OK - in a nutshell this is what happened.........
Moncton City Council invited four local architectural firms to submit renderings as to what they think the proposed events centre and ancillary developments could look like. There is no guarantee that any of these renderings will reflect what the final project will look like, or even that the events centre will definitely be approved in the first place.
This presentation therefore was made to fire the imagination of those in attendance, and to garner further public support for this project.
The presentation was made in a packed
city council chambers. It was standing room only will people spilling out into the lobby outside. The energy in the room was very
positive and the atmosphere was charged with excitement. The mayor and a number of city councillors were in attendance as well as Robert Goguen, the federal MP for Moncton.
- All four presentations referred to the project as the Moncton Centre
. I presume that this is the official "placeholder" name for the project until something better comes along.
- All four presentations were good, but I agree with mattyy
that two in particular stood out. These were the ones by Architects Four
and Architecture 2000
. These were the most professional and included CGI flyby animations, but aside from this, they had the most impressive features.
- All four proposals would site the arena where the current Highfield Square is located, with a mixed use development being built on the current parking lot which includes retail, commercial and residential components.
- In all cases, Highfield Street would be extended south to lie between the arena and the mixed use development. In one case, vehicle access would be limited. In another case, Weldon would also be extended south and a roadway would be created encircling the arena.
- In two cases, the proposals included an extension of the project to also include lands on the south side of the railway tracks (as suggested on our forum
), with one of these proposals including mixed use and parking south of the rail lines while the other proposal included an innovative integrated transit facility for Codiac Transo, VIA Rail and possibly Acadian Lines. This would be accomplished by relocating the VIA station to the new transit hub.
- The Architects Four proposal for the arena had the arena oriented along Main St with a strong streetfront presence with retail and restaurants lining the facade. The Architecture 2000 proposal had the arena obliquely oriented, parallelling the rail line rather than Main St. This allowed for a plaza in front of the arena facing Main St. This proposal also envisaged restaurants and pubs lining the streetfront, but the plaza in front allowed for patios in front of the restaurants.
- all four proposals included public spaces but these were in completely different locations depending on the proposal. The concept of an integrated convention facility was brought up a couple of times. One proposal included an art gallery.
- None of the proposals indicated any linkage to the Aquillini block across the street, but this could easily be addressed.
In essence, this is a transformative project that will completely resculpt two or possibly three city blocks (four if you include Aquillini). The downtown will most definitely never be the same if this project moves forward......
It was actually quite emotional watching these presentations in the council chamber. I don't think I was the only person who felt this way.