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[Downtown Victoria] Centro condos | 54.4m | 19- & 14-storeys | Canceled


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#1 Mike K.

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 10:56 AM

Townline, the same developers behind the Hudson (Bay) redevelopment, have proposed another project in downtown Victoria. The site is located in the 700-block of Pandora and Cormorant streets which is currently occupied by a surface parking lot.

The proposal includes two residential towers, at 15-storeys (42.9 meters and about 5.3:1 density) each, elongated east to west along the property. Between them is an open courtyard that could serve as a retail area and will provide to townhouses attached to the podium of the north tower (townhouses will face onto Cormorant from the north tower as well). The plan is the build the south tower first with surface parking occupying the space of the second tower until it's ready to go.

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#2 Nparker

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 04:27 PM

Are any images around yet for this? Great spot for redevelopment. Will the unused buildings fronting Douglas (old CIBC, old City Hall News) come out and this street side be opened up to the new project? Ideally I think this would be a great benefit, if new attached Douglas Street commericial space could be part of any redevelopment of this lot.

#3 gumgum

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 05:20 PM

This is very exciting!
How many times have I walked through this lot and pleaded with the gods that there might actually be a building here?


#4 G-Man

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 06:34 PM

As far as I know it does not include the buildings on Douglas.

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#5 Baro

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 09:31 PM

I know you don't exactly have a nice scanable picture, but any way you could draw a rough massing on top of that map?
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#6 Rob Randall

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 09:54 PM

This is a rough massing model with City Hall shown in red.


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#7 Nparker

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 11:19 PM

Cool. Such a vast improvement over a dreadful surface parking lot. There is hope for this city yet.

#8 renthefinn

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Posted 14 June 2007 - 08:29 PM

I'm dissapointed, I thought this was the best site in the city for added density and height, getting a couple of 15 storey towers is a complete waste of space, and not sustainable in the long run IMO, at 15 storeys, these are gonna be some pretty expensive pads.

#9 Rob Randall

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 11:19 AM

There will be a public meeting regarding the proposal for a pair of condo towers (dubbed "Centro") on the parking lot between 700 block Pandora and Cormorant Street.

It will be at 7 pm Tuesday June 26 at the Silver Threads Centre, 1728 Douglas Street (directly across from the old Bay building).

Notices have already been sent out to neighbours of the project. If you are interested, please attend. The developer and architect will be there to present their proposal and answer your questions.

The monthly board meeting of the DRA will be held immediately afterward.

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

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#10 Baro

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 09:22 PM

Damn I missed it!!!!!
"beats greezy have baked donut-dough"

#11 renthefinn

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 09:58 PM

So are they still cheaping out with the short buildings?

#12 UrbanRail

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Posted 09 July 2007 - 11:11 AM

Bummer, that would have been a perfect location for a mixed use transportation complex. For some reason, the city (under the very boring Allan Lowe) is pushing the railway out of the city centre. The city cant keep on allowing condos to be built without considering where all the cars are going to go. Other cities are recognizing this, why cant Victoria?

#13 Nparker

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 05:40 PM

Anything new on this proposal?

#14 G-Man

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 06:25 AM

They were taking pictures with the photo blimp at various levels yesterday. I guess we can expect some splashy ads soon.

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#15 Nparker

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 12:08 PM

So that's what that weird blimp was doing yesterday. I am curious to see some development on this proposal.

#16 Rob Randall

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 06:24 AM

The following is a report from the DRA Land Use Committee on the Centro community meeting:

October 11, 2007

On June 26, 2007, the DRA hosted a public meeting regarding an application for 750 Pandora Ave. Dubbed “Centro” by the developer, [url=http://townline.ca/projects/residential/centro.php:0f139]Townline[/url:0f139], the proposal was presented as a 15 storey residential/ground floor retail building with a density of 5.24:1 FSR, 240 units between 480 and 1030 square feet. Mark Whitehead of [url=http://www.mcmparchitects.com:0f139]MCMP architects[/url:0f139] presented the proposal. The design calls for the density to be split between two towers, creating an interior courtyard perpendicular to the existing Rothingham courtyard to the east.

Approximately 16 members of the public attended the meeting, including DRA members, neighbours of the proposal and others. The following concerns and observations were made:

One resident of the Corazon said the massing of this project would block his southerly view.

When asked about the environmental accountability of Centro it was stated that a method similar to that used by Townline’s Hudson project would be used (not LEED registered).

In response to questions of parking and traffic the reply that a small increase in traffic would be noted mainly on Pandora Ave. and that there would be no public parking provided.

In response to a query on seniors’ or subsidized housing it was said that are no suites designated as such.

Concern was expressed over whether existing Douglas Street frontages would eventually open up, creating a view to City Hall. The architect said that would be desirable but it would be up to the property owners.
Comments by members of the Land Use Committee:

It is not certain that the existing social problems and lack of vibrancy will be solved by the addition of more plaza space—especially if there is a chance the new plaza will be dead-ended if the Douglas St. owners decide to retain their street frontages. Serious concerns were raised by several members about the risk that the increased courtyard space would be a ‘white elephant’ and might be better enclosed as it is with The Hudson courtyard. Some felt that the increase in quasi-public space here would exacerbate, not help the plaza’s social problems.

The increase in residential density will certainly bring more people into the area and will be beneficial.

Care will have to be taken so that the Pandora frontage is active, without any excessive setbacks or “dead zones”.

One member felt 19 storeys was too high for this site while another member preferred the 19 storey version, especially if it meant the massing was moved westward, away from Corazon.

A member felt that the mid-block walkway was not well-articulated with landscape features or that it integrated well with the overall design.

Some members felt that due to the ongoing social problems along Cormorant Street, townhouse use would be very problematic and that retail usage would be better for the area.

This is an ambitious project and the success of it would largely appear to depend on matters outside the control of the developer, namely, the future of the Douglas St. properties and whether the walkway and plaza will feel safe and welcoming to pedestrians.

The architect placed a small addition onto the cardboard massing model to represent the buildings approximate appearance under the City’s new height guidelines. We have subsequently learned this would boost the north tower’s height to 19 storeys. The DRA LUC will comment further on this when we see the detailed revised plans. This may help to make the building more slender.

Sincerely,

Robert Randall
Chair, DRA Land Use Committee

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

-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail


#17 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 07:39 AM

Some members felt that due to the ongoing social problems along Cormorant Street, townhouse use would be very problematic and that retail usage would be better for the area.


While I understand this concern, I find it problematic that built form should be determined by social problems. Putting the problems in the driver's seat is like putting the cart before the horse, IMO. It reminds me of the argument that we can't have this or that type of public art because it might get grafitti'd or otherwise vandalized. It just seems less like realism and more like abdicating civilized standards.
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#18 aastra

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 12:14 PM

Good point.

It's like claiming traffic calming measures would be problematic due to ongoing street racing and reckless driving...

#19 G-Man

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 12:23 PM

I think townhouses would be better than dead store fronts. Owners are more willing to call the police and stand up for their property.

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#20 aastra

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 12:28 PM

Yep.

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