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PROPOSED
Harris Green Village, tower 1
Uses: rental, commercial
Address: 900-block of Yates Street
Municipality: Victoria
Region: Downtown Victoria
Storeys: 32
Harris Green Village, tower 1 is a proposal for a 32-storey mixed-use purpose-built rental tower with ground f... (view full profile)
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[Harris Green] Harris Green Village & Harris Victoria Chrysler/Dodge redevelopment | Multi-phased; mixed-use | Proposed


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#501 aastra

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 09:50 AM

Speaking of Saskatoon, their River Landing development looks pretty good. Imagine something like that in Vic West or the north part of downtown, or even around Uptown.

https://www.flickr.c...08/50152035318/


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#502 Mike K.

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 09:55 AM

To Rob's point how are the proposed towers for Harris Green really any different from any one of a dozen others built over the last decade, literally right down the street, other than the fact they are taller? We can and should do better.


What would you like them to change? Let’s articulate it.
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#503 AllseeingEye

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 10:18 AM

What would you like them to change? Let’s articulate it.

 

 

Well I give you a brief taste of 21st century architectural...Europe: and do note I am not saying we should emulate these examples below precisely but rather I hold them up as possibilities of the types of things we can do here, yes? If not - why not? Please elaborate in that case.

 

Unless of course you subscribe to the notion that we're a bunch of hicks out here somehow less able or less skilled at doing so. More likely IMO we're simply afraid...of the modern, the new, the daring and yes the "radical". Fortunately the Europeans are progressive in that sense and have no such limitations in their thinking, quite clearly.

 

And for those elements locally - and they exist in spades, or certainly did not so long ago - who would cry out "But but BUT these buildings aren't sensitive to our history!" I would say "B******!" How was the Empress Hotel when brand new "sensitive" to local FN buildings, structures and architecture and "history"? It wasn't: it was NEW and RADICAL and TALL, being the mega-skyscraper of its era when first built compared especially to the older Ft Victoria buildings that still existed at the time.

 

Imagine what we COULD do on Ship Point if we only had the vision and the will? Ditto for Old Town (although thank God we have Chris LeFevre doing his best to take care of that steaming mess). Ditto the Ogden Pt Cruise Terminal lands. Ditto the Rock Bay area. Ditto...ahem...Harris Green.

 

http://squareone.blo...vels-in-london/

 

https://www.villasin...n-architecture/

 

https://www.inspire-...tz-metropole_-n

 

https://museedelaromanite.fr/en/



#504 Rob Randall

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 10:22 AM

I like what's going on behind the Legislature. It's very dynamic but too austere for Harris Green. D'Ambrosio's stuff downtown; Atrium and Pandora/Douglas is a good model as well. The Harris Green development, you should see it from a couple blocks away and go "wow, let's check that out".


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“I mean I just don’t understand the big Texas part, like maybe he’s from Texas? I want to know the back story.”


#505 Mike K.

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 10:24 AM

Well I give you a brief taste of 21st century architectural...Europe: and do note I am not saying we should emulate these examples below precisely but rather I hold them up as possibilities of the types of things we can do here, yes? If not - why not? Please elaborate in that case.

Unless of course you subscribe to the notion that we're a bunch of hicks out here somehow less able or less skilled at doing so. More likely IMO we're simply afraid...of the modern, the new, the daring and yes the "radical". Fortunately the Europeans are progressive in that sense and have no such limitations in their thinking, quite clearly.

And for those elements locally - and they exist in spades, or certainly did not so long ago - who would cry out "But but BUT these buildings aren't sensitive to our history!" I would say "B******!" How was the Empress Hotel when brand new "sensitive" to local FN buildings, structures and architecture and "history"? It wasn't: it was NEW and RADICAL and TALL, being the mega-skyscraper of its era when first built compared especially to the older Ft Victoria buildings that still existed at the time.

Imagine what we COULD do on Ship Point if we only had the vision and the will? Ditto for Old Town (although thank God we have Chris LeFevre doing his best to take care of that steaming mess). Ditto the Ogden Pt Cruise Terminal lands. Ditto the Rock Bay area. Ditto...ahem...Harris Green.

http://squareone.blo...vels-in-london/

https://www.villasin...n-architecture/

https://www.inspire-...tz-metropole_-n

https://museedelaromanite.fr/en/

So your approach is to walk into a Hyundai dealership and complain the cars are not McLarens.

What dictates design is cost. It’s just that simple. Yea, we can tweak things here and there but if you live in Victoria where the average income is $40k you can’t be building rental housing only those earning $200k can afford.

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#506 aastra

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 10:33 AM

I've said it many times, I really liked what Victoria was doing in the 2000s. But a political backlash seems to have developed in recent years and now we're seeing issues re: excessive spandrel and grey panels and seemingly purposeful blandification. Hudson Place 2 might end up being the poster child for this phenomenon. The original renderings looked good, but then it went backwards and issues that had not been evident at first were artificially introduced. I still have my fingers crossed but I sure won't be surprised if HP1 and HP2 ultimately serve as towering symbols of how to do it (HP1) and how NOT to do it (HP2), side by side for all to see.


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#507 aastra

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 10:36 AM

 

I really liked what Victoria was doing in the 2000s...

 

The city's modern architectural identity was being sharpened and emphasized by rather unique Victoria-style developments... and so some critics thought it was a problem that needed to be addressed.


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#508 Mike K.

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 10:38 AM

What’s changed is construction costs went up 20% since the proposal went before the city and approvals were granted, and the tower ultimately became a rental.

We seem to have ideas of grandeur about our city but while calling for Victoria to emulate Paris we're shopping for used clunkers in Chilliwack. Like c’mon, reality matters here. If you want to play with the big boys, pony up the big cash. But don’t holler at the price of a modern condo then unleash a fury that a design three times as expensive isn’t what you get after spending 1/3 of its cost.

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#509 Nparker

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 10:41 AM

The city's modern architectural identity was being sharpened and emphasized by rather unique Victoria-style developments... 

Could you share some of you favourite examples?



#510 aastra

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 10:44 AM

 

What’s changed is construction costs went up 20% since the proposal went before the city and approvals were granted, and the tower ultimately became a rental.

 

I suppose development costs became dirt cheap in Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Kelowna, and Halifax? Because those cities have gone in the opposite direction. They used to have crappy projects, but their stuff has been getting better.

 

Nothing ever cheaper. Today has always been more expensive than yesterday. This is nothing new.



#511 AllseeingEye

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 10:47 AM

What’s changed is construction costs went up 20% since the proposal went before the city and approvals were granted, and the tower ultimately became a rental.

We seem to have ideas of grandeur about our city but while calling for Victoria to emulate Paris we're shopping for used clunkers in Chilliwack. Like c’mon, reality matters here. If you want to play with the big boys, pony up the big cash. But don’t holler at the price of a modern condo then unleash a fury that a design three times as expensive isn’t what you get after spending 1/3 of its cost.

 

 

If that was your take on my post then you completely missed the point of it. Since I'm pretty certain you're smarter than that I'm equally certain you're just cherry picking to support your own position.

 

BTW why are you so focused on my SUV shopping expedition? First Chilliwack is a fine town, second I'm not in fact looking there and lastly I wouldn't call a 2-3 year old vehicle a 'clunker' :)



#512 Mike K.

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 10:51 AM

Aastra, that’s a generic statement and you know it.

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#513 Mike K.

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 10:57 AM

BTW why are you so focused on my SUV shopping expedition? First Chilliwack is a fine town, second I'm not in fact looking there and lastly I wouldn't call a 2-3 year old vehicle a 'clunker' :)

See how out of sync you are? You want a 2018 model Mercedes SUV for $15k. Try $50k. And you’re advising us on design.

Good stuff costs big money. Developers build what their market will pay for. I’d wager Customs House is on the same level as Edmonton’s best examples of modern history but we like to put that stuff aside and fixate on one or two projects, or a theme shared by several, as a singular but driving definition of all that is going on around us.

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#514 Rob Randall

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 11:00 AM

Innovative, dynamic design does not necessarily cost a ton more.


“I mean I just don’t understand the big Texas part, like maybe he’s from Texas? I want to know the back story.”


#515 Mike K.

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 11:01 AM

Innovative, dynamic design does not necessarily cost a ton more.


And your examples of this are?

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#516 Mike K.

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 11:03 AM

Jesus, you guys. Step into a materials supplier for 30 minutes and add up your standard shed material costs compared with an “innovative” shed and tell me what you walk out with.

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#517 aastra

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 11:30 AM

 

Step into a materials supplier for 30 minutes and add up your standard shed material costs compared with an “innovative” shed and tell me what you walk out with.

 

Why do always say stuff like that? You're Luke Skywalker and I'm Yoda: "Always with you it cannot be done." It was being done before. It's still being done in other places. How many times do I need to post those news items from the 1960s about how development costs had reached crisis levels? We get it, stuff costs money. It's cheaper to serve an open can of beans than to prepare a proper meal. But that's no excuse for preferring to serve an open can of beans instead of wanting and trying to prepare a proper meal.

 

Innovative, dynamic design does not necessarily cost a ton more.

 

My two cents (I'm a cheapskate like Mike K.): expecting each and every individual building to be an exceptional world-beater really doesn't make any sense. You can't expect exceptions to be the rule in any place.

 

I'm more interested in the overall flavour (of the city itself, and also of the identifiable districts) than the extreme exceptions and the standout highlights. Exceptions and highlights are great, give me one over here and maybe another one over there. But where are things going generally? Is the overall formula working? I don't think it's working as well in Victoria right now as it was ~10-15 years ago. But I'd say some other cities are doing better stuff today than they were doing ~10-15 years ago.

 

VV forumers: remember back to the early days of this board when we were all young and ultra-fit and had lush mops of thick long hair and bullet-proof abs and all of that good stuff. Back then it seemed like almost every new development proposal had its merits. It was exciting, it was a pleasant hobby to follow what was going on. There were very few turkeys. Whenever a turkey came along we would have a field day with it. But at some point the trend changed, and now we seem to have legitimate gripes about every project. I'm not talking generic gripes re: "too tall" or "too dense" or whatever. I'm talking about specific issues and concerns, and often recurring issues and concerns that suggest the new-and-improved formula is broken. Heck, sometimes I'm hesitant even to look at the images for a new project. I'm cringing in advance because I'm fearing the worst. I never used to feel like that.

 

Back in the day when developments went wrong I would often blame it on overthinking and second-guessing. Trying too hard to do or not do something. I feel like this overthinking and second-guessing has become a development principle in recent years. Lack of confidence? I don't know.


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#518 aastra

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 11:39 AM

 

Could you share some of you favourite examples?

 

Dude, we've talked about this stuff before. In my opinion Victoria's take on the downtown/urban condo trend was really appealing and going in a really good direction.

 

Obviously many cities were and still are doing intensive residential redevelopment, but Victoria's formula didn't look like Vancouver's formula or Toronto's formula or Miami's formula or Ottawa's formula or Calgary's formula. Nor am I saying all of those varied places were doing the exact same thing as one another. They were not. But -- for example -- in recent years there has been a fair bit of obvious overlap between what Greater Vancouver has been doing and what the GTA has been doing. I remember reading a discussion from San Diego where some people were complaining about Vancouver-style development taking precedence over San Diego-style development. There is such a thing as local flavour.

 

On this very board we saw a fairly recent letter to the editor to this effect, I think from somebody in London, ON? About Victoria's unique and pleasing approach? They seemed to be referring to Aria and the Falls and projects like that (although they didn't identify the buildings by name). I've seen development documents in other cities that included pictures of Dockside Green. But... a lot of Victorians themselves thought what was happening was all wrong. Victoria wasn't being emphasized, it was being diminished. Doesn't every city have a copy of Shutters or Shoal Point or Swallow's Landing or Aria? Doesn't every city have a Selkirk waterfront? No, they don't. Even a smaller city like Kelowna is building tall & glassy towers as per the more standard formula.

 

Anyway, I feel like the direction was better and much clearer in the early 2000s. Even though that direction was not the result of some official plan or vision. Nobody called for Chard-style small-footprint mini-highrise buildings. They just happened. Maybe that's what explains the change? Has the CoV's "visioning" and other efforts to get a handle on the process ultimately mucked up the process?



#519 Nparker

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 11:44 AM

Dude, we've talked about this stuff before....

And here I thought I asked a fairly simple question.



#520 Mike K.

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 11:45 AM

Now if you could observe the above through the lens of the BC Step Code and it’s impacts on costs and design, and the costs of building a 150-unit structure on an Island in the most expensive jurisdiction of Canada, and among the top most expensive jurisdictions in North America. Then compare the cost of living that jurisdiction’s residents are faced with, and their average household incomes. Crunch those numbers and let us know how it all shapes up.

We like to look to jurisdictions several thousand kilometres away governed by different governments, and compare them to ourselves as though all things are equal.

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