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PROPOSED
1314-1324 Wharf Street
Uses: rental, commercial
Address: 1314-1324 Wharf Street
Municipality: Victoria
Region: Downtown Victoria
Storeys: 6
1314-1324 Wharf Street is a proposal for a six-storey mixed-use rental complex with ground floor retail space ... (view full profile)
Learn more about 1314-1324 Wharf Street on Citified.ca
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[Downtown] 1314-1324 Wharf Street / Northern Junk | Rentals; retail | 6-storeys | Proposed


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#281 aastra

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Posted 14 June 2020 - 09:55 AM

 

Any interior photos of the current buildings?

 

I don't think they have interiors.



#282 aastra

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Posted 14 June 2020 - 10:06 AM

 

"That proposed building is a joke. It's not really luxurious, it's not really exclusive, it's not really a desirable location. I'm going to fight it like crazy because it's ultra-luxurious, ultra-exclusive, and it will occupy an ultra-desirable location."

 

How many times have we seen this?

 

We ignore a property for many years or many decades,

then we sneer when apartments are finally proposed for the site (because who in his/her right mind would ever want to live in that crappy location?)

then we oppose because it would be a shame to waste such an incredibly special and beloved spot (it really should be a park or a cultural facility or etc.)


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#283 jstovell

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 04:37 PM

Here are the roof top and horizontal additions to the building right next door. And the world kept turning. Who knew?

 

https://www.dropbox....EHoyaBDnxf7H7mg


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#284 aastra

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 07:42 PM

So many old buildings were expanded or gained levels or lost levels... it's always been an essential process in the evolution of Victoria or any city. Categorical opposition to such alterations on the grounds of "heritage preservation" is misguided.



#285 Rob Randall

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 08:58 PM

Flashback to October 2010 when the City put out a JSBridge brochure promising wonderful new green space, despite the recently unveiled Northern Junk proposal on that very site.

 

https://web.archive....pace-confusion/


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"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail


#286 Greg

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 11:25 AM

https://www.timescol...ings-1.24161455

 

Does anything in this Ken Johnson editorial make any sense to anyone? He talks about the proposal not being "a rooftop addition to an older, heritage building, which is recommended by city planning standards" as if that would be a rational way to redevelop this waterfront lot. By sticking another floor on top of the Northern Junk building. How can anyone write that with a straight face?

 

He also is dismissive of completing the harbour walkway connection to the bridge, because it might benefit the commercial lots on the development. As if there is no value to the community to connecting the bridge to the walkway.

 

And the bit about "This same owner has neglected the building for 10 years [...] there must be some way that the continued neglect can be stopped, and the buildings rehabilitated while providing a living representation of the history of Victoria" just seems flat out offensive. These building sat there for decades falling down without the city taking any action. Then they were purchased ten years ago for the purpose of redevelopment, and after a decade of blocking the redevelopment. he now wants to criticize the current owner for the buildings' century of neglect?

 

Why does this guy still get a platform in the TC?


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#287 Nparker

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 11:42 AM

Because Pam Madoff wasn't available?
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#288 aastra

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 12:01 PM

Provoke cognitive dissonance, stir up anxiety and confusion, and thus sustain the crisis mindset. I lock you inside a cage and then criticize you for not getting enough exercise.

 

The double-speak about waterfront walkways has been going on for ages. Same thing for the double-speak about green spaces and public spaces. We're all supposed to want these things, but we're not supposed to want enjoyable versions of these things. The ideal waterfront walkway is the waterfront walkway that nobody would ever bother to use because there's nothing appealing about it.

 

 

...because it might benefit the commercial lots on the development. As if there is no value to the community to connecting the bridge to the walkway.

Us versus them, heroes versus villains, nonsense politics.


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#289 aastra

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 12:05 PM

 

The proposed design did not meet the city’s Old Town design guidelines

 

As we saw with earlier proposals, even when they absolutely nail the old town guidelines point-for-point they still don't meet the old town's guidelines. And Joe Public never seems to catch on to the game that's being played.


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#290 aastra

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 12:15 PM

 

It provides a continuation of the waterfront walkway, for about 50 feet, terminating at the property boundary. This walkway would be a benefit to the owners, bring foot traffic to the probable waterfront café or pub at a most desirable location.

 

Potentially positive outcomes are now something that we should be wary of. Foot traffic, successful businesses, people enjoying themselves, people making a living... it all sounds so awful, doesn't it? Who in their right mind would want a city like that?

 

 

The historic building would be rehabilitated and improved. This same owner has neglected the building for 10 years. It seems strange we would reward the owner for now doing what was obligated by bylaw, an obligation the city has been unable or unwilling to apply.

 

It seems strange that we would claim to want the buildings to be saved while also doing literally everything in our power to prevent the buildings from being saved during those ten years. There's no way to sugarcoat this kind of hypocrisy. Any thinking adult simply must be able to see through this stuff.


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#291 aastra

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 12:21 PM

 

It provides a continuation of the waterfront walkway, for about 50 feet, terminating at the property boundary.

 

So is Mr. Johnson saying the property boundary should be extended? It seems like this is what he's saying. That should be easy to address, right?



#292 aastra

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 12:23 PM

I guess we should fault the developers for their limited vision in this regard. Why did they never propose to acquire the bit of city property next door and thus extend the walkway?


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#293 jstovell

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 03:48 PM

Some newer thinking:

 

https://www.timescol...tion-1.24167373


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#294 Nparker

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Posted Yesterday, 07:10 AM

Chris LeFevre makes a bold and rather unfair statement regarding the developers of this project.

...The Vancouver buyer of Northern Junk:

a) Purchased the buildings for about $1.1 million.

b) Left them to rot...
 

https://www.timescol...type-1.24168072

What he fails to mention is that the developer has spent 10 years trying to get the redevelopment project approved and has run into endless hurdles from city officials and so-called heritage advocates. Mr. LeFevre also conveniently leaves out the fact that the NJ buildings had been sitting derelict and neglected by their previous owner for more than 30 years. He implies the "rot" only started since the current owner purchased the property.



#295 aastra

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Posted Yesterday, 08:43 AM

 

Heritage preservation has monopolized the design conversation in Victoria to the point of architectural apnea

However, prioritizing heritage preservation above all current priorities seems like a misplaced reaction to a bygone era. Even more worrying, this misplaced emphasis also undermines our city’s maturation.

 

Sigh. I need another break from this stuff. Heritage preservation has never monopolized the design conversation in Victoria. The Northern Junk saga is a textbook example that should leave no doubt in the mind of any thinking person as to how false the politics of so-called "heritage preservation" really are.

 

Suffice it to say: Heritage preservation is not a priority. CLAIMING that heritage preservation is a priority is a priority.

 

Has anybody cared one bit about historical photos of the district around there? Has anyone cared one bit about restoring some of the "old town" texture that was lost? For goodness sake, the fate of some modern traffic islands has completely overshadowed any supposed concern for preserving/restoring the old buildings themselves or the district they once occupied.

 

Can someone really claim to be obsessed with preserving and restoring old Victoria's historic built form while also disregarding old Victoria's historic built form? The area around Northern Junk was once a tightly-knit district full of little buildings (it's difficult to recognize today because several buildings were lost when the area was blown open to re-align streets and create open space). The park that currently sits right next to Northern Junk was itself once occupied by some fine little buildings. If nobody ever talks about these things and if nobody seems to care about these things then shouldn't that be a massive red flag? Is heritage preservation really prioritized above all other priorities?

 

If the Empress Hotel gets knocked down tomorrow and replaced by an interchange, what would anyone think of me if I argued for the preservation of the interchange and the cleared space that it occupies under the premise of heritage preservation and defending Victoria's historic built form? Would any sane & honest person really fall for it? Or would they recognize my position as demonstrating contempt for Victoria's actual heritage and actual historic built form?

 

This false mythology and misplaced self-congratulation has persisted for way too long. Come on. If someone has been consistently & categorically opposed to each and every proposal to save the Northern Junk buildings over the past ten+ years, then that someone has laid the proverbial cards on the table. Preserving and restoring the buildings is NOT a priority. It simply cannot be.

 

As always, I recommend people take a tour through the "long lost greats" thread on this very board, to see how Victoria's historic built form rarely (if ever) figures into the conversation re: "heritage preservation."


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#296 Casual Kev

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Posted Yesterday, 01:09 PM

Chris LeFevre makes a bold and rather unfair statement regarding the developers of this project.

What he fails to mention is that the developer has spent 10 years trying to get the redevelopment project approved and has run into endless hurdles from city officials and so-called heritage advocates. Mr. LeFevre also conveniently leaves out the fact that the NJ buildings had been sitting derelict and neglected by their previous owner for more than 30 years. He implies the "rot" only started since the current owner purchased the property.

 

LeFevre is the developer behind Ironworks, no? He might be projecting his own experience of getting a design approved and figuring the same could've been done with Northern Junk.



#297 Nparker

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Posted Yesterday, 01:14 PM

LeFevre is the developer behind Ironworks, no? He might be projecting his own experience of getting a design approved and figuring the same could've been done with Northern Junk.

I can't believe Mr. LeFevre is unaware of the arduous struggle the Northern Junk project has experienced to date.



#298 aastra

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Posted Yesterday, 02:12 PM

 

He might be projecting his own experience of getting a design approved and figuring the same could've been done with Northern Junk.

 

All somebody needed to do was propose something acceptable instead of the wide-ranging array of unacceptable proposals over the past many years? Okay, so what's the secret? Why has nobody bothered to reveal the secret?

 

This saga has been the definitive example of the CoV and other players being coy and vague and reserving the right to discover some previously unspecified new shortcoming whenever anybody tries to pin them down. Oh, you tried to follow our explicitly clear official guidelines? Yeah, well, we didn't really mean any of that. You tried to follow our very ambiguous criticisms & recommendations? Yeah, well, you misunderstood what we were saying.

 

What possible benefit could be derived from this game of forcing developers to fumble around in the dark? What possible relevance could this immature & unprofessional nonsense have to urban development or heritage restoration or anything else? It's pure politics. Very oppressive and embarrassing.


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#299 aastra

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Posted Today, 02:42 PM

The process should contain safeguards against backtracking. In other words, once a SPECIFIC issue or shortcoming has been addressed, that same issue should never be revisited. Revisiting that same issue should not be allowed.

 

I don't like the waterfront walkway.

Okay, so identify the specific reasons and they will be addressed.

If you cannot be specific or refuse to be specific then the concern will be dismissed.

Once an issue has been addressed, it cannot be re-raised for as long as it remains addressed (whether for the same proposal or for an entirely new proposal that comes along later).

 

My point here is that every step of the process should facilitate progress rather than hinder progress. Any legitimate process would never purposely hinder progress.


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