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[Oak Bay] 2531, 2541 Estevan Ave | 3 stories | Canceled


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#41 DesignStyles

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 02:53 PM

The place has charm, but it seem pretty dead to me. It could use a denser core imo.


First time post, long time anonymous reader so bear with me :)

Assuming you are talking about increasing density related to business, that would mean surrounding areas are not serviced enough by businesses. I don't think that's the case here (See 1 block away). I think it has vibrancy but upgrading the buildings would be a welcome change from the old crap that's there.

I wouldn't exactly be happy about Starbucks going in there, I'd prefer to see a more locally owned/operated (no, not the chains either) setup.

Maintaining the lane would be nice, as it's a nice feature of a lot of areas in Oak Bay (Keep things open). Maybe they could incorporate some shrubbery/flowers to enhance the view along the inner side of the building? How could you want to destroy something called Muffin Lane anyways?? :D:D

#42 Caramia

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 03:01 PM

Oh it is called Muffin Lane?
I love that!

#43 gumgum

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 09:03 PM

^^Welcome to the forum DesignStyles!

When I say increased density, I'm thowing out the idea of more density of commercial, but mostly residential. Mixed use buildings, I'm suggesting.

Alright. I'm going to see this muffin lane for myself tomorrow, but at the moment, I believe that losing this little alley is a small sacrifice for such a cool and interesting proposal. There are benefits to this proposal. They are just less tangiable than what exists at the moment - which would be Muffin Lane.

But I will put my money where my mouth is.

BTW..no Starbucks for me either.

#44 Caramia

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 09:12 PM

Well I hope it will at least be called "The Muffin Block" or "Muffin Mews" or some such.

#45 AuH20

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 11:29 AM

Muffin Lane? The name itself should be changed by the NIMBY's. The Muffin man lived in Drury Lane if I remember correctly. That lane was full of gin palaces, houses of ill repute, venereal disease, and homeless people. Any street name promising muffins is only asking for trouble IMHO.

#46 aastra

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 12:52 PM

Including "muffin" in the name could also be seen as advocating unhealthy lifestyles. Any signs that display the name "Muffin Lane" should therefore be covered over. A covered sign at either end of the lane would be a nice touch.

#47 Coreyburger

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 01:32 PM

AFAIK, and I have biked most of north Oak Bay, incl. paths, only one path actually has a street sign, albeit home made, on it, a name which is busy escaping me at the moment.

#48 gumgum

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 09:57 PM

OK so I checked out Muffin Lane today.
I just don't understand what the fuss is all about. It's just an alley - a seemingly pointless alley at that - that really isn't that visually appealing or practical at all. If one needed to access to the lane(s) behind, all they have to do is add 20 seconds to their journey and walk around this lot to the back. And really the building that currently occupies the proposed site aren't anything special.

Anyway. Just my opinion. I took a couple shots while I was there:




#49 yodsaker

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 10:36 PM

Might be ok if its "Bran Muffin lane"... kep VIHA health nazis at bay.

#50 Caramia

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 12:33 AM

/thwap

#51 B.Bridge

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 10:37 PM

That is a most beautiful lane. It's just like a wider fan tan alley, but without the bricks, chinatown, storefronts, people, or anything historical or interesting!

#52 arfenarf

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 06:32 AM

Starbucks...


There's such a good independent shop in place already in the Estevan village - I'd like to think that *$ is overextended enough without taking on another outlet.

#53 Nparker

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 08:36 AM

That is a most beautiful lane. It's just like a wider Fan Tan Alley, but without the bricks, Chinatown, storefronts, people, or anything historical or interesting!


Well put B.Bridge!

#54 DesignStyles

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 03:39 PM

OK so I checked out Muffin Lane today.
I just don't understand what the fuss is all about. It's just an alley - a seemingly pointless alley at that - that really isn't that visually appealing or practical at all. If one needed to access to the lane(s) behind, all they have to do is add 20 seconds to their journey and walk around this lot to the back. And really the building that currently occupies the proposed site aren't anything special.

Anyway. Just my opinion. I took a couple shots while I was there:



Thanks for the welcoming comment! :) As for sacrificing the lane - I'm merely suggesting they integrate it somehow so show some creativity for existing quirky and interesting stuff. These little things are what people remember about places.. stories, legends.. whatever. Ok I'm embellishing things a bit, but I think you'll understand my point. If it's done correctly, integrating the lane is a talking point and an attraction in itself. Ignoring it and just paving it over just feels a bit bullish - or doing it wrong makes it stand out like a sore thumb.

It's not really about the time to walk around the building, it seems like it could be more inviting. Obviously someone cares about it enough to put flowers and a planter out there.

Proposition for ya: would dragon alley be cool if it didn't exist and was just building? How about trounce alley? Maybe there's a "neat" business that could sneak in the lane area? In my opinion that could enhance the community or character of the area. The back of buildings are usually boring and disgusting, this might help enforce keeping things tidy by encouraging foot traffic :)

#55 DesignStyles

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 03:41 PM

That is a most beautiful lane. It's just like a wider fan tan alley, but without the bricks, chinatown, storefronts, people, or anything historical or interesting!


Enter the opportunity to change the area, create something that's got history or something interesting (I guess just read what I most recently posted)... :D

#56 gumgum

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 06:35 PM

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.
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...

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:))

#57 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 07:31 PM

^ Well put, gumgum.
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#58 DesignStyles

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 08:40 AM

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!" :D

#59 gumgum

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 10:12 AM

I would imagine the lane must be part of the property, otherwise the developer would have no leg to stand on.
And you're right. I too would like to see some more detailed sketches to confirm my opinion of this project.
And yes the area is already unaffordable/ expensive as it is. Much of that has to do with its desirability. But I can't see how that would justify allowing these units to be even less attainable. And wouldn't the answer to high demand be to provide as much of the product as possible to ease market pressures?

#60 DesignStyles

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 01:00 PM

<snip>... But I can't see how that would justify allowing these units to be even less attainable. And wouldn't the answer to high demand be to provide as much of the product as possible to ease market pressures?


Hmm. I personally don't think of it as justifying that the units should remain less attainable (although a lot of people will probably agree with you). I imagine the units would sell (almost) no matter what the price is - a desirable area will in my opinion always have problem fulfilling demand. This is a tricky problem to solve!

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