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Haliguy Nov 14, 2008 2:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Empire (Post 3910312)
It's too bad Rodney doesn't understand the issues. Saying development is being help up by this little project is off base. The Birks site is ideal for a development to blend the facade of the Dennis building into a modern tower. Sites like this need to be allowed more height. If the site is in a viewplane and the view is already blocked then more height should be allowed. Building on the Waterside site permanently eliminates that site from becoming part of historic properties.

Actually I think he understands the issue very well and I believe he is doing the right thing.

Empire Nov 14, 2008 4:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sdm (Post 3910843)
I believe rodney understands the issues very clearly. This is first contract development for an office building in downtown Halifax in over 20 years.

If he understood the issue he would have been on the ball well before one little project rode into town to create a finincial sector. HRM by Design is supposed to create a positive climate for office development but the prov gov couldn't be bothered to run it through the house before summer vacation. In addition the prov gov could come up with some initiatives or incentives on their own to spur on office development but what have they done?.

spaustin Nov 14, 2008 5:04 PM

Rodney's opinion may be moot in any case. If the URB hearing for this doesn't happen until the late Spring, there is a very good chance it'll be premier Dexter left as intervenor! (there will be a budget this Spring which will give the opposition a chance to topple the government and the Liberals aren't as likely to cower this time around) If that ends up being the case that would make this circus nice and complete.

sdm Nov 14, 2008 5:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spaustin (Post 3911861)
Rodney's opinion may be moot in any case. If the URB hearing for this doesn't happen until the late Spring, there is a very good chance it'll be premier Dexter left as intervenor! (there will be a budget this Spring which will give the opposition a chance to topple the government and the Liberals aren't as likely to cower this time around) If that ends up being the case that would make this circus nice and complete.

According to the media the hearing could begin before the end of this year.

Haliguy Nov 14, 2008 5:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spaustin (Post 3911861)
Rodney's opinion may be moot in any case. If the URB hearing for this doesn't happen until the late Spring, there is a very good chance it'll be premier Dexter left as intervenor! (there will be a budget this Spring which will give the opposition a chance to topple the government and the Liberals aren't as likely to cower this time around) If that ends up being the case that would make this circus nice and complete.

Premier Dexter...run for the hills if that happens.

spaustin Nov 14, 2008 5:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sdm (Post 3911921)
According to the media the hearing could begin before the end of this year.

The last I read HRM was seeking to delay until into the new year because staff are going on Christmas vacation (it's next to impossible to get anything done in government in either August or December).

Edit: The story is posted on page 24.

sdm Nov 14, 2008 8:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spaustin (Post 3911947)
The last I read HRM was seeking to delay until into the new year because staff are going on Christmas vacation (it's next to impossible to get anything done in government in either August or December).

Edit: The story is posted on page 24.

Well i believe they have to set the dates, however even if they started the first of year it would be concluded well before an election call.

sdm Nov 15, 2008 3:48 PM

Premier watching project appeal
MacDonald wants downtown Halifax development to go ahead
By AMY SMITH Provincial Reporter
Sat. Nov 15 - 5:39 AM
Premier Rodney MacDonald is signalling that the Utility and Review Board may not have the final say on whether a downtown Halifax development project goes ahead.

Mr. MacDonald told reporters Friday he is still considering his options about the proposed nine-storey Waterside Centre, which was rejected by Halifax regional council last month. The developer, Armour Group, plans to appeal the decision with the review board, an arm’s-length quasi-judicial body.

"I have been presented with options and I’m not closing the door on using those options," the premier said at Province House on Friday.

Mr. MacDonald said the province will let the review board process go forward first and will seek intervener status in the appeal.

"We’ll see what happens as a result of that."

Two days after council re-jected the proposal to develop the block bordered by Duke, Hollis and Upper Water streets, Mr. MacDonald said his government would do "everything we can" to see the development move forward, and suggested regulation and legislation were possibilities.

Opposition Leader Darrell Dexter said Friday it would be "extraordinarily inappropriate" for the premier to threaten to overrule a decision of the review board.

"What message does it send to all of those people out there, all of those developers who have projects? Is he saying, ‘Look, don’t bother going to council. Come to me. I will decide whether your project is worthy of going forward,’ " Mr. Dexter told reporters at the legislature.

He said the province either has faith in the board or it doesn’t.

Last week, the premier said there was nothing his government could do about the board’s approval of Nova Scotia Power’s request for a rate increase of 9.4 per cent.

Mr. Dexter said it’s obvious the premier is considering weighing in on the issue because he thinks he can gain some political ground by opposing council’s decision.

Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly said the MacDonald government should stick to provincial matters. He said the premier should not try to undermine decisions made by council.

"If you always have a hammer hanging over you, it is one of concern," Mr. Kelly said.

On Friday, Mr. MacDonald also said he thinks there should be a way to make sure there aren’t tie votes at the municipal level, an issue he plans to discuss with the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities. It was a 9-9 vote that resulted in the rejection of the Waterside Centre project.

"In my mind, a tie vote is wrong," the premier said. "It does not give a clear decision one way or the other."

Liberal MLA Diana Whalen said HRM By Design, a design plan for Halifax’s downtown core, is now before the legislature and it’s not the time for the government to start changing the ground rules for municipal government.

"That’s really what he is proposing if he doesn’t like tied votes," she said.

spaustin Nov 17, 2008 5:02 PM

Rodney had his two cents, now it's Dexter's turn.



Developing our downtowns

By DARRELL DEXTER New Democratic Party
Mon. Nov 17 - 5:27 AM

DARRELL DEXTER



Most Nova Scotians live in smaller urban centres and communities outside downtown Halifax. They must be baffled by Rodney MacDonald’s sudden interest in office developments in Halifax’s downtown. Suddenly a single project has become a major preoccupation for the premier.

The Waterside, a combination of historic facades and modern office tower, stalled earlier this fall when a Halifax regional council vote ended in a tie. Six other projects have a green light to proceed. Rodney MacDonald has said he wants to take the unusual step of intervening in a development appeal to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, even against the wishes of the developer.

Perhaps the premier has developed a passion for architecture. More likely, he is trying to pretend that he alone is in favour of downtown development.

The problem is that provincial politics have not (at least until now) been blocking downtown development. In fact, the premier is sending all the wrong messages, essentially saying to developers that they should seek his approval, not council’s, when it comes to new projects.

If the premier is so concerned about a lack of class A office space in downtown Halifax, there are a number of steps he could take:

— speed up the lease or sale of waterfront property owned by the province, for approved developments. I was very surprised when the MacDonald government decided to complicate and delay the waterfront development process.

— open up discussions about the future of the Joe Howe building, a central downtown office tower badly in need of updates that the province will soon be forced to take over because of a very expensive deal signed by a former Conservative government.

— give Halifax Regional Municipality clear authority and the heritage property protections it has requested, to complete a foreword-looking downtown plan that is being prepared with wide public participation. As the former chairman of the Dartmouth Downtown Development Corp., and as someone who has heard from many mayors and municipal officials about their development goals, I know that government can create a framework that fosters development. I also know that political interference will almost always backfire.

The Conservatives had an opportunity to show just how pro-development they are last spring, when laws allowing Halifax to enact HRM by Design, and a companion amendment to the Heritage Property Act, went to the legislature. HRM by Design is a more streamlined approach that balances development and heritage protection.

The MacDonald Conservatives dragged their feet and then abruptly ended the legislative session, instead of bringing those laws forward for debate. I hope the delay was not intended to let Rodney MacDonald stage a phoney battle this fall, avoiding the decisions he should take to foster needed development.

In a rational world, the laws requested by Halifax regional council will soon be voted upon and very likely approved by the provincial legislature. Nova Scotians look to their representatives for real decisions, not pretence and positioning that get in the way of the progress that citizens expect.

Empire Nov 17, 2008 7:17 PM

I will repeat that "Rodney simply does not understand the issues" and this entire ploy of being pro development will backfire. All of his suggestions of moving forward with this development undermine the entire municipal process. He is trying to gain political points without doing homework or taking any responsibility for the state of the union. His actions are a massive cop-out!

Haliguy Nov 17, 2008 7:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Empire (Post 3917627)
I will repeat that "Rodney simply does not understand the issues" and this entire ploy of being pro development will backfire. All of his suggestions of moving forward with this development undermine the entire municipal process. He is trying to gain political points without doing homework or taking any responsibility for the state of the union. His actions are a massive cop-out!

Actually after reading his column I don't think Mr. Dexter understands the issues.

worldlyhaligonian Nov 17, 2008 9:54 PM

At the end of the day the blame really falls on our terrible city council, especially in this case.

Haliguy Nov 17, 2008 10:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by worldlyhaligonian (Post 3917981)
At the end of the day the blame really falls on our terrible city council, especially in this case.

Agreed...

phrenic Nov 17, 2008 10:17 PM

A good piece by Dexter. Partisan, of course, but he makes good points.

Quote:

Originally Posted by worldlyhaligonian (Post 3917981)
At the end of the day the blame really falls on our terrible city council, especially in this case.

Double agreed.

Dmajackson Nov 17, 2008 11:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by worldlyhaligonian (Post 3917981)
At the end of the day the blame really falls on our terrible city council, especially in this case.

Triple agreed. Hopefully this new council smartens up and makes Halifax look good. :yes:

Keith P. Nov 18, 2008 12:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bedford_DJ (Post 3918230)
Triple agreed. Hopefully this new council smartens up and makes Halifax look good. :yes:


Don't hold your breath. :(

sdm Nov 21, 2008 11:15 AM

Heritage Trust to intervene in Armour Group’s development appeal

By AMY PUGSLEY FRASER City Hall Reporter
Fri. Nov 21 - 5:51 AM
The heritage versus development fight continues in downtown Halifax.

The Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia will intervene in an appeal against the rejection of a downtown office tower proposal involving four historic buildings.

A lawyer for the trust appeared Thursday at the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board during a hearing to set appeal dates in January and February.

The Armour Group is appealing city hall’s rejection of its Waterside Centre for the corner of Duke, Upper Water and Hollis streets.

Last month, councillors deadlocked in a 9-9 vote when it came time to vote on the project. That resulted in rejection of the development, a six-storey glass office tower.

Armour Group chairman Ben McCrea initially said he wouldn’t appeal and immediately launched the one-year process to demolish the four heritage properties.

But company president Dave MacIsaac later said that public backlash against council’s decision turned that thinking around.

Mr. McCrea has said that he will oppose any interveners in the hearing, including Heritage Trust and the Province of Nova Scotia.

"Why would we continue with an appeal if it continues to be a circus?" he said in a recent interview. But Armour Group lawyer Rob Grant stopped short of confirming that the developer would oppose the intervention of Heritage Trust at the hearings.

"That’s something I need instructions on," he told the three-member board panel Thursday.

The trust galvanized opposition to the project by collecting 693 names in a petition-signing blitz on a summer holiday weekend.

It also distributed a list of recommendations and organized a massive turnout for council’s public hearing.

The group’s lawyer, David Wallbridge, has argued against some of the proposed hearing dates, saying they conflicted with dates when principal lawyer Ron Pink was scheduled to be out of town.

But under legislation that took effect Aug. 12, a hearing must begin within 45 days of the filing of the appeal record, unless all parties agree to start later or the board determines a change is needed in the interests of justice.

"In the past, the board has been fairly accommodating . . . but I think the ability to do that has been taken away by the legislation," Mr. Gurnham said.

"There are lots of lawyers at HRM and we’d be glad to see another one. Sorry, there’s no way around it. That’s the new rule."

Premier Rodney MacDonald has said city hall made the "wrong decision" about the development and wants the province to apply for intervener status.

A lawyer from the attorney general’s department was present during Thursday’s session at board offices. But he appeared in an unofficial capacity, sitting in the public gallery and taking notes.

( apugsley@herald.ca)

Dmajackson Nov 21, 2008 8:22 PM

HRM has set up a public information session for the demolition of the rest of the block. This includes the Shaw, Harrington and Fishwick buildings.

December 10, 2008 @ 7:00pm @ City Hall

spaustin Nov 27, 2008 5:27 PM

The public session into the demolition of the block has been bumped to the New Year.


Public comment sought on plans

By AMY PUGSLEY FRASER City Hall Reporter
Thu. Nov 27 - 4:47 AM
City hall’s heritage committee wants public feedback on a developer’s plans to demolish a trio of historic properties in downtown Halifax.

"This follows HRM’s public process for heritage demolitions," heritage planner Maggie Holm said Wednesday at city hall about Armour Group’s application to demolish municipally registered buildings it owns on the corner of Duke and Hollis streets.

It’s only the second time since the policy was put in place in 1999 that the city has had to hold such a hearing, she said as a heritage committee meeting was about to begin.

The first one was for the old Kelly building on Granville Street, and about 30 or 40 people turned out, she recalled.

When the owner of a municipally registered heritage building applies for a permit for demolition, there is an automatic one-year waiting period.

The municipality would like to increase that to two years.

"It’s something that HRM has asked for but it would require change to provincial legislation," she said, referring to the Provincial Heritage Act.

The public meeting was meant to take place in two weeks’ time but it will likely be delayed until January because an application involving a fourth building in the same city block is in flux, she says.

The buildings that will be discussed at the meeting include the Harrington (MacDonald-Briggs) Building at 1865 Hollis-1866 Upper Water Street; the Shaw Building, 1859 Hollis St.; and the Fishwick Building, at 1861-1863 Hollis St.

The Armour Group applied for demolition permits within days of council’s rejection Oct. 21 of a new project for the site.

That means the buildings will stand until at least next October.

In the meantime, Armour Group is appealing council’s rejection of its development plan to the Utility and Review Board. Hearing dates have been set in January and February.

spaustin Nov 27, 2008 5:31 PM

And, as expected, McCrea was all bluster on the sue Kelly front, although Kelly did buckle somewhat and offer an half apology.


McCrea not developing Kelly lawsuit
'More important things for me to do'

By AMY PUGSLEY FRASER City Hall Reporter
Thu. Nov 27 - 6:20 AM
A prominent developer has put his defamation suit against Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly on hold.

"It’s not a dead issue, but there are lots of other issues I’m facing," Ben McCrea said in an interview Wednesday from his Armour Group office.

Earlier this month, Mr. McCrea was ready to sue the mayor for defamation about comments he made to the media concerning council’s rejection of his Waterside Centre project on Oct. 21.

It all started after Premier Rodney MacDonald criticized city hall for rejecting a six-storey office tower addition on top of buildings that Armour owns on the corner of Duke and Hollis streets and vowed that the provincial government would find a way to get the project reinstated.

That prompted the mayor to tell reporters that Mr. McCrea had complained to the province because he didn’t get his way.

He told The Canadian Press that "if one developer, because he didn’t get his way, goes down to the province and asks for protection and change and is given his way, that’s not due process and that’s not fair to the public."

But once threatened with the lawsuit, Mr. Kelly wrote a letter explaining that his remarks were geared toward the process and the actions of Premier Rodney MacDonald.

"My issue is that it is not fair to the process if legislation is to be introduced in favour of a single developer," the mayor wrote Oct. 28 in a letter, a copy of which he supplied to The Chronicle Herald.

"I have already apologized publicly, if you took my remarks to suggest that you had made an approach to the premier that prompted his statements. If this is how you took my comments, let me take this opportunity to repeat my apology because it was not what I intended to say and not what I said."

On Wednesday, Mr. McCrea acknowledged that the mayor had apologized.

"He says he didn’t really mean what he said as it relates to me and that he didn’t intend to say I’d go running to the premier."

Mr. McCrea has said he has never discussed the Waterside Centre project with anyone in government and that the premier didn’t disclose to him why he got involved.

Armour Group is now working on other new developments and dealing with a pending appeal hearing of the Waterside Centre before the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board that will get underway in January.

"So there are other, more important, things for me to do," Mr. McCrea said.

sdm Dec 2, 2008 4:15 PM

ELEANOR BEATON
Globe and Mail Update
December 2, 2008 at 6:00 AM EST
HALIFAX — Ben McCrea has devoted much of his career to preserving heritage properties in downtown Halifax, receiving kudos for such projects as Historic Properties and Founders Square, where he restored decaying 18th-century buildings into prime commercial real estate.
Now, he is embroiled in a bitter dispute that threatens to kill his plans for what could be the downtown's first new office building in 20 years.
The controversy over Mr. McCrea's proposed development, the Waterside Centre, underscores an unsettling trend in Atlantic Canada's largest city: Despite a dearth of available office space in downtown Halifax, a lengthy and unpredictable approval and permitting process – up to four years – has scared away developers and major institutional investors at a time when the city can ill afford it, business leaders say.
And it's prompting some developers to look to the suburbs for future commercial growth.

A plan calls for these old buildings to keep their façades with a glass office tower rising above, but it was opposed by council and heritage groups.

“We've been successful in growing Halifax,” says Stephen Lund, chief executive officer of Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI), a provincial agency that has persuaded companies such as Waterloo, Ont.-based BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Inc. and Bermuda-based finance giant Butterfield Fund Services to set up offices in Halifax. “But we've run out of space.”
This fall, the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) council rejected Mr. McCrea's plan to redevelop a block of historic buildings on the Halifax waterfront, 21/2 years after he first proposed it – and despite approval by HRM staff.
The $16-million Waterside Centre plan would preserve the 19th-century façades of the six buildings and put a six-storey office building on top of them. At street level, the buildings would keep their century-old heritage look, and merge three stories up with a modern glass tower.
Halifax councillor and deputy mayor Stephen Adams says some councillors didn't think the design conformed closely enough to bylaws that require that additions to heritage buildings be “subordinate” to existing structures. “Others simply didn't care for the proposal's design,” says Mr. Adams, who voted in favour of the Waterside plan.
The plan was criticized by heritage groups for preserving the façades only and not adequately protecting the buildings' overall heritage value.
The mostly vacant buildings, which house a handful of eateries, are deteriorating. Mr. McCrea, who acquired them with a partner in 1972, says they're costing his company, Armour Group Ltd., upward of $100,000 a year in property taxes. He says his plan was the only economically feasible way to save them. “This was not a ‘want-to-do' project – it was a ‘have-to-do' project.”
Ambiguous land use bylaws and powerful heritage interest groups who turn out to public hearings on new developments in large numbers have all but stalled developers' prospects in the downtown core, says Tim Margolian, vice-president of investment sales at DTZ Barnicke, a real estate advisory in Halifax. “Halifax is noted nationally to be among the most difficult business districts to develop,” he adds.
The current available office space in the downtown – about 40,000 square feet in total, can only accommodate growth from existing tenants or smaller clients that require less than 10,000 square feet of space, Mr. Margolian says. For tenants who want a floor plate greater than 20,000 square feet, “it's virtually impossible.”
According to figures from real estate firm CB Richard Ellis, vacancy rates in downtown Halifax are currently below 4 per cent – “basically zero,” says CBRE senior vice-president Robert Mussett.
Up until a few years ago, there was little office space outside the downtown, he says. However, the difficulties of developing downtown have fuelled commercial real estate interests to lead the charge in Halifax's suburban development. “The difficulties downtown have made it that much more significant,” he says.
Halifax's two major suburban office markets – the Bayers Lake and City of Lakes business parks – have seen a “balloon” of space become available, he says, which he forecasts will drive the overall office vacancy rate in greater Halifax to 10 per cent in 2009.
The trouble is, developers and brokers are having a hard time persuading some clients to relocate to the suburbs. For example, Mr. McCrea says he met recently with prospective tenants from the financial services sector who “wouldn't even take a look at our offices at City of Lakes.”
The credit crunch could make downtown development challenges even worse, says John Lindsay, president of Halifax real estate advisory and property management firm East Port Properties Ltd.
“We've scared away the good, solid institutional money, who consider downtown Halifax too risky an investment,” he says. But because the credit crisis has largely inhibited debt-based lenders from backing new commercial developments, institutional investors, such as pension funds, are the only money left, he says.
If the economic downturn has affected the supply of money available to back new developments, it has also dampened demand. Financial services tenants who were coming to town “in a steady stream” and looking for space last year have switched to kicking tires, says Brian Toole, a partner in Halifax-based Partners Global Corporate Real Estate Inc. “They're still looking and talking to us, but they seem to be putting moving decisions off until the economy picks up.”
But unless Halifax has space available when the economy rebounds, the city could be in trouble, Mr. Lund at NSBI warns. “We need to plan for demand that we know we're going to see.”
There are commercial projects on the horizon. For example, Crombie REIT's proposed 22-storey downtown International Place has the necessary development permits and is in the process of securing leasing.
Some experts say the city's downtown rates – now about $20 a square foot – are due for a significant increase. “I expected to see rental increases already,” Mr. Mussett says.
Rising rates, and a proposed municipal development strategy, HRMbyDesign, which will codify downtown building bylaws and speed up the approval process, could stimulate development, he says.
But new buildings won't be available for another three years, by which time economic woes could be in the past.
“Will new companies be prepared to wait that long for space?” asks Mr. Toole. “That's a big question mark.”
For now, the fate of Mr. McCrea's Waterside Centre is up in the air. Armour Group has filed an appeal to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board to try to overturn HRM council's decision; hearings will likely begin next month.
He says he can't afford to go back to the drawing board – the proposal was the only financially feasible way to preserve the buildings' heritage. If his appeal is rejected, he warns of what he calls the “logical consequence” for downtown Halifax – “boarded up buildings and parking lots.”
Special to The Globe and Mail

hfx_chris Dec 3, 2008 1:58 AM

An excellent piece. Very well written, tells it like it is.

spaustin Dec 4, 2008 12:35 PM

What a joke Rodney is. After all the fuss over Waterside Centre he couldn't get it together to be a full intervenor and is going to just comment in the public hearing portion? This is pathetic no matter which side of the issue you're on. I'm not saying that he's doing nothing, but come on, given how bombastic he was, the action he's actually taking is the same that I can!


N.S. will make opinions known at Armour Group appeal

By AMY PUGSLEY FRASER City Hall Reporter
Thu. Dec 4 - 4:47 AM
The province doesn’t plan to formally intervene in the appeal of a downtown office tower.

But there will be a role for the province to play when the appeal goes ahead in January, the premier’s communications director said Wednesday.

Ben McCrea’s Armour Group is appealing the rejection of its Waterside Centre at the Oct. 21 regional council meeting.

Councillors deadlocked on the proposal for a six-storey office tower development involving four historic buildings at the corner of Duke and Hollis streets.

The appeal will be heard over six days in January and February at the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.

The deadline for intervener applications came and went Wednesday, and the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia ended up the only applicant on the list.

When council rejected the proposal, Premier Rodney MacDonald said city hall made the "wrong decision," vowing that the province would apply for intervener status.

However, Wade Keller said Wednesday that the province will instead make a presentation at the public hearing portion of the appeal, slated for Jan. 20.

Mr. MacDonald has also said that the review board may not have the final say on whether the downtown Halifax development project goes ahead.

The premier told reporters last month that he is still considering what options he may resort to after the three-member appeal panel makes its decision.

"We’ll see what happens as a result of that."

Mr. McCrea, chairman of Armour Group, initially said he wouldn’t appeal and immediately started to demolish the four heritage properties. However, his decision was overruled by the company’s board of directors who launched the appeal to the quasi-judicial tribunal.

( apugsley@herald.ca)

Dmajackson Dec 6, 2008 2:42 AM

For anyone who might be interested in the old buildings on this site heres the fact sheet for the demolition hearing:

HERE

sdm Dec 6, 2008 4:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bedford_DJ (Post 3956361)
For anyone who might be interested in the old buildings on this site heres the fact sheet for the demolition hearing:

HERE

Where's the Imperial oil building? Am i missing something?

terrynorthend Dec 6, 2008 4:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sdm (Post 3957067)
Where's the Imperial oil building? Am i missing something?


Imperial Oil
is the brick building on the corner of Lwr. Water and Duke.. containing O'Carrolls most recently..

Empire Dec 6, 2008 9:30 PM

Ben McCrea should be run out of town.

Barrington south Dec 6, 2008 9:49 PM

If it wasn't for Ben McCrea would the precious historic properties still be around?....In my opinion the only building worth saving is the one Subway is currently housed in...all the rest, including the "imperial oil building" which was built in 1921 (and therefore being post WW1, I don't consider it historical), should meet the wreckers ball :tup:

Jonovision Dec 7, 2008 1:38 AM

The merit of any building should not be judged simply on its age. Just because the Imperial Oil building was built 40 years after some others doesn't mean it is not worth saving. It should be judged on its design and usability. Therefore in my books this building merits saving.

sdm Dec 7, 2008 2:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jonovision (Post 3957882)
The merit of any building should not be judged simply on its age. Just because the Imperial Oil building was built 40 years after some others doesn't mean it is not worth saving. It should be judged on its design and usability. Therefore in my books this building merits saving.

Even if its structurally unsound Jon?

The Shaw building is the only one worth saving.

sdm Dec 7, 2008 2:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terrynorthend (Post 3957097)

Imperial Oil
is the brick building on the corner of Lwr. Water and Duke.. containing O'Carrolls most recently..

Thanks for the link, but my question is really why is it not on the list for the hearing?

Takeo Dec 7, 2008 3:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sdm (Post 3957937)
The Shaw building is the only one worth saving.

Actually... I kind of... almost... agree with that. I'm just thinking... for one thing... it would allow SOOOO many more interesting and creative design opportunities for the new building if Shaw was the only building incorporated. I think Imperial could be worth saving as well. Both Shaw and Imperial. I see little to no merit in the others. They have no detailing of any kind whatsoever. Just ugly blank stone (now stucco) walls. But ya... a modern new building wrapping just the one really really nice historic building... that could make a much stronger design statement. Almost like the little red brick house who's front sits inside the Santiago Calatrava Galleria in BCE Place in Toronto. The 4 buildings they are proposing to "save" at Waterside really are a motley collection. And Shaw is clearly the "crown jewel" of the bunch.

Takeo Dec 7, 2008 3:26 AM

Opps! In my mind that was a red brick building inside the BCE Place Galleria. It's actually limestone.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2363/...g?v=1202004780

Phalanx Dec 7, 2008 5:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Takeo (Post 3958022)
Opps! In my mind that was a red brick building inside the BCE Place Galleria. It's actually limestone.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2363/...g?v=1202004780

Y'know, I've thought something like that would work really nice over Granville Street for awhile now.... Would tie in nicely to the glass wall/pedway seen in the Inernational Place renderings (assuming it ever gets built)

Sorry for the tangent...

sdm Dec 7, 2008 11:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Phalanx (Post 3958161)
Y'know, I've thought something like that would work really nice over Granville Street for awhile now.... Would tie in nicely to the glass wall/pedway seen in the Inernational Place renderings (assuming it ever gets built)

Sorry for the tangent...

There were plans to do this to granville street area done many years ago.

Empire Dec 7, 2008 3:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sdm (Post 3957937)
Even if its structurally unsound Jon?

The Shaw building is the only one worth saving.

The is no evidence whatsoever that the the Imperial Oil Building is structurally unsound. Ben McCrea's assessment of how the building will fall down tomorrow if it isn't torn down hardly qualifies. The building is sound. Look at the exterior closely and you will see no stress fracture cracks in the brick, clearly indicating the foundation is solid. The complaint is that if you tear the back end off it may become unstable. The style is very much in keeping with historic peoperties and Grandville Mall. To destroy this building benifits only the Amour group.

sdm Dec 7, 2008 4:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Empire (Post 3958667)
The is no evidence whatsoever that the the Imperial Oil Building is structurally unsound. Ben McCrea's assessment of how the building will fall down tomorrow if it isn't torn down hardly qualifies. The building is sound. Look at the exterior closely and you will see no stress fracture cracks in the brick, clearly indicating the foundation is solid. The complaint is that if you tear the back end off it may become unstable. The style is very much in keeping with historic peoperties and Grandville Mall. To destroy this building benifits only the Amour group.

Empire you continue to make me laugh with your foolishness and your complete lack of knowledge.

You can not assess a buildings structural integrity by just looking at the exterior.

sdm Dec 7, 2008 4:24 PM

on a related note, did anyone read this month nova scotia's business journal

Good article on page 1, and a list of people on page 2 commenting on Councils decison on the Waterside Centre.

http://www.novascotiabusinessjournal...Layout%201.pdf

Barrington south Dec 7, 2008 5:38 PM

SDM....is the Shaw building the same building that house's Subway on the first floor?

Empire Dec 7, 2008 5:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sdm (Post 3958703)
Empire you continue to make me laugh with your foolishness and your complete lack of knowledge.

You can not assess a buildings structural integrity by just looking at the exterior.

- So sdm, you are suggesting the building is near collapse?
- You are also suggesting that a two storey brick building can have catastrophic structural defects in the foundation and not show any stress fractures in the brickwork?
- This means that the building is sinking in a perfectly uniform manner so there is no twisting in the structure?

WOW!

Barrington south Dec 7, 2008 6:02 PM

I have a complete lack of knowledge in this field so if I am completely wrong please don't hold it against me but what if the foundation was mostly built out of wood and was now rotten, would that show any stress fractures?

spaustin Dec 7, 2008 6:10 PM

I wish there could be some independent assessment of the Imperial Oil Building. Just looking at it, common sense seems to say it's in great shape. It has held up well and there aren't any signs of trouble so I find it very hard to believe it's about to fall over.

One thing I'm very annoyed over is how McCrea has brought out the clapboard and covered up the windows on the remaining empty buildings. It really makes them look terrible and reeks of bully pressure tactics. For shame. It's really too bad that a proper heritage district wasn't enacted here years ago since, if McCrea is determined to destroy these buildings, he unfortunately can in a year or so.

Empire Dec 7, 2008 6:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Barrington south (Post 3958816)
I have a complete lack of knowledge in this field so if I am completely wrong please don't hold it against me but what if the foundation was mostly built out of wood and was now rotten, would that show any stress fractures?


Of course it would. It is a very silly arguement to say we think the building is on wooden piles and they may be rotten so therefore we need to demolish the building. Most of historic properties is on wooden piles....have they collapsed? Look at the cable wharf......no, let me rephrase, look under the cable wharf. The entire building is on wooden piles and is in the middle of the harbour. The entire arguement is centered around twisting facts about the stucture to justify its demolition.

Barrington south Dec 7, 2008 6:23 PM

all right Empire I said I didn't know what I was talking about....no need to bite my head off!!

Empire Dec 7, 2008 7:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Barrington south (Post 3958839)
all right Empire I said I didn't know what I was talking about....no need to bite my head off!!

But you do know what you are talking about. If the wooden piles were rotten and disintergrating then you would see multiple cracks in the exterior brickwork.

Haliguy Dec 7, 2008 7:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spaustin (Post 3958824)
I wish there could be some independent assessment of the Imperial Oil Building. Just looking at it, common sense seems to say it's in great shape. It has held up well and there aren't any signs of trouble so I find it very hard to believe it's about to fall over.

One thing I'm very annoyed over is how McCrea has brought out the clapboard and covered up the windows on the remaining empty buildings. It really makes them look terrible and reeks of bully pressure tactics. For shame. It's really too bad that a proper heritage district wasn't enacted here years ago since, if McCrea is determined to destroy these buildings, he unfortunately can in a year or so.

We need more developers like McCrea wanting to develop in our downtown.

hfx_chris Dec 7, 2008 8:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Empire (Post 3958667)
The is no evidence whatsoever that the the Imperial Oil Building is structurally unsound. Ben McCrea's assessment of how the building will fall down tomorrow if it isn't torn down hardly qualifies.

I don't believe he's said the building will fall down, but that the work required to bring it back up to code is significant. Besides, he's an engineer is he not? I would also assume he's had the building inspected.
Quote:

The building is sound. Look at the exterior closely and you will see no stress fracture cracks in the brick, clearly indicating the foundation is solid.
May I see the results from the structural inspections you had completed on the building to verify this please?
As others have said, the condition of the exterior brickwork is hardly conclusive evidence that the building is structurally sound.

Empire Dec 7, 2008 8:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hfx_chris (Post 3958963)
I don't believe he's said the building will fall down, but that the work required to bring it back up to code is significant. Besides, he's an engineer is he not? I would also assume he's had the building inspected.

May I see the results from the structural inspections you had completed on the building to verify this please?
As others have said, the condition of the exterior brickwork is hardly conclusive evidence that the building is structurally sound.

There are very few registered heritage buildings that don't require signifant work to bring them up to code. The answer is not demolishing them. I would assume that Mr. McCrea "being an engineer" would have assessed the buildings structurally when he bought them and if they are in such deplorable condition why did he buy them?

Keith P. Dec 7, 2008 8:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Empire (Post 3958993)
There are very few registered heritage buildings that don't require signifant work to bring them up to code. The answer is not demolishing them.

Now, wait a minute. I am no expert on this, but don't you have to bring them up to code if you do any significant renovation at all, even within the existing building envelope? So if the business case is not there to bring them up to code, what you are saying is that they need to remain EXACTLY as they are, in EXACTLY their current use, forever. So if O'Carroll's went out of business tomorrow, or Subway moved out, you would have to find another restaurant or fast food outlet to replace them that would be happy with their current condition; otherwise they would have to remain empty since it would be economically unsound to renovate them to any other use.

You cannot freeze downtown (or any area) in time forever unless you are in fact willing to devote public funds to create a museum district. Stop bashing the developer for trying to do the right thing.

sdm Dec 7, 2008 8:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Barrington south (Post 3958789)
SDM....is the Shaw building the same building that house's Subway on the first floor?

Correct, that one is the nicest of the bunch for sure.


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