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PROPOSED
550 Pandora Avenue
Uses: rental, commercial
Address: 550 Pandora Avenue
Municipality: Victoria
Region: Downtown Victoria
Storeys: 5
550 Pandora Avenue is a proposal to redevelopment a single storey commercial building into a five-storey mixed... (view full profile)
Learn more about 550 Pandora Avenue on Citified.ca
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[Chinatown] 550-558 Pandora Avenue | Residential, retail | Lowrise | Proposed


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#21 jonny

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 12:42 PM

I quite like these little islands of old, funky buildings. This top half of this Pandora block works well just as it is, and these little business fit just perfectly.

I'm not looking for ultra new, super clean and hip-modern when i pop into Habit for a cup of coffee.

 

Tearing every old Victoria building down in order to replace it with a faux "old-town" construct will only result in the entire city looking like the Uptown Mall ... a facility that often creeps me out, as it reminds me of the ultra phony town of Seahaven in Jim Carrey's - "The Truman Show".

 

I like the existing building and vibe, too. 

 

On the flip side, though, and from a philosophical standpoint: if a landowner wants to redevelop their property - they should be able to do so! There are some obvious exceptions, such as exceptional landmarks that should be protected for the greater good (i.e. a grand old church or a historically significant building). This certainly does not qualify. 



#22 Cassidy

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 12:46 PM

I like the existing building and vibe, too. 

 

On the flip side, though, and from a philosophical standpoint: if a landowner wants to redevelop their property - they should be able to do so! There are some obvious exceptions, such as exceptional landmarks that should be protected for the greater good (i.e. a grand old church or a historically significant building). This certainly does not qualify. 

I would have to agree with you.

 

It's funky, and it works ... but it's not "heritage" in the sense of the word that the COV considers it to be - and owners of such properties should be free to develop their lands with in the bylaws of wherever they're located.

 

It really is more about the point where "Victoria" just isn't "Victoria" any more - rather it's an assemblage of condo's, each empty and with the lights out for 335 nights (or more) each year.



#23 Nparker

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 01:43 PM

...It really is more about the point where "Victoria" just isn't "Victoria" any more - rather it's an assemblage of condo's, each empty and with the lights out for 335 nights (or more) each year.

I am loathe to use this expression, but I think it's been proven that Victoria's alleged empty condo crisis is mostly "fake news"


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#24 Mattjvd

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 01:46 PM

I am loathe to use this expression, but I think it's been proven that Victoria's alleged empty condo crisis is mostly "fake news"


I think you're correct. Mike (via Citified) posted an article a while back that had the numbers. I don't recall the exact figure off the top of my head, but it's in the ~95% full-time occupancy range.

Edited by Mattjvd, 05 April 2018 - 01:47 PM.


#25 Cassidy

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 01:50 PM

I am loathe to use this expression, but I think it's been proven that Victoria's alleged empty condo crisis is mostly "fake news"

I questioned it too, until I started dating a woman that lived such that I drove to and from her place through the Humbolt Valley hundreds of times from early evening, to late night.

 

On any given evening, in any given season, I rarely saw more than about 15 or 20% of the lights on in the many hundreds of condos you pass driving East or West on Humbolt.

 

I was surprised to see this night after night, for months on end.



#26 Nparker

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 01:52 PM

I keep the blinds drawn and the lights out in most of my rooms in the evening - all year round. If someone were to drive by it might appear that my condo has been vacant for much of the past 12 years. Anecdotal evidence is not fact.



#27 jonny

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 01:55 PM

There are currently zero condos or apartments above mole and Habit, so what does it matter, anyway? A bunch of empty condos that are all paying property taxes and generated millions of dollars in economic activity to build is not bad. 

 

The empty condo thing is mostly bunk. It's a strawman fueled by anecdotes.

 

Higher end buildings are more likely to have airbnb, vrbo type units or secondary vacation properties. This will be a low rise, more "entry level" type building, and may be rental (the Citified article did not specify strata vs rental apartment building). 


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#28 Nparker

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 01:57 PM

And lest this thread gets further derailed, let me just say that people have the right to dislike this proposal because they feel it is "gentrification", that it will destroy the existing "funk" (whatever that means) or even that it proposes ersatz heritage in place of legitimate history, but please don't drag out the generally disproved theory of empty condos to support one's argument.


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#29 Rob Randall

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 01:59 PM

On any given evening, in any given season, I rarely saw more than about 15 or 20% of the lights on in the many hundreds of condos you pass driving East or West on Humbolt.

 

I was surprised to see this night after night, for months on end.

 

When I had a downtown condo the lights were often dark. Maybe it was because I was out actually doing stuff downtown. Or maybe I was at home with the lights out "entertaining a guest".


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#30 Mike K.

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 02:05 PM

That horrible rumour refuses to die and Sid Tafler, who instigated the whole “dark windows” = empty vacation home owned by a non-local thing, was out line by making such claims and for using the media to spread his campaign of fear and misinformation.

The reality is Victoria has one of the lowest rates of secondary home ownership in Canada, and that’s according to the 2016 census and not someone’s biased theory. In fact ownership by locals has actually risen over the last decade.

You can read more about it here: https://victoria.cit...tistics-canada/

“According to the results of the most recent census, the Capital Region’s total dwelling count was 172,559 in 2016. Of those dwellings, 162,716, or 94.3%, were occupied by full-time, non-transient residents (above the national census metropolitan area average of 93.6%). The data also shows that the percentage of full-time-to-part-time residences increased from 2006 when 93.7% of homes were occupied by so-called usual residents.

Data for Vancouver, Ottawa, Edmonton, London, Halifax, Regina, Saskatoon, Kelowna, St. John's and other census metropolitan areas revealed a lower ratio of full-time residences to part-time residences when compared to Victoria, while cities like Toronto, Montreal and Calgary were virtually equal to the south Island’s ratio.”


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#31 Citified.ca

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 10:56 AM

Mixed-use-residential-and-retail-complex-to-replace-Mo-le-Restaurant,-Habit-Coffee-digs-on-Pandora-Avenue.jpg

An artist's rendering of 550 Pandora Avenue, a mixed-use residential and retail complex slated to replace a single-storey commercial building currently home to Mo:Lé Restaurant, Habit Coffee, Café Bliss and other retailers. 

 

Mixed-use residential and retail complex to replace Mo:Lé Restaurant, Habit Coffee digs on Pandora Avenue

https://victoria.cit...pandora-avenue/


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#32 SimonH

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 12:31 PM

attachicon.gifMixed-use-residential-and-retail-complex-to-replace-Mo-le-Restaurant,-Habit-Coffee-digs-on-Pandora-Avenue.jpg

An artist's rendering of 550 Pandora Avenue, a mixed-use residential and retail complex slated to replace a single-storey commercial building currently home to Mo:Lé Restaurant, Habit Coffee, Café Bliss and other retailers. 

 

Mixed-use residential and retail complex to replace Mo:Lé Restaurant, Habit Coffee digs on Pandora Avenue

https://victoria.cit...pandora-avenue/

All 3 business owners declared their support for Helps in the mayoral race. Coincidence ?



#33 Nparker

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 12:45 PM

All 3 business owners declared their support for Helps in the mayoral race. Coincidence ?

I suppose that depends: do they want this proposal to proceed or not? 



#34 aastra

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 12:46 PM

That ground floor seems short and really lacking re: panache (Mike K.'s favourite word).


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#35 aastra

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 12:51 PM

Charm, appeal, character, distinction, quaintness, flavour... whatever word you want to use.



#36 aastra

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 01:08 PM

Also not digging the appearance of the top two levels. It's questionable enough to expect new levels on old buildings to have a jarring & generic suburban business park look, but I thought the rationale for that was a deference to the historic architecture below? In this case the entire building would be brand new. Why should the design of the top levels "defer" to the lower levels??


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#37 sdwright.vic

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 01:29 PM

^Defer to its neighbors as it is taller?
Predictive text and a tiny keyboard are not my friends!

#38 aastra

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 01:39 PM

Note that I'm not questioning the setback on the upper floors. I get why some people call for that re: consistency with the existing streetscape, and I think the terrace spaces are good things, too. I'm talking about the design aspect.



#39 Danma

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 01:49 PM

I dunno, resembles the terracing of a building 3 or 4 doors down which had the same treatment.



#40 Nparker

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Posted 31 October 2018 - 01:57 PM

Also not digging the appearance of the top two levels...

Agreed. Would it be out of the question to ask for something more interesting at the roof line of the building?



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