Jump to content

      












Photo

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


  • Please log in to reply
203 replies to this topic

#81 Rob Randall

Rob Randall
  • Member
  • 13,241 posts

Posted 06 December 2007 - 03:24 PM

Council voted this morning at Committee of the Whole to move this forward to committees. Councillors Madoff and Young expressed concern about the height and asked what was the rationale behind the building's height.

Madoff thought tall Centro-style developments are better to the east, away from the Douglas corridor.

Madoff didn't like the idea of Advisory Design Panel voting on this version, saying it may not be the most ideal massing. She thought the ADP should be presented with parameters of what could be built there and state whether Centro measured up to that ideal. I think that is the job of Council. I believe this is contrary to what a design panel is mandated to do (act as a peer review of a specific proposed architectural design).

Several Councillors expressed doubt at the idea that the Douglas street frontages would be demolished to make way for the Centro's courtyard view of City Hall.

Fortin thought the towers should be swapped so that the taller tower should be on Cormorant.

Madoff did not like the idea of massing the building in a way that would preserve views from Corazon, saying we should be doing planning based on public views, not private views.

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

-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail


#82 aastra

aastra
  • Member
  • 16,256 posts

Posted 06 December 2007 - 04:51 PM

Madoff thought tall Centro-style developments are better to the east, away from the Douglas corridor.


I agree with her on this basic point (even if I also feel that the Falls is a good height for its site at the south end of Douglas). But I'm confused because didn't she think the Juliet was too tall for Blanshard Street? Or maybe she just thought it was too tall for that particular corner, and wouldn't have had a problem if it were somewhere else on Blanshard? (for example, where that lousy office block is behind the Centro site)

Anyway, the developer could counter by claiming the Centro building IS away from the Douglas corridor. The buildings along Douglas are in the way.

Fortin makes an interesting point. What was his reasoning for swapping the taller one to the other side?

Madoff did not like the idea of massing the building in a way that would preserve views from Corazon, saying we should be doing planning based on public views, not private views.


Did she elaborate? On the surface this comment seems to make no sense. How can you have a public view from several stories in the air in the heart of downtown? Is she thinking of views from government office buildings?

#83 G-Man

G-Man

    Senior Case Officer

  • Moderator
  • 13,166 posts

Posted 06 December 2007 - 05:18 PM

^ If I get what she is saying it might be the single best comment she has ever made.

I think she means that we should not let building design be impacted by the private views in other buildings but instead focus on the public views of the building.

#84 jklymak

jklymak
  • Member
  • 3,514 posts

Posted 06 December 2007 - 05:33 PM

^ I think there should be some sort of balance here. It is a little perverse of the council to approve floor-to-ceiling windows in building A only to drop building B 50 feet from it. Sure, building A's views aren't sacrosanct, but there is a public good to making living in these units desirable. They won't get built if the consumer thinks that council is going to hem them in.

I'd like to see council come up with some sort of guidelines about spacing towers like these. It looks like downtown is heading towards having many more of these, which is great. But some sort of guidelines vis-a-vis how they are going to be laid out would be welcome.

#85 aastra

aastra
  • Member
  • 16,256 posts

Posted 06 December 2007 - 06:44 PM

I think she means that we should not let building design be impacted by the private views in other buildings but instead focus on the public views of the building.


So Madoff is concerned that people on the street might not get a good enough view of Centro? But if she desires great views of it from (for example) Centennial Square, why is she making a fuss about the height? The taller the better, in that case.

#86 Nparker

Nparker
  • Member
  • 26,750 posts

Posted 06 December 2007 - 08:47 PM

So Madoff is concerned that people on the street might not get a good enough view of Centro? But if she desires great views of it from (for example) Centennial Square, why is she making a fuss about the height? The taller the better, in that case.


Ideally any and all future downtown development should be designed in such a way as to block all views of Centennial Square, clearly one of the ugliest blights on the landscape of this city. Perhaps the developers of the Centro could swap out their Cormorant-Pandora lot and build over top of Centennial Square instead. It may be the only way this failed experiment in civic planning finally gets utilized.

#87 aastra

aastra
  • Member
  • 16,256 posts

Posted 06 December 2007 - 08:52 PM

It would be difficult to block views of Centennial Square from even a few floors up. You'd have to throw a sheet over it or something.

#88 gumgum

gumgum
  • Member
  • 7,069 posts

Posted 06 December 2007 - 08:56 PM

^Please do.

#89 Nparker

Nparker
  • Member
  • 26,750 posts

Posted 06 December 2007 - 08:57 PM

It would be difficult to block views of Centennial Square from even a few floors up. You'd have to throw a sheet over it or something.


I'll start sewing my old bed linens together tonight...

#90 gumgum

gumgum
  • Member
  • 7,069 posts

Posted 06 December 2007 - 09:03 PM

Nparker, I'm having a really hard time reading you posts. Change the font will ya?

#91 Nparker

Nparker
  • Member
  • 26,750 posts

Posted 06 December 2007 - 09:43 PM

Nparker, I'm having a really hard time reading you posts. Change the font will ya?


But I like my font...it sets my posts apart...

But I like my font...it sets my posts apart... (for you gum-gum)

#92 Ms. B. Havin

Ms. B. Havin
  • Member
  • 5,052 posts

Posted 06 December 2007 - 09:44 PM

I'll start sewing my old bed linens together tonight...


Hey, now we know who NParker is! Christo, reveal thyself! You've left your mark on Central Park (and many other places), now span your sheets over Victoria!



Actually, do that Reichstag thing with the Fisgard Street parkade while you're at it. That would look really cool...!




Ah well, dream on. But really, sewn-together bedsheets to cover some of the built stuff around here would be a kindness...
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#93 amor de cosmos

amor de cosmos

    BUILD

  • Member
  • 5,372 posts

Posted 08 December 2007 - 09:59 PM

19-storey condo tower planned for Pandora Avenue

Carolyn Heiman, Victoria Times Colonist
Published: Saturday, December 08, 2007

Two condominium towers, including one 19 storeys high, are planned for a downtown parking lot once touted as a location for a new provincial courthouse.

The City of Victoria had earmarked land at 750 Pandora Ave. for office development in a 1994 rezoning, but the current owner of the property, Rick Ilich of Richmond-based developer Townline Group, said the market in Victoria is for condominiums.

"Victoria is not a head-office town and never will be," Ilich said this week. "The projections of a pending shortage of commercial space [are] laughable."

He said increasing residential development in the north end of Victoria will help clean up the area, which in some parts appears seedy.

That CIBC World Markets thing seems to back that up. I don't agree that Victoria will "never" be a head-office town. It the same developer who's doing the Hudson, in case anyone didn't know.

http://www.canada.co...21-88d60a876363

I think i sort of get it now. There's a height limit around the city hall to protect the view from the city hall clock tower. Did I get that right?? :confused: If that's why there's a height restriction around the city hall building, that reason is incorrect.

#94 Ms. B. Havin

Ms. B. Havin
  • Member
  • 5,052 posts

Posted 08 December 2007 - 10:19 PM

AFAIK, there's a circle around the City Hall clock tower (not real, but drawn), within which nothing can be as tall as the clock tower. Beyond the perimeter of that circle, buildings can go higher. Or something like that.

But I have a question about this statement, by Ilich, as quoted in the T-C article:

"The projections of a pending shortage of commercial space [are] laughable."

Can someone parse that for me? Is he saying that we don't have and that we won't ever have a shortage of office space? And what crystal ball is he using? I agree with the head office comment -- even Vancouver isn't a head office town, come to that. But if he's saying that he has definitive insight as to whether or not we will never have an office space shortage, ...well, c'mon, Rick. But I guess it's so reassuring to know that someone has our future all figured out (or that developers can be as blinkered as politicians). PS: I guess I'm peeved by this comment because this is the company that wants to put up a building (Centro) that to my mind is non-descript if modern-looking, but has all the charm of a glass cereal box, and which sticks out mile in a prominent spot, vs. building something with more architectural merit. = View Tower 2.0
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#95 Nparker

Nparker
  • Member
  • 26,750 posts

Posted 09 December 2007 - 01:39 AM

I think i sort of get it now. There's a height limit around the city hall to protect the view from the city hall clock tower. Did I get that right?? :confused: If that's why there's a height restriction around the city hall building, that reason is incorrect.


I find this arbitrary "circle in the sand" rather odd. From just how many locations can one currently view the City Hall clock tower? Maybe 3 or blocks north or south along Douglas Street, and maybe 2 blocks east from the same? I am pretty sure one cannot even see the clock tower from Government Street. It seems to me that by adding two "tallish" residential towers in this location, more citizens of the City of Victoria will now have a view of the clock tower than ever had before. I am not sure what is being preserved by not allowing taller structures within the "sacred" 91-metre circle. Please tell me no one wants to preserve a virew of that awful Fisgard Street parkade , and the total failure that are the "shops st Centennial Square".

#96 Mike K.

Mike K.
  • Administrator
  • 57,761 posts

Posted 09 December 2007 - 10:14 AM

Ms. B. is right. Neither Victoria or Vancouver are head office towns. But what Victoria does have that Vancouver probably never will is sustained office demand for provincial government offices. Now add private business demands and you've got a strong and sustainable office market.

It's odd for a developer who is putting up buildings in between Victoria's newest, and tallest, office towers to make that comment.

#97 aastra

aastra
  • Member
  • 16,256 posts

Posted 09 December 2007 - 07:44 PM

I don't have a lot of confidence in Townline's grasp of the Victoria market.

#98 amor de cosmos

amor de cosmos

    BUILD

  • Member
  • 5,372 posts

Posted 09 December 2007 - 07:59 PM

I don't have a lot of confidence in Townline's grasp of the Victoria market.


The Greater Victoria area was 8th in the country in terms of growth in non-residential building permits, but 22/24 in terms of growth of housing starts, so the Townline guy is right I think.

#99 aastra

aastra
  • Member
  • 16,256 posts

Posted 10 December 2007 - 09:43 AM

It's odd for a developer who is putting up buildings in between Victoria's newest, and tallest, office towers to make that comment.

Then again, maybe that's why he made that comment. His Bay project is already hemmed in on all sides by large office buildings, and now there are two more coming. It might smell like a glut to a newcomer, especially if he doesn't know how old those various existing office buildings are.

#100 Ms. B. Havin

Ms. B. Havin
  • Member
  • 5,052 posts

Posted 10 December 2007 - 04:42 PM

The Greater Victoria area was 8th in the country in terms of growth in non-residential building permits, but 22/24 in terms of growth of housing starts, so the Townline guy is right I think.

I don't understand what those numbers refer to in relation to what? Explain?

8th in non-residential building permits in terms of ...? 8th out of 8, or 8th out of 24? If the latter, that indicates ...what? that we're in the bottom of the top third or top of the middle third of starts? In which case, that's not oversupplying anything, is it? And 22/24 in growth of housing starts -- that indicates what? An undersupply of housing? But where? Downtown (condos?), or Langford/outlying munis, or both (regional)?

I'm not convinced that any of this indicates that Ilich's remark was well-founded.
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

You're not quite at the end of this discussion topic!

Use the page links at the lower-left to go to the next page to read additional posts.
 



0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users