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[James Bay] Shoal Point condo | 13-storeys | Built - completed in 2005

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#1 Holden West

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 11:58 AM

Discuss Shoal Point and the impact it's had on James Bay.

197819824_86a26d0692.jpg

I remember that the condo proposal for the vacant lot at the corner of View and Vancouver Streets looked like a smaller version of Shoal Point (minus the gargoyles).

Here's Shoal Point's own website:

http://www.shoalpointcommunity.com/

This goes over Shoal Point's energy sustainability:

http://www.community...shoalpoint1.htm


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#2 G-Man

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 12:04 PM

I think that Shoal Point would still look better if the Reef had been allowed to go ahead at the 9 stories they originally wanted to. The buidlings ar such contrasts that it would have been great.

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#3 Mike K.

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 12:06 PM

You stole the words right out of my mouth, G-man.

...and for those who may not know, the Reef was originally proposed at 9-storeys but the local neighbourhood association wanted none of that. After much deliberation the project finally passed at 6-storeys across the street from the 10/13-storey Shoal Point.

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#4 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 12:42 PM

It's made the whole damn Inner Harbour look like Miami Beach:








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#5 aastra

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 12:59 PM

Victoria's unique narrow harbour, lined by significant buildings, is one of its trademarks. It's an aspect of Victoria that we should continue to exploit and enhance for the enjoyment of tourists and residents alike.

Buildings like Shoal Point are a perfect fit because they help extend the "city crowding the harbour" effect. Same thing for Swallow's Landing (although I reserve judgment on the look of that one until it's closer to being finished).

This is precisely why I'm rooting for something good to happen at Ogden Point and also on the DND lands across the way. We should continue to pinch the harbour and develop this unique and impressive effect.

The first few lowrise buildings on the Songhees were a big mistake in this regard, in my opinion.

#6 G-Man

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 01:09 PM

Shutters seems to follow this idea of pinching the harbour.

The one reason that Shoal Point is often criticized is that the developer reneged on many of the amenities that were supposed to come with it.

Anyone who remembers the concept drawing of the parking lot facing the marina and what is there now can only shake their head.

This has had a lasting effect on the city though in that you will often hear councillors say things like:

"We have been promised amazing things in the past from developers and they never came to fruition."

The Falls, in particular was accused of promising things that would not be delivered. All of these stories go back to Shoal Point.

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#7 aastra

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 01:13 PM

Councillors defend parking lots to death in some instances and revile them in others.

Shoal Point is a beauty. Easily one of the best looking newer buildings in BC. I wish other buildings had half as much exterior detail as Shoal Point.

The pro-bland crowd hate it. 'Nuff said.

#8 aastra

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 01:22 PM

Those pictures of Miami are very informative. Vancouver and Miami have both encouraged modern highrise construction very aggressively. And yet the two cities look nothing alike whatsoever. Miami looks like Miami and Vancouver looks like Vancouver.

Meanwhile, Victoria is following its own unique course.

#9 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 02:08 PM

The one reason that Shoal Point is often criticized is that the developer reneged on many of the amenities that were supposed to come with it.

Anyone who remembers the concept drawing of the parking lot facing the marina and what is there now can only shake their head.


Fill me in: what was on the concept drawing, particularly in regard to the parking lot facing the marina?
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#10 G-Man

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 02:21 PM

Anyone can correct me if I have crowded my mind with mothballs in the interveneing years but the idea was that it really would not be a parking lot at all.

The whole lot was to be brick and other decorative pavers it would be level with the entrances to Shoal Point. At one end would have been a maritime repair area. I think that there was a sailboat being worked on in the picture. The rest would have been a semi pedestrian / work environment with benches, people walking the harbour etc... Also there was talk of another location in Shoal Point being a upscale food market ala granville island of course. I am sure that the renderings could be found at the library in the TC but not sure about online unless the architect kept them.

Also the buildings was to have roof top gardens and greenhouses, with greenery that was supposed to cascade down the sides of the building. It defiitely sounded cool. I was always a little disapointed with the parking lot. I am glad that Moka House has hung on there.

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#11 Holden West

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 02:22 PM

Ugly wall sparks howls of foul:
Developer, tenants of Shoal Point say Transport Canada being unreasonable


Norman Gidney. Times - Colonist. Victoria, B.C.: Mar 18, 2002

An ugly concrete block retaining wall topped by a big tubular steel railing will block off ground-floor commercial tenants at Shoal Point, says the developer of the $105-million, award-winning condo project.

Transport Canada is rushing to build the structure on the waterfront side of the project, next to Fishermen's Wharf, and has been unreasonable and stubborn on this and other issues, says David Butterfield.

"Whatever they put up is going to block our windows completely," said tenant Tor Hansen of Bay Mechanical, located at the far end of the building where there's about a metre difference in elevation.

"I find it so amazing," he said.

Ann Sobey, partner in Nice Fish Marketing Group Inc., which occupies another ground-floor unit, echoed both Butterfield and Hansen: "It's like being in prison."

Butterfield said Transport Canada's refusal to move on regrading the parking lot and its plan for an ugly retaining wall have led him to drop the price on the strata marine commercial units in Shoal Point to compensate.

Bulky "lock blocks" a metre and a half long and almost a metre wide and thick will be piled along the edge of the property, two and three layers thick, then a strong steel railing will be added on top. Transport Canada plans to start today, he said.

Butterfield questions why Transport Canada needs to erect the fortified wall for such a short drop when on the far side of the lot, there's "only a six-inch-high curb stop and flimsy post and chain system to prevent cars or people from dropping 12 feet to the water below."

The federal department, soon to lose jurisdiction over the land to a new Victoria Harbour Authority, has been a tough and obstinate neighbour on this and other matters during the last four years, he said.

"They've made it incredibly difficult," said Butterfield, describing another fight over architectural features that jutted out a bit from the building.

Transport Canada spokesman Rod Nelson countered that the federal department has been talking with Shoal Point officials for some time.

"We've been working with the developer for over two years, designing different ways that we could do this. There's a couple of reasons we're doing it (building the wall). We're preparing to transfer a number of our port facilities in the harbour to the new (local) authority, so we're undertaking to put our property in a safe, secure and stable condition.

"We have to move on to transfer the property, and we have certain requirements to do that. We feel we're being reasonable about it.

"Basically, we're tidying up our yard before we leave."

Rough granite blocks and cast concrete ornamental features depicting birds were found to stick out slightly over the property line, so the federal department demanded Butterfield buy the airspace from Ottawa.

Its starting point was $50,000 for a two-inch-wide easement along the 50-foot width of the building's first phase, but they settled on $15,000 for the 10 square feet of space.

"It's the most expensive real estate ever in Victoria," said Butterfield.

"If you sight down the wall you can see the bird beaks and granite bumps. That's what we had to pay for."

Another issue was temporary use by the contractor of the pay parking lot, which charges drivers 50 cents for three hours.

But for the Shoal Point contractor, Farmer Construction, there's a much stiffer rate whenever they bring in a truck-mounted crane to unload materials -- $100 an hour to occupy three parking slots.

"That's why I say it's vindictive. You can quote me on it, it's vindictive," said Butterfield.

The developer has already paid $190,000 to the city in trust for improvements to the parking lot, but Transport Canada refuses to allow soil to be removed to lower the level because of contamination.

Butterfield said it's the same low level of contamination found in the original soil excavated for Shoal Point.

===============

Deal set to ease access to stores, wharf


Malcolm Curtis. Times - Colonist. Victoria, B.C.: Oct 24, 2003

The most direct access to Rob Cairns' adventure store at Shoal Point entails a jump over a railing and a heart-stopping 1.2-metre plunge over the other side.

That was too much of an adventure for many potential clients. Now Cairns is happy to see a deal reached Thursday between Victoria council, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and developers of Shoal Point should change that.

The deal will lower the level of the parking lot so that people can walk directly out of Cairns' store, Marine Adventure Gallery, to Fisherman's Wharf without resorting to gymnastics.

"It's called a retail impediment," said Cairns, while hanging off the railing that now blocks entry to the wharf. "It has been a huge hurdle for us."

The deal also paves the way for other access improvements to the wharf with a planned boardwalk that will eventually link to downtown via an existing waterfront path.

Huron Street Developments, headed by David Butterfield, has agreed to provide public washrooms, showers and a laundry room in the Shoal Point building. These will replace rundown facilities in a trailer. The developer is also creating space for the harbour authority to collect moorage fees from the wharf, an office that will replace a kiosk at the edge of the parking lot.

Cairns said the developments will clean up the site and make it more of a destination for visitors to Fisherman's Wharf.

His 10,000-square foot store, which sells kayaks and a range of sports equipment, has been open for five weeks but customers have been thin on the ground. The obstacles involved in hauling a kayak from the store to the parking lot could be one reason.

A sport fishing marketing firm and the Moka House cafe are other operators behind the barricade, which has hampered the establishment of marine businesses originally promised by the developer.

The agreement will allow the railings to be pulled down, ending a dispute that has run for seven years.

The 100-vehicle lot covers contaminated former industrial land, once owned by Transport Canada, that has been transferred to the locally run harbour authority.

Rather than haul away the contaminated soil, the federal department decided to cap it with asphalt.

That left the lot as much as one metre above the ground floor of Shoal Point with large concrete blocks separating it from the building.

Doug Makaroff, of Huron Street Developments, said the company is ready to lower the parking lot in a matter of days. The project, budgeted at $280,000, involves shipping the contaminated soil to a treatment site in Nanaimo.

Huron Street will regrade, landscape and repave the land, retaining 16 parking spots for Shoal Point residents and visitors.

The company has been trying to resolve the parking lot issue since 1996, said Makaroff, but ran into a "case of bureaucrats being overzealous." Transport Canada had insisted on installing the concrete barrier and railings for liability reasons to prevent vehicles from driving off the edge of the lot.

Huron Street, which is a partner in Cairns's store, has won the right to lease a floating kayak rental centre at Fisherman's Wharf. It has also secured an easement to install a pipe to feed seawater from the harbour into Shoal Point's geothermal heating system.

Mackaroff said the heating system has not being operating at full efficiency because of lack of access to the seawater. The high-tech system will capture heat from the seawater to heat the building.

When the building was initially planned, the developer Butterfield agreed to pay the city $186,000 to acquire a right-of- way on Huron Street. That money was earmarked for the development of Fisherman's Wharf Park.

Council agreed to reallocate that money to also include planning for the wharf area and the planned public walkway.

Huron Developments has promised to finance the walkway in front of its own building but beyond that will be the responsibility of the harbour authority.

In a separate development, council agreed to send a proposed rezoning of Shoal Point to allow more retail space and offices to a public hearing. The rezoning would permit the developer to proceed with plans to establish a "gourmet food market" in the ground floor corner of the building at Dallas Road.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
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#12 G-Man

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 02:27 PM

Found a small one!


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#13 G-Man

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 02:30 PM

Other side


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#14 aastra

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 02:53 PM

So people are miffed because everything is exactly the same in the renderings as in real life, except for the surfacing on the parking lot?

#15 Baro

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 02:54 PM

I had always thought the building was "ok" but I only ever saw it from a distance. Once I took the harbour ferry over there and was very impressed with the extremely rich details at ground level. A very nice building. I'd love something of this style, although more vertical, right downtown.
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#16 aastra

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 03:17 PM

It sort of reminds of the time the big movie producers came to Springfield and the local folks took advantage of them at every opportunity.

Huron Street Developments, headed by David Butterfield, has agreed to provide public washrooms, showers and a laundry room in the Shoal Point building.


I was there a couple of summers ago and the washrooms were locked. The sign on the door said "due to repeated vandalism" or something to that effect.

#17 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 05:04 PM

I agree w/ aastra -- if the griping is about how there's an asphalt parking lot there vs a pretty brick patio, then that's really a low horizon view of things. People always go on about street vibrancy, talk about Paris and how nice it is to be on the sidewalks there. Well, ever take a look at Paris sidewalks? Most of them are made of ...asphalt. It's not the surfacing as such, it's the life that takes place on the surface. ("Hello?, is there intelligent life in Victoria? Yes? Oh, ok, good. Whew, that was a close one, Mr. Spock...") There's this crazy idea here (in Victoria, I mean) that you can create these settings -- these fakey-pooh tinseltown replicas of something or other, and that would be enough. Nuh-uh, it'll never be enough unless there actually are people (residents, and yeah, ok, tourists, too) living and using those spaces. Otherwise you get dead crap, like Centennial Square. And as someone who is down at Shoal Point quite often, I can testify that there is always something going on there -- people use that damn "parking lot" a heck of a lot more than they use Centennial Square. There are people at Moka House, there are lots of people exercising their dogs, there are people coming and going on the wharf. I know a family who live on a sailboat at that wharf, year-round. Then there are the houseboats, too: this is not just a summertime tourist thing. There are people there all the time. Not hundreds and hundreds, but this is Victoria after all, and keep in mind it's not right downtown anyway.

As for the promised living walls and rooftop gardens not materializing, ok, that might be a bigger issue. But then again, this is the harbour area, and I don't think that an excess of nature is really that important there. It's a working harbour, an airport, a wharf -- not a garden. Beacon Hill Park is just a little ways away, so take your nature there. We have so much grand nature around us here that we don't really need miniature recapitulations of it all over the place. The "living wall" on the proposed office complex (Fisgard & Blanshard) is a good idea because that area can use a bit of an "echo" of the nature that lies just a short distance away. But right on the harbour? Frankly, give me culture over nature in that setting any day.
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#18 D.L.

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 05:15 PM

The greenery on the building was a silly idea. If it had been added after construction, there would be nothing left of it after the wind last weekend.

When the building was being proposed my sister lived in a house a couple of blocks down Dallas Rd. A nimby-lady came around to her door trying to freak out other people about the development. One of the things she said was that Shoal Point would cast shadows across my sisters front lawn, because the building is so tall. Right, because we all know shadows fall to the south of objects in the northern hemisphere!

#19 aastra

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 05:17 PM

Where was all that greenery supposed to go exactly? Were they going to force residents to put masses of vines and hedges on their balconies?

I really don't understand why new buildings have to be covered in greenery anyway. Are the city's heritage buildings lacking because they don't have trees growing on the rooftops?

#20 gumgum

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 05:19 PM

That brick parking lot would have been cool though.

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