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[Fairfield] Christ Church Cathedral lands redevelopment | Residential; commercial


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#1 Citified.ca

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Posted 14 November 2023 - 08:33 AM

Victoria's-Christ-Church-Cathedral-precinct-eyed-for-redevelopment-to-offset-seismic,-heritage-restoration-costs.jpg

 

Four development scenarios have been proposed, all totalling approximately 200 units of residential density.

 

Here are scenarios with the tallest tower on Rockland, and the shortest, but the shortest also has a 14-storey tower on Vancouver at Burdett.

 

cathedral-23-storey-massing.jpg

 

cathedral-11-storey-massing.jpg

 

Victoria's Christ Church Cathedral precinct eyed for redevelopment to offset seismic, heritage restoration costs

https://victoria.cit...toration-costs/


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#2 Nparker

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Posted 14 November 2023 - 08:54 AM

The proposal with the tallest tower feels less cluttered and likely retains the greater amount of greenspace and openness on the site.



#3 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 14 November 2023 - 08:59 AM

Revenue from new development would help fund approximately $50 million in seismic and heritage restoration work required at the site, planning documents state.

 

 

OK, they need $50 million.

 

I don't know about this proposal.



#4 aastra

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Posted 14 November 2023 - 11:58 AM

If the cathedral district was ever truly and sincerely valued by anyone in the CoV then methinks it would have made much more sense to allow reasonably-scaled development on properties in the vicinity and then build up a fund over time (decades) which could have been applied to cathedral maintenance and repairs today.

 

Example: Chard's Escher building could have been a tall highrise, instead of putting a tall highrise right beside the church building itself. That modern brick office building between Fort and Meares could have been a highrise. Remind me: isn't there an effort underway as we speak to resist the highrise proposal for the BC Power Co. building? (because you gotta defend that Humboldt Valley/Cathedral District against the scourge of highrises, don't ya know)

 

Everything comes around. Every pretense will be destroyed.



#5 aastra

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Posted 14 November 2023 - 12:17 PM

Residential development adjacent to the UBC School of Theology (Iona building) went with a conservatively modern look but with stone (or stone-like) cladding as an homage to the old building. But on the highrise around back that cladding was used much more sparingly (just on the podium levels, it seems, no higher than ~5th floor) as compared to on the lowrise buildings on either side. I'd say the lowrises look better and ultimately work better than the highrise does.

Pic 1...

 

Pic 2...

 

Pic 3...

 

For the record, I would personally derive much enjoyment from living in a unit that had a direct view of buildings such as these. It would be like having a direct view of the restored HBC building. But I'm just saying this kind of development could easily go in a bad way.

The highrise building behind UBC's theology building is called "Corus"...

 

 

A singular tower, a higher place, with a generous use of exterior granite adding a sense of permanence, integrating materials to echo the stunning Iona building, all while retaining a sense of individual identity. Corus features spacious homes on 13 floors, and modern yet timeless architecture by Hancock Bruckner Eng. And Wright.


Edited by aastra, 14 November 2023 - 12:28 PM.


#6 Nparker

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Posted 14 November 2023 - 12:28 PM

...methinks it would have made much more sense to allow reasonably-scaled development on properties in the vicinity and then build up a fund over time (decades) which could have been applied to cathedral maintenance and repairs today..

If CCC does not own the properties in the vicinity of the cathedral site, how would they benefit from a fund financed by the development of these properties? Are you suggesting other property owners/developers should have paid for the maintenance and repairs to the cathedral? While CCC is certainly a lovely building, I don't see how it is the responsibility of anyone but the Anglican Church and its members to fund its continued existence. Does CCC even pay property taxes on their land?



#7 CedarSam

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Posted 14 November 2023 - 12:42 PM

I guess that's one way to generate capital and ongoing income, but is it a church if it has money and no parishioners? The buildings may survive, but a church is not a building, it's the people. Will there be anyone left by the time they recoup their investment? It is estimated that the Anglican church in Canada will be gone by 2040, and probably sooner in BC. Perhaps they are thinking of setting things up so at least the cathedral can be maintained as a historic site. Perhaps that's better than just waiting until the only option is to knock it down and sell the land. It's a pity to overshadow that landmark with condo towers, though. They prohibit that in Cologne and probably other European cities as well.

 


Edited by CedarSam, 14 November 2023 - 12:43 PM.


#8 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 14 November 2023 - 12:44 PM

Lots of churches are converted to other uses. Can’t this one be?
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#9 aastra

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Posted 14 November 2023 - 12:51 PM

We claim we set up uber-strict rules to preserve and protect not just the precious old building but also its precious district, and yet when you get right down to it the last thing we really want to do is preserve and protect the precious old building or its precious district. So if the building falls apart or its immediate surroundings decline (or get "declined" on purpose), then what was the point of the strict rules in the first place? It's all just more fake politics. Nobody actually gives a damn, nor did they ever.

 

 

Are you suggesting other property owners/developers should have paid for the maintenance and repairs to the cathedral?

 

I'm saying recent new developments could have chipped in, for sure. Instead of forked-tongue policies which restrict development in a particular district in order to "protect and preserve" that district (but not really, because there is no truth in politics and nobody ever actually means what they say), it could have easily worked the other way. Development could have been taken advantage of in order to actually protect and preserve the notable elements, and -- you know -- forestall the necessity of building frickin' highrise buildings on the very property we claimed we were trying to defend from highrise buildings.

 

Are the special and notable things that we desperately want to preserve really so special and notable? Do we really want to preserve those things? Then I can't think of a better kind of urban amenity fund than this.

 

Here's the thing: you build an upscale new residential development in the vicinity of something notable because that notable something is what justifies the existence of the upscale residential development in the first place. The relationship between those elements should be obvious. It's not as if we're talking about random coincidences here.



#10 Nparker

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Posted 14 November 2023 - 12:57 PM

Perhaps CCC should have put the money they were not paying for property taxes over the past 150 years into a fund for future repairs and maintenance.



#11 aastra

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Posted 14 November 2023 - 01:08 PM

It's easy to say "screw 'em" when it's somebody else's property, but (spoiler alert) that's exactly why people continue to get taken advantage of by governments and their politicians. Most of the good things about downtown Victoria and the old city neighbourhoods = somebody else's property. If we don't care about the elements that make our communities interesting and/or pleasant and/or special then the snakes will eagerly oblige us. "Why should that landmark 130-year-old house get special treatment as if it were somehow more special than your McMansion? You don't own that other house, right? So therefore there's no difference to you whether it gets restored or burns, right?"*

 

 *wrong, they're trying to trick you by appealing to your selfishness

 

I've said it many times before on this board that I would gladly chip in my own money (or Mike K.'s money) to make a good thing happen here or there. If we're claiming we don't care about the future of the cathedral building itself while also claiming that we do care about the cathedral district then we're complete frauds. We're liars. We deserve everything that we get and everything that they do to us.



#12 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 14 November 2023 - 01:10 PM

They already get a property tax break.

Not sure that the general public should supply more.
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#13 aastra

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Posted 14 November 2023 - 01:21 PM

But do you understand my point about the relationship between new developments and the established elements which justify the new developments in their vicinity? It's senseless to suppose these things exist in isolation from one another.

 

In Victoria in particular, with its appalling track record re: preserving and restoring its heritage and other notable attributes, this stuff should be so clear. How many times do people want to get burned? It's as if we're determined to get burned more times than our parents got burned.



#14 aastra

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Posted 14 November 2023 - 01:25 PM

 

Not sure that the general public should supply more.

 

But wouldn't "the general public" be "supplying more" by allowing a highrise on a Fairfield neighbourhood property? (the first highrise ever on a Fairfield neighbourhood property, for those keeping score)



#15 aastra

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Posted 14 November 2023 - 01:26 PM

 

the first highrise ever on a Fairfield neighbourhood property, for those keeping score

 

But of course it would be the first highrise ever in Fairfield! We desperately want to protect the cathedral district from the scourge of highrises, you dummy!



#16 aastra

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Posted 14 November 2023 - 01:27 PM

Etc.



#17 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 14 November 2023 - 01:31 PM

I’m really not sure. If the Empress Hotel said they needed $50 million for upgrades, so they want a 23 storey condo tower on the southwest lawn, would we say OK?

Edited by Victoria Watcher, 14 November 2023 - 01:32 PM.


#18 aastra

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Posted 14 November 2023 - 01:36 PM

Anyway, we're all rabid pro-development fanboys on this board so I'll switch gears now and say if they hire the right architects and go "all in" they could do some good work on that block. It seems like it would be a pretty unique opportunity. Methinks the overall scene is actually quite disjointed as is.



#19 Vin

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Posted 14 November 2023 - 01:39 PM

Definitely prefer the second option. Christ Church would look tacky when the taller modern tower is built behind it. Love the compactness of the lower towers for option 2.


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#20 aastra

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Posted 14 November 2023 - 01:43 PM

 

I’m really not sure. If the Empress Hotel said they needed $50 million for upgrades, so they want a 23 storey condo tower on the southwest lawn, would we say OK?

 

Remember the Rogers' cabinets controversy? Some commentators expressed the opinion that alterations to the cabinets should not be allowed and Victoria's heritage should be preserved at all costs, even if it caused Rogers' to relocate their store. Heritage, history, tradition, the status quo... gotta preserve that.



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