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  #1  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2008, 10:44 PM
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waterloowarrior waterloowarrior is offline
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Quote:
City, developer race to approve Portrait Gallery project
Jake Rupert The Ottawa Citizen
Thursday, February 28, 2008

An Ottawa developer and the city are racing against the clock to approve a project that includes a stand alone Portrait Gallery of Canada.

Claridge Homes has filed an application with the city for two 26-storey residential towers and a gallery designed by a leading architect to be built in a current parking lot between Lisgar, Nepean and Metcalfe streets in the heart of the downtown core.


The application and rezoning process usually take up to a year, but with the federal government's April 16 deadline for bids to host the gallery looming, the process is being crunched into to a matter of weeks.

"We have to be ready by that deadline, so things are moving quickly," said Somerset Councillor Diane Holmes, whose ward the project is in. "I think it's a great location for the portrait gallery, and it would be in its own building, not in the bottom floors of some office building or something like that.

"I think the towers are a little tall , but I think it's a good plan for the gallery, and it would be a great asset for that area and the city."

Preliminary plans by the company would see the two towers fronting on to Nepean Street opposite a multi-storey parking garage and kitty corner to the 27-storey Place Bell Canada building.

The two-storey gallery would front on to Metcalfe Street and wrap around onto Lisgar Street.

The company will be revealing more details of the project at a public meeting set up by Ms. Holmes at city hall next Wednesday night. This will be followed by a month of refinement and adjustment. The final version of the project is to be put before the planning committee April 8, and city council the next day.

Ms. Holmes said she believes the process will be completed in time to meet the federal deadline, and that it stands a good chance of winning.

Neil Malhotra, of Claridge, said company officials are excited about the opportunity to host the gallery and contribute to the city and country.

He said when the government announced a competition between private developers in nine cities to bid for the right to host the gallery, company officials realized they had an opportunity to do something of importance to the city and its citizens.

"We realized having the gallery in Ottawa is something people in this community care about, that it should happen, and that we had a piece of land that is in a perfect location for it," he said. "It's a rare opportunity to do something like this, and I think we will have a very good chance of winning the competition if we can get everything done on time."

He said he found it hard to believe any other city will find a more appropriate place to put the gallery than on a street which is anchored by Parliament Hill and the Museum of Nature.

"This is probably the best spot in the country for it," he said.

When the federal government announced the competition last fall, three local developers privately expressed interest in making a bid for the gallery.


However, city spokesman Michael Fitzpatrick said Thursday that the Claridge proposal is the only one that has come forward.

He said the city staff will work with the developer on the plan in accordance with a city council motion passed in January designed to assist local bids for the gallery.

Council committed to give developers bidding on the gallery a $431,000 break on development charges, have the city help to prepare the bids, lobby for the bids, and look at helping with advertising and drumming up public support.

The gallery was originally supposed to go into the former United States embassy building on Wellington Street across from the hill, but the Harper government cancelled that project last year, citing escalating costs, then announced the competition.

Ottawa is competing with Vancouver, Halifax, Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary for the right to have the gallery, which is part of Library and Archives Canada.

The move to have a bidding war amongst cities and developers to host the gallery sparked outrage from people who feel it should be in Ottawa along with the rest of the Canada's national institutions. Others feel having a national collection housed in a privately owned building is distasteful and makes the country look bad on the international scene.

© The Ottawa Citizen 2008


Claridge may not be the most popular builder, but hopefully this proposal does well, as it will be great to fill up a parking lot and increase the density of the core!

update: artist's conception

Artist's conception of a proposed high-rise at the corner of Metcalfe and Nepean streets, with a possible site for the National Portrait Gallery at the bottom. Handout from Claridge.


http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/...40d44d&k=65329




edit: Here's the Proposal as of October 2009
Discussion starts at p. 14


Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketphish View Post
There's been an awful lot of talk and speculation about this site, including a former proposal to include the new National Portrait Gallery, and now we have some more concrete information to work with.

Claridge is proposing to develop the site with a mixed-use building with frontage on Metcalfe, Lisgar and Nepean Streets. The development include two 27-story residential towers along Nepean Street, with commercial/public uses in the lower levels, and townhouses located along Lisgar Street.


The planning rationale, renderings and floorplans are posted here:

http://app01.ottawa.ca/postingplans/...appId=__7S9MFN











Last edited by waterloowarrior; Feb 1, 2010 at 1:03 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2008, 10:55 PM
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No! not Claridge!
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  #3  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2008, 11:13 PM
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I hope they have renderings soon! Would be nice if they were a bit taller than the Place Bell Canada building just to add some diversity though. When faced with a high-profile project (like 700 Sussex) Claridge has done some pretty nice stuff. Should be an interesting proposal....
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  #4  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2008, 11:24 PM
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As long as we keep the Portrait Gallery, there's no problem with having Claridge being the developer. Their buildings are not that bad downtown, albeit definitely not perfect.
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  #5  
Old Posted Feb 29, 2008, 1:07 AM
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This would be a great parking lot to hit the dust. The whole twin tower scheme is starting to get a little old though. Can't wait to see what they come up with.
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  #6  
Old Posted Feb 29, 2008, 1:30 AM
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Interesting... can't wait to see further details.
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  #7  
Old Posted Feb 29, 2008, 2:22 AM
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this is big news
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  #8  
Old Posted Feb 29, 2008, 2:59 AM
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Hopefully this"leading architect"will build a new landmark building.
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  #9  
Old Posted Feb 29, 2008, 3:20 AM
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So that's the kind of carrot it takes to catch Diane Holmes. I wonder how she'll react if the Portrait Gallery bid fails and Claridge decides to go ahead with the towers?

If this comes true, I hope they turn Metcalfe back into a two-way street.
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  #10  
Old Posted Feb 29, 2008, 4:03 AM
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Let's see what Claridge proposes. The concept is a very good one.
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  #11  
Old Posted Feb 29, 2008, 8:41 AM
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So I take it the exhaustive search by the Feds to find a home for the National Portrait Gallery has ended?

[edit] just answered my own question with a re-read of the article.

When does Ottawa decide on the winner of the competition?
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  #12  
Old Posted Feb 29, 2008, 9:48 AM
ajldub ajldub is offline
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Don't worry everybody, if it looks like shit the NCC will chip in to make it look nicer... that's the way things get done around here! But I agree, let's see what they are proposing first. The location is great anyway; another major attraction on Metcalfe would make that street much more attractive.
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  #13  
Old Posted Feb 29, 2008, 1:20 PM
clynnog clynnog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitchissippi View Post
So that's the kind of carrot it takes to catch Diane Holmes. I wonder how she'll react if the Portrait Gallery bid fails and Claridge decides to go ahead with the towers?

If this comes true, I hope they turn Metcalfe back into a two-way street.
She did say it was a little too tall. Personally, I'd be amazed if all of the City Dep'ts and outside technical agencies can all review the plans in time and meet this tight timeline. I don't mean to sound like a naysayer but the timeline has disaster written all over it.
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  #14  
Old Posted Feb 29, 2008, 2:05 PM
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Did anyone see Brigil's proposal for the Portrait Gallery in Hull? 12 storeys, glass.. pic is in Le Droit, I'll try to dig it up.
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  #15  
Old Posted Feb 29, 2008, 2:16 PM
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There's a better picture in the paper than this one.. it's been cut off.

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  #16  
Old Posted Feb 29, 2008, 3:57 PM
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O-Town Hockey O-Town Hockey is offline
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I really think we should make a statement with this tower(s) and its museum podium. Here are some interesting designs I found on the web that I think would be great for this spot.


KL, Malaysia


Dubai


Dubai




Bangkok
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  #17  
Old Posted Feb 29, 2008, 4:33 PM
bradnixon bradnixon is offline
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I lived right across this parking lot on Lisgar for a couple years.

This idea is a good one- it would be great to see something go on that lot which is such a waste.

However, I hope that they'll follow the Downtown Urban Design Strategy that recommended that a small park be created at the southwest corner of this lot (right at Metcalfe & Lisgar). You can see it on this picture: http://www.ottawa.ca/residents/plann...awa_map_lg.jpg. It's a bit small, but it's just below and to the left of the #31. I'm thinking something like what they did at the Hudson, but a little bigger- maybe a fountain with some benches around it.

100% lot coverage at that location would be a bit much and that part of downtown is really lacking in open space.
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  #18  
Old Posted Feb 29, 2008, 4:36 PM
rodionx rodionx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFUVancouver View Post
So I take it the exhaustive search by the Feds to find a home for the National Portrait Gallery has ended?

[edit] just answered my own question with a re-read of the article.

When does Ottawa decide on the winner of the competition?
Perhaps it's because I'm an exiled British Columbian myself, but this pretty much illustrates why I'm skeptical that Ottawa will ever win the competition for a Portrait Gallery. Ottawa is perceived in most of Canada, especially the West, as part and parcel of the federal government. That's why federal office buildings have to be built on the cheap. If the Conservatives rejected Vancouver, Quebec City, Halifax, and so forth in favour of Ottawa, it would look really, really bad. As I stated last year in a different thread, they will probably grant the Portrait Gallery to a city that will yield them some political payback, as with any other large federal contract.

Which is not to say that it isn't good news that Claridge wants to build condos downtown.
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  #19  
Old Posted Feb 29, 2008, 4:42 PM
bradnixon bradnixon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFUVancouver View Post
When does Ottawa decide on the winner of the competition?
I have a real problem with the federal government being called "Ottawa" when the City is NOT the federal government and most of the politicians making these decisions are not even from here.

In fact, lately, it seems all the feds do is crap on the City of Ottawa. Even the minister representing Ottawa (Baird) seems to enjoy screwing us over.
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  #20  
Old Posted Feb 29, 2008, 5:24 PM
movebyleap movebyleap is offline
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Ha Ha!

I actually came here to see how much of an outcry there would be about CLARIDGE being the lone firm wanting to build the gallery! (Not that much, as it seems!

Personally I am very skeptical about ANYTHING by Claridge. And, pray tell, who is this "leading architect"? Someone from the Claridge staff, perchance?

Finally, to O-Town Hockey: DREAM ON!! (I know I do!)
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