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[Esquimalt] 669 Constance / 658 Admirals condos | 14-storeys | Canceled


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#41 G-Man

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 12:04 PM

^ Come on Vancouver has Jericho sp? I mean that has to be high on the military targets list :)

I agree with your point people are just against something where those that have taken the time to think about a proposal in its current location and its design will more likely be in favour.

I have never seen people at a public hearing say: "I support this building because it is big"

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#42 PandaBaby

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 10:28 AM

Terrorism? Seriously, the people who are complaining already live within spitting distance of the base.

Esquimalt is my hood and I cannot believe how old fashioned some of the people are who live there. The village core needs a major facelift. New towers will help. Esquimalt has so much promise. NIMBYism sucks.

#43 Holden West

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 06:23 PM

Question: Is there a "NIMBY Opposition Theory Generator" that would work on the same laws of probability as the "Condo Slogan Generator" or are these totally different beasts?


I'll try to simplify this for those that are unfamiliar with the technology. The "NIMBY Opposition Theory Generator©™" and the Condo Name Generator™© both use the IBM Blue Gene platform architecture. Both are Expert System (extrapolating solutions using existing knowlege) programs and are the most sophisticated of their type.

The "NIMBY Opposition Theory Generator©™" draws upon a known database of NIMBY complaints as well as potential complaints compiled from all possible combinations of features and attributes.

For instance, if a project is located in a city and has a fountain or water feature these actual complaints might be among those generated:
  • It will attract raccoons
    The homeless will wash their clothes in it
    Drunks will urinate in it

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#44 G-Man

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 07:08 PM

That makes a lot of sense. That would explain why a fourteen storey building downtown close to the harbour would produce "seaplanes will fly into it" and the same building close to the navy base would not produce that result but instead produce "a perfect home for a chinese spy". I knew there was a logical and calculated answer to the responses we see.

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#45 Holden West

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 08:34 PM

This is why such a powerful computer is needed. It has to 'know' that there is no floatplane service in Esquimalt Harbour and that small military ships in the Inner Harbour are rare and un-noteworthy. It's a very complex algorithm.

In complex situations, the program defaults to basic statements like, "It's against the plan" or "I moved here to get away from this type of thing".
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#46 sleepymum

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 02:56 PM

This one was approved in....December maybe? Maybe late November? I don't think many adjustments were made to the original drawings. It passed at 14 stories.

www.pembertonholmes.com/upload/image/640x480/117078159161388310.jpg

#47 sleepymum

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 03:13 PM

Oops, first day and I'm already mixed up...sorry.

I gather these guys haven't gone back yet for 4th reading....I hear they are still getting the finances together...

#48 aastra

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 03:40 PM

What do you think of it? I have to say, that image doesn't exactly thrill me. Too wide and not doing much in the style department to earn that extra height.

#49 Mike K.

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 04:06 PM

It almost looks as though that rendering shows two faces of the building.

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#50 Mike K.

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 05:24 PM

...at least I'm hoping it only appears that wide because of a lack of perspective in the architectural plan. Not that it makes the design any more palatable. In fact this proposal wreaks of a flip.

Here's what I think I'm seeing:




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#51 Mike K.

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 01:05 PM

So the rendering above was misleading. The tower does appear to be angled (a "V" shape, perhaps) as per this rendering courtesy of Praxis and Yellowsheet.


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#52 aastra

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 04:06 PM

That looks quite decent.

#53 Smarties

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 06:47 PM

Hi there - I just happened to stumble on this and I think that all of your discussions are very interesting.

Living in the Esquimalt area, let me give you some background that will further help your understanding at why the neighbourhood is a little more than annoyed at what's going on.

When the Constance Tower was being proposed, many of the neighbours in the area only heard of it by happenstance. Surprised, a bunch of us decided to find out what was going on. We were quite shocked at the developer's attitude at the height reasoning. His condescending tone was that they were doing the community a favour. In fact, one of the reasons why the legion had so much support was that the developer said that if the Constance Tower went through, then they would buy the legion property and build them a new legion (we heard this from a few legion members). So, naturally, the push was on to get as much support as possible from legion members.

At present, the Constance Tower has not progressed. It could be financing; however, as one other poster mentioned, we also feel that he's going to flip the property and sell it to another developer.

That leaves me to the Legion Tower - proposed is 20 stories that will encompass veterans housing, a legion, retail and commercial. In this particular building, there will be approximately 250 units - the developer mentioned the legion may get 10 units for veterans housing (as part of their deal) along with a new legion. The rest of the condo units will be sold. At the APC meeting, it was made abundantly clear that the developer is trying to push this through quickly. There were many questions and a lot of people speaking. Interestingly, some legion members that were at that meeting opposed the development. A 14-storey building down the street and now a 20-storey building? The developer kept insisting that there was no profit in a building less than 20 storeys and got quite defensive when asked about reducing the height. The OCP was mentioned and that created some discussion, but the developer kept insisting it was 20-stories that would ensure his profit. Hmm...there was a quick calculation done and if he sold 230 at approximately $400,000 each, that was $92 million dollars. If it costs about $80 million, that leaves a $12 million profit - pretty good!

In the end, the developer was sent back with a list of provisions they must submit, including a new facade - as one member of the committee pointed out, the building looked like it was helicoptered in from the 1960's (ugly).

So, in light of Constance Tower being approved (mostly), we worry that that whole strip of Admirals will contain high rise buildings (and can we think of View Towers here??). Not only will it cast a great shadowing on a LOT of the area, but yeah, my whole water view will be gone. But as much as I enjoy my water view and purchased my home because of it, I don't own it...begs the question of NIMBY again. I wonder...would people feel the same if the OCP is changed to accommodate higher density buildings all over Esquiimalt? If folks don't fight for what they feel is right, then those who don't care now will be fighting for the same thing later on when it moves into their back yard.

I look forward to reading more about the development and welcome any other information that anyone has to offer.

Thanks!

#54 aastra

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 08:14 PM

It's an area away from downtown that has no historical precedent for midrise buildings, let alone highrise buildings. I don't think the "NIMBY" dismissal has much validity in this case, but that's just me.

Also, they're building profitable midrise buildings on Dockside Green and in other areas of Victoria so I don't see why a profitable midrise or junior highrise (~9-12 stories or so) couldn't work in Esquimalt. As proposed, these buildings are too tall for Esquimalt.

#55 Caramia

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 10:33 PM

I am for higher buildings in the downtown core (outside old town) and in the neighbourhood centres, but that doesn't stretch to every block of the city. In fact the reason I favour high rise densification in the nodes is so that it isn't necessary to coat the entire city in 6-10 story buildings, and so that the grain of the neighbourhoods can remain.

So yeah, I see your point on this one.

#56 aastra

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 10:59 PM

A couple of 10-story residential buildings have been standing on Beach Drive in Oak Bay for a few decades now. I think two or three buildings of that approximate height could be a good fit on the other side of town in Esquimalt. But twice as tall as that? It's not working for me.

#57 G-Man

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 07:34 AM

So is the project 20 storeys or 14 as the thread title states.

I would be for something in the 10 - 12 storey range but agree 20 storeys is too high to start out with. Perhaps 20 years from now when the density has increased and there are a few buildings that are taller than the current stock it may be ok but even then.

#58 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 11:12 PM

^ How do you work that out in terms of land use values, though (just to play devil's advocate here)? Esquimalt isn't that significantly(*) cheaper (lower land use values) than Victoria's downtown (i.e. (*) significant enough to justify a 20 floor height d/t and half that in Esquimalt, eg.)...

I'm not saying that I think Esquimalt should get decked out in 20 storey buildings. I'm just wondering about zoning, and about what makes restrictive zoning rational --other than aesthetic reasons (as given, above).

If it's market-only, you can put 35-storey buildings in Colwood ...oh, um, wait. That's happening, right? Ok, put 20-storey buildings in Esquimalt.

But if it's feelings- and aesthetics-driven, you can restrict the height in some areas. Or, as has happened for so many years, restrict it throughout Victoria -- and even let height restriction become a platform for some political candidates.

What's the rational argument, one that satisfies the economists and the aestheticians, on prescribing height rules?
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#59 Caramia

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 01:45 AM

I always thought Christaller's central place theory was elegant - and I suppose that is at the back of my mind when I imagine where the nodes should be, and how dense each one should be.

#60 Smarties

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 10:21 AM

With respect to the height discussion here, the OCP (which was adopted in 2007) indicated that in this particular area, 10 stories would be the maximum height. I'm assuming that with input from the Esquimalt Community, this number was felt to be a viable height due to the area, the surrounding buildings and the fact that this is a corridor area. Although there are apartment buildings along this area, I don't believe they rise more than 6 or 7 stories. There are new duplexes along there as well, which would look really out of place if the corridor sprung up high rises in excess of what the by-laws (and OCP) states.

When the owners of the new duplexes first heard about proposed Constance Tower and attended the council meetings, one comment echoed for me, which was given from a distraught owner. He said, "this isn't just an investment for me. This is my home. I can't afford to sell and move away. I've put everything I have into my home and to move away would be devasating to me and my family." To hear this makes me realize that although the NIMBY argument is always first on everyone's minds, we have to realize that hard-working folks bought these homes with the assumption that they'd have a nice neighbourhood to live in for themselves and their families. Traffic along Admirals Road can be harried at most times (especially in the mornings and late afternoons), I can understand my neighbour's concerns since he has young children.

I can also understand the developer wanting to make the most profit from any development. However, to do so at the blatant disregard of what's already been approved and adopted by the community (namely the OCP and the by-laws) makes me a bit nervous and frustrated. I mean, on one hand, the developer is saying that his is abiding by the rules by ensuring homes in the 150 foot range get notices about the development (as per the rules), but on the other hand, is breaking the rules by proposing a development that contravenes the OCP's height allowances. Either you play by the rules all the way or not at all...

Also, one thing that was noticed in the last committee meeting was that the developer was very condascending to those speaking against the development, something that one committee member said, "doesn't instill a good level of trust." If a developer is really wanting to move into the community, to build a building such as this, I would think that he'd do some research, get to know the community, what's already there, and get a feel for what would look the best in the area he's proposing to develop. There's an unfinished building site down farther on Esquimalt Road (close to dockyard) that's for sale. I can see putting up a higher building there, as it's a better suited area for that. I wonder why that wasn't taken into consideration?

With developers not able to finish their projects, I am scared that the devleoper won't be able to get this buildng off the ground and the legion will stuck in the middle of all of this. They need a new building, that is true, but not at their expense because a developer is just seeing the dollar signs flying around.

For anyone interested, there will be another APC meeting on July 15 at 7pm at the City Hall in Esquimalt. If anyone wants to attend, please do. It will give you a good idea of what's going on. Come and drive down Admirals Road and get a sense of what's there, then imagine two high rise condos - one by the Naden gates, the other at the other end of the street close to Esquimalt. If these both get built, it will open the door for that whole area to be covered in high rises. Then, after about 10 years, lets see how nice that areas looks. I'm thinking View Towers...

 



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