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  #21  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2011, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by CorbeauNoir View Post
Aren't there already like two NSLCs within a few blocks of that site? Good gravy NS, you guys really pound 'em back
They want to shut those 2 down and consolidate them in the new development. Which means their existing Clyde St site is up for grabs for redevelopment.
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  #22  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2011, 1:52 AM
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I guess it's just something different, but I would hope they didn't hire someone to do it for them and at least did it in house.

As for the packaging of the lots - it's interesting. I'm neither here nor there about it; but it's an interesting idea. I think this is the first time they've done it this way but I'm sure it will get better.
I would hope that would do the exact opposite and hire someone who actually knows they are doing. While I think this sort of branding can be useful, it should definitely not be done in-house by municipal staff. We already do too much if this type of stuff in-house at the Provincial Level; meanwhile the local private design firms starve.
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  #23  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2011, 9:44 PM
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The two parking lots would make great condo's which would bring people downtown to live. But I hope for something BIG to go on the old Infirmary site. Maybe a retail/recreation complex? Something with an indoor common area. It could also connect to the new library via tunnel for those cold winter days and for convenience. Also there was another thread about Art gallery of Nova Scotia looking for a new home. I think an Art Gallery and Library complex sounds pretty sophisticated. It would also make the Library's unorthodox design make some sense if it was attached to an art gallery. Then again Dal might build something there.

One thing is for sure, as it is the lots cant stay. I HATE walking down queen because that area feels like a waste land with all that emptiness. And its always windy. People drive around in circles looking for a spot in those even though Park Lane and City Center have Parking Garages! It makes no sense to me. The lots are useless
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  #24  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2011, 7:33 PM
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Developers line up to take a crack at Halifax site

By CHRIS LAMBIE Business Editor
Fri, Mar 25 - 4:54 AM

Mary Ann has plenty of developers looking her way.

WM Fares Group and Banc Developments, Killam Properties and Urban Capital Property, Mythos Developments, Dexel Developments, Universal Properties, Armour Group, Tony Metlege, and Westwood Developments are all interested in acquiring the key downtown property on Clyde Street beside Queen Street from Halifax Regional Municipality. The city dubbed the lot Mary Ann, after one of three Schmidt sisters who lived in the area known as Schmidtville 140 years ago.

"We’re not asking for design proposals; this is just all about financial proposals and qualifications," Andy Fillmore, the municipality’s manager of urban design, said late Thursday.

"If you’ve done a project like this in the past, if you’ve got a good team and if you can show us numbers that make sense, then you’re a contender."

The ground floor on the Mary Ann site will be primarily commercial retail, Fillmore said. Height on the project is restricted to 27.6 metres.

The project, which will hold hundreds of residential units, will be set back 3.6 metres from the sidewalk on Clyde, with a double row of trees on the sidewalk.

"There’s a maximum building envelope that they can do whatever they want to within," Fillmore said. "Then there are some guidelines around quality of materials . . . and active pedestrian streetscapes . . . but you could have very, very different results from different architects."

The municipality’s other Clyde Street parking lot will be up for grabs later, followed by the site of the former Halifax Infirmary on Queen Street, which lies south of the land destined to house the new $55-million library.

There is no schedule for when the other two publicly owned sites will be offered to developers.

The request for proposals closed at 5 p.m. Thursday. The city will not divulge what developers offered to pay for the land until the transaction is complete.

( clambie@herald.ca)
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  #25  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2011, 7:51 PM
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Also really looking forward to this. I think 27.6 metres can work because they are bidding on a site. The developers will effectively set a price that the market can bare given the height restrictions.

I like the fact that they're talking about an extra wide sidewalk with trees. This is something that is actually a community amenity that will be useful. Often the city demands setbacks with no other requirements and the result is awkward private or semi-private wasted land (the land itself has no purpose other than to keep the building away from adjacent properties).
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  #26  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2011, 8:00 PM
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Also really looking forward to this. I think 27.6 metres can work because they are bidding on a site. The developers will effectively set a price that the market can bare given the height restrictions.

I like the fact that they're talking about an extra wide sidewalk with trees. This is something that is actually a community amenity that will be useful. Often the city demands setbacks with no other requirements and the result is awkward private or semi-private wasted land (the land itself has no purpose other than to keep the building away from adjacent properties).
I still would have preferred a bit more design considerations in the evaluation.

Nonetheless, lets get on it with it
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  #27  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2011, 8:01 PM
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Also really looking forward to this. I think 27.6 metres can work because they are bidding on a site. The developers will effectively set a price that the market can bare given the height restrictions.

I like the fact that they're talking about an extra wide sidewalk with trees. This is something that is actually a community amenity that will be useful. Often the city demands setbacks with no other requirements and the result is awkward private or semi-private wasted land (the land itself has no purpose other than to keep the building away from adjacent properties).
I agree about the sidewalk. Having trees and wider sidewalks is something that the best cities do to create areas that people want to walk in. The trees help shade during the summer, so it's not so god awful hot (as my mother would say). The trees also cut down on wind and help with snow.

I think this site is big enough that despite the fact the height on the isn't very high, you can still get a good level of units and development there. Plus; it's all about cumulative effect. So add this lot, the two other 'sister lots', Trillium and eventually YMCA - that's a good chunk of units added!
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  #28  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2011, 10:20 PM
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If these two lots can be dealt with in a short period then we can focus on the UG, herald, and other major holes downtown.
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  #29  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2011, 11:10 PM
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If these two lots can be dealt with in a short period then we can focus on the UG, herald, and other major holes downtown.
I think there is hope, however if they are both used for condos then i am a bit nervous as it appears the market isn't big enough to support too many. Besides, condo's will require preselling, were as rentals is requires none of this (hence why the vic was built so quickly).
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  #30  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2011, 11:17 PM
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I think there is hope, however if they are both used for condos then i am a bit nervous as it appears the market isn't big enough to support too many.
I don't know if I agree with that statement. My understanding (in the case of Trillium) was that the average priced to slightly higher end units went quite quickly. It was the higher priced units (I'd assume above $500k) that took a while to sell, which a single person or even a couple with average salaries couldn't really afford. So if they stick to a certain price point, I'm sure the units would sell.

From what I'm seeing, the market isn't doing so well for units above $500k. Because those units in that building by the commons have been for sale for what seems like forever and most of them were 500K and up.

But that's just what I'm seeing and hearing...I could be completely wrong.

The other side of the coin would be that if they flooded the market with condos and had to reduce costs - it might hurt them, but then create an artificial demand on the units because they are going cheaper. But I don't really see that happening, since the developer could end up taking a loss on the product.
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  #31  
Old Posted Apr 14, 2011, 8:31 PM
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Anybody know when they're going to release information about the bids for the first site?
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  #32  
Old Posted May 13, 2011, 2:18 AM
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Headed to council in an in camera session in June. Sounds like there was a lot of interest. Not sure when they would actually confirm a winning bid or release more information.

My guess is that we'll get the max 8 storeys of condos with the NSLC and maybe some other retail spaces. I'm also predicting that this will play out smoothly since there is a requirement that the winning bid adhere to HRMbyDesign. There shouldn't be a need for any amendments before development takes place.

This building plus the library and IDEA building will go a very long way in reducing the "sea of parking lots" effect.

Like I've said before, we could conceivably have 5 projects under construction in a very small area: City Centre Atlantic apartments, new TD building, library, IDEA building, and the Mary-Ann site.
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  #33  
Old Posted May 13, 2011, 5:44 PM
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Headed to council in an in camera session in June. Sounds like there was a lot of interest. Not sure when they would actually confirm a winning bid or release more information.

My guess is that we'll get the max 8 storeys of condos with the NSLC and maybe some other retail spaces. I'm also predicting that this will play out smoothly since there is a requirement that the winning bid adhere to HRMbyDesign. There shouldn't be a need for any amendments before development takes place.

This building plus the library and IDEA building will go a very long way in reducing the "sea of parking lots" effect.

Like I've said before, we could conceivably have 5 projects under construction in a very small area: City Centre Atlantic apartments, new TD building, library, IDEA building, and the Mary-Ann site.
This is great news and will go a long way towards creating many good paying construction jobs.
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  #34  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2011, 12:51 AM
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Here's a good view of the sites taken in 2007:


source: Ms. Charlie Milne on flickr
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  #35  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2011, 5:41 AM
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Apparently council will be considering the first development tomorrow. Perhaps we will see some renderings or other material.

It's a rental proposal plus the NSLC is interested in moving in so it's possible that this will proceed very quickly. According to ANS they're looking at 8 floors and about 130 units.
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  #36  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2011, 6:41 AM
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Apparently council will be considering the first development tomorrow. Perhaps we will see some renderings or other material.

It's a rental proposal plus the NSLC is interested in moving in so it's possible that this will proceed very quickly. According to ANS they're looking at 8 floors and about 130 units.
Is there a view plane these buildings are ducking under? Why only 8?
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  #37  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2011, 10:58 AM
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Is there a view plane these buildings are ducking under? Why only 8?
No view plane. I'm pretty sure this is part of the area that HRMbyDESIGN set maximum heights in.
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  #38  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2011, 2:40 PM
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No view plane. I'm pretty sure this is part of the area that HRMbyDESIGN set maximum heights in.
Actually there are both. The parking lots and the other site near the former hospital are covered by viewplanes 9 and 10.

So you actually have the HbD regulations and the viewplanes. My guess would be that the maximum post bonus height comes in just under the maximum viewplane height.
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  #39  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2011, 12:01 PM
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It appears to be confirmed that the city is going with the Fares bid, and will open negotiations with them. I think this is goos news, and I don't doubt that part of why their bid scored well is that they are one of only a handful of developers that have been building the last couple of years.

Fares has said that they have concept drawings, but nothing detailed... hopefully we will see at least the concept released sometime soon!
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  #40  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2011, 12:07 PM
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Fares Group wins Mary Ann bidding war

By BRUCE ERSKINE Business Reporter
Wed, Jun 29 - 4:54 AM

W.M. Fares Group and Banc Developments have wooed and won Mary Ann.

"That’s good," said Wadih Fares, president of the Fares Group, after Halifax regional council decided Tuesday to sell a 33,869-square-foot property bounded by Birmingham, Queen and Clyde streets in downtown Halifax to the local developers.

"I’m very happy."

The property is named for Mary Ann Schmidt, one of three sisters who lived in the area that was known as Schmidtville 140 years ago.

Fares wouldn’t say what the partners paid for the property, the first of three properties in the area the municipality plans to sell for development, or when construction might begin.

A confidential May 20 city hall report on the Mary Ann deal won’t be released until the transaction closes.

But Besim Halef of Banc Developments said the partners plan a $30-million, eight-storey commercial-residential development that conforms to the Halifax by Design guidelines. It would include three levels of underground parking.

The ground floor, which may include a Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. outlet to replace the existing Clyde Street store, would be retail space, Halef said Tuesday. The upper floors would contain 120 to 130 apartments.

He also declined to disclose what the property cost the developers.

The municipality received eight bids for the Mary Ann property.

Other bidders included Killam Properties Inc. and Urban Capital Property, Mythos Developments Ltd., Dexel Developments, Universal Properties, Armour Group Ltd., Tony Metlege and Westwood Developments Ltd.

The city will put the nearby Margaretta block at Clyde Street and Dresden Row and the Rosina block, on the Queen Street site of the old Infirmary hospital, up for sale over the next few years.

( berskine@herald.ca)
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