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UNDER CONSTRUCTION
1025 Johnson Street
Uses: rental, civic
Address: 1025 Johnson Street
Municipality: Victoria
Region: Downtown Victoria
Storeys: 12
1025 Johnson Street is a proposal to build an 12-storey mixed-use affordable rental tower along the 1000-block... (view full profile)
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[Harris Green] Johnson|Cook|Yates | Victoria No. 1 Firehall | Rentals, condos, retail, and office space | Under construction


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#321 DustMagnet

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 02:43 PM

Is this true everywhere or do residents of the CoV have special brand of hypocrisy all their own?

 

Not unique in the slightest.  Recall the recent kerfuffle over a forested area in Langford being eyed for development and the residents of houses on adjacent cleared land decrying the loss?



#322 spanky123

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 02:54 PM

The new building that you move into yourself is never a bad building. Never. It's always the other new buildings that ruin the neighbourhood. And the ruination that everyone dreads is always looming in the future, but it never seems to materialize. We continue to dread ruination today just like we did yesterday, or five years ago, or 20 years ago, etc.

 

I see nothing wrong with the DRA and residents saying that they welcome development, but would appreciate contributions in the forms of parks, recreation spaces, plazas, etc to offset the loss of same when new buildings go up. That is the way development is supposed to work yet somehow has been ignored over the past 4 years. 



#323 aastra

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 03:04 PM

 

...would appreciate contributions in the forms of parks, recreation spaces, plazas, etc to offset the loss of same when new buildings go up

 

Replacement of lost parks, recreation spaces, plazas, etc. would seem to have no relevance to this discussion. Parks, recreation spaces, plazas, etc. aren't being lost. Downtown residents have recently gained a new park behind the courthouse and an improved park on Mason Street. Downtown residents have had a potentially fantastic park sitting right there for decades in the form of the Harris Green itself.

 

I think you're expressing one of the key misconceptions about the redevelopment of parking lots and other null properties. In the vast majority of examples, absolutely nothing is lost. There is only gain. New homes, new businesses, new spaces. If you do redevelopment properly then there shouldn't be any negatives that need to be offset. It should all be good.


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#324 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 03:24 PM

To be fair, the park behind the courthouse is in Fairfield and the park on Mason Street is in North Park (per city boundary maps) but they aren’t too far from downtown...

#325 aastra

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 03:27 PM

 

...but would appreciate contributions in the forms of parks, recreation spaces, plazas, etc to offset the loss of same when new buildings go up

 

I admit I'm skeptical that anyone has ever moved into a new building downtown while simultaneously bemoaning the negative impact of his/her new home on the neighbourhood. Does anyone really do that? I love my new place but I feel the neighbourhood has suffered a bit now that I'm part of it? I wish my presence had been offset by some new park or plaza?

 

The supposed concerns arise when the next new building comes along, not before. And yet the people who move into that next new building also don't bemoan their negative impact on the neighbourhood.


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#326 aastra

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 03:29 PM

 

To be fair, the park behind the courthouse is in Fairfield and the park on Mason Street is in North Park

 

Well, there you go. The easiest solution would be to redraw the arbitrary and nonsensical boundaries. Downtown could gain two parks overnight. (Non-)Problem solved.


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#327 aastra

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 03:41 PM

Victoria's downtown YMCA is right across the street from a park that isn't too far from downtown.

 

 

Where will the new Y be located?

  • We are committed to remaining in the downtown core as we have done for the past 140 years.


#328 Nparker

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 07:20 PM

Simple solution: re-brand Harris Green as the "Downtown District".



#329 G-Man

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 11:41 AM

Exactly. This new projects are benefits in themselves. They bring new people into the core create new places to shop and if designed well new places to explore. There is no dearth of park space around downtown and there is no problem in developers and land owners making money from making our city better. We should be all over them to make sure that the quality of a project is high enough though.
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#330 spanky123

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 08:11 AM

Dave Jawl is pretty responsive over email if any of you actually want to ask him directly what's up as opposed to assuming stuff.

 

There are enough connected folks in this forum that if the rezoning bylaw terms were agreed to we would be hearing about it along with the date for the public hearing. 



#331 shoeflack

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 08:27 AM

There are enough connected folks in this forum that if the rezoning bylaw terms were agreed to we would be hearing about it along with the date for the public hearing. 

 

Ya, the City releases those dates basically the second they decide them. You don't have to be all that connected to figure those dates out.

 

What those of us connected to this project do know, however, is that on Jawl's side of things, they're still proceeding as if that public hearing is imminent, signing off on agreements to get shovels in the ground as soon as the project is approved.



#332 spanky123

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Posted 03 September 2019 - 08:32 AM

I have no doubt that the developers are working as hard as they can to move this project forward and to be ready once the site is rezoned. 

 

The problem is that they don't have enough votes on council (in my opinion) to get the site rezoned without any guarantee that they will build a firehall or affordable housing. That is the purpose of the site specific bylaw. What the developer would know (presumably) and what I haven't heard is the status of that bylaw and whether the terms have been agreed to. Can you update us on that aspect of the deal?

 

I would love to see this project go ahead. I just want to see that there is a guarantee that the developer does what they say they are going to to do and that the City (taxpayer) receives the CACs and affordable housing contributions that they are entitled to.


Edited by spanky123, 03 September 2019 - 08:37 AM.


#333 shoeflack

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Posted 05 October 2019 - 12:27 PM

Bylaw readings for this project are on the Oct 10 council agenda. Should go to public hearing this month if all continues as scheduled.

#334 spanky123

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Posted 07 October 2019 - 06:36 PM

Will be an interesting meeting I am sure.

 

In a nutshell the developer is selling land to the City and BC Housing to build a firehall and affordable housing respectively. Those organizations are then paying the developer to build the buildings. No issues with that, the developer is getting at least fair market value for the land and is being paid fairly to do the work. On the land that remains, they wish to have the density increased to allow them to build more units and make more money. No issues with that either as long as they pay the CAC and provide the amenities that are required. What the developer is saying though is that because they are selling land to BC Housing and BC housing is using taxpayer money to build affordable housing then they should not have to do anything (ie offer any affordable housing themselves) or pay anything (ie CACs or amenities). Good argument, not really sure that I can see anyone agreeing with it.

 

The second issue that staff have minimally resolved is the concern that the developer can simply get their land rezoned and then not build the firehall or sell land to BC Housing for affordable housing. It sounds to me like now they have to at least submit a building permit to develop phases 2 and 3 and start building the affordable housing for phase 4. I guess that is better than what was there but short of what staff seemed to propose back in February.

 

Would you happen to know Shoeflack what is proposed in each of the 4 phases? I can't see any mention of anything beyond phase 3 previously.



#335 Mike K.

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Posted 07 October 2019 - 06:42 PM

The second issue that staff have minimally resolved is the concern that the developer can simply get their land rezoned and then not build the firehall or sell land to BC Housing for affordable housing. It sounds to me like now they have to at least submit a building permit to develop phases 2 and 3 and start building the affordable housing for phase 4. I guess that is better than what was there but short of what staff seemed to propose back in February.

The chances of a reputable development firm doing something of this sort is extremely unlikely.

You don’t think a enveloper taking on the risk to build a fixed-price turn-key piece of municipal safety infrastructure isn’t an amenity? The City hasn’t exactly hit homeruns when pursuing major projects, and getting a firehall built by a reputable developer for an agreed upon price is a major benefit to the taxpayer. We need that firehall.

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#336 spanky123

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Posted 07 October 2019 - 07:03 PM

The chances of a reputable development firm doing something of this sort is extremely unlikely.

You don’t think a enveloper taking on the risk to build a fixed-price turn-key piece of municipal safety infrastructure isn’t an amenity? The City hasn’t exactly hit homeruns when pursuing major projects, and getting a firehall built by a reputable developer for an agreed upon price is a major benefit to the taxpayer. We need that firehall.

 

And if the day after the rezoning they sell the project to some less reputable developer then it is no blame to them if the other party doesn't do the work. 

 

No doubt we need a firehall but the developer isn't doing the taxpayer any favours here. The price we are paying is at the top end (on a price  / sq ft basis) of any comparable project completed in recent years. It is great that we have a plan to build a firehall, but it shouldn't be used as an excuse to avoid contributing elsewhere.

 

The top end of what the developer would have to contribute based on land lift could be as high as $10M (75% of the value of any lift). That would go a long way to helping with affordable housing and infrastructure in this City.


Edited by spanky123, 07 October 2019 - 07:03 PM.


#337 Mike K.

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Posted 07 October 2019 - 07:12 PM

The City dictated its demands, not the other way around. The developer responded to the City’s request for proposals as did other firms. Based on their land asset, experience and reputation they were selected. I don’t agree that this now makes them suspect, or worthy of this level of criticism. That’s not fair, I don’t think.

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#338 G-Man

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Posted 07 October 2019 - 07:25 PM

I agree Mike. This is a project that will make the city a better place. There is no harm.

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#339 Nparker

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Posted 07 October 2019 - 07:49 PM

The developer wouldn't likely be seeking a land lift or density bonus if the heart of downtown Victoria wasn't so haphazard and under-zoned.



#340 spanky123

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Posted 07 October 2019 - 07:50 PM

The City dictated its demands, not the other way around. The developer responded to the City’s request for proposals as did other firms. Based on their land asset, experience and reputation they were selected. I don’t agree that this now makes them suspect, or worthy of this level of criticism. That’s not fair, I don’t think.

 

I agree and not suggesting that they should be criticized. According to the Mayor, the developer offered to build a firehall and the City agreed without any promise of any increased or bonus density. The site needed to re-zoned to support a firehall but that was it. The developer has now come back and asked for increased density, why should this be treated any differently then any other request from any other developer? 



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