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UNDER CONSTRUCTION
989 Johnson
Uses: condo, commercial
Address: 989 Johnson Street
Municipality: Victoria
Region: Downtown Victoria
Storeys: 17
Condo units: 206 (studio/bachelor, loft, 1BR, 2BR, sub-penthouse, penthouse)
Sales status: pre-sales
989 Johnson is a 206-unit, two-tower 15- and 17-storey condominium complex with a six-storey podium. Ground fl... (view full profile)
Learn more about 989 Johnson on Citified.ca      Official website: 989victoria.com
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[Downtown Victoria] 989 Johnson | Condos; commercial | 17 & 15-storeys | Under construction


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#61 aastra

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 07:47 PM

Hmmm. This site and the site on Yates have been undeveloped/underdeveloped for decades... but now suddenly the time is right for major projects on both of them? Is each project a reaction to the other?

 

I'm wondering why the podium should be six stories tall. For such a tall podium it actually looks really good, but I'm just pondering Harris Green's evolution in this aspect. No podiums at all for the longest time, and now a 4-story podium proposed for Yates and a 6-story podium proposed for Johnson. I'm not sure what to make of it.

 

Thumbs up for proposing two towers that aren't perfect twins.

 

Overall I think it makes a good first impression, but my biggest concerns would be:

 

1) The proximity to the proposed Yates St. highrise and to the Manhattan (You need comfortable gaps between these buildings.)

2) Variation of heights across the four buildings (Surely we don't want four buildings of roughly the same height on the same block? If you're living in these buildings you wouldn't want that and if you're down on the street looking at these buildings you also wouldn't want that.)

3) Commercial all the way along Johnson? Nobody wants to build townhomes, is that it?

 

edit looking back in 2019: Seems like they knew what they were doing on all counts.


Edited by aastra, 10 September 2019 - 04:08 PM.


#62 aastra

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 07:53 PM

I'm thinking I would like it more if the shorter tower was chopped down by three or four levels and the Yates Street tower was a bit taller and a bit less bulky.



#63 jonny

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 08:11 PM

They all look too close, but this is the build form the Harris Green Guidelines not only allow but advocate. Would a few mid-rise buildings that are too close together make us even more afraid of tallish buildings or help us get over our collective fear of height and being too much like a city. 

 

I'd prefer the west building be 5 or 6 floors and the building on the corner of Johnson and Vancouver be 26 or 27 floors.

 

I'm intrigued by the high podium, and I think the two buildings are tied together nicely. It would be pretty awesome if they actually incorporated blue and orange highlights!


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#64 D.L.

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 09:04 PM

I like the density and variation in styles and massing.

 

But to me the podium seems backwards. The six floor section should be at the intersection and it should step-down to the two floor section which would be next to the smaller, set-back residential building mid-block on Johnson St. I can understand the developer wanting to set-back units above the intersection though, but doing it the other way makes the massing look better in my opinion.



#65 Mike K.

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 09:31 PM

The developer said he would have preferred a thinner, taller design (same density) but the City is pushing for a 50 meter height limit for new buildings. So what we see with these three towers is exactly what officialdom wants. Whether or not this is ultimately a good thing for downtown doesn't really matter ...for officialdom.


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#66 G-Man

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 06:57 AM

^ I would think that a concerted push from the public to thin out and raise the height may have some impact on this new council. I would also prefer to see townhouses along the bottom of the buildings as IMO Yates should be the commercial space here.

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#67 Mike K.

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 07:12 AM

The developer envisions a restaurant on that corner, but yes, the issue of commercial space along that stretch of Johnson was brought up by the public.

 

We're getting into dangerous height territory of having so many buildings going up all at the same height. 17- and 15-storeys here, 17-storeys behind this proposal, 15-storeys at Chard's tower, 13-storeys at 1075 Pandora, 16-storeys at Hudson Walk, etc, not to mention the Manhattan is 15-storeys. When all is said and done will we only then realize our mistake? That wall of 10-storey buildings along Johnson between Vancouver and Cook looks rather silly and about as un-Paris like as we can get (which according to some on council is the look we should emulate).


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#68 jonny

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 07:20 AM

^ I would think that a concerted push from the public to thin out and raise the height may have some impact on this new council. I would also prefer to see townhouses along the bottom of the buildings as IMO Yates should be the commercial space here.

 

FWIW, the townhomes at 834 are all commercial.



#69 jonny

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 07:29 AM

We're getting into dangerous height territory of having so many buildings going up all at the same height. 17- and 15-storeys here, 17-storeys behind this proposal, 15-storeys at Chard's tower, 13-storeys at 1075 Pandora, 16-storeys at Hudson Walk, etc, not to mention the Manhattan is 15-storeys. When all is said and done will we only then realize our mistake? That wall of 10-storey buildings along Johnson between Vancouver and Cook looks rather silly and about as un-Paris like as we can get (which according to some on council is the look we should emulate).

 

We have been doing this for years now. Thankfully, Victoria seems to have accepted the junior highrise as an acceptable form of development in the city. They even acknowledge this in their official plans. Unfortunately, no developers have been willing to challenge the city and try to push the envelope further.

 

Corazon, Juliet, 834, Hudson Mews, Era and Hudson Walk are all approximately the same height (40-50m). This little block on Johnson is going to end up looking a bit silly like all those buildings bunched together at Johnson/Cook and View/Blanshard.

 

I think the collective we will realize the folly in this approach in a few year's time.

 

We should be going for lowrise infill incorporated with a legitimate high rise tower on these larger sites like McCall's lot and Chard's lot on Yates.


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#70 Mike K.

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 07:51 AM

Oh, and lest we forget the 17-storey Regents park one block away from the two upcoming 17-storey towers, and the 15-storey Era half a block away from the 15-storey Chard tower.

 

Is this really what we "planned" for over all those years the downtown OCP was being crafted?


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#71 Mr Cook Street

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 08:06 AM

I like the segmentation of the podium with colour blocks. They also seem to have slightly different setbacks and shapes to break up the facade.

 

The shorter tower on top of the tallest part of the podium does look a little awkward. Squat. Hopefully they are able to push through the thinner taller look.

 

Overall I like it, great density. 



#72 Mike K.

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 09:31 AM

Here is a high-res rendering, looking southwest from Johnson at Vancouver.

 

image 1_complete.jpg


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#73 Mixed365

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 09:32 AM

Here is a high-res rendering, looking southwest from Johnson at Vancouver.

Do you have any more high-res renderings Mike?


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#74 D.L.

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 09:36 AM

Yeah Mike you better not be holding anything back from us. Why would you do that to us Mike!!



#75 Mike K.

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 09:40 AM

We should see an updated design soon so I'll post that when I get it.


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#76 Baro

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 11:51 AM

This is a block from my home and I walk past every day on my way to and from work.  I go down Vancouver, I go down Yates, but I never go down Johnson because it's a void.  It's interesting how as a pedestrian you pick your routes, speed/directness is usually always the top priority but when you are presented with a bunch of equal paths you will always take the most pleasant.  Pandora is out for obvious reasons, but Johnson is just dead.  It's a bit of a "car sewer" that isn't very pleasant to walk down, it isn't even that unpleasant, it's just empty, it's a void.  I hope this project breathes a little life into that block.  This is one of the few cases where I'd love to see a mid-block walkway of some sort but it doesn't seem to be in the cards.  The cross-walk on yates would provide a great shortcut to people going to London Drugs, the Market, or the liquor store. Add a crosswalk on fort by Lundes auction house and you'd have a well used mid-block path that actually has a reason to exist.  

 

I don't understand why the city keeps pushing for mid-block walkways where they don't really need to exist and there's no desire-path and not at all where they make sense.


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#77 D.L.

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 12:32 PM

There is actually a mid-block walkway on the east side of the Manhattan building and the other four floor building but access is not open. The path isn't as wide as normal mid-block walkways. Something could be put in here and it would be really usefull. Maybe a connection could be made through the Shatterbox coffee property.

#78 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 12:40 PM

This is a block from my home and I walk past every day on my way to and from work.  I go down Vancouver, I go down Yates, but I never go down Johnson because it's a void.  It's interesting how as a pedestrian you pick your routes, speed/directness is usually always the top priority but when you are presented with a bunch of equal paths you will always take the most pleasant.  Pandora is out for obvious reasons, but Johnson is just dead.  It's a bit of a "car sewer" that isn't very pleasant to walk down, it isn't even that unpleasant, it's just empty, it's a void. 

 

I DO recommend this for those that don't walk that part of town much.  There is a funny feeling when you walk the opposite direction that you normally travel by car, down a one-way street.  You don't feel it right downtown, but you do out here.


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#79 Bingo

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 05:01 PM

I DO recommend this for those that don't walk that part of town much.  There is a funny feeling when you walk the opposite direction that you normally travel by car, down a one-way street.  You don't feel it right downtown, but you do out here.

As kids we were always taught to walk on the left side of the road facing traffic especially when there were no sidewalks, so walking against the traffic on a one-way street should bring back the memories...thank you very much.



#80 MarkoJ

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 09:58 PM

This is a block from my home and I walk past every day on my way to and from work.  I go down Vancouver, I go down Yates, but I never go down Johnson because it's a void.  It's interesting how as a pedestrian you pick your routes, speed/directness is usually always the top priority but when you are presented with a bunch of equal paths you will always take the most pleasant.  

 

When I lived in my condo at the 834 I always went over to Yates right away and then went north or south down Yates....Johnson is not a pleasant walk other than "Low-Jo."


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