Johnson Street Gateway
Uses: condo, commercial
Address: 1314-1324 Wharf Street
Region: Downtown Victoria
Condo units: 103 (studio/bachelor, 1BR, 2BR, 3BR, penthouse, live-work)
Sales status: in planning
[Downtown Victoria] Johnson Street Gateway (Northern Junk) | condos; commercial | 7-storeys | Cancelled in 2019Condo Commercial
Posted 15 October 2010 - 10:30 AM
Posted 15 October 2010 - 11:16 AM
For those entering the city from the bridge, this is the "first building you'll see," Madoff said. "It sets the tone."
Read more: http://www.timescolo...l#ixzz12SLymNas
We're sure bending over backwards for those commuters from Esquimalt, aren't we? Giving them an expensive new bridge so they can zip through town in style wasn't enough. Now we're worried that they might be offended if the abandoned buildings and parking lots near the bridge are fixed up.
Abandonment and disuse can reign for decades and that's perfectly fine, but if you want to fix some old buildings up, create a hint of a waterfront walkway, and build a new lowrise apartment block then you'd better be prepared for a fight. After all, what sort of tone would that set?
Posted 15 October 2010 - 12:28 PM
I don't think that new development in old town should compete with our lovely old heritage buildings by being too showy, better to have new buildings in old town reflect a solid, quality-material, complementary style instead of being glassy, modern and showy.
Read more: http://www.timescolo...l#ixzz12Sbp5VZ9
So now we've decided that the Old Town's architecture should not be showy?
Folks, the entire point of the Old Town was to show off, to be showy... but now we're saying it shouldn't be so?
This is the sort of revisionism that's done incalculable damage to Victoria's heritage and history. At some point in the past 50 years or so a lot of people seemed to arrive at the same conclusion, namely that Old Victoria wasn't supposed to have been fancy and showy and impressive but rather that it was supposed to have been dowdy and bland. It's 100% baloney, and yet it's an opinion that seems to hold great sway, even among those who are supposed to be concerned with heritage preservation.
Is it any coincidence that the finest, fanciest (and tallest) buildings were the ones that were destroyed during Victoria's great purge? They didn't belong, don't ya know?
In any event, the showiness of this proposal is highly debatable. I'm seeing a conservative modern building.
Posted 15 October 2010 - 12:42 PM
Victoria "logic" defies reason. Again.
Posted 15 October 2010 - 01:09 PM
Posted 15 October 2010 - 01:20 PM
The current design should be spectacular, but what I'm seeing looks a lot like Shutters to me, at least on the SW elevation. I'm betting that design will look pretty dated in 20 years. So sure, we shouldn't dig our heels in and fight anything that doesn't look olde-timey, but neither should we accept something that is flavour of the month.
Posted 15 October 2010 - 01:55 PM
Absolutely typifies the Victoria attitude … thank god all Victoria’s great buildings went up so long ago!
Beyond me how a new building (in old town) on an empty space means goodby old town ... like whats the defferance between a 12 and a 17 story building ... I say the 17 story building will be architectualy more pleasing ... a 12 story will help continue a lame and selfish platform ...
Posted 15 October 2010 - 02:08 PM
Posted 15 October 2010 - 02:12 PM
So true AllseeingEye ... ...
Anyone see the letter to the editor yesterday ... talking today about the same problems today as 20 years ago ... what a vibrant city!
Posted 15 October 2010 - 02:52 PM
I'd say what they're proposing is pretty good. I'd prefer it if the building were split in two and one section was a little taller than the other, but that's not likely to happen.
Overall it looks very Selkirk-ish to me, but with some ancient buildings thrown into the mix. There's nothing wrong with that, is there? Any way you slice it it's going to be significantly less offensive to the Old Town atmosphere than the new bridge, yes?
Anyway, the powers that be would be steadfastly opposed to "spectacular" in whatever form it might happen to take.
Posted 15 October 2010 - 08:09 PM
Not to say this is a bad proposal, of course. It's infinitely better than the current state of the existing buildings, and I don't mind the architecture of the proposed new one either. Overall, it would be a fantastic addition in that location. But I think it could be better.
Posted 15 October 2010 - 08:11 PM
Posted 15 October 2010 - 08:32 PM
Posted 15 October 2010 - 08:35 PM
picture from http://www.timescolo...l#ixzz12Sbp5VZ9
(by the way, note the "Johnston" in that URL)
I think a channel of some sort is needed through the middle of the new building. If it's not feasible to split the entire building in two then maybe split the top floor and put a Selkirk-esque corridor on the ground floor (if one isn't already planned).
And I think the top floor should be set back a bit at each end.
And to my answer my own question from earlier, the curve on the building is definitely more than just a curved corner. It's something between a sweeping curve and a curved corner.
Posted 15 October 2010 - 08:36 PM
Posted 15 October 2010 - 08:43 PM
Posted 15 October 2010 - 08:50 PM
Posted 15 October 2010 - 09:01 PM
More brilliance from the TC's comments:
Which reminds me, remember how the pro-replacement camp claimed that the new Vic West condominiums were so crucial to downtown's vitality and success? Close the old bridge during a rehab and downtown would surely die?
I am concerned that what is presently a very pleasently landscaped easterly approach to the Johnson Street bridge will become a complicated/over developed section of another piece of urban blight removing forever the existing generous sightlines of our harbor by yet another developer's financial grab of the moment...
Read more: http://www.timescolo...l#ixzz12Uijnvlj
If that's true, then wouldn't it make a helluva lot of sense to start putting a few condominiums in the Old Town itself? If businesses on Johnson Street do well thanks to people who walk from their homes 15-20 minutes away, then wouldn't those businesses benefit even more from people who live just a block or two away?
(crickets chirping -- condominium residents are only vital to downtown's health when we're talking about replacing the bridge and the condominium residents live on the other side of the harbour... condominium residents are a menace to downtown in any other circumstance)
Posted 17 October 2010 - 09:07 AM
Oh, in that case I take back my criticism. The stairs down to the waterfront walkway struck me as a barrier to casual through-traffic, but if there is a street-level connection through the building, I am satisfied.
There is a passageway that connects the current west Wharf Street through the project between the old buildings and new building and north west under the new building to connect to the bridge. All this, as well as the plaza that terraces down and the waterfront walkway are planned public access areas. Jon Stovell - Reliance Properties.
Posted 17 October 2010 - 11:08 AM
There's a letter in the TC Saturday from a downtown resident in the Leiser Building on Yates who writes:
"Aside from the fact that the proposed development will block our building views and those of any pedestrian in the area, is anyone thinking of the huge traffic and other livability impacts of 48 new units?"
She shouldn't worry too much because the residents may prefer to arrive by yacht since it looks like a private marina is part of the plan.
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