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  #201  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2017, 4:17 PM
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Originally Posted by esquire View Post
^ Seems to me that the developers are stuck between a rock and a hard place with that site. Apparently there needs to be some kind of new development to make the economics of a restored pump house work, but how do you build anything without obscuring the pump house you're trying to protect in the first place, or annoying the neighbours at Sky?

The stilts were an interesting attempt at working around that issue, but the downside of course was that the proposal ended up looking butt-ugly. So now what?
One of the challenges they'll face with a redesign is the fact they've installed windows on the east and west sides based on disconnected buildings on stilts. Notwithstanding the east piece of land is very tiny - that disconnected building on stilts as rendered looked ridiculously out of place. It was a building for the sake of building for economic purposes.
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  #202  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2017, 4:29 PM
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I don't like the lack of parking thing. Isn't there supposed to be a parkade next door? But I never really was a fan of the stilts building at that particular location.

I do like the UFO on stilts though. Different context I guess.
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  #203  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2017, 4:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bomberjet View Post
I don't like the lack of parking thing. Isn't there supposed to be a parkade next door? But I never really was a fan of the stilts building at that particular location.

I do like the UFO on stilts though. Different context I guess.
I thought there was supposed to be underground parking on the west side.
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  #204  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2017, 4:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Authentic_City View Post
Still, it's pretty frustrating to hear that insufficient parking is one of the objections to the proposal - not to mention the objections of the neighbours. I don't see how any development on this site can avoid these issues.
Planning is necessary and part of planning is planning for parking.
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  #205  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2017, 4:33 PM
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Agreed. Back to the drawing board.
^This.
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  #206  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2017, 5:34 PM
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Parking spaces are not required for new developments downtown. However, the downtown zoning bylaw has a bunch of dimensional standards for whatever parking a developer may wish to add. For example, parking spaces and drive aisles need to be a certain width.

The CBC article on this story is a little misleading, because the dimensional standards of the proposed parking area were insufficient, not the number of parking spaces. Under the bylaw, the developer could provide no parking spaces if they wanted to.

If you read the City’s report, it’s clear their concern isn’t with the number of parking spaces, but with the dimensions of the parking area.

The report also notes that the main variance the planners are concerned with is having no setback on the north side of the property, which they argue would block out too much light and air from the residential building next door.

But I think this is mostly being opposed because the City’s Urban Design Advisory Committee and its Historical Buildings Committee both seem to (rightfully) hate this project because it’s a dark monster that hangs over the sidewalk and blocks the front façade of an important heritage building, in an important neighbourhood. If this wasn’t the case, I’d imagine the City could live with the variances in order to get the project completed.
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  #207  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2017, 6:13 PM
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^Ah interesting info, thanks. I was thinking that the rules for parking were different under the downtown zoning bylaw. Once again, the media doesn't get it quite right.

I think the aesthetic factor is going to be a big issue. If the economics of the project require a residential component, how can this be done given the constraints of the land and the perceived need to protect the facade of the building? I thought the main issue was to preserve the interior elements of the pumphouse. The facade is not all that unique, from what I can see.

Last edited by Authentic_City; Nov 24, 2017 at 6:24 PM.
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  #208  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2017, 9:06 PM
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Originally Posted by esquire View Post
^ Seems to me that the developers are stuck between a rock and a hard place with that site. Apparently there needs to be some kind of new development to make the economics of a restored pump house work, but how do you build anything without obscuring the pump house you're trying to protect in the first place, or annoying the neighbours at Sky?

The stilts were an interesting attempt at working around that issue, but the downside of course was that the proposal ended up looking butt-ugly. So now what?
Well, they shouldn't listen to the neighbours at all. Urbanites who demand suburban treatment are cancerous. As far as the design, there's a reason why nobody has been able to achieve much here, through cost and heritage status, and there's a reason the design is creative yet basic. Money isn't endless.
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Originally Posted by drew View Post
The developer's starchitects helped get them into this mess, so hopefully now they can sharpen their pencils and help get them out of it.
While true, it is a little irritating to hear cities just whimsically deny proposals at developers financial expense. I don't know to what extent the architect has corresponded with the city, but for sites such as these you can bet they've been in talks. To pull a "psych!" at the end seems cheap.

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Originally Posted by wardlow View Post
Parking spaces are not required for new developments downtown. However, the downtown zoning bylaw has a bunch of dimensional standards for whatever parking a developer may wish to add. For example, parking spaces and drive aisles need to be a certain width.

The CBC article on this story is a little misleading, because the dimensional standards of the proposed parking area were insufficient, not the number of parking spaces. Under the bylaw, the developer could provide no parking spaces if they wanted to.

If you read the City’s report, it’s clear their concern isn’t with the number of parking spaces, but with the dimensions of the parking area.

The report also notes that the main variance the planners are concerned with is having no setback on the north side of the property, which they argue would block out too much light and air from the residential building next door.

But I think this is mostly being opposed because the City’s Urban Design Advisory Committee and its Historical Buildings Committee both seem to (rightfully) hate this project because it’s a dark monster that hangs over the sidewalk and blocks the front façade of an important heritage building, in an important neighbourhood. If this wasn’t the case, I’d imagine the City could live with the variances in order to get the project completed.
Still seems petty. I get that people own trucks, but how big do these downtown stalls need to be?
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  #209  
Old Posted Nov 25, 2017, 12:04 AM
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id like to see it move forward different and waterfront is a weird mix of architecture as it is
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  #210  
Old Posted Nov 25, 2017, 9:24 PM
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id like to see it move forward different and waterfront is a weird mix of architecture as it is
That's a good thing IMO. As it's all brand new, if it wasn't mixed, it'd just look like the burbs.

I thought the building proposal was pretty ugly, but I'm confused as to how this is just coming up now, as the plans have been public (and I thought, approved) for a while now. Agreed that the Sky residents' sunlight shouldn't have any impact on this. If you buy a condo next to an empty lot, you're taking the risk that one day it gets developed – it's not up to you what happens there.

And yeah, can someone explain what the elevator shaft has anything to do with this? Why does that matter?

Personally, I don't see any problem with blocking the east side of the Pumphouse from Waterfront. The outside is nothing special, it's the inside that was the big heritage piece here, and that's been completely preserved. You can still see the entire south side wall. It's a building, not a shrine or museum artifact.
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  #211  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2017, 5:10 AM
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I find it unfair at this point to say no to the proposal after they have saved the pump house from certain demolition after 17 years of neglect. It's as if they waited for the Pumphouse to be completed before saying no to the new construction.

The previous proposal was approved by everyone at 20 storys? I remember being in the council chambers watching it be approved notwithstanding a community petition and opposition to the parkade and building.

Perhaps they cancel the eastern building altogether and leave some green space there and build 5 floors higher on the western building. This provides the developer with the number of units required to make project viable while also adding to an economy of scale for the developer and their costs...

This seems fair and I have no issue with a higher building in this location. New creative architecture and design is to be encouraged and there is no reason a zero northern lot line could not be supported...

Planning must embrace creative urban solutions and not be held hostage by a NIMBY. If everyone complained when a new tower was proposed and constructed in Toronto...

This guy took a huge chance on the project and some concessions on the site are warranted..

Last edited by Labroco; Nov 26, 2017 at 5:17 AM. Reason: Typo
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  #212  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2017, 5:08 PM
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^Yup, agreed. I just don't understand how this is coming up now when the project seemed to have full support of the city, BIZ, and CV. Imagine if this same argument about leaving the east facade exposed was used when the RRC Roblin Centre (fka PSC) was being constructed. There's nothing wrong with blending old and new, especially when it results in such a massive net positive.

If people are really worried about the aesthetics here, why has nothing (aside from on SSP) been said, or anyone been held accountable, for the way 92M was finished, different from the plan approved.
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  #213  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2017, 5:38 PM
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theres been allot of opistion behind the scenes from some locals..
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  #214  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2017, 7:11 PM
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The pumphouse feels like a missed opportunity. It Should have been fully restored as a museum or failing that, gutted and made into a market space or a grocery. The large windows all around would have made for a beautiful grocery shopping experience. The big beautiful windows facing waterfront could have added some drama to a beautifully landscaped patio space for a feature cafe at the grocery. The space could also be used for performance art and mini concerts. Put some nice lounge furniture and we could have created an awesome gathering space for residents and visitors to the area... why anyone want to block the pumphouse with stilts and an ugly ass building is beyond me. It's a beautiful building.
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  #215  
Old Posted Nov 27, 2017, 5:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Hecate View Post
The pumphouse feels like a missed opportunity. It Should have been fully restored as a museum or failing that, gutted and made into a market space or a grocery. The large windows all around would have made for a beautiful grocery shopping experience. The big beautiful windows facing waterfront could have added some drama to a beautifully landscaped patio space for a feature cafe at the grocery. The space could also be used for performance art and mini concerts. Put some nice lounge furniture and we could have created an awesome gathering space for residents and visitors to the area... why anyone want to block the pumphouse with stilts and an ugly ass building is beyond me. It's a beautiful building.
The exterior isn’t what makes the pump house famous. It’s the interior. And you wanted to just gut it lol. You should drive by at night and look inside the NEW windows amd see how amazing it looks inside. I’m hands down giving them 10/10 for what they have done inside.
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  #216  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2017, 5:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Hecate View Post
The pumphouse feels like a missed opportunity. It Should have been fully restored as a museum or failing that, gutted and made into a market space or a grocery. The large windows all around would have made for a beautiful grocery shopping experience. The big beautiful windows facing waterfront could have added some drama to a beautifully landscaped patio space for a feature cafe at the grocery. The space could also be used for performance art and mini concerts. Put some nice lounge furniture and we could have created an awesome gathering space for residents and visitors to the area... why anyone want to block the pumphouse with stilts and an ugly ass building is beyond me. It's a beautiful building.
Missed opportunity? The inside was the protected par! What about the whole $$$$ of it all? Are developers just supposed to build neat ideas that make no money just because it checks off an item on the "good neighbourhood" list?

Developers risk a lot on every project, and they're not going to do something that doesn't make money. The neighbourhood isn't nearly dense enough for grocery, and as discussed in the retail thread, grocery is a non-starter across ALL neighbourhoods these days. All grocers have halted expansion, and a little independent guy isn't going to step into a low demand space.

As for the currently proposed aesthetic? Simple... it keeps the original pumphouse in focus, and it achieves a density required to make the parcel profitable. But why is it so square? Because construction is expensive. Considering it's also further down in the exchange, it's not like they can just design something nice and more dense, because the vacancy risk is real.
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  #217  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2017, 6:59 AM
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Crazy how there's just so many grocers chomping at the bit to develop chic stores in The Exchange. I think the proposal is fantastic, but will cede the building on Waterfront could turn out hideous if not done right – I'm full OK with them just enclosing the stilted part – I don't think there's any reason to keep the east wall of the pumphouse exposed, there's nothing special about it.

Like many have said, it's the inside that was the big heritage piece here, and they did an amazing job. If you are worried about the brick, you can see the entire south wall along James anyway.
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  #218  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2017, 4:04 PM
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Saw a quick blurb about the delay EDIT: found the link: http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/m...peal-1.4421019

I was excited to see 23 comments- thought "wow, the community is really engaged here". One was about the project and 22 were about Radulovic's hair.

"... planners further told the developers they saw no value in allowing views of the pumping station from Waterfront Drive by raising the 28-unit structure on stilts. Architect Sasa Radulovic of 5468796 Architecture also said he was surprised to learn the city would allow access to the building's main level. Based on the confusion, the committee voted to hold off on a decision until a special meeting takes place on Dec. 15..."

HUH?? The whole bone of contention was raising the building up to preserve the view of the facade and create a plaza on the corner of James. Where is the disconnect here?

Last edited by Portmanteau; Nov 29, 2017 at 7:35 PM. Reason: Found links/accurate quote
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  #219  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2017, 4:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Hecate View Post
The pumphouse feels like a missed opportunity. It Should have been fully restored as a museum or failing that, gutted and made into a market space or a grocery. The large windows all around would have made for a beautiful grocery shopping experience. The big beautiful windows facing waterfront could have added some drama to a beautifully landscaped patio space for a feature cafe at the grocery. The space could also be used for performance art and mini concerts. Put some nice lounge furniture and we could have created an awesome gathering space for residents and visitors to the area... why anyone want to block the pumphouse with stilts and an ugly ass building is beyond me. It's a beautiful building.
You must be new to this conversation. The cost for remediation to make the building safe FAR outweighed any projected revenue from converting to a museum. The machinery could not be physically removed due to the sheer size. I recall vaguely from a tour (anyone else can correct me if I'm wrong here) but I believe there were purpose-build cranes installed into the beams at ground level for installing the equipment. Those cranes are no longer operational, thus in effect making it impossible to remove the machinery. There was talk of completely filling the space with concrete as a cheaper alternative... but removing it was really never on the table.
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  #220  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2017, 4:50 PM
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Originally Posted by buzzg View Post
^Yup, agreed. I just don't understand how this is coming up now when the project seemed to have full support of the city, BIZ, and CV. Imagine if this same argument about leaving the east facade exposed was used when the RRC Roblin Centre (fka PSC) was being constructed. There's nothing wrong with blending old and new, especially when it results in such a massive net positive.

If people are really worried about the aesthetics here, why has nothing (aside from on SSP) been said, or anyone been held accountable, for the way 92M was finished, different from the plan approved.
Do we know that this project had support from the various AHJ's?

Just because someone releases images of the proposal out to the public doesn't mean that it has passed thru all the various regulatory hoops it needs before it can be constructed.

The involvement of the various city departments (heritage, planning/property) doesn't begin until after an official submission has been made by the developer.

It seems likely that they separated this project into the rehab of the Pumphouse building itself, and then the two buildings on either end. Just because the go-ahead was given for the pumphouse reno, doesn't mean that anything official had been submitted for the (ugly) future phases of the project.
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