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CANCELLED
Speed and Frances, west tower
Uses: condo, commercial
Address: 606 Speed Avenue
Municipality: Victoria
Region: Urban core
Storeys: 12
Condo units: 83 (loft, 1BR, 2BR)
Sales status: in planning
Speed and Frances, west tower, is a 12-storey residential building with 83 condos, six townhomes and ground fl... (view full profile)
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[Burnside/Gorge] Speed and Frances towers | condos; commercial | 12 & 12-storeys | Cancelled


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255 replies to this topic

#21 Robb

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 11:43 AM

Sorry about the quality...





2,316m^2 Commercial, 16,738m^2 Residential = 19,054m^2 total. Site is 5349.4m^2
26 Studio + 42 1BD + 74 1BD&Den + 72 2BD = 224 units
2 level parkade, 235 standard and 13 non-conforming

#22 aastra

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 12:57 PM

You know, all things considered, it actually looks pretty good. So what's the mood on Speed Ave.? Do people think it's just too much?

#23 Robb

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 02:30 PM

You know, all things considered, it actually looks pretty good. So what's the mood on Speed Ave.? Do people think it's just too much?


I'm not sure. I think it's safe to say we're all in favour of continued redevelopment of the street.

I put a note up on our board letting people know about this forum, maybe we'll get some more opinions?

Speaking for myself, I'm worried that it's too much and will negatively impact the area. What's it going to do to my property value? How will it affect the quality of life in the neighbourhood?

#24 Joy

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 03:06 PM

Hi All I'd just like to point out, the trees sketched into the background of the 8 storey and 14 storey development are way way too big. In fact, the trees are just about as tall as our 3-storey condo building on Speed, which was built 3 and 1/2 years ago. I think the misrepresentation of the trees makes the new buildings look more moderate than they actually are. My opinion is these two new buildings are too big, and I would like to see the project downsized (eg, to 6 stories and 12 stories or something like that). I still need to get down to city hall and find out about entrance to the complexes, I am hoping (all the public entrances, vehicle & pedestrian) are exclusively on Frances Street (except for the front doors of the townhomes)... it is already difficult for guests to consistantly find street parking when they come visit us, and we are a dead end street with access only on Douglas, as it is it will be a challenge to have the guests of the 10 townhomes parking on Speed, because we are upping from 4 homes to 10 homes in the same street front space.

#25 gumgum

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 03:10 PM

You might want to consider concerning yourself more with the massing than the height of the buildings. Taller buildings can be much less intrusive than shorter ones. This one appears to be too fat, not too tall.

#26 aastra

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 03:39 PM

The taller trees on Speed Avenue appear to be about 6 or 7 residential stories tall:
http://www.bing.com/...557926033&sty=b

http://maps.google.c...71.51,,0,-17.39

I've been ranting about the massing but from the POV of the apartments on the north side of Speed I don't think changing the massing is going to make the situation much better. The edge of the proposed tower is already facing them. How can it improve beyond that? I suppose they could make the edge even slimmer, but probably not by much, and if they do that they'll probably want to build out the width even more (by filling in those terraces on the upper floors on the south side). Meanwhile, things can get worse quite easily, if they redistribute things so that 8 or 9 stories are stretched east-west along the south side of Speed Avenue itself.

As far as the rest of us are concerned (including potential future developments in the area), the massing could be more appealing, for sure.

#27 aastra

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 04:07 PM

If I can digress for a moment, we've got plans for streetcars along Douglas, Town & Country is expanding... so what exactly is officialdom's goal for this part of town, anyway?

Is this the sort of thing that the city wants? Are the developers going out on a limb when they propose something like this? Maybe it doesn't have a chance in hell? Or maybe it's a slam dunk?

I really have no idea.

#28 G-Man

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 06:35 PM

I think that if they are building a rapid transit corridor along Douglas Street that this is the sort of thing that they want. I am excited for this to be added to my view from the back of my house. This area needs more residents and less asphalt. There is a station planned for Finlayson and Douglas so there is more of this to come hopefully. The benefit is that land is not as expensive as downtown so you get a cheaper home and are still close to downtown.

Aastra is it just me or does density outside of downtown upset you.

I think for the developer to make rental work this is the size they will need to go. If people want a market four storey walk up condo building it will be many many years before that is viable again.

#29 jklymak

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 07:04 PM

^ It seems to me that high density needs to be somewhat planned for, or walkable shopping nodes won't develop, and all we'll have is people driving from one isolated high density building to the nearest mall. Not really ideal in my opinion.

Where will these people shop for their groceries if they don't have a car? Save-On is a 15 minute walk, which isn't too bad I suppose - not ideal but doable, particularly if RT goes in.

So, I echo Aastra's question. Is this area slated for high density? If so, is it a good idea?

#30 aastra

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 08:19 PM

I have no problem with the density itself, but I'm pretty sure that I've rambled on at length for many years about the forms that density can take and how some forms are preferable over others. I'll always prefer a smaller footprint and a bit more height over a man-made mountain range.

My other beef is also something that I've mentioned before: what are people supposed to expect? Are we saying it serves somebody right for choosing to live in a 3-story building on Speed Avenue because it should have been obvious to them that a 14-story wide-rise would eventually be built across the street?

How come Victoria is so counterintuitive about such things? Whatever an area happens to be like, you're supposed to expect the opposite? If you live in Harris Green or the Humboldt Valley you're supposed to expect lowrises? If you live on Speed Avenue you're supposed to expect highrises?

If the folks who live on the north side of Speed Avenue were expecting the south side of Speed Avenue to be redeveloped along similar lines as the north side, is that really so outrageous and ridiculous?

#31 aastra

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 08:38 PM

Questions:

How many of these sorts of projects are we expecting/hoping for on the west side of Douglas, along Douglas in general, and along Burnside?

What's the height limit, if any?

What are the guidelines re: architectural styles, setbacks, and ground floors (townhouses, commercial units, etc.)?

Are Victoria and Saanich on the same page re: the vision for this area?

#32 Layne French

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 09:08 PM

Where will these people shop for their groceries if they don't have a car? Save-On is a 15 minute walk, which isn't too bad I suppose - not ideal but doable, particularly if RT goes in.


There are plenty of bus routs that run up Douglas to uptown. From there you have either Walmart or Save on. It really is not that bad, I lived 25 minute walk from the closest grocery store without a car last year. I survived, although I could have killed Calgary Transit on some of those really cold days.

Maybe we will even see the loblaw's get finished :rolleyes:

#33 jklymak

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 10:09 PM

There are plenty of bus routs that run up Douglas to uptown. From there you have either Walmart or Save on. It really is not that bad,


Right, its not that bad, but its still not very "walkable", and thats 240 units that could have been somewhere we want to have density.

I'm not saying I'm dead set against this, but it does seem an odd place to build this.

#34 G-Man

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 10:15 PM

First there is Lifestyles one block from here and theorhetically a super store going in a block in the other direction. There is lots of shopping and many busroutes seems a car is not even necessary. I live about four blocks away and only use my car on weekends. The only thing that would make the neighbourhood better would for it to be less suburban and the way to that is through high density development.

#35 Layne French

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 08:32 AM

First there is Lifestyles one block from here and theorhetically a super store going in a block in the other direction. There is lots of shopping and many busroutes seems a car is not even necessary. I live about four blocks away and only use my car on weekends. The only thing that would make the neighbourhood better would for it to be less suburban and the way to that is through high density development.


i agree, there are multiple reasons for this area to become a density node. shopping, access to transit, access to near by parks(topaz and even selkirk walk way), access to employment centers(nature of this development, target market most likely is employed in the service sector). I would love to see that vacant car dealership redeveloped into a mixed use development.

While it is easy to balk at being "20" minutes from a place, I have lived in areas that were not very accessible without a car. Given the choice between walking 20 minutes and using portions of my tiny budget for gasoline/transport, I'll take the exercise and fresh air.

#36 Joy

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 08:48 AM

True, most people can reduce the amount of times they use the car, being so centrally located. But most people still own a car (even if its just a couple of times a week) so need a place to park it, thus my concern to keep street parking available on Speed Avenue. I am a contractor so have 3 or 4 destinations to get to every day, and the bus doesn't work for my employment so I need my car, but my boyfriend usese the bus daily. Our room mate, however, needs her car. She uses it for her job but also needs it to travel to Nanaimo for family matters every weekend. So for me, moderating density allows for some street parking on our dead end street (we have no other parking options), which is essential for our 30 unit building, which was built without any extra or guest parking spots (as approved by City Councel 4 years ago).

#37 G-Man

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 10:27 AM

^ This is a fair point. The way to do it is to put a 2 hour limit on the street parking. That way residents have an incentive to use the U/G parking. When I lived downtown there wasa 2 hour limit outside and it only took me a couple of times to learn that parking there instead of my designated spot would cost 20 dollars. This leaves the street available for visitors.

#38 jklymak

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 11:56 AM

I guess I'd just like to hear that this is a planned node and know what the plan is for this whole corridor. As I've said before - lots of high density in this area would be a huge change of land use - it would be nice to know someone was planning for it.

#39 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 02:39 PM

The planning department is recommending that the rezoning application be declined.

See the Planning agenda at http://www.victoria....2_03_agenda.pdf ...

#40 jonny

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 03:24 PM

Didn't City Hall reject a pretty decent looking 14 storey proposal on 930 Fort Street last year? I don't see how they would ever approve of this project.

On the grand scheme of things though, I don't see how this project is a negative at all. But then again, I don't consider 14 storey buildings massive. IMO this development would be a massive improvement over that ghetto blue motel and the just as ghetto looking KFC... :D

It's not downtown, but it is along the main north-south corridor right next to a shopping mall and pretty close to Uptown. This is not in the suburbs. I don't think higher buildings around Mayfair Mall would be out of place at all. That 'Ross Place' building is not located downtown, but it's 10ish stories (going from memory, might be less). There are buildings in Oak Bay that are taller than this.

This is an 'affordable' complex in a region that suffers from a shortage of housing.

I like the mix of it being more than just one stand alone building.

It's an excellent location as far as transit is concerned.

Keeping in mind that the target market for this building is different than the Falls, Corazon, Juliet etc, what I have seen so far actualy looks pretty good. I'd like to see more renderings though.

The economy is still in a somewhat precarious situation, yet this developer has come up with a pretty decent proposal. Considering the region's housing needs, the construction slowdown and the proposal itself, I think this should be seriously looked at and not quickly rejected on the basis of size.

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