering. Doesn't look bad and is at least somewhat unique:




Quote:
2) Administrative Order 50 - Following new procedures HRM staff are recommending the selling of numerous surplus properties. Of note is the plan to sell Dartmouth City Hall, Khyber Building, and four properties along Maitland Street (part of an unknown proposal).
Oh, please, please, PLEASE... sell the Khyber!!! Get this albatross off the taxpayer's back. It is the only hope for the rest of that god-forsaken block on Barrington to get out of the ditch it's been in for decades.

Interesting re Dartmouth City Hall. Not sure it has much value to the city but the old guard in Dartmouth will be dead-set against it I bet.

Last edited by Keith P.; Jul 26, 2014 at 12:35 AM.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2014, 10:52 PM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
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Eww.
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  #4  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2014, 11:17 PM
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Eww.
Yep. Needs to loose the stone.. Looks like it belongs in an office park somewhere

HTNS used to have offices in the khyber.. They could buy it. Heck I wouldn't complain if the city sold it for 1$ contingent on them restoring it..
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Old Posted Jul 25, 2014, 11:35 PM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
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Yep. Needs to loose the stone.. Looks like it belongs in an office park somewhere

HTNS used to have offices in the khyber.. They could buy it. Heck I wouldn't complain if the city sold it for 1$ contingent on them restoring it..
The irony, I assume, is that they could never afford to restore it?

My two cents on Khyber is that city should just fix it. The costs are unfortunate, but it's an extraordinary building (Keith's opinion notwithstanding) and I just don't see a proper restoration, at the $3-4 million cost estimate, being tenable for a private developer, unless they commit some substantial alteration/build above it/etc. (Maybe I'm wrong, but that's my hunch.)

It'd be wildly unacceptable to commit substantial alterations to the building in the name of making a redevelopment/re-use more financially feasible. It just needs to be fixed, as-is. It needs cash money. Christ, I keep coming back to the Lister Block in Hamilton--the city spent $21 million on that, and that's a city in a less enviable financial position than we are. The Khyber needs to be fixed, by the city, now. Selling it so some private developer can snap it up and then sit on the land until the building falls down is no solution.
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Old Posted Jul 25, 2014, 11:36 PM
ILoveHalifax ILoveHalifax is offline
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I like the place and especially like how they would use the stone reminiscent of the convent that was/is there.
And I like the curved windows similar to the place at Quinpool and Vernon.
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  #7  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2014, 12:29 AM
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The irony, I assume, is that they could never afford to restore it?

My two cents on Khyber is that city should just fix it. The costs are unfortunate, but it's an extraordinary building (Keith's opinion notwithstanding) and I just don't see a proper restoration, at the $3-4 million cost estimate, being tenable for a private developer, unless they commit some substantial alteration/build above it/etc. (Maybe I'm wrong, but that's my hunch.)

It'd be wildly unacceptable to commit substantial alterations to the building in the name of making a redevelopment/re-use more financially feasible. It just needs to be fixed, as-is. It needs cash money. Christ, I keep coming back to the Lister Block in Hamilton--the city spent $21 million on that, and that's a city in a less enviable financial position than we are. The Khyber needs to be fixed, by the city, now. Selling it so some private developer can snap it up and then sit on the land until the building falls down is no solution.
I think it is a hideous, unwelcoming, almost hostile-looking building and despite its age and whatever architectural merit some may think it has, it is a real drain on that block. But let me put that aside for a second and be magnanimous. I am not a professional architecture critic and maybe it is one of the best buildings of its kind in the world. Then OK, perhaps the city through an unfortunate series of bad decisions is on the hook to restore it. Fine, can't change the past.

But I have a huge problem with them doing that just so it can be a private clubhouse for the Khyber Arts Society. Never have I seen a more entitled-sounding bunch. If the city is going to sink that kind of money into the dump, then there needs to be some return. Gifting it to the KAS is not that. It needs to be made a home for wayward girls, a municipal office, something that the city can get some proper value out of. Not the KAS clubhouse. No way.
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  #8  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2014, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by ILoveHalifax View Post
I like the place and especially like how they would use the stone reminiscent of the convent that was/is there.
And I like the curved windows similar to the place at Quinpool and Vernon.
I assume it is the actual stone, reused. That's why I thought it wasn't bad.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2014, 9:30 AM
fenwick16 fenwick16 is offline
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Here is the rendering. Doesn't look bad and is at least somewhat unique:


The design itself is interesting but the exterior cladding looks bad. If they had of used light coloured precast panels or white block on the lower storeys instead of the terrible looking stone then it would be a decent looking building, in my opinion.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2014, 4:22 PM
portapetey portapetey is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
Here is the rendering. Doesn't look bad and is at least somewhat unique:



Oh, please, please, PLEASE... sell the Khyber!!! Get this albatross off the taxpayer's back. It is the only hope for the rest of that god-forsaken block on Barrington to get out of the ditch it's been in for decades.

Interesting re Dartmouth City Hall. Not sure it has much value to the city but the old guard in Dartmouth will be dead-set against it I bet.

The overall design is not terrible, but what is it with Halifax developers' need to mix and match about 6 different architectural styles, and about 6 different claddings all in one building?

Just pick a style, pick a building material (but no more red brick, please) and go with it.
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  #11  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2014, 2:11 AM
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Created a thread for this project seeing how Regional Council has voted to allow this project to have public consultation.
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  #12  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2014, 2:26 PM
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This is a first for me, but I'm actually against it. Nothing to do with the usual NIMBY crap, I just happen to think the current building is really cool looking, and they are planning to mess up a unique building and make it look more like every other new building going up.

Can't they build up and make the entire building out of stone?
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  #13  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2014, 2:30 PM
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This is a first for me, but I'm actually against it. Nothing to do with the usual NIMBY crap, I just happen to think the current building is really cool looking, and they are planning to mess up a unique building and make it look more like every other new building going up.

Can't they build up and make the entire building out of stone?
I agree too. I feel that something like this would fit in very well out on say Washmill Lake Dr.
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  #14  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2014, 3:01 PM
xanaxanax xanaxanax is offline
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Noooo, I love the building that is there now. I don't think this is the worst looking thing ever it could use some redesign work.

Knock down the butt ugly Gospel Hall building across the street and build this thing there. It would fit in a little better if just moved over to that spot with some modifications.
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  #15  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2014, 11:04 PM
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I am trying to keep an open mind but I think it is inappropriate in 2014 to allow concrete walls up against the sidewalk so you can save some money on excavating the parking. It is just such bad urban design.
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  #16  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2014, 11:47 PM
ILoveHalifax ILoveHalifax is offline
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Funny how we come up with some urban design principles and then can not consider any alternatives.
5885 Cunard has concrete wall very close to the sidewalk and it was a great place to live. The Armoury next door is so close to the sidewalk that one could spit on your balcony.
If the builder can build and sell the buyers are the ones who should decide if they like the text book designs.
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  #17  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2014, 5:56 AM
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I am trying to keep an open mind but I think it is inappropriate in 2014 to allow concrete walls up against the sidewalk so you can save some money on excavating the parking. It is just such bad urban design.
It's a clunky design, with some okay parts and some useless/bad parts.

The concrete wall is dumb. There should, instead, be street level retail, etc, not some ugly fake wall that hides part of the sidewalk. Expand the sidewalk if you have the space.

Drop the stone cladding, looks dumb.
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  #18  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2014, 12:34 PM
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The concrete wall is dumb. There should, instead, be street level retail, etc, not some ugly fake wall that hides part of the sidewalk. Expand the sidewalk if you have the space.
The area could use a little street level retail, actually. I could overlook the downgrading of the building itself if it's accompanied by an upgrade of the street area. The intersection has some of the better transit connections in the city, but has precious little growth potential.
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  #19  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2014, 1:57 PM
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Street level retail? Why? It is not a retail area. That sounds like yet another old chestnut from the planner's book of maxims that must be used in every discussion.
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  #20  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2014, 9:44 PM
counterfactual counterfactual is offline
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Street level retail? Why? It is not a retail area. That sounds like yet another old chestnut from the planner's book of maxims that must be used in every discussion.
And opposing street level retail appears to be an old page taken right out of the Anti-Urbanist Almanac.

You really should write that, by the way. I give you permission to use that catchy title: Keith's Anti-Urbanist Almanac (tm).

Are you at all familiar with the area? There's a great little coffee shop just up the street, which IMHO has added a lot to the local. As curnhalio says, a little more street level retail like that could be a real plus for the area and IMHO, help build a sense of local, walkable, community-- maybe another cafe, maybe a small grocer; some of small local business-- anything, really.

Street level retail doesn't have to be Best Buy. The whole purpose of mixed-use development is to stop the trend of dumb suburban-like neighborhoods where everything is residential or commercial, meaning you have to drive everywhere for even the most simplest needs. Having some small street level space for local business, where people can walk, meet, socialize, get life necessities, is good, and helps build great communities.

So if you're arguing, ala Waye Mason, that small street level retail is "out of character" with the community.... I'll laugh a little at the irony and then point out that North Street is dotted with businesses all along it. This could just add a little more, rather than some ugly street wall currently proposed.

Last edited by counterfactual; Aug 10, 2014 at 9:56 PM.
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