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Old September 18th, 2005, 02:31 AM   #81
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NEWS FLASH September 17, 2005
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The Uptown Waterloo renaissance has begun!!!

Well, I was actually in the city today, and WOW! The ambience was amazing, and I have never seen so much happening there all at once!

There were many people, alone and in groups, on bikes and on foot, many of them spectators to the excavators tearing up sections of King Street in preparation for the new sewers to service the new and upcoming Willis Way extension. It was chaos!!! That stretch of Uptown/ King St. is now a large construction zone... The south end of Town Square is really coming along- the new shops and facades are going up REALLY quickly, and on the north end, the parking lot is being made more pedestrianised... Lucy's Restaurant (an increasingly popular hangout) is getting more windows (no more big ugly brick wall) and a large outdoor deck, it appears, which would be very nice. I never heard anything about those plans, but that's what is happening.

Anyways, the demolition hoarding is gone, and construction hoarding is up along King St., the sidewalk being closed. Meanwhile the work on the streets, north end of the mall, south end of the mall, the new small apartment building across from the library, and the grading of the south end parking lot (open in December) was going on... much work, all at once!

Overall, VERY exciting... and the OMB appeal against Willis Way and the First Gulf-City of Waterloo land swap has been cancelled. Most business owners now realize that there is no stopping the momentum this project has gained... I am not just saying this to 'put a cherry on top'- I would have never expected it to catch on so well.

Anyways, progress is being made... and finally... the renaissance is off to a chaotic (in a good way) start!

Last edited by thryve; March 2nd, 2006 at 11:38 PM.
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Old September 18th, 2005, 04:06 PM   #82
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Great updates! I drove through King Street from the expressway all the way to Conestoga Mall on Friday night... it's great to see such a vibrant city... all the parking spots were taken!

Also went to the East Side Mario's near King/Expressway... it's huge!!!!
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Old September 18th, 2005, 04:22 PM   #83
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Be nice to get more patio cafes down that end of Uptown Waterloo. Sounds like this should be a nice addition in keeping with the cities character.
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Old September 18th, 2005, 06:25 PM   #84
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I will try to post some pictures later...
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Old September 18th, 2005, 09:11 PM   #85
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---------------

Last edited by thryve; March 2nd, 2006 at 11:44 PM.
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Old September 20th, 2005, 04:22 AM   #86
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NEWS FLASH September 19, 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SP!RE

Aug. 27...

New apartments under construction at Dorset and Princess St.



Okay, alot has changed on these new apartments on Dorset St...



I still have no idea what they are... I am hoping they aren't student apartments, but are just normal, for-anyone apartments, to bring more people to Uptown. However, we need ALOT more residential construction in the Waterloo CBD or we are in trouble! However, as pleasant as the architecture is, it doesn't add as much to the streetscape as I would have hoped for.... however, it is definitely better than it was before.

Okay, Town Square picture update... these were taken on September 18th, and they really don't do much justice for how different the site looks... they are horrible photos, but hopefully they give you a better feel for the area:






Last edited by SP!RE; September 20th, 2005 at 04:37 AM.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 02:56 AM   #87
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NEWS FLASH September 21, 2005
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Rendering of Block D...

Block D is now under construction. It will be home to retail on the ground floor, and office space above, half of which will be occupied by international company KPMG, which currently resides in the Marsland Centre, which is also Uptown. In August 2006 KPMG will move to this new building which will front onto the King St. sidewalk, but the hoarding is already up and excavation will soon begin.

The first picture below is a photo of a photo, so forgive the pathetic quality. The building was designed by the excellent architect Joseph Bogdan, and is the first of the mixed-use blocks to go up on King St. in this project.





It is the building on the left in this picture:



Once again, if you have any questions for me about any aspect or detail of this project, please post it here.

-SP!RE

Last edited by SP!RE; September 22nd, 2005 at 12:53 AM.
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Old September 24th, 2005, 04:37 AM   #88
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NEWS FLASH September 23, 2005
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Willis Way is going in and Uptown is better than ever!

The new storefronts along the to-be section of Willis Way have windows now and are going in very quickly... sewers are going in for the new street, and new hip and urban tenants are going into the indoor mall now, like Heel Boy, a shoe showroom for men and women, ironically. As well, there are many other new retail tenants... it's rather exciting. Lucy's Restaurant now has a large patio/deck and that has improved the big brick wall of the north side of the mall. Enjoy...









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Old September 24th, 2005, 11:22 PM   #89
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SCOOP!

Block C may look something like this... the design will be toned down quite a bit, but hopefully the best elements are kept for the actual building, as they were in Block D, which has so far been the only revealed new mixed-use block in the Waterloo Town Square project.

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Old September 27th, 2005, 04:04 AM   #90
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I can't believe how little interest there is in this project! :O... It's pretty darn good for a city of 105,000 if you ask me- but I refuse to move to SSP
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Old September 27th, 2005, 04:18 AM   #91
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Somthing new please

Quote:
I can't believe how little interest there is in this project! :O... It's pretty darn good for a city of 105,000 if you ask me- but I refuse to move to SSP
Mabe if you post new development!
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Old September 27th, 2005, 04:28 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SP!RE
I can't believe how little interest there is in this project! :O... It's pretty darn good for a city of 105,000 if you ask me- but I refuse to move to SSP
We do care about the projects, SP!RE, and its tremendous for the city of Waterloo, in redeveloping their old town square which, IMO, was a piece of crap, we'll have to see what this does. It might spruce and trend up the city just a little bit. We appreciate all the Waterloo Town Square developments, but some of us are focused on other projects going on in other cities as well and some other projects in K-W as well!

BTW, speaking of Waterloo, if you have ever heard of www.thecookingladies.com, they are two ladies who have travelled all over the world and have come up with unique recipes and their cookbook is a best-selling cookbook, available in Home Hardware stores and in other stores around North America. I actually know those two ladies quite well and they are based in Waterloo! Used to own their own catering company in Waterloo as well. Again, not that it is irrelevant, but I thought I would mention that.

I always wondered if I could apply or send in my resume for a job @ RIM, but they're NOT gonna want a small-town programmer like me, they've got more intelligent and smarter individuals working for them.
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Old September 27th, 2005, 08:54 PM   #93
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SP!RE I check SSC daily to read your posts, and I enjoy all the pictures that you take! Great updates, it's nice to see how it progresses!
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Old September 28th, 2005, 08:22 PM   #94
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Great developments in the Waterloo area.
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past, present, future...
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Old September 29th, 2005, 01:18 AM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaybird
It might spruce and trend up the city just a little bit.
Thanks for your comments everyone. However, Jaybird, I think you are underestimating the development. Especially since Uptown Waterloo is lacking (alot) in terms of office and residential development, this is a huge, huge boost because there will be LOTS of new office space and a nice amount of intertwined residential units.

However, the original plan was far more extensive, although it was far too large, it was a whole new downtown practically, and it is for those reasons that it was cancelled after all...
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Old September 29th, 2005, 03:48 AM   #96
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Yes, keep up the good work SP!RE.
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Old September 29th, 2005, 04:47 AM   #97
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Sorry.. I don't mean to make it look like I'm milking compliments or anything... it's just hard to keep doing updates when you feel like noone is using seeing them or anything... I am glad you all commented though, because now I want to continue! haha

Well back to the updates...
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Old September 29th, 2005, 02:23 PM   #98
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NEWS FLASH September 29, 2005
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Good news for a fast-growing city in which the newer parts are rarely as nice as the old ones- and a proud step for a city of this size...



"City starts work on new vision for its urban design"

(Sep 28, 2005)

The bricks are starting to be laid on a path towards a vision for the future of Waterloo's urban development.

Waterloo city council recently approved city staff's request to hire a consultant who will create a set of urban design guidelines that would be used to navigate the look, feel and function of the city.

The City of Waterloo plans to spend $147,000 on hiring the consultant who will examine and establish principles that will help in shaping the community's vision on what the physical and functional form of their city should be like.

The guidelines would then help act as a policy which staff and the community can use to determine whether or not a new development fits into the kind of niche that they are trying to develop for the city.

Cameron Rapp, the interim director of development services for the City of Waterloo, said there are currently so many different design guidelines being used throughout the city in different areas, such as Columbia Hills and Laurelwood, that it's confusing to understand what the direction is that the city is trying to take.

"We think it's best that we do a comprehensive review of what we expect development to look like in our area," Rapp said.

The new set of guidelines is also meant to help eliminate inconsistencies or loopholes that occur, by ensuring that a comprehensive amendment process is followed each time there are changes made to Waterloo's urban development.

City staff is only searching for the consultant at this time, with plans to have one hired by next month, before continuing onto a four-stage process that will be conducted in developing the urban design guidelines.

The first phase, which is expected to last until January 2006, will involve conducting preliminary research by examining the pre-existing design guidelines in Waterloo.

The consultant would also look at what sort of design frameworks are being used in other cities of comparative size, how they are being implemented, and what sort of guidelines would be most appropriate for Waterloo.

Coun. Gary Kieswetter, who voted against hiring a consultant for the research study, said he felt uncomfortable spending such a large amount of money on something he felt came out of nowhere.

"I'm just a little confused on why we're spending $147,000 on a consultant. I need a better understanding of why we're spending this and I'm just a little confused why all of sudden this is coming up."

Rapp told city council the amount of money that the city would be spending on the consultant is reasonable in comparison to how much other communities have spent conducting similar studies.

Coun. Jim Bolger said he knows the landscape of the city's urban core will more than likely look a lot different 20 years from now.

"But we shouldn't have to wait until we approve all of the plans (that we have). We should have the guidelines (in place) before the plans," Bolger said.

Once city council approves the consultant's research, work will be done to draft the urban design guidelines as well as a draft implementation plan for the guidelines.

The consultant would return to council to seek their approval of the guidelines that are recommended and seek any input.

City staff expects to have the urban development guidelines completed and implemented by November 2006.

Last edited by SP!RE; September 29th, 2005 at 11:13 PM.
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Old October 1st, 2005, 05:32 PM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SP!RE
Thanks for your comments everyone. However, Jaybird, I think you are underestimating the development. Especially since Uptown Waterloo is lacking (alot) in terms of office and residential development, this is a huge, huge boost because there will be LOTS of new office space and a nice amount of intertwined residential units.

However, the original plan was far more extensive, although it was far too large, it was a whole new downtown practically, and it is for those reasons that it was cancelled after all...
That is true, I keep forgetting the kind of situation Waterloo is in, and its population and such, but more office space will be perfect for all these high-tech firms and jobs that seem to be so popular in that region.
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Old October 1st, 2005, 10:38 PM   #100
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...exactly

Sorry if I ever sound really protective of the city and like I am advertising. I only say the truth about Waterloo and I am just trying to get its name out there, and also help midsize/smaller cities gain popularity on SSC as well as large/massive cities.

Anyways I was Uptown today... holy shmoley the development is going quickly!

I will post pictures soon.
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