This proposal is an opportunity to add something really special to the area. I'm not dissing the alley per se, but it would be a shame to see this neat little development shelved for the sake of it.
I too would hate to see the project shelved just for the sake of the lane. The buildings definitely need upgrading, and redevelopment of the area will most certainly improve vibrancy.
The only problem I would imagine this developer would have with integrating the Muffin (as I will refer to it from now on) is that since they have to deal with tight restrictions as far as height, their profit margins are very tight in this expensive market. They need a certain level of density, a minimum number of units in order to make the development profitable.
Thus the need to use the entire lot.
Property development is not a cash cow. They work under tight margins and the risks are high.
Some of you might be saying to yourself, "Well that's not my problem." But if council rejects this proposal, it could set a dangerous precedent. It would tell other developers that even modest proposals such as this one would not be worth verturing. And I could go on about the health of a city depends on it not stagnating - and on and on into the depths of the abstract...
I sure hope we're not at that stage yet, flat out rejecting it that is. I'm not so sure it would set a dangerous precedent. That would more depend on how it was rejected - if there was no compromise being made on either side.. that would be very bad agreed!
And let's say the developer bends and integrates the Muffin into the proposal. It would mean the per unit prices of each condo would have to be even higher. As it the proposal stands the moment, it already means the units will be beyond what the average person would consider affordable. Take away a couple more units and those unit prices become even farther reaching. All for the sake of the Muffin. All for the sake of some ashphalt, some cinderblock and stucco. (Oh and a couple of hanging baskets:))
I'd like to know just how much higher it would be, without speculating.
The counter argument to what your saying about affordability.. the area itself is already well out of the range of your average person. Houses surrounding the area start at about 800-999k. Same ashphalt, same cinderblock, and stucco.. as say.. Royal Oak. What makes it more expensive? Location of course. I'm not sure where you're going with that when we know full well it's a very desirable area and demands more than other areas of the city.
Seeing a couple sketches with and without the lane, with some indication of cost associated with each would be nice. I'm not sure on the ownership of that lane - is it really part of the property or is it an easement? I wonder how it got there in the first place with the previous development.
Don't get me wrong, I'm quite excited to see new buildings go up! Oh yeah, and if they do end up paving over the lane, maybe they should take those old hanging baskets and put them on the front of the building with a sign - "Here lies the Muffin Man, he put up a valiant fight for his lane but lost.. We will remember him!"