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Old September 10th, 2006, 03:41 AM   #81
Penhorn
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Duffman at SSP posted a bunch of great photos of current construction sites in Halifax, including a nice one of the new NSCC campus in Dartmouth:

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show....php?p=2287309
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Old September 10th, 2006, 07:24 AM   #82
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HRM urban design public consultations start tomorrow, here's the website:

http://www.halifax.ca/capitaldistric...signStudy.html
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Old September 13th, 2006, 04:05 AM   #83
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There's a lot of interesting information here, regarding the future of various sites around Halifax and Dartmouth:

http://www.halifax.ca/capitaldistric...tiesReport.pdf
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 05:07 AM   #84
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Article in The Coast today:

---

Grand plans
The city’s only full-time urban planner attempts to steer the HRM by Design planning study to success. Mike Fleury reports.

by Mike Fleury

September 21, 2006

Andy Fillmore was excited about last Tuesday. He and his two working partners from the Toronto-based design firm Office for Urbanism were scheduled to meet with the entire city council to discuss HRM by Design, a $200,000 planning project focused on downtown Halifax and Dartmouth—a chance to directly explain and promote the project, and hopefully, get councillors on board with the project’s vision.

“We were going to set the hook in their mouths for this project and really sell them—really get the ball rolling,” Fillmore recalls. “And then, they cancelled it. They thought their agenda was too busy and they cancelled it that night. They ended up debating those day-glow trailer signs. There’s another thing that, in theory, the design strategy would take care of. Unfortunately, they chose this long debate rather than the thing that could have solved the problem....” He catches himself, and pauses. Then he laughs. “A little bit of frustration may be seeping out there. But I’m trying to keep calm about it!”

He may not have made it to council (“We’re working hard to get a workshop with them” ), but Fillmore still spent much of last week explaining HRM by Design at a series of public forums and stakeholder meetings. The goal was to get the word out early—and often —in order to generate more public participation, which Fillmore hopes will carry through to the end of the project in the fall of 2007.

It may prove a difficult task. Although last week’s Monday night meeting in Halifax and Wednesday’s public session in Dartmouth were both relatively well-attended, the week’s Thursday night wrap-up drew a thin crowd: roughly 50 attendees, some of whom were members of the design team.

“We were a bit disappointed in Thursday night’s final showing,” says Fillmore. He says that especially on the Halifax peninsula, there may have been a bit of fallout after what happened on the Spring Garden and Queen development project, where the public was asked to participate in the planning process last spring, only to find out later that much of the discussed property had already been divvied up for development. When the news broke, Fillmore was also taken by surprise.

“It turns into people saying, ‘All those meetings were a waste of time,’ or ‘Those meetings were a sham,’ and that the whole thing was a done deal in the backroom before you even started the public process. I mean, that’s all not true, but it doesn’t really matter because that’s what people believe.”

In addition to the challenge of engaging a wary public, Fillmore is also trying to work past another troubling and familiar problem: On Thursday night, a pro-development audience member and a member of the Heritage Trust got into a heated argument over the direction of downtown development. Jennifer Keesmaat, a speaker from the Office for Urbanism, was eventually forced to intervene (as she put it, “in the name of civility” ).

“They’ve seen this dynamic before: Entrenched pro-heritage, anti-development views versus entrenched pro-development anti-heritage views,” says Fillmore, referring to his two colleagues from the Office for Urbanism. Their experience, he hopes, will be able to move this town beyond simply a polarizing argument about height versus heritage.

“The idea is to change the whole discussion. You’re not going to get anywhere trying to have that same discussion over and over again. It’s more effective to change the discussion. That’s what they were trying to do.”

Fillmore’s hope is that as HRM by Design moves forward, that discussion will eventually shift to more positive, constructive and general ways to direct development—not simply a debate over individual developments, but setting a better standard across the city.

“Take, for example, a [densely populated] downtown—one of the goals we’re talking about...A dense downtown eliminates the expensive servicing of the suburbs, it creates economic development, it reduces homelessness, it increases job rates, it increases the tax base...it is actually a panacea. It’s the only panacea that’s available to us,” he says. “You can try to micromanage and fix all of those problems individually, but this project is really what ties it all together.”

-----

I'm really disappointed council cancelled the meeting..hopefully they can squeeze that workshop in .
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Old September 23rd, 2006, 01:02 AM   #85
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Here's a few more sites around the city:

Citadel High School: (look earlier in the thread for a rendering)


Nova Scotia Community College Dartmouth campus, almost done:


Nice new terraced houses, thought they were public housing at first but they aren't:


And a render of the final product:


Someone asked a while ago to see a photo of Dartmouth, so here's one of the downtown area, it's nothing special though. There's a big project (Kings Wharf) set for the area to the right of this picture, and to the left (not seen) is Dartmouth's tallest building, a twenty-something storey office tower:


Does anyone know the story behind these abandoned truck trailers? They're about 200 metres south of the Uniacke Square public housing, and they've been there for several years. I would've thought the city would have done something by now, not only about the trailers, but about the whole lot:

Last edited by Penhorn; September 23rd, 2006 at 03:57 AM.
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Old September 23rd, 2006, 05:00 AM   #86
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Here's a "Spice" rendering. Sort of disappointing (the low height), although the colours make it look interesting, in a good way.


Last edited by Penhorn; September 23rd, 2006 at 05:20 AM.
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Old September 23rd, 2006, 05:01 PM   #87
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The more I look at the Spice rendering the more I like it. I think it has the possibilty to be quite nice.

The article in the Coast summs up the HRM by Design experience perfectly. And I truly believe that they can make a difference in this city if they're given the chance. I really want to see a denser city myself.
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Old September 26th, 2006, 06:11 PM   #88
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Thanks a lot for the pics, Penhorn.

Citadel High is looking great! Hey, does anyone know of what's being planned for the two old high school sites?

I think Spice looks good - cool design in general and I like the colours for now. If they ever became unbearable, they could just be painted over!
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Old October 7th, 2006, 05:58 AM   #89
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There's a new construction site in part of the parking lot of the Barrington Street Superstore, hopefully good news. Bad place for parking, right across from Cornwallis Park.
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Old October 7th, 2006, 04:34 PM   #90
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Walking by yesterday and I see in the paper today that the Armoury Square is finally under construction.
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Old October 8th, 2006, 05:53 AM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penhorn View Post
There's a new construction site in part of the parking lot of the Barrington Street Superstore, hopefully good news. Bad place for parking, right across from Cornwallis Park.
How big is it? I've heard nothing of this. Certainly very interesting news, although it's possible that what they build there will be no better than the other things in that immediate area.
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Old October 8th, 2006, 06:01 PM   #92
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I think about this much of the parking lot is fenced off:



There are signs all over the fence with the name of the construction company or developer or something, but I forget what it was. "???group.com"
I have a bad feeling it's a gas station, I seem to remember seeing green tanks being installed in the ground.
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Old October 9th, 2006, 12:25 AM   #93
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I am guessing that it will be a liquorstore expansion or a gas station as someone pointed out.

I will try to get some updated pictures of the YMCA Barrington Steet development this week so I will get a shot of this one too.
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Old October 9th, 2006, 01:21 AM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyscraper_1 View Post
I am guessing that it will be a liquorstore expansion or a gas station as someone pointed out.
That liquor store is only a year or so old so it isn't that. However if you recall, that site used to be a gas station years ago and it makes sense that SS might want to put one there since their only other one around is way out on Joe Howe.
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Old October 9th, 2006, 02:13 AM   #95
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Almost certainly going to be a gas station. I'll be really surprised if it's something else.

I don't have anything against gas stations, but the quality of commercial development on the peninsula is not what it should be. The problem is that in many areas of the city, such as Young Street, it's really easy to build strip malls and gas stations and hard to build anything else. The same thing goes for Quinpool Road, more or less. This has to do with planning regulations, not just market forces and financing.

The Southern Queen/Barrington and Young Street areas could be really interesting parts of the city and are capable of accommodating lots of residents. The HRM should be targeting these areas for intensification (and by "targeting", I mean doing something such as fast-tracking a large class of development proposals, not merely studying what to do). Unfortunately, they seem largely incapable.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 12:15 AM   #96
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I don't know - I'd almost rather see an open parking lot there than a gas station - not only because of the area of the city but with it being right across from the park and all. At least the parking lot doesn't impose on the park. I can't see Superstore building anything else there, though, and blocking the view of their store as you drive down Barrington.

I agree that the quality of development is down in a lot of areas. The Queen St. and Barrington areas that you speak of - these are so ready for some big and classy developments but I also suffer from a lack of confidence in the planning strategies.

Anyway, yes I drove by the Armoury Square lot this weekend (at least I think it was that - there's a cool little alley on the side of it?) and activity has started. Also, Citadel High is looking big and great - some nice brick on the Hill side of it. I didn't hear, are they going ahead with building the auditorium? It looks like it, on the north side.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 12:29 AM   #97
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Here's a pic I took of Citadel High while driving by and trying to carry on a conversation with my passenger... it doesn't really capture the pillars or the auditorium (?) or the rear obviously. Oh well.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 12:33 AM   #98
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Also, does anyone know what's going on over at Granville St. just north of George? They seem to have demolished a building just to the left of this picture, behind the TD Tower.



As a side note, I've always believed that TD tower to have been designed with the intention of another tower being built right behind it - why else would they have no windows on the east (harbour) side of it? As it is now, it looks pretty ugly so I hope something goes in there - to the left and behind the pictured building.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 04:52 AM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Slacks View Post
Also, does anyone know what's going on over at Granville St. just north of George? They seem to have demolished a building just to the left of this picture, behind the TD Tower.

As a side note, I've always believed that TD tower to have been designed with the intention of another tower being built right behind it - why else would they have no windows on the east (harbour) side of it? As it is now, it looks pretty ugly so I hope something goes in there - to the left and behind the pictured building.
That's where the Kelly building (abandoned since 1995) was until a few weeks ago. Hopefully they'll replace it with something interesting...the TD wall does look pretty weird.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 04:56 AM   #100
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Quote:
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I didn't hear, are they going ahead with building the auditorium? It looks like it, on the north side.
I think I read they're going to build a shell for the auditorium, and then finish it once they get the money (?). I guess it's better than adding it on later. Also, I agree on the gas station. Just when I though we'd gotton rid of all the ones near in and near downtown... I'd much rather see small stores or something built there, for the train/cruise passengers.
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