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Old Posted May 14, 2019, 9:46 PM
BAKGUY BAKGUY is offline
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Chinatown redevelopment plan 2019

Any thoughts on the proposal to properly redevelop Chinatown? It needs help. Some nice things are The Mandarin, Dynasty buildings and some of the lamp posts and phone booths from the 80's as well as the gardens in from on Dynasty bldg. The rest is bleak.
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Old Posted May 14, 2019, 9:48 PM
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^^ I think it's an important first step to let people know 1) the area hasn't been forgotten and 2) there is the potential for it to develop into a nice little area.
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Old Posted May 14, 2019, 10:33 PM
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Chinatown proposal

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Originally Posted by pspeid View Post
^^ I think it's an important first step to let people know 1) the area hasn't been forgotten and 2) there is the potential for it to develop into a nice little area.
Agreed. It seems forgotten the last 2 decades. Especially since Shanghai was torn down a few years ago and back when Wong's complex burned down, not much happening. So much potential especially for tourism as well as for nearby Exchange residents and locals.Nothing new in shops nor eateries for years now. There are less places now than after the last redevelopment. The timing is ripe for this to happen. Looking forward to it.For sure there will need to be more streetscaping and an incentive to open future businesses catering to those who seek Asian and Chinese foods and goods here rather than on Pembina etc....
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Old Posted May 15, 2019, 4:39 AM
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It's definitely a prime area for redevolopment and restoration.

I mean, the nearby RRC Roblin Campus kickstarted development 15 years ago, but that has slowed down locally after that since.

This plan will be another boost to the area. East Exchange has seen and will continue to grow. The Northwest Exchange time to shine is now.
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Old Posted May 15, 2019, 4:46 AM
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^Are you saying that RRC expansion has slowed down? Because they built the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, and now they're building a big new building immediately north of the Roblin Centre as we speak.

The Boyce Lofts of Ross are almost completely full now, a lot of Skip employees live in there. I'm sure the developers will start looking to do more right around there, this project seems to have been a slam dunk. It's fantastic.

Also, while there's obviously lots of empty lots in Chinatown, the restaurants and shops that are there (and there's quite a few) are busy all the time. That bakery is incredible.

I don't find it that crazy to imagine a fairly quick "turnaround" if we can get one or two solid mixed-use developments in the area. The Dynasty building is designed perfectly from the sidewalk, and most of the units are occupied already. Forthcoming Marketlands developments and somehow getting a better streetfront presence out of 185 King street, would make a huge difference.
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Old Posted May 15, 2019, 12:35 PM
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I'm not that optimistic about Chinatown's prospects because I don't think much of the Chinese community really cares that much. To recent arrivals, what is Chinatown besides a small cluster of restaurants on the edge of a dodgy part of town?

You look at Edmonton and Calgary's Chinatowns and they're small, but they at least have a critical mass and can attract investment. Ours simply doesn't have that.

That said, I do think the area has the potential to build on the Exchange District's success. I would be looking more at younger people and Exchange District workers for growth than I would be towards Chinese immigrants. And I suppose, to buzzg's point, it wouldn't necessarily take all that much to improve the area's feel. One decent new building on the Shanghai Restaurant site (it wouldn't even have to be big... even something three or four storeys) would dramatically alter the empty, windswept void feeling that currently predominates in the area.
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Old Posted May 17, 2019, 12:54 AM
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Some articles about it

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