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PROPOSED
1025 Johnson Street
Uses: rental, civic
Address: 1025 Johnson Street
Municipality: Victoria
Region: Downtown Victoria
Storeys: 12
Johnson Yates Block, phase 1, is a proposal to build an 12-storey mixed-use rental tower along the 1000-block ... (view full profile)
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[Harris Green] Johnson Yates Block (Victoria Mazda property) | Victoria Fire Hall | Rentals, condos, retail space | Proposed


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#141 G-Man

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 11:04 PM

Just finished my post on this project.

https://www.sidewalk...in-harris-green
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#142 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 05:01 PM

Ross Crockford reports on the DRA’s opposition to this project: https://www.focusonv...19/alarmed-r14/

#143 Nparker

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 05:17 PM

It's OK to be a downtown resident, apparently until someone proposes adding more downtown residents.



#144 G-Man

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 05:47 PM

I wish they would be honest and just say that rather than pretending they are just pointing out the rule book.
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#145 amor de cosmos

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 05:56 PM

Several said they saw no benefit to their neighbourhood, just five or more years of construction, and then sirens. “This is just cramming more and more buildings in. We’ve got no green space, and this is supposed to be Harris Green,” another complained. “Where’s the City of Victoria’s planning department on this?” he demanded, to applause from the audience.


I had maybe not a similar thought, but with north park village being extended south of pandora I wonder if/when the city will make some improvements to the actual harris green ie the green space on pandora between chambers & quadra just a block from this firehall project? actually there's the new building at the old st andrews schoolyard, and now one kitty-corner at the 7th-day adventist's church. it seems badly underutilized & separates each side of pandora. there are a bunch of trees in the section between vancouver & cook but it's just a jumble & they don't provide a canopy as the ones east of cook st, so they're actually more of a barrier. what about something like la rambla?

Edited by amor de cosmos, 11 January 2019 - 06:31 PM.


#146 Nparker

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 06:03 PM

You have to laugh at the absolute NIMBYism of people living in the very heart of the downtown core of a city complaining about the exact things that probably attracted most of them to live there in the first place.


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#147 aastra

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 06:11 PM

 

This is just cramming more and more buildings in. We’ve got no green space, and this is supposed to be Harris Green,” another complained. “Where’s the City of Victoria’s planning department on this?” he demanded, to applause from the audience.

 

And the award for most sanctimonious reference to green space goes to...

 

Come on. Regardless of how you feel about the fire hall arrangement or the density or the massing or any other aspect of this development (there are many things that I don't like about it), any purported concerns about green space on this particular site are -- I'll be diplomatic -- highly questionable.

 

We're talking about the decades-old surface parking lots of a downtown car dealership. No reasonable person could possibly have any expectation for anything more than a smidgen of legitimate green space there.

 

I used to make fun of the expedient conflation of surface parking lots with green space/open space, but these days I just don't see humour in it anymore. I'm getting old.


Edited by aastra, 11 January 2019 - 06:11 PM.

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#148 aastra

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 06:21 PM

 

...I wonder if/when the city will make some improvements to the actual harris green ie the green space on pandora...

...it seems badly underutilized...

 

I'm not sure if you're being ironic or not. The reason why -- after so many decades -- the green still isn't anything close to what it could & should be is because:

 

a) hardly anyone appreciates how special it is and how much potential it has to be better, and
b) hardly anyone actually cares one iota about green space in the neighbourhood

 

The green has been there for a long time. All by itself it's probably about as much green space as a mid-density downtown neighbourhood could possibly need or want. And yet we're supposed to believe the local folks are stewing about the opportunity to insert new green space on the surface parking lots of an old car dealership?

 

But aastra, you don't understand! "Harris Green" is a fantastic name for the neighbourhood. The problem is, the eponymous green itself isn't in quite the right place. It should be one block over.


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#149 G-Man

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 09:17 AM

^ So true. The best part of Harris Green is actually squarely in Fernwood. 

 

One of my biggest concerns about the space is that the one main public space in the proposal actually has too much green space. What this area needs more than green space is dedicated public space. For it to be successful though it will need to be hard surface in my opinion. 


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#150 Mike K.

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 09:25 AM

This is not about green space, it’s about a decade of construction activity. And it’s true. Construction can be very invasive and disruptive to its immediate surroundings but that’s the nature of the beast.

If you’d prefer not have construction around you you can’t live in the city centre.
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#151 Nparker

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 09:40 AM

...If you’d prefer not have construction around you you can’t live in the city centre.

Or in Westhills or Royal Bay or basically anywhere that growth and development are taking place. Perhaps buy a small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. People are very strange.



#152 spanky123

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 11:26 AM

This is not about green space, it’s about a decade of construction activity. And it’s true. Construction can be very invasive and disruptive to its immediate surroundings but that’s the nature of the beast.

If you’d prefer not have construction around you you can’t live in the city centre.

 

I think that there are a few issues here.

 

It would be hard to accuse the DRA of being anti-development. They have been one of the more progressive groups to deal with as evidenced by the number of buildings built in the past few years.

 

I think that they have some good points. From what I read in the article, the City negotiated the agreement with Dalmation in secrecy and didn't involve the community association until after the deal was done even though the proposal far exceeds both the OCP and zoning limits. That, plus the lack of contributions from the developer/owner, concerns about the design of the firehall and the prospect of years of construction raise legitimate concerns. If you think that the inclusion of affordable housing above the firehall justifies the approach, read section 12.3 of the purchase agreement that the Focus article links to. The developer, at their sole discretion, can choose not to build the project above the firehall and they still get paid in full, can use steel instead of concrete for the firehall, and get all of their other zoning asks (by my reading of the agreement).

 

This seems to me like another one of Lisa's build first ask questions later projects.



#153 aastra

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 11:37 AM

 

It would be hard to accuse the DRA of being anti-development.

 

Not lately. Their reaction to Northern Junk was pretty much straight from the same old playbook.


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#154 aastra

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 11:39 AM

So far I still think the fire hall itself is the best part of this project. Assuming the illustration is accurate re: the amount of glass along the ground and on the two office levels. Who wouldn't enjoy walking past that? It would make for an interesting downtown sidewalk. The residential levels above are just too widescraper-ish and would be much better if slimmed down by maybe ~two units. And it still bugs me that there aren't any balconies.

 

If I lived across the street that's what I would be saying. Good job on the fire hall itself. Work on the residential levels. Slim them down, break them up, make them more interesting. Make them taller if you need to do that in order to slim them down.

 

1636867375_Ross-Firehallcloseup.thumb.jp


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#155 Nparker

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 12:45 PM

..it still bugs me that there aren't any balconies...

 

To be fair, at best maybe 50% of downtown, high-rise balconies appear to be used (I apologize in advance for the Sid Tafler-like investigative methods on my stats). I am on the 3rd floor of a low-rise and I almost never use my street-facing balcony. I bet many people wouldn't actually miss having a balcony if their new unit didn't have one, especially if it were "replaced" with extra storage somewhere in the building or unit. I think we're very used to seeing them, and the aesthetic looks "off" when they aren't present, but I don't think they are really all that practical, especially when very small (10 meters2 or less).



#156 aastra

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 01:53 PM

For me it's all about not wanting to be looking at a stale building. I want to see people stepping out on the balconies occasionally, I want to see stuff coming and going on some balconies. I suppose this is also why I don't like longscrapers. I want variety and variation. I don't want to be seeing the exact same repetitious thing from one end of the streetscape to the other. I want channels through to the next block so I can see traffic and pedestrians and trees and the sky, etc.

 

You know what I'm getting at? Why be in the city at all if you end up staring at some uniform & unchanging scene?



#157 jonny

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 01:59 PM

What about variety in buildings? If every building has balconies, is that not monotonous?

#158 aastra

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 02:02 PM

Sure, it could be if they're all doing it in the same manner. But that would imply that the buildings themselves all look rather similar, would it not? Methinks you generally don't see the same sort of uniform balcony coverage from building to building in the 21st century like you did in decades past.



#159 Mattjvd

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 02:36 PM

I think the residential portion directly above the firehall is going to be mixed martket/subsidized housing operated by a non-profit. So I wouldn't expect a high-end exterior, cost minimization will be a priority.

#160 G-Man

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 02:59 PM

This project has so much of what Victoria needs. People people people architecture public space and people.

Visit my blog at: https://www.sidewalkingvictoria.com 

 

It has a whole new look!

 


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