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UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Capital Park Office, building 1
Uses: office, commercial
Address: 500-block of Superior Street
Municipality: Victoria
Region: Urban Core
Storeys: 5
Capital Park Office, building one, is the first of two office phases (with ground floor commercial space) of C... (view full profile)
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[James Bay] Capital Park | Mixed-use office, commercial, residential | 5-storeys | Under construction

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#581 aastra

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 03:39 PM

 

It's hardly what I would call a "sensitive" development in an old, original neighborhood like James Bay.

 

I'd say it takes cues from the Queen's Printer building and the Douglas Building. That's actually why I was hoping for another lowrise office project on the corner parking lot. To fill in and complete that little district there. It doesn't seem like downtown to me at all. It seems like a bit more of that part of James Bay where the Douglas Building and the Queen's Printer building are.

 

post-4023-0-32830400-1506782800.jpg


Edited by aastra, 20 October 2017 - 03:44 PM.

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#582 tjv

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 03:58 PM

Service Canada kept their 595 Pandora office open until the one on Johnson Street opened in the fall of 2012, I've been able to confirm (not in 2014).

 

Cielo Properties started renovation of the building in 2014.

ok that saves me digging thru my files.  So $1 million spent on improving the space for 7 years.  That sounds like wise government spending



#583 Cassidy

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 04:23 PM

That picture highlights exactly what I'm talking about, all you have to do is gaze over the top of the giant, new buildings to notice the tons of mostly small houses nestled amongst the trees immediately behind the project.

 

The building pushes up agains those houses. It's overbearing.

It brings the feel of downtown to a place that was distinctly away from downtown, comprised of lots of small, older houses on tree lined streets.

 

I get it though, some folks quite like this project ... but I don't.

 

(did you see how I used "nestled amongst the trees" to make my point just a little more homey, give it that "fireside" touch :) )



#584 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 04:58 PM

I really think Capital Park is a win win for everybody. There have always been government offices on this site, but the Quonset huts are gone now (replaced with modern and energy efficient offices), and the Queens Printer building has been renovated on the interior. Several character buildings have been retained and converted into rental units; other character homes were “saved” and relocated to Dallas Road and beautifully restored. The Neighbourhood is getting new rental and condo housing, a library, a Red Barn Market and cafes, arguably expanding the James Bay Village into an area that was a surface parking lot. The JBNA even got its wish for low/mid rise structures.
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#585 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 05:07 PM

As for highly trafficked, have you been downtown almost any weeknight after 6:00 PM? You could take a nap on much of Douglas Street and not get disturbed.


Many do now!
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#586 Nparker

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 05:26 PM

...I get it though, some folks quite like this project ... but I don't.

The only things about this project so far that I am not too keen on, are the lack of vibrancy along much of Superior Street (although this should be mitigated by the public square once completed) and the cheapish looking exterior of the rental apartments. Otherwise, it's a vast improvement over what preceded it on this site.



#587 aastra

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 05:31 PM

 

It brings the feel of downtown to a place that was distinctly away from downtown...

 

The QP building has been there for almost a hundred years. The Douglas Building isn't very much younger. Does the old brick building on Parry Street have the feel of the old town? If our estimation of a district's character excludes notable & longstanding landmarks then is our estimation really accurate? How can we claim to enjoy a recipe but then disregard key ingredients as if they were irrelevant? The recipe wouldn't be the same without those ingredients. This reminds me of those maddeningly selective estimations of downtown Victoria's character that always seem to exclude the most notable and/or defining buildings, both extant and long gone.

 

Anyway, I think people focus too much on one specific aspect or another and miss the complete picture. I want James Bay to continue to be like James Bay, because I like James Bay. I don't want one specific aspect of James Bay to be emphasized over all others as if that one specific aspect were the only interesting/unique/appealing thing about James Bay. I feel the same way about downtown or Fairfield or Sidney, etc.



#588 aastra

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 05:41 PM

 

...expanding the James Bay Village into an area that was a surface parking lot.

 

Ah, but those surface parking lots were very sensitive to the old neighbourhood. They weren't overbearing like downtown parking lots. All you had to do was gaze over the parking lots to notice the tons of mostly small houses nestled amongst the trees immediately behind.*

 

*Just razzing Cassidy. Don't get mad, I live for these discussions.


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#589 Nparker

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 05:49 PM

I am sure these same concerns (and more) arose when the first high-rises went up in James Bay 50 years ago. Was there a mass exodus of people from the community then?



#590 aastra

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 06:03 PM

You know, I get the idea that James Bay was mainly a neighbourhood back in the day. But other uses (industrial, hotel & tourism, commercial, government) have been present in James Bay for a hundred years and more. And then high-density residential came along eventually, too, which changed the nature of the neighbourhood aspect itself. For the sheer range of stuff that happens there, no other neighbourhood in Victoria comes close. I'm glad that James Bay didn't fully buy in to the west end's formula. I'm glad that downtown hasn't really intruded. I'm glad that there are still plenty of houses, old ones and new ones. It's an eclectic scene and I want it to continue to be so.

 

Suffice it to say, I guess I just don't agree that this development represents anything in the way of a violation of what makes James Bay appealing and unique. To my eyes it doesn't seem to be overwhelming and it sure doesn't seem to be a downtown office project. It seems to be a James Bay office project.


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#591 mbjj

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 06:36 PM

The Ministry of Forests operated out of 595 Pandora for many, many years. They were certainly there in the 1990's, and Service Canada was there for many years until they moved to Johnson at Douglas. The building sat vacant from the moment Service Canada left, which I think was in 2014?

I worked for the Ministry of Forests until 1985, when our daughter was born. We hadn't been in that building long (the MEC one). I think the Ministry moved there in December of 1984. Before that we were in the Mosaic building on Fort and I could walk to work.



#592 manuel

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 08:22 PM

Who is thinking of the poor quonset huts?

I haven't been down to the new buildings yet. Will need to go to form my own opinions.

One thing I wonder - will Superior be rebuilt when phase 2 is done? The last time I went down it the pavement resembled a mountain road in Nepal.
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#593 Bingo

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 08:57 PM

 All you had to do was gaze over the parking lots to notice the tons of mostly small houses nestled amongst the trees immediately behind.

 

 

 Captain James Cook who was looking for a new mast for his ship actually came to Victoria to be nestled amongst the trees while he decided which one to cut down.


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#594 Kungsberg

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 09:26 PM

- will Superior be rebuilt when phase 2 is done? The last time I went down it the pavement resembled a mountain road in Nepal.

 

Agreed, that part of Superior is terrible. The question was asked at the Capital Park update that Robert Jawl gave the JBNA in July. This is from the minutes:

 

Q: Superior St is in bad shape and has been for years.  Will Superior between Government and Menzies be resurfaced at that time?

A: We will be working on the sidewalks and street from the centre line south to the project.  There will be segregated bike lanes; our part of roadway will be repaved.  We can only advocate that the City repave their portion of the street.


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#595 tjv

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 07:47 AM

glass office building.jpg

That picture highlights exactly what I'm talking about, all you have to do is gaze over the top of the giant, new buildings to notice the tons of mostly small houses nestled amongst the trees immediately behind the project.

 

The building pushes up agains those houses. It's overbearing.

It brings the feel of downtown to a place that was distinctly away from downtown, comprised of lots of small, older houses on tree lined streets.

 

I get it though, some folks quite like this project ... but I don't.

 

(did you see how I used "nestled amongst the trees" to make my point just a little more homey, give it that "fireside" touch :) )

So I assume you felt the same way about the Parliament Buildings as you gazed over the top to notice the tons of small.......?  I mean the Parliament Building is so overbearing

 

Give or take its no taller than the QP Building

 

Frankly, in my opinion when I drove by to see the finished product it felt under whelming.  It was like another boring government office building that should have been much larger.  And its filled with government ministries, no private offices and corporations which is what we really need if you want wages and Victoria to thrive economically.

 

I would have liked to see something like this filled with private companies.  Yes, I can only dream



#596 Mike K.

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:32 AM

I worked for the Ministry of Forests until 1985, when our daughter was born. We hadn't been in that building long (the MEC one). I think the Ministry moved there in December of 1984. Before that we were in the Mosaic building on Fort and I could walk to work.

 

Yes! The MoF occupied both the MEC building and 595 Pandora at the same time (I think). But they were definitely in 595 throughout the 90's and into the 00's. Service Canada moved in when MoF moved out.


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#597 tjv

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 12:07 PM

there was a bridge connection MEC to 595 on each of the levels so that makes sense



#598 Mike K.

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 12:08 PM

That's right! Geez, this is quite the walk down memory lane. I spent a lot of time in that area as a kid.


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