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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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#601 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 07 June 2021 - 10:51 AM

Then you would have the problem Ian Sutherland mentioned, every piece of land in the City would appreciate in price to match the incremental density.

 

We have had more apartments come available in the past two years then in the past twenty. Vacancy rates have increased top nearly 3% yet rental prices have shot up more than any time in recent history as well. 

 

Clearly more density is only making affordability worse.

I think it's more complicated than that.

 

Limiting new development/density *can* cause large price increases; California communities have had to limit density/development for decades due to a voter initiative passed years ago, and that is certainly a primary driver of housing cost increases.

 

However, simply increasing supply isn't truly a silver bullet to maintain affordability.  Rising construction and land costs can push up the price quite a bit, so new product (whether sold as condos or rented) coming on to the market can definitely be more expensive than older product.  However, over time, any new product built *today* has the potential to become more affordable over time; a condo built in 2001 will generally be less expensive to purchase or lease than a brand new condo with similar specifications.  Based on this, a large injection of supply 20-25 years ago could have helped with general affordability in Victoria *today*, but - on the rental side at least- there was no purpose-built rental built at the time.  

 

Increasing supply *today* can help affordability *tomorrow*, but the positive effective of increased supply today could be tempered if population growth exceeds projections.  


Edited by Kapten Kapsell, 07 June 2021 - 10:52 AM.

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#602 Rob Randall

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Posted 07 June 2021 - 11:06 AM

I remember that debate.. it spilled out into the streets at times. I still have the 'Team Podium' t-shirt which due to poor graphic design and Council misinterpretation got me kicked out of a public hearing for wearing 'suggestive or pornographic imagery'.

 

I was at the 2006 hearing for the Juliet proposal and the architect stood in front of the City Hall crowd and showed off the overall design and pointed out the main parts of the building, which in his words, comprised "...the base, the shaft, and the tip" and I must say there were a few sideways "wait--what?" glances in the audience.


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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.”


#603 Matt R.

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Posted 07 June 2021 - 12:13 PM

I was at the 2006 hearing for the Juliet proposal and the architect stood in front of the City Hall crowd and showed off the overall design and pointed out the main parts of the building, which in his words, comprised "...the base, the shaft, and the tip" and I must say there were a few sideways "wait--what?" glances in the audience.


Glances or glanses?

Matt.
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#604 Rob Randall

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Posted 07 June 2021 - 01:02 PM

^No, mostly Gentile crowd.


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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.”


#605 Casual Kev

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Posted 07 June 2021 - 03:31 PM

Canada's population has been growing by roughly 1% per year over the past decade, constantly breaking tourism records until COVID hit and DOUBLING the international student population since Trudeau's administration began. BC is generally a net-positive migration province, with Vancouver and Victoria being the main recipients of newcomers, students and tourists alike. All of this happens independently of how many new homes get built. Structurally, the city has been set up for very very high demand for a long time.

 

Seeing construction is a sign that demand exists, not that it's wholly being met. Oak Bay has less people nowadays than it did in 1971 - you tell me whether it's cheap to buy in the Uplands. 


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#606 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 16 June 2021 - 11:15 AM

A guest op-ed opposing this development is in the T-C:

 

https://www.timescol...ture-1.24331103



#607 Rob Randall

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Posted 16 June 2021 - 11:25 AM

Toronto Man Retires To Victoria; Takes Up Hobby of Complaining About Growth


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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.”


#608 Nparker

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Posted 16 June 2021 - 11:28 AM

...It will begin the ad hoc transformation of Victoria into Yaletown West..."

Ahhh....the Vancouver boogeyman argument. An oldie but a goodie.


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#609 Casual Kev

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Posted 16 June 2021 - 02:19 PM

"This new development will ruin the character of Harris Green. But the one I bought into when I still worked in Toronto? Right on spec."


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#610 punk cannonballer

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Posted 16 June 2021 - 03:11 PM

There's no option to keep things as they are. If you want a country club city with sky high prices, minimum wage workers living in vans, a compounding homeless issue and a declining tax base from 1/4 of your population living on a couch then by all means be protectionist. The population here is growing regardless of development. The best we can do is be responsible in housing the people that are here and that we need to run the city in adequate ways. Yes this means non-market and below-market housing options and some higher density in spots.



#611 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 17 June 2021 - 02:07 PM

The Victoria DRA has issued an 'urgent call to action' but it seems they are opposed to the proposal: 

An Urgent Call to Action re Starlight Project
It’s Important to Voice Your Opinion to Council

 

It’s Important to Voice Your Opinion to Council about Starlight’s plans for its proposed commercial and rental housing development on Yates at Cook and Quadra are open for public comment until June 25*. Council has been clear — the number of people who speak up about proposed developments influences the outcome. Let Council know what you think about this proposal.

This development, one of the largest in Victoria’s history at 1.5 city blocks, will fundamentally change the form and character of the Harris Green neighbourhood and of downtown Victoria in general. It significantly exceeds the Official Community Plan (OCP), with five towers of 21 to 32 storeys/109 metres — more than double the OCP’s 15 to 17 storeys/45-50 metres, and with a density increase over the OCP maximum, all with very little contribution to public amenities. (The proposed open spaces will be privately owned.)

Victoria’s OCP is already one of the most generous in North America in terms of density. Vancouver’s Yaletown neighbourhood is the densest residential neighbourhood in North America and this proposal is 20% more dense than would be permitted in Yaletown. Also, Vancouver requires developers to provide significant public amenities.

In addition, zoning approval is being sought now for Phase 2 (the London Drugs block), despite it not actually going forward for several years. As a consequence, approval will exist as a right, even if circumstances change before construction begins.

The DRA supports increasing Victoria’s rental housing stock, but equally important is the need to comply with the OCP, which was enacted after significant research and public consultation, and the need to engage in effective public consultation on projects of this magnitude. If you have any questions about this development, we are happy to help. Please contact the DRA at: 
landuse@victoriadra.ca


#612 Nparker

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Posted 17 June 2021 - 02:12 PM

Why does the DRA hate downtown so much?


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#613 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 17 June 2021 - 02:12 PM

Vancouver’s yaletown is almost 65% more fun than harris green.
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#614 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 17 June 2021 - 02:39 PM

To me, the confusing thing is that their newsletter asks people to 'voice their opinion' but the entire tone of the rest of the article is slanted against the development (i.e. almost no mention of positives; even the green space is privately owned). 

 

 

Here's the source for the article I posted above:

https://mailchi.mp/5...dra-june-e-news



#615 aguywholovesarchitecture

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Posted 17 June 2021 - 04:12 PM

There's no option to keep things as they are. If you want a country club city with sky high prices, minimum wage workers living in vans, a compounding homeless issue and a declining tax base from 1/4 of your population living on a couch then by all means be protectionist. The population here is growing regardless of development. The best we can do is be responsible in housing the people that are here and that we need to run the city in adequate ways. Yes this means non-market and below-market housing options and some higher density in spots.

 

he's right about the city needing to reevaluate and update their growth strategies to ensure that the proper public amenities and infrastructures are put into place to support that growth HOWEVER...Harris Green has been a f---ing car lot for decades and I see no reason why it can't be transformed into a very dense and vibrant neighbourhood...I think Victoria should do better than Yaletown and ensure architectural excellence, diversity of housing types and supportive community spaces...if I was running the city I'd encourage the growth but bargain for the very best of public good


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#616 punk cannonballer

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Posted 18 June 2021 - 07:46 AM

he's right about the city needing to reevaluate and update their growth strategies to ensure that the proper public amenities and infrastructures are put into place to support that growth HOWEVER...Harris Green has been a f---ing car lot for decades and I see no reason why it can't be transformed into a very dense and vibrant neighbourhood...I think Victoria should do better than Yaletown and ensure architectural excellence, diversity of housing types and supportive community spaces...if I was running the city I'd encourage the growth but bargain for the very best of public good

This is what a Community Amenity Contribution (CAC) is for. I'd guess the CAC (without being familiar with the COV policy) for Harris Green would be in the $5m range. I mean, it's not like the city is sitting not doing anything - a protected bike lane goes right past the place now, the region has massively upgraded its wastewater facilities. New protective services facilities are on the way. Social services is a combined effort from city, province and federal that is more than just local planning but things are happening there too. 


Edited by punk cannonballer, 18 June 2021 - 07:49 AM.


#617 Jackerbie

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Posted 18 June 2021 - 08:00 AM

Yaletown ain't even the most dense neighbourhood on Vancouver, let alone North America. Have these people never heard of Montreal? Manhattan? San Francisco? Mexico City?

The new local boogeymen are Burnaby and Surrey, get with the times. Tallest building in BC is currently under construction in North Burnaby of all places.
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#618 spanky123

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Posted 18 June 2021 - 08:03 AM

This is what a Community Amenity Contribution (CAC) is for. I'd guess the CAC (without being familiar with the COV policy) for Harris Green would be in the $5m range. I mean, it's not like the city is sitting not doing anything - a protected bike lane goes right past the place now, the region has massively upgraded its wastewater facilities. New protective services facilities are on the way. Social services is a combined effort from city, province and federal that is more than just local planning but things are happening there too. 

 

The developer will argue and the City will agree that no CAC is due because there is no lift in land value. Nothing material has been paid by developers since Helps took office.



#619 spanky123

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Posted 18 June 2021 - 08:06 AM

Why does the DRA hate downtown so much?

 

I think their position is pretty clear. They want the City to follow the OCP, collect the CACs required and ensure that community amenities are actually available to the community. Sounds pretty reasonable for me.



#620 Jackerbie

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Posted 18 June 2021 - 08:07 AM

^ Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm fairly certain 100% rental projects are exempt from CACs as per the Inclusionary Housing Policy
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