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  #1  
Old Posted May 30, 2009, 12:24 AM
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[Halifax] Velo Apartments (2300 Gottingen) | ? m | 5 fl | U/C

This is an affordable housing project that consists of 48 townhouse units to be built on Gottingen Street between Cunard and Buddy Daye Street.

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Details available here: http://www.ahans.ca/Gottingen_Terrace/index.htm
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  #2  
Old Posted May 30, 2009, 12:58 AM
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Pricing is from $130k to $200K per condo apartment depending upon size. That might keep it from being a slum.
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Old Posted May 30, 2009, 1:12 AM
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Pricing is from $130k to $200K per condo apartment depending upon size. That might keep it from being a slum.
Keep your eye on Creighton/Gerrish Developments because they are promoters of substandard developments like this one.
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Last edited by Empire; May 30, 2009 at 7:46 PM.
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Old Posted May 30, 2009, 2:01 AM
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It looks okay but seeing the other buildings on the site I'm not getting my hopes up.

Does anyone happen to know how many projects they are planning to put up all together?

Oh and "Someone123" the max. height is 36 feet so 11m.
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Old Posted May 30, 2009, 2:18 AM
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Yuck. It's great that they're planning on doing something with what is just a vacant lot right now, but really Gottingen deserves better. The problem with this isn't that it's affordable housing, but that it presents such a blank and fairly repetitive street face. This is a real lost opportunity to do something interesting. They should be looking to put affordable housing on top of commercial space or at least have some commercial component. Instead they're going to drop boring pods onto what should be one of the city's main streets.
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Old Posted May 30, 2009, 9:52 AM
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Does this have a retail component? Doesn't look like it..?

Not sure what to make of the facade. It does have some blank areas but I think the final look will depend a lot on the materials used. If they are somehow textured it could be okay.
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Old Posted May 30, 2009, 11:53 AM
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Does this have a retail component? Doesn't look like it..?

Not sure what to make of the facade. It does have some blank areas but I think the final look will depend a lot on the materials used. If they are somehow textured it could be okay.
When you blow up the pdf brochure it is clear that there is no retail.

That brochure has only a drawing of the facade so things may turn out different. It shows sections that are red brick, and the mansard style section at the top looks suspiciously like vertical metal siding. There is a gray area of the facade that could be anything from concrete block to metal cladding, but is impossible to tell.
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Old Posted May 30, 2009, 12:48 PM
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There is no retail. Just look at the floor plans. Personally, I think it looks great. Nice development. Very nice design. And that end of Gottingen is not really a mercantile area anyway. Currently it's very residential. It would be nice of course if it were more commercial... but honestly... I think if you built a long retail strip there... it would be all boarded up anyway. Just look at what's there now. No shortage of boarded up retail spaces or retail spaces being used for community services instead of retail. Adding more market housing to that area will be good for the area. Then hopefully the more southern end of the street will come back to life as a 'main street'.
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Old Posted May 30, 2009, 7:52 PM
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Originally Posted by spaustin View Post
Yuck. It's great that they're planning on doing something with what is just a vacant lot right now, but really Gottingen deserves better. The problem with this isn't that it's affordable housing, but that it presents such a blank and fairly repetitive street face. This is a real lost opportunity to do something interesting. They should be looking to put affordable housing on top of commercial space or at least have some commercial component. Instead they're going to drop boring pods onto what should be one of the city's main streets.
I agree it is a lost opportunity. The design is very utilitarian and is no different than the buildings in Mulgrave park or Uniacke Sq. This section of Gottingen should have at least some retail. This site has the potential for retail, office, institutional, affordable and higher end housing. This is not the highest and best use for this section of the city. This is a huge mistake similar to the mistake of putting the turning point shelter and the sewage treatment plant on prime high density/high traffic downtown sites.
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Old Posted May 30, 2009, 9:07 PM
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Quote:
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I agree it is a lost opportunity. The design is very utilitarian and is no different than the buildings in Mulgrave park or Uniacke Sq. This section of Gottingen should have at least some retail. This site has the potential for retail, office, institutional, affordable and higher end housing. This is not the highest and best use for this section of the city. This is a huge mistake similar to the mistake of putting the turning point shelter and the sewage treatment plant on prime high density/high traffic downtown sites.
No different that Mulgrave Park? Come on! While it may not be the best use for the site and should offer more density this is a good project and a good design, especially for Halifax standards. Grant Wanzel, dean of Dal's school of architecture, is (or at least was) the president of Creighton/Gerrish Development so you have to assume that the design of the project has been given much consideration.

As well, the fact that these units are for purchase completely destroys any comparison with the condition/challenges of Uniacke Square. The morphology of Uniacke Square is fine, it is more that fact that they are rentals that has produced all the negative consequences (I assume, but don't know for sure, that Mulgrave Park is rental units too).

This is a solid project and offers much needed affordable housing units in the heart of the city. It offers a continuous facade with little or no setback and will improve the overall character of the street. Although trend of clustering affordable housing in the neighborhood should be reconsidered.
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Old Posted May 30, 2009, 9:13 PM
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I guess there are other theoretical forms of development that could happen, but the fact is that this site has sat empty for decades while many of the retail spaces even farther south are boarded up.

The lack of retail is not such a problem given that the development does not include the two ends of the block. To have low retail vacancy you need a good ratio of residential to retail properties and that ratio was destroyed when thousands of people moved out of the neighbourhood in the 60s and 70s.

Aren't Mulgrave Park and Uniacke Square structured more like rentals, except where the government owns the units instead of a private landlord? They are also larger developments and don't integrate as well into the rest of the city. These are just townhouses for sale with some private subsidy and restrictions.

Edit: planarchy said roughly the same thing above while I was writing my reply.
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Old Posted May 31, 2009, 1:13 AM
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I don't know how I feel about the look of this. I was hoping for something bigger. The site could definitely handle it. But I do like that it is a continuous facade. That in itself will do a lot for the street. I think as long as the quality of the materials is high than this should look great. I worry looking at their past project though. This most resembles their project on the corner of Buddy Daye Street which I feel personally is not a very warm building. I hope that these are inviting looking. For one thing though it does look like a very modern design. Something we have not seen before, so in that respect I do welcome it.
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Old Posted May 31, 2009, 3:14 AM
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Anyone want to take a stab at what the upper level cladding or the red section material will be?

- upper level cladding.....cheapest tin siding available
- red section material.....glorified chip board like spice
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Old Posted May 31, 2009, 3:50 AM
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Quote:
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Anyone want to take a stab at what the upper level cladding or the red section material will be?

- upper level cladding.....cheapest tin siding available
- red section material.....glorified chip board like spice
It's Gottingen St... not Park Avenue. And 1BR units go for under $130K... minutes away from the heart of downtown. What you you expect... limestone?

My guess is that you're correct... Spice style chip board (whatever that material is) and corrugated metal. And I'm fine with that. I think it's a great looking building. I love the way the red totemic elements are varied all along the facade... with different heights and different "bites" taken out of them. I love the corner windows in those same elements. Nice work. It's very modern looking and about a million times nicer than just about any other thoughtless new residential development on the peninsula... like the two new Hyrdostone buildings for instance (on Gottingen/Kaye and Russell/Iseville).

I think this is the perfect example of good design being about DESIGN... not materials (with the exception of stucco and vinyl siding of course) . Nice materials expand your options and your palette and are nice to have... but they're not necessarily required. You can design a great looking building with cinder blocks and chain link fencing if you know what you're doing. Some of Brian MacKay's most stunning interiors are nothing but plywood, concrete and cheap industrial fixtures... and they're awesome! A good designer is one who can take a set of extremely tight requirements (i.e. ridiculously tight budget... like this project... I'm sure) and still make something nice.

As for the retail question... I've already spoken about that. I don't think that area has a market for retail. The south end of the street is on life support as it is.
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Old Posted May 31, 2009, 4:53 PM
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Hmmmm, I wonder if anyone on here is Tim Bousque in disguise.......he's let it slip out before that he is aware of these sites and at the very least sporadicly monitors them....one time he mentioned the chat boards where buzzing about some development.... (I think waterford)....so there is a good Chance anytime he starts spewing his biased left wing (anti)-development news, he'll come on here to gage his reviews.......we'll if your Reading' this.....congratulations, Timbit......for once... a victory for the down and outers that you desperately admire......and most people on this forum generally agree.......it's a fairly positive development.....but don't let it get to your head......I still have the same amount of respect for you, your thoughts and your vision as Gerry Adam's has for the queen and everything the monarchy stands for
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Old Posted May 31, 2009, 4:53 PM
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I am glad to see this project finally go ahead. C/GA is a great idea. The idea is to created OWNED affordable housing, so you can graduate out of social housing of Metro Housing Authority into something with equity. The neighbourhood needs more owned property, right now planning has allowed a neighbourhood with 85% rental and 50% of those are on social assistance. That is not a tenable situation. We need some affordable housing mixed in on the peninsula, and not more housing projects run by MHA.

As for street level retail, that was fought and lost a decade ago, the planning strategy for the street calls for street level retail from Cogswell to Cunard corner only.
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Old Posted May 31, 2009, 6:05 PM
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where is someone in social housing going to come up with the 5% down payment for the morgadge......bare minimum $6000 plus all the other coast's included.....this sounds more like in the young professional price range......not likely what most consider to be really poor people could ever dream of this.....but I'm glad, I think young professionals and young family's are exactly what the area needs.....not the opportunity for welfare recipients from spryfield....bless their hearts...... to move closer to the downtown
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Old Posted May 31, 2009, 9:44 PM
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I like the idea of privately owned housing with sliding subsidy to take care of a range of people, from the disabled to the working poor.

One of the problems I've seen with some social housing is that they take the poorest people, so there is an incentive to avoid work. Being on welfare in public housing can be better than working minimum wage and paying rent in certain cases (seems like it would happen a lot here in Vancouver, and new public housing units often cost on the order of $500k each to build).

It would be interesting if the MHA also did something like set aside a small chunk of rent every month that could eventually be used as a down payment.

Of course, there are many different kinds of people who need some sort of social housing and some of them will never be able to handle a mortgage. In the worst case they really just need a basic apartment looked after by the government along with a bunch of social services or they end up on the street.
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Old Posted Jun 1, 2009, 1:46 AM
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I like the design of these things... lol, but looks like I'm in a minority here. They look modern takes on the traditional massing and approach to the street in North End Halifax. I like the subtle variations within the repetition, and planning-wise, I love that there is a mix of unit types which I would like to think will encourage a variety of family types.

The transitional housing piece (I think that's what it is...) at the corner of Buddy Daye and Gottingen is a strong piece of architecture, and a good piece of urban design.

Up on Buddy Daye and Creighton, I don't think the building design is super sucessful.

I really like the duplexes on Creighton St. The metal reveals and trim pieces at the corners look particularly sharp with the cementitious siding. And as hideous as it is, I think it's pretty humorous that someone decorated the metal column by their front door with a faux-greek wrapper.

All in all, I'm hopeful for these, and I think that they are bringing a nice form of density to the street.
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Old Posted Jun 1, 2009, 11:54 AM
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East coastal mentions the new building on Buddy Daye and Gottingen; very nice and they spent some good time making a quality building (unlike Spice). A dreadful new building is just down from Gus's pub, duplex that all garage on the street, and probably not cheap to buy.
Barington south, I don't get your rant on welfare recipients, "bless their hearts"; what are your thoughts on habitat for Humanity? JET
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