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  #41  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2009, 2:25 AM
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waterloowarrior waterloowarrior is online now
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this whole area is going to be unrecognizable! nice shots!
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  #42  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2009, 3:16 AM
bauer123 bauer123 is offline
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I knew this wouldn't disappoint the uptown is going be quite the place in the next couple of years. Glad i will be living there to see it transform.
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  #43  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2009, 3:46 AM
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So much for the half window curtains a lot of Segram Loft residents have gotten away with until now
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  #44  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2009, 6:08 AM
Cambridgite Cambridgite is offline
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Wow, this is much more than I suspected.
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  #45  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2009, 1:48 PM
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New Balsillie school will be 'functional, not fancy'

(By Greg Mercer, THE RECORD, January 8, 2008)



WATERLOO

With a nod to the city's industrial past, and an eye to a green future, designers unveiled plans for an uptown school that aims to attract sharp minds from around the world.

To be built on land where whisky barrels used to roll, the Balsillie School of International Affairs will transform the empty Seagram's distillery site into a walkable, tree-lined campus with understated brick buildings, living roofs, a public auditorium and central courtyard.

"This is an institution that will go head to head with the rest of the world," declared Shirley Blumberg, principle architect for the project.

She's a partner in Toronto firm Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg, the people who designed Kitchener City Hall and the Grand Valley Institute for Women.

Speaking at a packed open house at the Centre for International Governance Innovation last night, Blumberg said the school was designed to be "functional but not fancy," as per the wishes of its namesake and chief bankroller, Research In Motion co-CEO Jim Balsillie.

Balsillie is giving $33 million to the new school, while University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University will add $25 million over 10 years.

The site, bordered by Erb Street, Caroline Street and Father David Bauer Drive, connects to the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

The project will be built in phases, with ground preparation beginning by the end of this year.

City council will be asked to approve the site's master plan on Feb. 23.

Although the economic downturn will affect the timing of later construction, the section housing the Balsillie school will be the first to be finished. It's designed to hold about 25 faculty, plus another 70 to 100 students.

Later plans call for another academic wing to hold other university programs, plus a proposed 12-storey building that would serve as housing for faculty and students and an underground parking garage.

The iconic Seagram's barrel pyramid may be moved from the site to make room for the new buildings, said project consultant Chris Pidgeon.

More than 100 residents crowded last night's meeting, but most questions revolved around how the school would affect traffic problems on surrounding streets.

To make Caroline Street more pedestrian-friendly, the city is looking at reducing the road from four lanes to two.

Most, though, seemed impressed with what designers were proposing.

"I've been involved with city planning for the past 40 years and this is the best plan I've seen in all that time," said Waterloo's John Shortreed.

http://news.therecord.com/News/Local/article/468598
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  #46  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2009, 2:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke-Of-Waterloo View Post

The barrel pyramid will be "relocated". They are currently throwing around ideas of where to move it in the city.
They should locate it to that not so impressive (IMO) small park/green space between the Lofts and Caroline Street. Moving it off site of the former Seagram's land would make it completely pointless.

Exciting project. Uptown Waterloo will be the schnizzle in 5 more years. A very strong foundation is set. This just tops it off.
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  #47  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2009, 2:35 PM
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There is an absolute need now to change the part of Waterloo Town Square that faces Caroline.
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  #48  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2009, 2:39 PM
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...or just wait 15 years until they level the mall altogether for a better planned development.
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  #49  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2009, 3:09 PM
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I think this is a great development. Way to go Waterloo!
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  #50  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2009, 4:10 PM
urban!ty urban!ty is offline
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There's a 10 storey component? NICE. And if they are going for high calibre design then I very much look forward to seeing what this will look like.

I am dying to see its planned design.
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  #51  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2009, 7:40 PM
BusyBerliner BusyBerliner is offline
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A question for anyone that attended or is well informed about this..

Did they provide a timeline for when the academic expansion and/or mixed use expansion might be built?

This looks like it could be a great project, but I do worry about how many years we'll just have surface parking on half the block.
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  #52  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2009, 11:12 PM
jcollins jcollins is offline
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This is a great looking proposal! I like the complete use of the entire property

Thanks for the pics Duke!
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  #53  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2009, 1:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BusyBerliner View Post
Did they provide a timeline for when the academic expansion and/or mixed use expansion might be built?

This looks like it could be a great project, but I do worry about how many years we'll just have surface parking on half the block.
That was actually a question asked by someone in the audience last night. The answer Ken McLaughlin gave was somewhat mixed. First of all, he said in an unclear way that it is their plan and hope to have each phase begin construction right after the previous one finishes. However, he also said that due to recent economic conditions, nothing is certain. He said that after all, no one really expected '08 to be as bad as it was.

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Originally Posted by notmyfriends View Post
There is an absolute need now to change the part of Waterloo Town Square that faces Caroline.
I was thinking the exact same thing last night during the meeting. This is First Gulf's calling to do something with the mall's rear end. If you've ever walked down that side of Caroline on a hot summer day behind Valu Mart's receiving door, the dumpsters reak beyond anything else and are usually leaking garbage juice onto the sidewalk. You have to admit though, one of the reasons why Uptown has been so successful over the past few years is because it has a full-service grocery store (something Kitchener has been lobbying for for years, and sorry the new Shoppers doesn't quite cut it).

Quote:
Originally Posted by notmyfriends View Post
So much for the half window curtains a lot of Segram Loft residents have gotten away with until now
Another issue raised by a resident of the Seagram Lofts last night was whether the lights will be turned off at a certain time from the parking and whether they will be respectful of the residents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onishenko View Post
I mean, KW shys away from doing any type of underground parking due to the economics of such, so that idea is out.
(from Charles/Benton Parking Structure Thread)

Actually (which I found quite interesting, but not-surprising to say the least) Shirley Blumberg addressed the underground parking issue and said that there will only be 1 level of underground parking on the site due to Kitchener-Waterloo's high water table. This is why you don't see many underground garages around here, especially Uptown with the buried Laurel Creek and all.
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  #54  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2009, 4:40 AM
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That 12 storey building should start to give Caroline a nice urban look. And once the City sells those two parking lots along the same side of the street as they plan to eventually do, then the addition of the potential Westin and the proposed development on the other end on the corner of William... I'm looking forward to seeing it all come togeher.
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  #55  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2009, 7:33 PM
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  #56  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2009, 2:42 PM
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Balsillie school gets green light TheRecord.com - Local - Balsillie school gets green light

Liz Monteiro
RECORD STAFF

WATERLOO
Waterloo councillors gave the stamp of approval to the new Balsillie School of International Affairs at a council meeting last night.
Councillors unanimously approved the project which is expected to be erected on the former Seagram's distillery site later this year. The urban campus lined with trees will feature green roofs, a covered bicycle parking area, and pedestrian pathways and public courtyards.
"This has a wow factor. It will attract international attention,'' said Coun. Mark Whaley.
Mayor Brenda Halloran said she's thankful that the landmark structure is open to the public with courtyards and sitting areas.
The Balsillie School is named after Research In Motion co-CEO Jim Balsillie who is also the principle financier behind the school located in Uptown Waterloo.
Balsillie is giving $33 million to the new school, while University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University will add $25 million over 10 years.
Together with the Centre for International Governance Innovation, the two institutions will cover nearly two hectares at the corner of Erb and Caroline streets.
The school will be built in four phases with the Balsillie School first at three-storeys high. Later plans include an academic wing to hold other university programs, plus an 11-storey building that will serve as an academic building and housing for faculty and students. An underground parking garage will feature 250 parking spaces.
Construction will begin in earnest next year.
lmonteiro@therecord.com
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  #57  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2009, 3:07 PM
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Great news for Uptown. Westin better cave for the parking garage and get a hotel up while they still can!! Looking at how the proposal touches on proposed LRT/BRT routes, this location is prime. Even with the way the economy is now, open lots in Uptown is going to be a thing of the past soon. Sporting $4 million for a parking garage will be peanuts in 5 years if they have to find a new location and/or buy up existing properties.

Anyway, either the City is playing the game really well or they are damn lucky. I would of covered for the garage long ago. But now this Basillie School approval and construction to start by the end of the year changes everything. "Come on Westin, pay for the garage and jump on the gravy train!"

I expect several more developments Uptown to be announced soon. Great buzz!!
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  #58  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2009, 5:18 AM
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That concept plan might as well be a rip of off the 1960's UW buildings inside ring road. Weak use of the space, regardless of how 'dense' it is going to be. So much opportunity to create an intense island of dynamic urbansim, but this is going to miss the mark: it's a surburban model for school building.
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  #59  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2009, 5:24 AM
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  #60  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2009, 4:57 PM
myfaceisonfire myfaceisonfire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackeast View Post
That concept plan might as well be a rip of off the 1960's UW buildings inside ring road. Weak use of the space, regardless of how 'dense' it is going to be. So much opportunity to create an intense island of dynamic urbansim, but this is going to miss the mark: it's a surburban model for school building.
Finally, I thought I was the only person who wasn't ready to nominate this project of the century. Hopefully the architecture in the concept plan is just that - a concept. This literally looks like it was designed by a time traveler from the 60's who spent a few weeks in the year 2009 reading about being green.

What happened to striving to win another governor's general award? I understand the desire to fit in with the surrounding area but I am not at all head-over-heals in love with this proposal like the rest of the city. I expected a lot more.
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