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  #161  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2015, 6:43 AM
Simplicity Simplicity is offline
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Thing is, I don't really care how downtown does. I don't have a horse in that race and neither do most people. The only thing that bothers me about our downtown 'revitalization' is that it's not growth driven - it's just engineered demand. And since you need aggregate growth in demand to create a sustainable growth pattern, it becomes concerning when the government - at whichever level - starts decided what's worthy of subsidy and what isn't. As an example, there's no discernible growth in the demand for room nights in this city as evidenced but what the market values a downtown hotel at. So naturally, the new-to-market product immediately gets the advantage. If that advantage comes at the expense of the existing marketplace, you're effectively allowing government to select winners and losers and that's an insidious encroachment of what we've declared to be a free market. Ultimately, that's what creates the holes that Biguc and Esquire are referring to. It's worth paying attention to as a long-run trend. Invariably, the disequilibrium in the market becomes detrimental to the 'losers'.
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  #162  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2015, 1:43 PM
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Everyone in the city has a horse in the race in the form of brand new businesses and homes in the core are cheaper to service than brand new homes skirting the perimeter.
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  #163  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2015, 2:00 PM
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^ Not to mention the terrible image that a forlorn downtown projects to outsiders, including investors. I wouldn't be surprised if there have been cases of people like that who have come to town to put some money down, taken a look around, and moved on.

For better or for worse, downtown's image is Winnipeg's image... so it isn't without significance to people beyond us skyscraper/architecture /urbanism/development geeks.
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  #164  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2015, 2:26 PM
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Everyone in the city has a horse in the race in the form of brand new businesses and homes in the core are cheaper to service than brand new homes skirting the perimeter.
This is easily disputed. Police, fire and paramedic services cost far more in the core than in the suburbs due to poverty and addiction. And those are the three highest cost services the city provides.
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  #165  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2015, 2:51 PM
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This is easily disputed. Police, fire and paramedic services cost far more in the core than in the suburbs due to poverty and addiction. And those are the three highest cost services the city provides.
This is the stupidest post I have read in a long time.
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  #166  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2015, 3:17 PM
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I meant a horse personally. There's no reason downtown development affects me negatively, I should say.

But the point is an interesting one. The issue with it is that, if this is the point we're making for downtown development - that's its cheaper and more contributory to the budget - we do a hell of a good job handing those benefits back to the projects that are ostensibly there to provide them. And we skew the market in the process. That goes especially for the SHED. Who ever said they wanted to live in the SHED? Nobody. It's a construct. And since there's no actual demand driving it, you're forced to labour under the premise that a) of course you need subsidy, and; b) the faint hope that there's a significant enough knock-on effect of one development to organically create another. That's an exceptionally costly way to create a neighbourhood nobody is asking for at the expense of ones you could be making better.

I wouldn't get too caught up in the old 'foreigner investor' trope. Investors follow the returns - their investment decisions aren't guided by whether the city's downtown is presentable. And that's reflective of where the investment has gone. The suburbs have shown the return and there's a ton of foreign capital flowing into those developments. If you want to put the fear of god into an investor, tell him that a market he's looking at is driven by the government whimsically picking and choosing those who receive subsidy. That's downtown at the moment and as long as Centreventure is in the picture.
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  #167  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2015, 3:22 PM
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Downtown megaprojects have probably driven more small businesses under than they've helped along. Portage has seen its small businesses most famously decimated, starting with Portage Place, but Main street has probably suffered the worst, with a string of publicly funded disasters from the civic centre, to the Pan Am Games demolitions, to the more recent WRHA building cutting an organic, small business driven revitalization off at the knees. The reason the exchange is probably doing so well at the moment probably has more to do with CentreVenture leaving the area alone for the last ten years than anything.
This is more feelings than fact. The whole reason Portage Place came to be is because of the waning popularity of downtown.

You can't have one without the other. Some of these projects fail. I think recently we've seen some successes. Im no fan of CentreVenture and would be just as happy to see them gone, but I think some here forget that Winnipeg has never since its post war days really been successful at attracting solely private bussiness to the core, at least not consistently.

I am concerned that our province has become unevenly weighted with big public sector companies... but I'm also happy with what I see and feel downtown these days. People in their 20s and 30s actually want to be downtown. I can count 7 new private establishments within 2 blocks of my old Hargrave apartment that weren't there had I moved in 15 years ago. Maybe I'm not old enough to remember a better time - but there's no mistake that 30 years ago downtown was struggling.
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  #168  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2015, 3:29 PM
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This is the stupidest post I have read in a long time.
Until yours came along, I'll presume.

Why don't you tell us why? Tell us why, in your opinion, that this is 'the stupidest post [you've] read in a long time'. There's no debating that a huge proportion of these services are dedicated to a couple of inner city wards. Any of these professions will tell you that. Crime stat will verify it. If it's so stupid - and you're so confident of that - enlighten us as to how we can ever get to point where being as flippant on the issue as you comes with such certitude. Okay? Let's hear it...

Last edited by Simplicity; Oct 4, 2015 at 3:43 PM.
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  #169  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2015, 3:53 PM
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This is the stupidest post I have read in a long time.
Why exactly? What is incorrect or "stupid" about my post?
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  #170  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2015, 5:10 PM
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I wonder if something is going to be happening soon on the City Place lot (geo tech sample drilling)?

I am looking out my office window and being a Sunday and the lot is empty I see that all the parking lot lights have their u/g wires marked and there are some of the u/g utilities identified on streets around the lot.
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  #171  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2015, 8:54 PM
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I wonder if something is going to be happening soon on the City Place lot (geo tech sample drilling)?

I am looking out my office window and being a Sunday and the lot is empty I see that all the parking lot lights have their u/g wires marked and there are some of the u/g utilities identified on streets around the lot.
I believe the drilling was done back in 2013. Forget which firm did it though.
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  #172  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2015, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by cllew View Post
I wonder if something is going to be happening soon on the City Place lot (geo tech sample drilling)?

I am looking out my office window and being a Sunday and the lot is empty I see that all the parking lot lights have their u/g wires marked and there are some of the u/g utilities identified on streets around the lot.
Not that I'm disputing this but I'd be surpised to see that lot closed down until almost the day before real work is going to start, which is at least 6 months out it seems. That lot is full all the time and makes a killing on event nights.
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  #173  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2015, 11:26 PM
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Why exactly? What is incorrect or "stupid" about my post?
Here's why it's stupid. Because that poverty and addiction you referred to is going to be there regardless. We're going to have to pay the costs of policing and treating it regardless. Now, if a bunch of people move into some new subdivision out by the perimeter, still have those costs in the downtown, plus a whole bundle of new costs to service the subdivision. However, if those people instead chose to move into downtown condos - hardly any new costs at all.

And in fact, if everyone continues to creep into the suburbs, the decay in the inner city gets worse. Those neighbourhoods lose vitality and the people that can't afford to leave them are even worse off. Hence greater costs in helping them.
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  #174  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2015, 11:53 PM
Simplicity Simplicity is offline
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Here's why it's stupid. Because that poverty and addiction you referred to is going to be there regardless. We're going to have to pay the costs of policing and treating it regardless. Now, if a bunch of people move into some new subdivision out by the perimeter, still have those costs in the downtown, plus a whole bundle of new costs to service the subdivision. However, if those people instead chose to move into downtown condos - hardly any new costs at all.

And in fact, if everyone continues to creep into the suburbs, the decay in the inner city gets worse. Those neighbourhoods lose vitality and the people that can't afford to leave them are even worse off. Hence greater costs in helping them.
So, not only are you suggesting that a downtown condo is suitable to everybody's lifestyle ("If only they would try it!"), you're also drawing a causal link between the amount of addiction and poverty within certain ranks to another's preference for suburban living.

LOL. Nailed it.

Let's not get carried away with this stuff. Nobody is solving the sorts of heavily entrenched poverty and the accompanying addiction issues prevalent in these neighbourhoods by deciding to live on Alexander as opposed to Lindenwoods Drive. There's no correlation here at all.
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  #175  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2015, 12:17 AM
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Here's why it's stupid. Because that poverty and addiction you referred to is going to be there regardless. We're going to have to pay the costs of policing and treating it regardless. Now, if a bunch of people move into some new subdivision out by the perimeter, still have those costs in the downtown, plus a whole bundle of new costs to service the subdivision. However, if those people instead chose to move into downtown condos - hardly any new costs at all.

And in fact, if everyone continues to creep into the suburbs, the decay in the inner city gets worse. Those neighbourhoods lose vitality and the people that can't afford to leave them are even worse off. Hence greater costs in helping them.
Honest question for you - Why do you think people are moving to the suburbs in this city?
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  #176  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2015, 12:25 AM
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Not that I'm disputing this but I'd be surpised to see that lot closed down until almost the day before real work is going to start, which is at least 6 months out it seems. That lot is full all the time and makes a killing on event nights.
The lot was open for business but just no cars parked when I looked outside and noticed all the utility markings including the ones in the lot.

Sunday during the day its quiet unless there is something going on early at MTS Center. Not sure how much business the lot gets Sunday nights from the Tavern United or the Shark Club?

If I was going to do exploratory work a Sunday would be the best time not to disturb any paying customers.
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  #177  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2015, 1:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Simplicity View Post
So, not only are you suggesting that a downtown condo is suitable to everybody's lifestyle ("If only they would try it!"), you're also drawing a causal link between the amount of addiction and poverty within certain ranks to another's preference for suburban living.
.
I never said that. You have to stop thinking that if someone suggests more people should live downtown we're somehow saying absolutely everyone must live downtown. It's a strawman argument.

Of course many, hell most, people will still want a big house in a quiet neighbourhood with a big yard. But there are probably some people out there who, given the right circumstances, would consider a central condo instead. The more of those people we can get downtown, the better off everyone is. I don't know why a rational person would rally against this.
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  #178  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2015, 2:32 AM
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The main point (which you're trying to sidestep) is that Riverman claimed downtown neighbourhoods cost us more than the suburbs because of EMS costs associated with poverty/addiction/whatever. My point is that those costs are not associated with downtown per se - they are not a function of urbanism, they're a function of any society that has poverty which is all societies. Here they just happen to be concentrated downtown because that's where we've stuck all our shelters. There's no question that limiting sprawl by encouraging density in the city centre saves us all money in the long run.
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  #179  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2015, 3:10 AM
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^ windypeg is right. Emergency service costs are a different issue. That said, while it would cost less to service a more compact and dense area, I don't think that the difference would be vast. At the end of the day you will still need X number of first responders.
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  #180  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2015, 3:30 AM
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The main point (which you're trying to sidestep) is that Riverman claimed downtown neighbourhoods cost us more than the suburbs because of EMS costs associated with poverty/addiction/whatever. My point is that those costs are not associated with downtown per se - they are not a function of urbanism, they're a function of any society that has poverty which is all societies. Here they just happen to be concentrated downtown because that's where we've stuck all our shelters. There's no question that limiting sprawl by encouraging density in the city centre saves us all money in the long run.
But now we're off topic. It's not stupid to suggest that the city centre has its disproportionate share of costs in places because it does. And it doesn't just house a disproportionate number of frequent flyers because of shelters, it houses most of those same individuals who are living in low rentals and rooming houses and hotels functioning as rooming houses and everything else that goes along with being 'the wrong side of the tracks'. All of this is largely a function of a hollowed out core as people's preferences drove them to the suburbs. And perhaps there's a bit of chicken and egg here, but that's for another day.

I would never argue your main point about density being key to city's more efficient and sustainable development because you're right. But this idea of urbanism as a panacea for everything is becoming oversold. Nobody was claiming a causal relationship between urbanism and a disproportionate consumption of emergency services resources. But apart from a few cities, the poor tend to gather in the core, or what one might consider our more urban landscapes. Not on a cause and effect basis, but only you suggested that. It's a fair point to make that the downtowns most cities know are not the assumed free lunch urbanists would like to contend. And since that's indicative of most people's choices - and we've had this debate before - it's not a meaningful discussion to have when in a city of ~700k people, barely 2% of them live downtown.

This isn't unlike somebody suggesting that emissions are a serious threat and as good stewards of the environment, we should be commuting by bike year round. I mean, yeah, it's a solution; but it's not a practical one when virtually nobody is interested in it. Instead, one might talk about car-pooling as an example. Or as in the development of newer subdivisions, the introduction of 25' and 33' lots which are becoming more and more common - something we haven't seen in probably 50 years. A conversation of minimization is far more productive than a conversation about eradication.
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