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  #21  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2012, 1:00 AM
worldlyhaligonian worldlyhaligonian is offline
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Gentrification is a term people use who don't understand the politics of development. The North End is at least 20 years from being "gentrified". What is happening now in the North End is the spread of a multitude of sub-standard buildings. Poor materials, poor design, and zero interaction with the neighbourhood. These buildings fly under the radar because they are moderately priced and require no thought from planning or council and many will be gone in 20 years or need extensive repairs.

To strike a good balance in this gem of an area we need higher quality buildings that can set the design bar a bit higher. The whole community will benefit from a more balanced approach to development in the north end. The Q-Lofts is exactly the counter-balance that is needed to improve the living experience in the North End for everyone.

North/Central Halifax....a diamond in the rough
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=194210
Great points.
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  #22  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2012, 4:41 AM
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So how do we ensure that groups such as the Mic Mac Friendship Centre and the North End Clinic are able to continue operating in the area as property values go up? An obvious solution would have been for the city to provide incentives for the developer to include space in his project for these groups, and relax height limits (if applicable) in order to accommodate this extra space and maybe an extra floor of residential to make up for the increased construction costs. Unfortunately any opportunity for this to happen is likely long gone.

I realize this is getting off topic for this thread so I will just say that I don't think this project is bad but just wanted to illustrate how I think the perceived negative effects of gentrification (and I use the term loosely) can be mitigated with a bit of creativity and willingness to encourage positive change. This particular project doesn't do that in any direct way but as long as some do I think people's attitudes toward development will change for the better.
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  #23  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2012, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Hali87 View Post
So how do we ensure that groups such as the Mic Mac Friendship Centre and the North End Clinic are able to continue operating in the area as property values go up? An obvious solution would have been for the city to provide incentives for the developer to include space in his project for these groups, and relax height limits (if applicable) in order to accommodate this extra space and maybe an extra floor of residential to make up for the increased construction costs. Unfortunately any opportunity for this to happen is likely long gone.
The St Pats/Alexandra project proposed by Jono Developments would have done just that. Unfortunately those groups got greedy and felt entitled to the entire property. Once the court case plays itself out I see no reason why Jono should continue to offer to host them.

This is a private development on private property, unlike the St Pats situation. Why should a developer have to make additional investment without any return to host such groups, reducing the saleability of the development in the process (many prospective buyers would run away if the building included such organizations). Buyers can choose where they wish to live and without significant subsidies to the developer to offset the loss of saleability there should be no requirement to accommodate such organizations.
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  #24  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2012, 3:20 PM
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Nice to see that the 5 Moes have secured long-term employment again!

The YouTube videos show just how productive they are. At their blistering pace, site prep should hopefully be completed before the end of the decade.
I know that there was a lot of joking about the Moes during the construction of Spice. But overall, it seems like a pretty successful development. Nice looking finished product, affordable, and (i think) fully sold. I'm really looking forward to seeing the renderings of the Q Lofts project.
We could use a few more Peter Polleys in this town.
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  #25  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2012, 3:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Empire View Post
Gentrification is a term people use who don't understand the politics of development. The North End is at least 20 years from being "gentrified".
I agree its a term often misunderstood. But it's not that the North End isn't going through a phase of gentrification - parts of it definitely have/are - it's that gentrification is often used in a negative way, and it shouldn't be. It's one of many ongoing processes related to urban development influenced by a multitude of social/spatial/political factors.

Gentrification, much like density, is a loaded, overly subjective term that needs clear parameters when used.
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  #26  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2012, 4:07 PM
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I know that there was a lot of joking about the Moes during the construction of Spice. But overall, it seems like a pretty successful development. Nice looking finished product, affordable, and (i think) fully sold. I'm really looking forward to seeing the renderings of the Q Lofts project.
We could use a few more Peter Polleys in this town.
I have to disagree with you completely about Spice being a "Nice looking finished product". In fact, I would suggest just the opposite. It is a horrible looking unfinished product.

The construction materials are below average. There is no real theme to the design. The cladding looks like glorified chipboard with bad tin seams. The tin trim near the roof and around the doors looks as though it was done by a home handyman and the rock wall was clearly done with zero knowledge of stone/masonary fundamentals. The wall is already blown apart.

The building looks tired already and in a few years will likely need major repairs in addition to the expensive restoration work currently required.

*Don't get me started on the windows.

I hope Q looks nothing like it and uses no similar materials!!
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  #27  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2012, 5:43 PM
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The St Pats/Alexandra project proposed by Jono Developments would have done just that. Unfortunately those groups got greedy and felt entitled to the entire property. Once the court case plays itself out I see no reason why Jono should continue to offer to host them.

This is a private development on private property, unlike the St Pats situation. Why should a developer have to make additional investment without any return to host such groups, reducing the saleability of the development in the process (many prospective buyers would run away if the building included such organizations). Buyers can choose where they wish to live and without significant subsidies to the developer to offset the loss of saleability there should be no requirement to accommodate such organizations.
I agree, If I was a developer I wouldnt want any of the baggage associated with these groups, and as a prospective tenant, the last place I'd want to raise my kids would be in a building that housed such groups. There is no question that catering to the non-profits diminishes the value of said property.
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  #28  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2012, 6:15 PM
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I agree, If I was a developer I wouldnt want any of the baggage associated with these groups, and as a prospective tenant, the last place I'd want to raise my kids would be in a building that housed such groups. There is no question that catering to the non-profits diminishes the value of said property.
Both the North End Health Centre and MFC are stable groups that have been active in the neighbourhood for years. I question how much "baggage" they actually have - and without them, your building may seem more attractive, but the neighbourhood as a whole may not.

If you choose to live in the city centre you are also choosing all that comes with it. The idea of social bonus zoning is that by bringing in such non-profit groups, increased density/FAR is granted, making your unit a bit more affordable (sometimes this doesn't quite work out, but that's the idea). It's a trade-off. And that's what city living is all about.
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  #29  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2012, 8:33 PM
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Both the North End Health Centre and MFC are stable groups that have been active in the neighbourhood for years. I question how much "baggage" they actually have - and without them, your building may seem more attractive, but the neighbourhood as a whole may not.

If you choose to live in the city centre you are also choosing all that comes with it. The idea of social bonus zoning is that by bringing in such non-profit groups, increased density/FAR is granted, making your unit a bit more affordable (sometimes this doesn't quite work out, but that's the idea). It's a trade-off. And that's what city living is all about.
Drive by the MFC on any work day and you can see the baggage that will come along with allowing them to reside in your building. Also look at the condition of the building itself and how well it's been maintained.

The Health Centre while the building is much neater the "clients" (a term i personally hate) arent. Junkies.Sick prostitutes, homeless etc. are not the people i want hanging in and around my multi-million dollar establishment.

Sorry if its not PC, maybe it's even heartless, but if these groups want a location to work out of, buy a piece of land at full cost and build your own building. Then you can do what you want and let in whomever you want.

Dont force me to carry that burden. If it was up to me I'd bulldoze most of that block and rebuild. Its prime land being underutilized. So as not to wreck this thread about a building that potentially could be a very nice improvement to the area, I'll stop.
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  #30  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2012, 8:46 PM
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Originally Posted by planarchy View Post
If you choose to live in the city centre you are also choosing all that comes with it. The idea of social bonus zoning is that by bringing in such non-profit groups, increased density/FAR is granted, making your unit a bit more affordable (sometimes this doesn't quite work out, but that's the idea). It's a trade-off. And that's what city living is all about.
Are you making an argument about what is true, or an argument about what ought to be true? Density bonuses don't exist in the context of Q Lofts or that entire part of the city.

The attitude that condo owners in one neighbourhood should be forced to pay a heavy economic price upfront to fix the social ills near their new home does not make any economic sense, because people with money to buy high-end condos can afford to live where they like. If too much of a burden is placed on new condos in a neighbourhood like the North End then people that would have bought there will just buy a condo in Clayton Park, as most already do. It is very easy to attempt heavy-handed social engineering but at best those policies tend to result in Pyrrhic victories.
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  #31  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2012, 9:23 PM
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Originally Posted by scooby074 View Post
Drive by the MFC on any work day and you can see the baggage that will come along with allowing them to reside in your building. Also look at the condition of the building itself and how well it's been maintained.

The Health Centre while the building is much neater the "clients" (a term i personally hate) arent. Junkies.Sick prostitutes, homeless etc. are not the people i want hanging in and around my multi-million dollar establishment.

Sorry if its not PC, maybe it's even heartless, but if these groups want a location to work out of, buy a piece of land at full cost and build your own building. Then you can do what you want and let in whomever you want.

Dont force me to carry that burden. If it was up to me I'd bulldoze most of that block and rebuild. Its prime land being underutilized. So as not to wreck this thread about a building that potentially could be a very nice improvement to the area, I'll stop.
This.
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  #32  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2012, 9:36 PM
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Are you making an argument about what is true, or an argument about what ought to be true? Density bonuses don't exist in the context of Q Lofts or that entire part of the city.

...

It is very easy to attempt heavy-handed social engineering but at best those policies tend to result in Pyrrhic victories.
We can assume that the centre plan will contain some sort of density bonuses, as HRMbyDesign has.

It's not about forcing people to pay for social programs - we all already do that through taxes. This has nothing to do with social engineering. But there are fees associated with development anywhere, depending on needs. In Bedford, its for new infrastructure (that people don't even pay for). To suggest that similar schemes to support social/rec. amenities don't exist elsewhere is false.
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  #33  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2012, 9:42 PM
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... if these groups want a location to work out of, buy a piece of land at full cost and build your own building. Then you can do what you want and let in whomever you want.

Dont force me to carry that burden. If it was up to me I'd bulldoze most of that block and rebuild. Its prime land being underutilized.
There's a reason why they don't buy a piece of land at full cost - speculative buyers are difficult for these groups to compete with.

This is a gross simplification - no one is forcing you to carry any burden. And the area is actually denser than many areas on the peninsula so it being underutilized is subjective. If we're talking density, you'd want to bull does the west end as well.
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  #34  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2012, 10:00 PM
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It's not about forcing people to pay for social programs - we all already do that through taxes. This has nothing to do with social engineering. But there are fees associated with development anywhere, depending on needs. In Bedford, its for new infrastructure (that people don't even pay for). To suggest that similar schemes to support social/rec. amenities don't exist elsewhere is false.
I might be misunderstanding you, but you seem to be contradicting yourself by complaining that Bedford does not pay for its new infrastructure and yet also talking about how ubiquitous these policies are. Right now they cover about 10% of the city, so they create a competitive disadvantage.

A density bonus scheme might work but what we saw with HbD was conservative and arbitrary height limits that often don't make sense and are not equivalent to suburban sites even when all possible bonuses are factored in. I predict that any plan involving the North End will be similar and, unfortunately, will be a kind of economic straitjacket. Modest examples of successful development will be attributed to the plan but in reality there will be less development than there might otherwise have been. Hopefully I'm wrong, but that's often how planning goes because it's easier to slap restrictions on developers than it is to do the hard work of providing careful public funding.
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  #35  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2012, 10:10 PM
scooby074 scooby074 is offline
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There's a reason why they don't buy a piece of land at full cost - speculative buyers are difficult for these groups to compete with.

This is a gross simplification - no one is forcing you to carry any burden. And the area is actually denser than many areas on the peninsula so it being underutilized is subjective. If we're talking density, you'd want to bull does the west end as well.
Im not talking solely about density. Im talking about abandoned rundown storefront after rundown storefront.

What "value" is there in saving those properties? To my eyes they have next to no architectural value.

As to burden. I think its pretty obvious as to what burden there would be by housing these non-profits in a new, hopefully mid-upper end development. The developer is responsible for any additional maintenance and security that they might require due to their clientele.
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  #36  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2012, 10:16 PM
Hali87 Hali87 is offline
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The Health Centre while the building is much neater the "clients" (a term i personally hate) arent. Junkies.Sick prostitutes, homeless etc. are not the people i want hanging in and around my multi-million dollar establishment.
So these people should be pushed out of view of the rich folk and forgotten about? This kind of attitude is why these organizations don't want multi-million dollar establishments going up anywhere near them.
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  #37  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2012, 10:21 PM
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So these people should be pushed out of view of the rich folk and forgotten about? This kind of attitude is why these organizations don't want multi-million dollar establishments going up anywhere near them.
Nobody is pushing anybody out. But Harbor View land in the city centre is way more valuable than being used as a clinic or hangout for junkies and hookers. Sorry but its a fact of life. If i had the chance to buy that block and build on it without restriction, you better believe i would. The dozers would be there at 7 AM.

What id say to these organizations is "Pay your way". Dont expect free properties and dont expect taxpayer money to pay for any buildings.

If they want to buy a piece of land at market value and build a cultural centre with their own money have at it. I dont want it taking up space on the ground floor of MY development paid for out of MY pockets.

Last edited by scooby074; Mar 14, 2012 at 10:36 PM.
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  #38  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2012, 10:29 PM
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There's a reason why they don't buy a piece of land at full cost - speculative buyers are difficult for these groups to compete with.

This is a gross simplification - no one is forcing you to carry any burden. And the area is actually denser than many areas on the peninsula so it being underutilized is subjective. If we're talking density, you'd want to bull does the west end as well.
Could you possibly be missing the point? The Vancouver model will not work here at the present time. Building affordable housing into squat six storey buildings is not the same as 5% of a 25 storey building.

I know this idea may seem a bit non-conformist but why not take Uniacke Square and Mulgrave Park and refurbish both sites. Demolish most of the squat buildings and build higher density, affordable housing with day-care, landscaping and perhaps services like a pharmacy med centre or bank. Don't look at this opportunity as marginalizing any particular group but more of a way to provide housing and services to people that will otherwise never have this chance.

If this doesn't happen then the future could be grim for the disadvantaged in this part of the city

If it is O.K. to build affordable housing into mid-range to high price condo buildings as a bonus penalty then it is certainly O.K. to build affordable housing in a presinct like Uniacke Square or Mulgrave Park.

Who pays ....the city of course by giving a developer a massive tax break or possibly have these buildings at a zero tax rate.
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  #39  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2012, 10:35 PM
Hali87 Hali87 is offline
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Originally Posted by scooby074 View Post
Nobody is pushing anybody out.

What id say to these organizations is "Pay your way". Dont expect free properties and dont expect taxpayer money to pay for it.

If they want to buy a piece of land at market value and build a cultural centre with their own money have at it. I dont want it taking up space on the ground floor of MY development paid for out of MY pockets.
The problem though is that most of these issues are concentrated in the inner city, where land value is much higher. "pushed out of view" was in reference to your statement that these people "are not the people i want hanging in and around my multi-million dollar establishment". So when the multimillion dollar establishment is plunked down next door anyway, what happens? I am also a bit confused as to why the MMFC is considered a bad thing? It's a cultural centre representing a specific ethnic group, these are generally celebrated, not reviled.

Ultimately I'm not saying that having non-profits in the ground floor of a major residential development is the best-case scenario for all involved. What I AM saying is that the fact that so many people refuse to even entertain this idea is one of the main reasons that many north-end residents are so opposed to new development. Social factors might not matter as much as economic ones in the end, but they SHOULD matter to some extent.

Maybe we should start a new thread for this?
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  #40  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2012, 10:40 PM
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Regent Park in Toronto is a housing project similar to Uniacke Square that has been at least partially redeveloped with new, higher density buildings.


Source


Such a plan would probably be difficult to implement in Halifax, but that would be one way to substantially improve the Gottingen area. I believe that the biggest problem with that part of town is the high concentration of public housing and nonprofits. For a while the neighbourhood had approximately zero economic activity and therefore offered up zero employment prospects and was full of abandoned buildings.

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Originally Posted by Hali87 View Post
Ultimately I'm not saying that having non-profits in the ground floor of a major residential development is the best-case scenario for all involved. What I AM saying is that the fact that so many people refuse to even entertain this idea is one of the main reasons that many north-end residents are so opposed to new development. Social factors might not matter as much as economic ones in the end, but they SHOULD matter to some extent.

Maybe we should start a new thread for this?
Actually we have a thread for 2215 Gottingen, which is a partially subsidized housing project. It of course is being held back by red tape at City Hall. It will be interesting to see if it is subject to the same old knee-jerk anti-gentrification and anti-development backlash.
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