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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: 25
Harris Green Village, tower 1 is a proposal for a 25-storey mixed-use purpose-built rental tower with ground f... (view full profile)
Learn more about Harris Green Village, tower 1 on Citified.ca
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[Harris Green] Harris Green Village & Harris Victoria Chrysler/Dodge redevelopment | Multi-phased; mixed-use | Proposed


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#41 RFS

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 07:43 AM

It is true that the current HG is a source of affordable office and retail space downtown. Lots of small biz in those spaces.
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#42 Mike K.

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 07:46 AM

Hold on. Is it “affordable?”

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#43 jonny

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 07:50 AM

The strip mall aesthetic is no more ugly than anything built by Chard, Jawl or any of the other generic garbage being built. Tall is good, but the new high rises are no more attractive than strip malls. Not to mention that tenants in the new buildings are rarely the same types of services than those in HGV - they're high-end hipster restaurants and gyms instead of clinics, post offices, and pet stores.

But aesthetics aren't the attraction of HG Village. It's the closest thing we have to a public square in the neighborhood. It's more lively and active than Centennial Square and has services that (shockingly) have services people want and use in an accessible and navigable format (except the View St side). That's what we'll lose if the development isn't sensitive to the neighborhood.

 

I could not disagree more vehemently on the aesthetic side of things. Legato, 989 Johnson, the Atrium and Juliet are hardly generic garbage.

 

"Downtown", which constitutes HG more and more whether or not everybody likes it or not, needs to continue to urbanize and get rid of the garbled, jumbled mess it is in some areas with strip malls, asphalt parking lots, massive set backs and 80's, suburban architecture, empty lots, stucco, etc. 

 

Victoria needs less public spaces and squares, not more. We already have more useless public space that's only used. The most popular areas in downtown Victoria are super urban. 

 

Harris Green Village is successful because of London Drugs, Cobs bread and Bosley's. Full stop. End of discussion. Not because of the format or the terrible parking situation or the Saanich circa 1985 architecture. It has everything to do with the service's offered. It's not successful because it is an awkward "square", if you can even call it that.

 

The parking situation has outlived it's usefulness and is quickly becoming obsolete. Look at Uptown or Mayfair. Surface parking is going bye-bye left, right and centre. 


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#44 jonny

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 07:52 AM

And there is nothing stopping post offices and pet stores from opening.

 

There are literally post offices and pet stores everywhere in Victoria. It's stunning to me how many pet stores we have. 



#45 RFS

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 07:53 AM

Hold on. Is it “affordable?”


Relatively speaking

#46 aastra

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 08:09 AM

 

It's not successful because it is an awkward "square", if you can even call it that.

 

In Victoria you can refer to surface parking lots as public squares, green space, cultural amenities... whatever you want.


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#47 jonny

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 08:14 AM

^ and as you have noted time and time again, everything built today is generic garbage and looks exactly the same. Black & White is the same generic hogwash as the Atrium, etc. etc. 



#48 aastra

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 08:36 AM

 

...everything built today is generic garbage and looks exactly the same.

 

You exaggerate. For example, the London Drugs strip mall is unique and very attractive.



#49 aastra

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 08:39 AM

 

What is "genuine downtown architecture"?

 

I meant real buildings as versus Uptown-style imitations. I was referring to the overall approach rather than calling for specific architectural styles.



#50 spanky123

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 08:45 AM

It is true that the current HG is a source of affordable office and retail space downtown. Lots of small biz in those spaces.

 

Which is why sometimes you need to be careful what you ask for. A shiny new development may look great, but if only pot shops and Starbucks can afford the rent you may lose the charm.



#51 jonny

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 08:49 AM

Which is why sometimes you need to be careful what you ask for. A shiny new development may look great, but if only pot shops and Starbucks can afford the rent you may lose the charm.

 

The newer Jawl properties house 100% local small businesses. 


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#52 aastra

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 09:08 AM

 

The newer Jawl properties house 100% local small businesses.

 

I don't think you fully appreciate just how much local charm was lost at the corner of Yates and Blanshard, or where the huts and parking lots were in James Bay, or where the Selkirk neighbourhood is now.


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#53 spanky123

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 09:14 AM

The newer Jawl properties house 100% local small businesses. 

 

And I think that many of those businesses had the good fortune of establishing leases when the commercial market was weaker and building costs were lower. New leases, and those coming up for renewal in the next year or two, will be priced substantially higher.



#54 victorian

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 10:08 AM

I could not disagree more vehemently on the aesthetic side of things. Legato, 989 Johnson, the Atrium and Juliet are hardly generic garbage.


Those are some of the most hideous buildings in Victoria. These are exactly what we need to avoid. The street life around those buildings is dead, the facades are bland, they look cheaply built, and the services inside them are for commuters, not residents.
 

"Downtown", which constitutes HG more and more whether or not everybody likes it or not, needs to continue to urbanize and get rid of the garbled, jumbled mess it is in some areas with strip malls, asphalt parking lots, massive set backs and 80's, suburban architecture, empty lots, stucco, etc.

Victoria needs less public spaces and squares, not more. We already have more useless public space that's only used. The most popular areas in downtown Victoria are super urban.

Harris Green Village is successful because of London Drugs, Cobs bread and Bosley's. Full stop. End of discussion. Not because of the format or the terrible parking situation or the Saanich circa 1985 architecture. It has everything to do with the service's offered. It's not successful because it is an awkward "square", if you can even call it that.

The parking situation has outlived it's usefulness and is quickly becoming obsolete. Look at Uptown or Mayfair. Surface parking is going bye-bye left, right and centre.


I agree with all of this. Unfortunately, anything built since HGV was built is worse than this. You're 100% right that the best areas of downtown are super urban; however, almost all of those areas are pre-war. I have lived in Old Town, but I did all of my business in HGV, where their weren't just brunch places and boutiques. Although HGV isn't ideal, I'm pretty certain it's better than anything that the quality of developers working in Victoria will propose or the types of tenants they will attract.

 

I won't defend HGV's aesthetics, but it works. In fact, it's what makes the neighbourhood a successful neighbourhood. I don't know where you live, but as an HG resident that enjoys and relies on HGV - and invested in the neighbourhood in part because of it - HG going the route of the Legato and 989 Johnson is my worst-case scenario.

 

Any development will definitely lower my quality of living in this neighbourhood, primarily through more hostile "architecture," increased costs, and reduced services. Re-development should happen, as HGV has way more potential, but this Victorians seem happy to let developers get away with building crap.


Edited by victorian, 31 May 2019 - 10:28 AM.


#55 jonny

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 10:12 AM

Jawl has been specifically picked on in this thread for building "generic garbage" yet they have deliberately leased their unique retail spaces to only non-generic, local small businesses like Zambri's, Superbaba and Sherwood. Not to mention their buildings look nothing like anything Victoria has ever seen before. 

 

Same goes for Chard, as a matter of fact. 


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#56 jonny

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 10:15 AM

Those are some of the most hideous buildings in Victoria. These are exactly what we need to avoid. The street life around those buildings is dead, the facades are generic, bland glass, and the services inside them are for commuters, not residents.

 

LMAO

 

#wrong

 

The street life around the Atrium and Juliet is dead?

 

What in Victoria looks like "generic" 989 Johnson?


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#57 victorian

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 10:39 AM

LMAO

 

#wrong

 

The street life around the Atrium and Juliet is dead?

 

What in Victoria looks like "generic" 989 Johnson?

 

C'mon man. I'm clearly passionate about my neighbourhood. Passionate enough to join this forum to learn about and discuss a major development that will impact my family. I live here and spend all my time here, and I told you what I think based on my experience and knowledge of the area. You don't have to agree. But do everyone a solid and bring the level of discourse up a few notches.


Edited by victorian, 31 May 2019 - 10:40 AM.

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#58 AllseeingEye

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 10:42 AM

Those are some of the most hideous buildings in Victoria. These are exactly what we need to avoid. The street life around those buildings is dead, the facades are bland, they look cheaply built, and the services inside them are for commuters, not residents.
 

I totally agree with all of this. Unfortunately, anything built since HGV was built is worse than this. You're 100% right that the best areas of downtown are super urban; however, almost all of those areas are pre-war. Although HGV isn't ideal, I'm pretty certain it's better than anything that the quality of developers working in Victoria will propose.

I have lived in Old Town, but I did all of my business in HGV. So while we have vibrant dense neighbourhoods, we still also need ones that are functional.

Well that's one opinion and certainly one you're entitled to but I would respectfully disagree on most if not all counts.

 

First HGV is a complete *fail* on the View Street side - a dead zone utterly bereft of any redeeming qualities whatsoever. Actually to refer to it as "dead" is an insult to actually and really dead things. The London Drugs building - while I completely agree must stay in any redevelopment of this site - is itself an utterly unremarkable structure and to top it off the whole thing is crowned off by the worst s*** show of a parking situation in the CoV.

 

Beauty of course is in the eye of the beholder but I would stack Atrium et al anytime against most of the barf-worthy 4-story, 1950/60''s-era box apartments in this city; and even today never mind 40 years ago, much of so-called old town is so run down and ramshackle it looks more like an air force bombing range than anything resembling architecture - never mind outstanding architecture, or even moderately attractive and useful architecture.

 

The entire Douglas Street strip from Mayfair to downtown circa 1960's and 70's was a dreadfully wretched and complete hodge-podge of businesses ranging from tawdry pawn shops to fugly strip malls to car dealerships. The current development boom/cycle along that entire stretch can't come fast enough IMO. And the more dense/tall and better....

 

I grew up in Victoria in the 60's and 70's and there is a reason every tourist brochure for 40+ years focused on the Empress Hotel and the Leg - because beyond them and the Rattenbury building across from the latter and the old mansions in Rockland and some nice properties in James Bay, the city in a word was dreadful - from the quasi post-apocalyptic industrial mess that was the Songhees/Vic West waterfront, to the cesspool that was the Inner/Upper Harbour and Gorge waterway, to the grimy swath of Old Town - much of which was (and is to this day) literally falling apart, and lastly to the truly awful aforementioned box apartments which sprouted everywhere like a virus.

 

No one here is advocating 30-40 story buildings be perched on every block by any means but the region and especially downtown can (still) stand much improvement from an aesthetic standpoint, and certainly also from an urban planning/density perspective; as a well known British travel blog in the late-90's once famously intoned re: Victoria (city) ".....you just know any place whose only claim to fame is a downtrodden musty old hotel with a moldering moth-eaten tiger skin isn't worth even spending a single night"....


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#59 victorian

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 10:46 AM

^ and as you have noted time and time again, everything built today is generic garbage and looks exactly the same. Black & White is the same generic hogwash as the Atrium, etc. etc. 

 

The Black & White building is pretty cool, actually. I was nervous about it, but the choice of materials made it look alright. Much nicer than Yello.



#60 aastra

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 11:02 AM

 

Those are some of the most hideous buildings in Victoria. These are exactly what we need to avoid.

 

Those are the very buildings that have finally endowed Harris Green with some positive identity. It was the neighbourhood about nothing before (Seinfeld reference).

 

We're talking about a district that was dominated by View Towers, surface parking lots, car dealerships, and a strip mall. Methinks what Harris Green really needed to avoid was all of that stuff.


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