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

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  #61  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2011, 5:34 PM
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Even when approved the final product will likely deviate from what HRM will have approved in the final DA. Regardless of what one thinks of the appearance of The Trillium there are numerous deviations as built from what the city agreed could be built in the final DA.

Developers in HRM do not seem to be afraid to go outside DAs and HRM does not seem interested in enforcing the terms of DAs so the renderings even in the final DAs for these sites should probably be taken as general guidelines.
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  #62  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2011, 3:14 AM
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ANS reported on this a bit tonight. Halef and Fares take possession of the lots on September 30. They are partnering with Plazacorp and are in discussions with the NSLC.

The plan is for two rental buildings plus a new flagship NSLC. They mentioned starting the first building in the spring, with the second to follow in 8 months.

It's great news that they're doing rental with retail. It seems pretty likely that they can follow through with an aggressive start date, whereas the highrise condo type proposals have often ended up in limbo. It will be great if in a year's time these are both under construction along with the new library and City Centre Atlantic expansion. Maybe we'll also hear about new plans for the Bank of Montreal/TD block soon.

Looks like there will be huge improvements for this part of the city! It would be great if the level of density/population hit a point where it could sustain some larger urban format stores like the ones that have set up shop in Toronto and Vancouver (Best Buy, Future Shop, Canadian Tire, Home Depot, etc.).

I would also love to see more of a plan to extend the Spring Garden retail area out along Queen Street and past South Park on Spring Garden Road. The idea would be to plan for medium- to high-density residential along those corridors with a strong commercial component. The area around Queen/Fenwick could be consolidated and turned into even more of a high-density node.
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  #63  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2011, 4:06 AM
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Maybe we'll also hear about new plans for the Bank of Montreal/TD block soon.
I doubt it. Chedrawe (Westwood) owns this block and he has a lot of developments underway. He has 5495 SGR and Gladstone North under construction right now, SGR @ Carleton, Drum, Robie Street Funeral Home and possibly another development on SGR in the plans.

I can't see him doing more than two developments at a time.
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  #64  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2011, 4:10 AM
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I doubt it. Chedrawe (Westwood) owns this block and he has a lot of developments underway. He has 5495 SGR and Gladstone North under construction right now, SGR @ Carleton, Drum, Robie Street Funeral Home and possibly another development on SGR in the plans.

I can't see him doing more than two developments at a time.
But typically we hear about proposals long before construction -- in order to keep development going they have to get everything approved ahead of time.
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  #65  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2011, 5:39 AM
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Chedrawe may be over extended to take on a new project - but getting the discussions going doesn't hurt. If it has to be done through DA, there is lots of time that can be given to negotiate it and when construction would have to start.

The idea of extending commercial down Spring Garden Road is interesting, but the existing development would need to change. Really, the only commercial between South Park and Summer street is the ground level retail with the smitty's restaurant. With the school and other apt building having no commercial and the park - you end up with a divided corridor.

But considering many of the buildings between Summer and Robie have ground floor retail; it wouldn't be too hard to enhance that section (with more density above commercial). The only problem might be the Carlton Heritage Streetscape - but since it may not apply to buildings fronting onto SGR, you might be okay. Would just have to be sensitive in the design towards the heritage element.
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  #66  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2011, 5:55 AM
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Maybe we'll also hear about new plans for the Bank of Montreal/TD block soon.
Hopefully Chedrawe never gets the opportunity to destroy the BMO building..........

BMO Building (Real Sandstone)
http://maps.google.ca/maps?q=halifax...,24.77,,0,2.55
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  #67  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2011, 10:53 AM
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ANS reported on this a bit tonight. Halef and Fares take possession of the lots on September 30. They are partnering with Plazacorp and are in discussions with the NSLC.

The plan is for two rental buildings plus a new flagship NSLC. They mentioned starting the first building in the spring, with the second to follow in 8 months.
That's good, hopefully they will get a deal done. Taking the good with the bad, my sources tell me that the NSLC is going to walk away from their Agricola St store at the end of the year and simply leave without a replacement. I don't know if this is a negotiating ploy or not - my source believes it is real. Apparently they are very unhappy with the proposals submitted by the landlord or the relationship has deteriorated beyond repair. Not sure how they can just walk away from that neighborhood though.
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  #68  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2011, 12:29 PM
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That's good, hopefully they will get a deal done. Taking the good with the bad, my sources tell me that the NSLC is going to walk away from their Agricola St store at the end of the year and simply leave without a replacement. I don't know if this is a negotiating ploy or not - my source believes it is real. Apparently they are very unhappy with the proposals submitted by the landlord or the relationship has deteriorated beyond repair. Not sure how they can just walk away from that neighborhood though.
Yeah I agree... there is no way they could pull out of the neighbourhood. Maybe they will change locations within it, but no way they leave it.
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  #69  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2011, 2:38 PM
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Yeah I agree... there is no way they could pull out of the neighbourhood. Maybe they will change locations within it, but no way they leave it.
Didn't the proposal that was submitted have virtually no commercial on it? I'll have to check Dawn Sloane's website, as I believe she still has the rendering again to confirm.

Personally, if that was the plan submitted, I wouldn't be in favour of it. Agricola should be another area commercial corridor area (along the same as someone123's concept of the SGR commercial corridor). This would be an opportunity to have a new building go up to set context and then encourage a pattern.
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  #70  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2011, 2:39 PM
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yeah I totally agree. Agricola is prime for a north end version of Quinpool etc.
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  #71  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2011, 3:21 PM
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Hopefully Chedrawe never gets the opportunity to destroy the BMO building..........
I know it's been discussed before but I have to second that! I love all the new development potential in the area but I see no reason to have to get rid of this gem; one of my favourites in the city.

Anyway, this is all good news.
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  #72  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2011, 6:49 PM
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yeah I totally agree. Agricola is prime for a north end version of Quinpool etc.
The great thing about Agricola is that when you compare the vehicle traffic there between that of Gottingen and Robie - it's got the least traffic of the three streets. So it opens up a huge amount of possibility in terms of looking at a Streetcar, which could enable a lot of high density in the area. I've talked about the E squared video series on Portland, which I will have with me when I come home in September. One thing that stuck out to me was the comment made by the owner of Powell's Books in the Pearl District (who was a big proponent of redevelopment) - people had faith in investing and building in the pearl district because it was permanent track transportation. It couldn't easily go away, like bus routes can. This enabled over $3 billion in private investment and development in the area.

Put a streetcar down Agricola and through the Hydrostone to downtown - I'm sure you could leverage just as much in Halifax and it wouldn't all have to be high rise towers, although if the game of the heritage trust has been to put the towers there - then lets play the game and do it and crank up the height.

I agree with Bluenoser's comment about the BMO building. It's a gorgeous building, one of only a few sandstone buildings in Halifax and should be retained. I'm sure there are ways that you can build a more modern building on the other lots and connect it to this building. If we could do it in Calgary for the Sandstone school in the Beltline (for the Calgary Board of Education's new HQ), I'm sure it can be done.
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  #73  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2011, 7:34 PM
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The ANS article also mentioned the potential sale of the Sovereign Building -- another sandstone building on Spring Garden Road that should be preserved.

The streetcar and permanence of transit infrastructure is an interesting point. That whole aspect of transit and development tends to be ignored by the municipal government and Metro Transit (often it seems like new ideas are intentionally torpedoed). Typically a new project is evaluated in terms of current trips, not in terms of how it can shape and encourage future development. A North End streetcar would never look attractive if you just considered current residents, but it would make a lot of sense as part of a larger strategy for intensification.

If the city fails to move forward to doing this type of planning it will continue to waste money on poor quality services for car-oriented sprawl.
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  #74  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2011, 12:07 AM
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A streetcar that did a loop - start at what is now the Cogswell interchange and run south on Hollis to South, go west to either South Park or Robie, north to SGR, north or east to Agricola, north on Agricola to Young, south on Novalea/Gottingen to Cogswell - would really be a great service.
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  #75  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2011, 12:15 PM
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A streetcar that did a loop - start at what is now the Cogswell interchange and run south on Hollis to South, go west to either South Park or Robie, north to SGR, north or east to Agricola, north on Agricola to Young, south on Novalea/Gottingen to Cogswell - would really be a great service.
Interesting idea... my vote would be SGR over Robie I think. Would keep it more of a "downtown" route (although Robie has its own advantages like maybe catching more Dal students), and Robie has become a pretty major traffic artery for getting to/from Quinpool etc.

The elevation change coming up South from Hollis is a bit steep on that first hill, although to be honest I am a bad judge of what the grade would be relative to what a streetcar can do.

I am trying to picture how best to get from Gottingen to Hollis without a steep climb down. Going down North onto Barrington I think might be a bit steep, but going down Cogswell street itself might work.

Overall I really like that idea though, in particular if there was a reasonable way to enact ROW for it.
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  #76  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2011, 4:04 PM
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My thought on the idea of a streetcar was somewhat similar to Keithp's - but I kept the lines I thought of away from Spring Garden Road. Mainly because the street is congested enough as is with deliveries, cars, buses...it would be a different story if it became a transit only street, but for now I kept my ideas off of it.

I looked at using streets that were close by that had far less traffic, so that locating a streetcar as embeded rails wouldn't be a big disruption. So when I thought of the SGR area - I thought of Morris Street/University Avenue. It's only a block or two away, so it's a quick walk.

I came up with 4 different lines, which can be seen on this map.

The two lines that are Halifax Peninsula specific are: (a) the Agricola loop - starting at the NSCC campus on leeds, following Agricola and Cogswell into downtown along Hollis to the train station and down Barrington, under the railway tracks and then back into downtown from the Pier 21/Seaport area along Lower Water and back up Cogswell/Agricola to the Hydrostone and then along Devonshire to the NSCC.

(b) Starting at Mumford Terminal, under the parking lots of HSC, along Connaught to Windsor. Along Windsor to Cunard where it would then share the same line as route (a) through the downtown core until reaching Morris Street. Then line (b) would branch off at Morris and head along right up University and turning left onto Robie, would end at St. Mary's. The line would then reverse and back track along Morris until reaching the common outbound line along Lower Water Street and reverse the inbound route ending at Mumford.

I won't describe the other two lines, you can look at them from the map. My idea had been to have a shared segment in the downtown so that you could have a higher frequency of service in the downtown core (to service the office people during the lunch time rush) but also minimize car traffic impact as much as possible (I don't think that can be avoided with Lower Water and Hollis Street, but with the other streets it could). The other main goal was to use the Streetcar as a catalyst to encourage redevelopment in areas where it could be done (such as along Windsor Street, Agricola, the Hydrostone, etc). Finally, the other main rationale was to put major destinations along the routes that would generate useage. It's one thing to build a streetcar, but if it doesn't serve anything important - whose going to use it? If you take it places people want/need to go too, you create the greater possibility of success.
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  #77  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2011, 5:44 PM
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I'd also repeat the comment I got from that e squared about Portland's streetcar. There is a perception with developers, that if you build projects on the expectation of transit oriented development - you get better buy in when it's permanent track transportation because you can move bus and BRT routes with ease. Train, LRT and subway - not so much.

If you put a streetcar in, I suspect you would get the same reception in HRM. The question would be whether or not you'd get the $3 billion in private investment that Portland did, around their streetcar. I suspect overtime, HRM could definately get that or more...

We are kinda getting off topic of the thread - since this is about the sisters sites, but related (and not). So I'm also going to post this map and more details in the rail discuss thread.
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  #78  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2011, 7:29 PM
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I would run transit right along Spring Garden Road. It would be a big mistake to build streetcars somewhere else and make the street inconvenient for transit users and pedestrians.

Spring Garden Road is congested but its role as a traffic corridor isn't important. I would guess that it doesn't carry a lot of vehicles and isn't popular for people commuting into the downtown. The parking issue is also overblown and just doesn't make much sense. How many car spots could you even fit along those blocks given the corners and hydrants and crosswalks and everything else? 100? It seems like such a stretch to believe that having those few spots on SGR instead of on a sidestreet or in a garage is somehow critical to the businesses. It's even harder to believe that it is more important than having foot and vehicle traffic move better.

And of course the SGR design of lowest-common-denominator patching is not what you see in busy and successful cities (e.g. West Coast). It's what you see in faded cities stuck in the 1950s (worst parts of the Midwest).

The street would be dramatically improved if it had wider sidewalks, places to sit, maybe some more trees, a few sensible spots for delivery vehicles, and electric streetcars instead of loud diesel buses spewing out exhaust. Too bad the city can't get it together enough to make those things a reality.
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  #79  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2011, 8:33 PM
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I would run transit right along Spring Garden Road. It would be a big mistake to build streetcars somewhere else and make the street inconvenient for transit users and pedestrians.

Spring Garden Road is congested but its role as a traffic corridor isn't important. I would guess that it doesn't carry a lot of vehicles and isn't popular for people commuting into the downtown. The parking issue is also overblown and just doesn't make much sense. How many car spots could you even fit along those blocks given the corners and hydrants and crosswalks and everything else? 100? It seems like such a stretch to believe that having those few spots on SGR instead of on a sidestreet or in a garage is somehow critical to the businesses. It's even harder to believe that it is more important than having foot and vehicle traffic move better.

And of course the SGR design of lowest-common-denominator patching is not what you see in busy and successful cities (e.g. West Coast). It's what you see in faded cities stuck in the 1950s (worst parts of the Midwest).

The street would be dramatically improved if it had wider sidewalks, places to sit, maybe some more trees, a few sensible spots for delivery vehicles, and electric streetcars instead of loud diesel buses spewing out exhaust. Too bad the city can't get it together enough to make those things a reality.
Going from memory; there is no main on street parking for people on SGR. The parking is either for delivery vehicles, bus stops or taxis. So parking isn't really an issue in a way (beyond deliveries). The main reason I kept it off SGR was with the number of bus routes during peak times, my concern was the conflicts between SC and buses. With some many routes trying to get through a narrow area (in both directions), I felt adding a SC to the mix would likely cause the efficency of any SC in terms of speed and ontime performance to decrease (even if you included transit priority). Added to this, the concept was to have the inbound routes come through Hollis and outbound through Lower Water (using the one way flow) it would be tough to get a SC up from Hollis to SGR. I had thought about Barrington, but the same problem exists on Barrington as SGR with deliveries. That could be solved by exluding delivery trucks from both streets during peak periods, but then how do you deal with it off peak?

I think a SC could work in either sense, but one of the key issues with public transit is ontime performance. If you put the route on Morris St then the conflict with buses decreases. I'm just not sure you could have a conflict free experience through DT (be it on Hollis/Lower Water or on Barrington).
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  #80  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2011, 9:21 PM
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Much of my complaining is directed at the grumbling that seems responsible for the death of proposed streetscape improvements in 2009. There are certain business owners who only seem to care about surface and on-street parking. I'm sure it's something their customers complain about but it's clearly not a requirement for successful urban shopping districts.
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