HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForumSkyscraper Posters
     
Welcome to the SkyscraperPage Forum

Since 1999, the SkyscraperPage Forum has been one of the most active skyscraper enthusiast communities on the web. The global membership discusses development news and construction activity on projects from around the world, alongside discussions on urban design, architecture, transportation and many other topics. Welcome!

You are currently browsing as a guest. Register with the SkyscraperPage Forum and join this growing community of skyscraper enthusiasts. Registering has benefits such as fewer ads, the ability to post messages, private messaging and more.

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Atlantic Provinces > SSP: Local Halifax > Halifax Peninsula & Downtown Dartmouth

Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #41  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2008, 10:26 AM
sdm sdm is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,895
Developer makes case for demolition
Building is heritage property, municipality tells Supreme Court
By BILL POWER Staff Reporter
Tue. Mar 18 - 6:39 AM



The legal status of the building at 1870 Upper Water St. in Halifax, which houses part of Sweet Basil Bistro, remains in limbo for at least two more weeks. Armour Group has applied for a permit to demolish the wooden structure as part of its ambitious reconstruction of the historic block. HRM refused to grant a demolition permit, saying the building is registered for protection under the Heritage Property Act. (JEFF HARPER / Staff)





It will be at least two weeks before proponents of a $16-million reconstruction of some historic Upper Water Street buildings learn if the status of a wooden structure will push the project into development limbo.

Armour (Ben) McCrea, chairman of Armour Group, said Monday he is frustrated a dispute over a decades-old "clerical error" involving street addressing landed in Nova Scotia Supreme Court when the matter could be cleared up quickly by a Halifax regional council motion.

"There are ways a lot simpler than this to have this resolved, rather than putting me through the hoops that I’m having to go through. It’s unfair," the developer said outside the courtroom.

Lawyers representing Armour Group and Halifax Regional Municipality squared off before Justice Walter Goodfellow over the heritage status of the wood structure at 1870 Upper Water St. under the provincial Heritage Property Act.

The act requires extensive public consultation prior to demolition or significant alteration of protected properties.

Justice Goodfellow told the court it will be at least two weeks before he renders a decision on the legal status of the building, which houses a portion of Sweet Basil Bistro.

Armour Group has applied for a permit to demolish the wooden structure as part of its ambitious reconstruction of the historic block.

Armour insists the building was never registered with the province as a heritage property, as were four other structures on the same block.

The company is seeking a ruling from the Supreme Court that will force the municipality to process a required demolition permit, which Mr. McCrea said will hasten the development approval process and increase the viability of the project.

Court heard that the municipality refused to grant a demolition permit as it has evidence the building is registered for protection under the act.

Solicitor Karen Brown told the court the matter involves more than a clerical error, as put forward by Armour Group.

"HRM has documents indicating it is a registered heritage property," she said.

After the court proceeding, Mr. McCrea said his company wants the status of the building at 1870 Upper Water St. resolved before going to the public with its redevelopment proposal for the entire block across the street from Historic Properties on Halifax’s waterfront.

Regardless of the outcome of this legal snag, he said his company could demolish the building after one year. But he said his company has never demolished a protected structure and he wants the status of this building clarified.

He said his company wants to maintain its good reputation for attention to heritage issues in its redevelopment work, as reflected in the waterfront Historic Properties project across the street from this site and the nearby Founders Square complex.

Armour Group requires a development agreement with the municipality before beginning construction of the eight-to-nine storey complex in the spring of 2009. It will provide about 80,000 square feet of office and ground-floor retail space and will retain the original historic building facades if approved
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #42  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2008, 12:43 PM
sdm sdm is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,895
also see there is an article in the allnovascotia.com that has more facts to the case then the chronicle heralds article.

HRM didn't even call the two witnesses, claimed they had documents, but couldn't find them. And that 1870 was historic properties limited offices address at one time, not an actual building.

Too funny.

Also seem's Mr. Pacey is getting ready to fight it as well, claims he is against Founder Square type redevelopments.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #43  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2008, 12:52 PM
phrenic phrenic is offline
Closed account
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdm View Post
Also seem's Mr. Pacey is getting ready to fight it as well, claims he is against Founder Square type redevelopments.
I propose that Ben McCrea and Phil Pacey settle this by battling each other in one of those East Coast Cage fights up at the forum.

In all seriousness,

Quote:
Originally Posted by phrenic
... it would be a real shame if this gets quashed for the sake of the little green building.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #44  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2008, 3:39 PM
sdm sdm is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,895
Quote:
Originally Posted by phrenic View Post
I propose that Ben McCrea and Phil Pacey settle this by battling each other in one of those East Coast Cage fights up at the forum.

In all seriousness,
Considering the size of Pacey to Ben i would give the quick node to Ben in that match.

Seriously though, your totally right Phrenic if this heritage trust stalls another development i believe people will be calling for his head on a plater.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #45  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2008, 6:47 PM
someone123's Avatar
someone123 someone123 is online now
hähnchenbrüstfiletstüc
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 14,637
I'd really be surprised if Pacey didn't try to fight this one.

It's too bad we're not seeing more development on completely empty sites. I guess the biggest problem there is that most are government owned (Barrington/George, two on Hollis, waterfront lands, SGR lands).

I wonder if we will hear anything more about an office building for the triangle lands or Trade Mart? This one isn't going to start for a year, minimum.
__________________
flickr
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #46  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2008, 7:29 PM
sdm sdm is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,895
News out in allnovascotia.com

Appears Justice Goodfellow has ruled in favor of the Armour Group stating that the 1870 building is not a registered Heritage property and therefore can be demolished.

Appears the first battle for this redevelopment is done, now the development agreement. I am sure the heritage group will be winding up for their fight.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #47  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2008, 2:28 AM
Haliguy's Avatar
Haliguy Haliguy is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Halifax
Posts: 904
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdm View Post
News out in allnovascotia.com

Appears Justice Goodfellow has ruled in favor of the Armour Group stating that the 1870 building is not a registered Heritage property and therefore can be demolished.

Appears the first battle for this redevelopment is done, now the development agreement. I am sure the heritage group will be winding up for their fight.
Great News!
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #48  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2008, 6:39 AM
someone123's Avatar
someone123 someone123 is online now
hähnchenbrüstfiletstüc
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 14,637
Yes, good news. I really have no idea how an appeal would go. Of course, I'm guessing nobody else does either since the MPS is mostly vague guidelines. At least there are some good precedents such as Founder's Square and part of Granville.

One issue here is that if they demolish the building and then the development is torpedoed the area will be worse off than it is now. That kind of thing has happened in the past. The developer at this point probably wants to get rid of that building immediately to put create a bit more pressure to approve the new building.
__________________
flickr
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #49  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2008, 12:07 PM
sdm sdm is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,895
Development clears major hurdle
Court rules building doesn’t have heritage designation, developer to continue planning process
By STEVE PROCTOR Business Editor
Wed. Apr 2 - 6:41 AM

A $16-million redevelopment of heritage buildings in downtown Halifax cleared one hurdle Tuesday, but the developer backing the effort worries the project could still get caught up in proposed planning changes for the city.

Armour (Ben) McCrea, chairman of Armour Group, said a decision by Supreme Court Justice Walter Goodfellow affirming that a wood-framed building at 1870 Upper Water St. was mistakenly designated a heritage building will help move the project forward.

But he’s concerned the nine-storey project might still fall victim to height restrictions contemplated in the Halifax by Design planning effort.

"With the issue of the historical designation out of the way, the project meets all existing city policy but with the HRM by Design process moving ahead and the fact I do not yet have a staff report on the project, I’m concerned."

The project calls for the restoring and incorporation of four heritage buildings in the block between Historic Properties and the Granville Mall into a new 80,000-square-foot office building.

Mr. McCrea said the building at 1870 Upper Water St. has to be demolished to make the project viable. If it had remained a designated heritage property, he said he would have had to wait a year before he could tear it down. Worse still, he would leave himself open to be criticized for demolishing such a property.

So instead, he took the city to court and won.

"It was a clerical error made in 1981 that went undiscovered until 2005. Everyone acknowledges it was a mistake, and now the courts do too," he said in an interview. "It’s just unfortunate that it took this kind of time and expense to correct an error."

The city can still appeal the decision.

Mr. McCrea said his development will help meet the demand for more office space downtown but at street level still offer the opportunity for retail and food outlets.

The HRM by Design proposal, which has yet to be presented to council for approval, calls for a seven-storey height restriction on most of the downtown core. The proponents say that even with that limit, there is a potential for an additional 4.4 million square feet of office space.

Mr. McCrea said the Halifax Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Halifax Partnership have been working with local developers to rationalize that number but as yet have been unable to do so.

( sproctor@herald.ca)
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #50  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2008, 12:08 PM
sdm sdm is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,895
7 stories for most of downtown, i knew it

Last edited by sdm; Sep 15, 2008 at 6:22 PM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #51  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2008, 1:40 PM
phrenic phrenic is offline
Closed account
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdm View Post
7 stories for most of downtown, i knew it, HRM by design is total waste....
Crikey. I must say I had higher hopes of HRMbydesign than that (pun intended).
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #52  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2008, 5:17 PM
someone123's Avatar
someone123 someone123 is online now
hähnchenbrüstfiletstüc
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 14,637
Well they kept the viewplanes and then there are areas like Barrington that will be fairly heavily controlled. Of the best development sites, most allow much more than 7 storeys. For example, the areas around Hollis/Sackville over to Salter and down to the waterfront will be "zoned" for highrises. "7 floors for most of the downtown" is therefore pretty misleading.

One would think that any development proposal submitted prior to the adoption of HRM by Design would be judged according to the MPS.
__________________
flickr
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #53  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2008, 3:31 PM
phrenic phrenic is offline
Closed account
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdm View Post
I am sure the heritage group will be winding up for their fight.
Here we go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Chronicle Herald
Save Peter Martin building, group urges


Thu. Apr 3 - 6:34 AM

The head of a heritage group is urging Halifax regional councillors to appeal a Nova Scotia Supreme Court decision handed down Tuesday that will strip a 160-year-old building of its heritage designation.

Philip Pacey, president of the Nova Scotia Heritage Trust, said he believes the Peter Martin building at 1870 Upper Water St. must be saved from the wrecking ball in order to maintain the integrity of the buildings around it.

The Armour Group, owner of the property, wants to demolish the wood-frame building as part of a $16-million redevelopment near Historic Properties that renovates and incorporates four other heritage buildings into an 80,000-square-foot office building.

Armour Group took Halifax Regional Municipality to court earlier this month and argued the building had been designated a heritage building in error. In a decision released Tuesday, Justice Walter Goodfellow agreed.

But the city has the right to appeal and Mr. Pacey is urging them to do so.

"This is not only a question about the importance of heritage buildings, but the integrity of the registration process."

Municipal spokesman John O’Brien said the city does not comment on legal matters.

If an appeal is filed, it will be public when it goes before the courts, Mr. O’Brien said.

Even if the city refuses to appeal or loses the appeal, Mr. Pacey said his group will still be opposing the overall development when it comes up for public hearings.

"We don’t want to be put into the position of opposition, but our heritage reputation is important nationally and this project really only preserves facades and ruins the rooflines and historic style of the buildings. It would be a tragedy if this were approved."
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Business/1047245.html
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #54  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2008, 3:36 PM
skyscraper_1's Avatar
skyscraper_1 skyscraper_1 is offline
Honored Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Halifax
Posts: 864
Quote:
Originally Posted by phrenic View Post
ugh...you can't win with these people!
__________________
Choice is an illusion created between those with power and those without.

"I am so excited about Canadians ruling the world." - Prime Minister John Diefenbaker.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #55  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2008, 6:15 PM
someone123's Avatar
someone123 someone123 is online now
hähnchenbrüstfiletstüc
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 14,637
The chance of an appeal from the city is lower than an appeal from the HT since they probably realize that they need actual evidence of a problem with the decision. Being unhappy with the result is not good enough.

I don't think there was ever really any doubt that the development itself would be appealed.
__________________
flickr
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #56  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2008, 6:49 PM
phrenic phrenic is offline
Closed account
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 412
Quote:
Originally Posted by someone123 View Post
I don't think there was ever really any doubt that the development itself would be appealed.
True, but the term "grasping at straws" comes to mind when I think of the HT's opinion on this development...especially since the Court has already ruled in the Armour Group's favor on the little green building.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #57  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2008, 7:42 PM
Takeo Takeo is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Halifax
Posts: 483
It's great that Founder's Square saved all those facades... but since they contain only office space and no ground level retail at all (unless you count a post office as ground level retail)... it's just as dead as if they had simply demolished everything. I hope the same is not true of this new development. If they keep all of the street level restaurants in those four buildings (rather than turning it into offices) and design something great on top... I'm fine with it. That said, the Lydon Lynch rendering I saw looked pretty lame.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #58  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2008, 9:29 PM
Keith P. Keith P. is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,330
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post
It's great that Founder's Square saved all those facades... but since they contain only office space and no ground level retail at all (unless you count a post office as ground level retail)... it's just as dead as if they had simply demolished everything. I hope the same is not true of this new development. If they keep all of the street level restaurants in those four buildings (rather than turning it into offices) and design something great on top... I'm fine with it. That said, the Lydon Lynch rendering I saw looked pretty lame.
Founders Square also includes the Old Triangle pub so it is hardly dead. There also used to be a hairdressing salon on the Hollis street side though I dunno if they are still there.

I agree with you on the rendering -- pretty uninspired.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #59  
Old Posted Apr 3, 2008, 11:52 PM
someone123's Avatar
someone123 someone123 is online now
hähnchenbrüstfiletstüc
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 14,637
I believe the proposal includes ground floor retail/commercial space.

Ground floor office (aside from lobbies) should probably not be allowed in new buildings downtown. Same thing goes for blank walls at street level. I think these are HRM by Design requirements (the height limits are unfortunate in many cases, but the urban design requirements will be way better than what's in the MPS).
__________________
flickr
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #60  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2008, 1:56 PM
Takeo Takeo is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Halifax
Posts: 483
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
Founders Square also includes the Old Triangle pub so it is hardly dead. There also used to be a hairdressing salon on the Hollis street side though I dunno if they are still there.

I agree with you on the rendering -- pretty uninspired.
I thought of the triangle but I don't think it's part of Founders Square. It's within that block, but there's nothing built on top of it. Anyway, take a walk down the Hollis street side of that building and look at all those pretty facades with nothing but insurance company offices behind them and tell me that section of street is not dead.

Glad to hear that HRM by Design is forbidding blank walls and offices at street level.
Reply With Quote
     
     
This discussion thread continues

Use the page links to the lower-right to go to the next page for additional posts
   
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Atlantic Provinces > SSP: Local Halifax > Halifax Peninsula & Downtown Dartmouth
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:06 PM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.