I read through the HRM_by_Design guide focusing on the sections that refer to the Central Blocks where the TexPark site is located - reference http://www.halifax.ca/capitaldistric...signManual.pdf
These are some of the sections in particular that refer to the United Gulf site:
(7) Any portion of a high-rise building above a height of 33.5 metres shall be setback 11.5 metres from interior lot lines. (Comment: there is only one interior lot line, which is next to the MetroPark, all other sides are streetsides)
(8) Any portion of a high-rise building above a height of 33.5 metres shall be separated a minimum of 17 metres between the high-rise portion of other buildings or the same building on the same lot, where one of the high-rise buildings is used for commercial purposes.
(9) Any portion of a high-rise building above a height of 33.5 metres shall be a minimum of 23 metres between the high-rise portion of other buildings or the same building on the same lot, where both of the high-rise buildings are used for residential purposes.
(10) Any portion of a building above a height of 33.5 metres shall be a maximum width of 38 metres and a maximum depth of 38 metres.
(11) Notwithstanding subsection (10) any portion of a building above a height of 33.5 metres located in the Central Blocks, as identified on Map 8, shall be a maximum width of 38 metres and a maximum depth of 27.5 metres.
Based on the information, I did a simple SketchUp 3D drawing based on what would be allowed by HRM_by_Design; assuming that United Gulf would be allowed to build to the maximum post-bonus height (66 meters).
Since there must be 23 meters separation between the residential towers built higher than 33.5 meters, also, there must be 11 meters separation between the MetroPark for over 33.5 meters tower height, and there must be a 4.5 meter setback from streetline above 33.5 meters tower height, I was able to determine the approximate allowable tower dimensions; I got towers that are approximately 28 meters by 27 meters each (which is under the maximum 38 meters by 27.5 meters allowed).
The sketch is not intended to look good (and it doesn't
), but it gives an idea of what would be permitted dimensionally under HRM_by_Design (if I understood the manual correctly, and that is a big "if").
I drew some lines on the top of one tower to give an indication of the number of good-sized apartments per floor (about 8 apartments with elevators and stairways in the middle). There would be about 18 floors x 8 apt/floor x 2 towers = 288 units; each being about 90 square meters, which are fairly large apartments): it would also have two levels of commercial space. If it were permitted to go to ramparts-maximum then it would be about an extra 8 - 9 floors per tower and almost 50% more units which would be over 400 units. Taller, more slender towers would allow more window space per unit.
(source: my 3D sketch using SketchUp, however, the Maritime Aliant Centre is a model that I downloaded from Google Sketchup and was drawn by AJacks1212).
The podium could be larger (no separation between buildings and no gap between the MetroPark for floors under 33.5 meters, but it wouldn't be a very practical apartment building layout (having larger areas and fewer windows), although it would be good be office space). The old Twisted towers design, which was approved, would provide more space and better apartment layouts than what would be allowed under HRM_by_Design. This exercise (i.e. my ugly 3D drawing) makes me wonder why United Gulf doesn't just proceed with the Twisted Sisters design, which would have been a good design for the number of apartments with windows; could it be that the twisted design would have added too much cost per unit?