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Hudson Walk Two
Uses: rental, commercial
Address: 755 Caledonia Ave
Municipality: Victoria
Region: Downtown Victoria
Storeys: 15
Hudson Walk Two is a 15-storey, 106-unit mixed-use rental tower with a commercial ground floor. The building i... (view full profile)
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[Downtown Victoria] Hudson Walk | Rentals; commercial | Phase 1: 16-storeys | Built - completed in 2016 | Phase 2: 15-storeys | Built - completed in 2017

Office Commercial Rental

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#41 Caramia

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 10:23 AM

We were talking about this yesterday... are there any measureables coming out of the new residential population downtown? Some of them would be hard to get at, others could be determined through census data or a simple survey. I have more thoughts on this but I'll post them in the managing density thread.

#42 Mike K.

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 10:25 AM

Isn't the City sitting on a huge surplus now from a windfall in tax revenues?

I look at the raw value of the land and the increase in that value that the taxpayer provides the developer by re-zoning the land or allowing a variance. I don't think that a 1/4 or 1/3 share in the lift in the land value is unreasonable. After all, without the taxpayer making the concession then the developer would get nothing.

The tax payer isn't making any concessions. We're talking about private land, not public land purchased for private interests. In fact, by council demanding money in return for zoning changes the tax payer ends up paying for it through higher unit prices and lease rates.

The socialist idea of demanding monies from developers as a means of negating the "effect" of new developments is in fact a drain on the public, albeit a rarely discussed one.

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#43 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 10:30 AM

I look at the raw value of the land and the increase in that value that the taxpayer provides the developer by re-zoning the land or allowing a variance. I don't think that a 1/4 or 1/3 share in the lift in the land value is unreasonable. After all, without the taxpayer making the concession then the developer would get nothing.


I don't think I understand the logic here (but I'm curious to understand it because I think there are several councillors who share it).

What I see is this: a city that has radically underzoned many areas which should in any sensible scenario be upzoned as a matter of course.

The densities on many parcels right now represent an almost criminal underuse of land.

So that's my problem from the get-go, in a nutshell.

Now, I'm trying to understand the rest of this. As far as I can make out, Y owns property y, zoned low, and sells it to X, who then approaches the city for upzoning. This is a private property exchange and I'm not understanding how an upzoning is a "value that the taxpayer provides the developer." I mean, I sorta understand it, but since I believe that the original zoning was way too low to begin with, I'm not sure how the taxpayer enters into it with any kind of sacrifice. If anything, the taxpayer (Mr. & Mrs. Abstraction, vs. the very real Y or X) will benefit when the land is upzoned and something more useful sits on it.

Another point: what happens in Victoria is that most often (almost always, in fact), Y knows full well that property y is wildly underzoned, and therefore will only sell property y to X at a price that already reflects the upzoning that X absolutely has to ask for if X is going to build anything viable on property y.

So if you then pillory X and force him/her to pay in amenities for the upzoning, X is effectively paying twice: once to Y and again to the city (taxpayers). I also think that most developers know this full well, and go into these deals with their eyes wide open. But at some point, X turns into Z and just says, "zzzz, I'm outta here." Or else digs a big hole and leaves.

I guess the short version of what I just wrote is: why assume that the taxpayer is getting screwed by developers?

It's a game that involves so many other players, and the developers also get screwed (i.e., play a high risk game and sometimes lose their shirts or at the least take a bath).
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#44 Caramia

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 10:31 AM

The way I see it density bonusing is a very powerful tool that can be used to benefit tax payers and developers. A clearly laid out density bonusing plan can be used to leverage amenities, or heritage restoration, and developers love it. It goes wrong when the plan is not laid out clearly, or adhered to, or it doesn't make economic sense when you compare construction costs against the value increase. But used correctly it can be a win-win situation for all parties, and I sincerely hope that by the time we have another development boom in this City we will have a good density bonusing plan as part of our new downtown plan which will be able to harness the benefits for the public while providing some certainty for developers.

#45 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 10:34 AM

PS: Mike and Caramia both posted while I wrote the above. Good points, both of you.
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#46 Mike K.

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 10:39 AM

I disagree, density bonusing is a very powerful tool that can be used to benefit tax payers and developers. A clearly laid out density bonusing plan can be used to leverage amenities, or heritage restoration, and developers love it.

It can, but it rarely does, and even then, the costs of these amenities still end up being absorbed by the public.

In Victoria council asks developers to throw money at them for added density. A million here, a million there, and council feels they're accomplishing something and sticking up for the tax payer. But in the end anyone who uses that building for whatever purpose, whether it's to buy a residential unit, shop at the retail stores or lease space for a business, will be absorbing that bonus density cost. Meanwhile that million dollars just sits in the City's coffers and individuals who feel that developers owe something to the public feel like justice has been served.

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#47 FunkyMunky

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 12:17 PM

I thought this topic was about the Radius site? At least we seem to have overcome the masturbatory discussions about cranes. :cool:

#48 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 03:05 PM

I wonder if anyone can speak to the likelihood of an 'as is' transfer of the development permit, i.e. Townline builds everything according to the existing development plans (perhaps while cancelling the existing residential purchase contracts)?

My own hunch is that Townline will opt for a 100% residential project, which may give a boost to Gateway Green.

#49 Zimquats

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 03:12 PM

I wonder if anyone can speak to the likelihood of an 'as is' transfer of the development permit, i.e. Townline builds everything according to the existing development plans (perhaps while cancelling the existing residential purchase contracts)?

My own hunch is that Townline will opt for a 100% residential project, which may give a boost to Gateway Green.


My feeling is that if it didn't work for the first guy, it won't work for the second guy, meaning they'll have to do enough redesign to fix the budget that the DP won't be valid anymore.

Also, if I had to bet, I'd say it goes 100% commercial long before it goes 100% residential. Why would Townline build a project that directly competes with itself at the Hudson?

#50 Nparker

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 03:17 PM

Also, if I had to bet, I'd say it goes 100% commercial long before it goes 100% residential. Why would Townline build a project that directly competes with itself at the Hudson?


I tend to agree Zim. Also, let's not forget that Townline has the Centro (residential) project somewhere down the line as well as the Hudson. If Radius gets re-envisioned in any way (and I am nearly positive it will), my feeling is that the residential component will be out in favour of all commercial, with perhaps a greater retail component than before. Who thinks the UCW is toast as far as this location is concerned?

#51 Zimquats

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 06:09 PM

Whoa! Nparker has agreed with me twice in one day.

It's like I bumped my head last night and woke up in Bizzaro world lol. Next thing you know I'll be selling my truck and biking to work, eating apples instead of smoking, and encouraging the nursing mom sitting next to me at the Oak bay marina to 'just go for it'.

But I digress, and spookily enough, agree back with Nparker that UCW is out. My guess is Schuck, being a member of the board at UCW, sported them a tremendous deal to show the banks he had space leased at Radius hence helping with the lending. However, I find it inlikely that Townline will be inclined to offer the same sweetheart deal, considering how prime office space downtown is becoming.

#52 Nparker

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 06:31 PM

Whoa! Nparker has agreed with me twice in one day.


Surely the apocalypse must be at hand. Next thing you know Pam Madoff will be actively campaigning to have Emily Carr's birthplace torn-down in favour of 78-storey glass and concrete tower, as home to the new international headquarters for Wal-Mart.

Seriously though I DO have numerous different opinions. Never underestimate my power to bounce from one extreme to another.

#53 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 06:40 PM

Also, if I had to bet, I'd say it goes 100% commercial long before it goes 100% residential. Why would Townline build a project that directly competes with itself at the Hudson?


It's *not unheard of* for developers to build adjacent residential developments that target different markets; these are complimentary (rather than competing) projects. In downtown Victoria, Astoria & Belvedere were both completed by Concert Properties on the same block (in 2005 and 2006, respectively). Belvedere's finishes & unit sizes were obviously intended for a 'higher end' market than Astoria. Bayview Properties may be marketing & building the next phases of Bayview concurrently with the first phases of the adjacent Roundhouse.

There are a number of things that Townline could do to ensure that a residential project at the Radius site would not 'compete' with the Hudson, such as:

* Building larger, 2-3 bedroom units
* Offering green features (a la Dockside Green)
* Hiring a 'star architect' such as Arthur Erickson or Tadao Ando

#54 Zimquats

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 06:54 PM

^^for sure.

But, like I said, I wouldn't bet on it.

#55 Guest_Marcat_*

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 07:00 PM

It's *not unheard of* for developers to build adjacent residential developments that target different markets; these are complimentary (rather than competing) projects. In downtown Victoria, Astoria & Belvedere were both completed by Concert Properties on the same block (in 2005 and 2006, respectively). Belvedere's finishes & unit sizes were obviously intended for a 'higher end' market than Astoria. Bayview Properties may be marketing & building the next phases of Bayview concurrently with the first phases of the adjacent Roundhouse.

There are a number of things that Townline could do to ensure that a residential project at the Radius site would not 'compete' with the Hudson, such as:

* Building larger, 2-3 bedroom units
* Offering green features (a la Dockside Green)
* Hiring a 'star architect' such as Arthur Erickson or Tadao Ando


The economic situation in 2005 and 2006 for Belvedere and Astoria was quite different than it is today and in a completely different area of town...Who knows when we will see Roundhouse actually get off the ground...You are right its not unheard of developers to build projects next to each other, but keep in mind several factors...Townline already has Centro setup, they are more than likely taking a "cautious" approach with the tower portion of the Hudson... the condo market in Victoria is becoming very saturated...The site is not in an area where a high end luxury project could go (thus putting out that market)...I can shoot the "green" feature idea out the window as phase 3 at Dockside is stalled...Silkwinds has been start up shut down start up for months now, same with Capella...and the Radius Developer was stop and go for sometime before it was announced the project was on the block

#56 Mike K.

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 07:02 PM

The community has been sold on an office/commercial component for the site and given the extreme shortage of office space in the core, it's unlikely Townline will pursue a majority residential project.

One thing is for sure, and that its Gateway Green's time to shine! The situation can't get more favourable for them.

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#57 Koru

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 07:05 PM

The community has been sold on an office/commercial component for the site and given the extreme shortage of office space in the core, it's unlikely Townline will pursue a majority residential project.

One thing is for sure, and that its Gateway Green's time to shine! The situation can't get more favourable for them.


completely...that and Townline has 2 major residential projects in the pipe as is...

#58 Holden West

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 07:08 PM

* Hiring a 'star architect' such as Arthur Erickson or Tadao Ando


Except Arthur Erickson is technically not an architect. :P
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#59 concorde

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 05:22 PM

I understand that the City planned on having the parking onus passed on to nearby developers, but, at a pricetag of almost $20k per underground parking stall, it's not as insignificant as it sounds.

It's this mentality of having developers pay extreme amounts for 'ammenity' packages that is leaving us with giant holes in the ground and run down, boarded up hotels. That's not even getting into the real costs we'll soon be facing if (when!) the construction market dries up here. It's backwards thinking and it's going to cause a lot of problems. Soon.


Not sure where you are getting your numbers, but the number is around $48K per stall and rising.

#60 Zimquats

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 07:33 AM

Not sure where you are getting your numbers, but the number is around $48K per stall and rising.


Ouch, it's nowhere near $48k for the ones I've built. Granted, $20k might be light, but it meant I could do the math in my head and still get the point across, so I went with it.

I could get more specific about the costs, but if I did it would certainly give away my true identity, and I definately prefer the anonymous thing. Look what happened to Bruce Wayne when Clark Kent when people found who they were...it was bad and I don't wanna risk that kinda mojo......

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