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someone123 May 6, 2010 5:24 AM

Here are the renderings. Eventual source is

someone123 May 6, 2010 5:29 AM

I agree that the CBC replacement looks somewhat unattractive. I think the idea is workable but the design just looks poorly executed. In particular I dislike the design of the condo tower on top. The ground floor is also rather plain looking, although I think partly that is a problem with the site - this property is on an important corner but it's on the periphery of the downtown. It's a bit of a hike from Spring Garden and not a particularly great location for retail. It's never going to be a great location because it is surrounded on three sides by public spaces, two of which are semi-pointless. It's also a poor location for a main entrance because few people approach from that direction. It's really an awkward location. Halifax has a lot of those.

On the other hand, I do like the design of the portion where the current YMCA building sits, although I agree the atrium is a little messy looking.

I could see this being a great proposal with some modifications, and I suspect there will be lots of time for those changes before this is actually built...

alps May 6, 2010 5:50 AM

Wow, this is actually loads better than I expected. I agree the CBC building could be better, but I love the idea of bringing so many new residents to a pretty dead corner. Had no idea it was such an ambitious project. I like that the northern blank walls of the Paramount are covered, and the red and black tower is pretty cool looking. I pass the site on the way to school so I hope I get to see construction begin sooner rather than later. :)

Thanks for posting the renderings. At this point I am pretty excited - it sounds great pending some minor changes.

cormiermax May 6, 2010 5:54 AM

Wow I actually love this, so much better than I expected!

someone123 May 6, 2010 6:26 AM


Originally Posted by alps (Post 4827573)
I like that the northern blank walls of the Paramount are covered, and the red and black tower is pretty cool looking.

I agree on both counts. The Paramount is not that bad but those side walls are quite ugly, and the north side is particularly visible since the buildings next door are so short. The Lord Nelson side isn't so bad.

sdm May 6, 2010 10:18 AM

not sure on the building on the CBC building, but i will take it if thats what they want.

I love the last rendering, DENSITY, about freakin time we get density working downtown.

terrynorthend May 6, 2010 11:15 AM

There is some nice height and density there now.. it'll make for a great urban vista looking up an down South Park street, with tall buildings (across from parkland ) in a more or less continuous wall from South to Sackville. Our own little CPW. :haha:

Dmajackson May 6, 2010 11:22 AM

I quite like the look of this proposal. :)

The main thing I would like to see changed is the step-down of the CBC tower. Since it already has a step-back I don't think a step down is also necessairy.

Keith P. May 6, 2010 11:28 AM

And of course, the headline on the Herald story about this is: "Proposed project too high" (emphasis added).

I just can't wait for the members of the Height Phobia Society to speak out after getting egged on like this... :rolleyes:

Dmajackson May 6, 2010 11:35 AM

Proposed project too high
Public will decide if YMCA/CBC redevelopment can break rules
By CHRIS LAMBIEBusiness Editor
Thu. May 6 - 4:53 AM

The development proposed for Sackville and South Park streets in Halifax is about 14-storeys high — more than twice as tall as city planning guidelines permit.

Drawings unveiled Wednesday show the YMCA and CBC/Radio-Canada properties topped with two towers that could hold about 200 condominiums or apartments. There are also plans for a boutique hotel.

"On the corner, the current (height) allowable is 23 metres; we’ve taken it to 49," said Jim Whitehead, project manager for the YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth.

"So the amendment that we’re going to be seeking is to increase it from 23 to 49 metres on the corner."

The height limitation is related to view planes from Citadel Hill, "which is predominantly, of course, to protect views of the harbour," he said.

"We’re not impacting on that at all on this side, so that’s part of why we’re going for the amendment on the assumption that, since we don’t impact on that, that it may be an acceptable thing to do to allow this development to go forward."

The YMCA hopes to make an application to the municipality before the summer to amend the height limitations.

Andy Fillmore, the municipality’s urban designer, said it will be up to the public to decide whether the corner building is too tall. Regional council can hold a public hearing to determine if the project has enough "significant public benefit" to justify breaking the height limitations, he said.

"The public hearing becomes almost like a referendum, in that way, on the project itself, and then council will make up its mind whether or not to permit the amendment," Fillmore said.

The tower proposed for just south of the corner will be 75 metres tall, or about 19 storeys. Modelling has shown the buildings "don’t block the view of very much because of the development that’s taken place further south," Whitehead said.

"If anything, we’re going to block views of other developments."

The proposed project won’t do much to stop sun from hitting the adjacent Public Gardens, he said.

"We’ve done some shadowing studies of that . . . (on) June 21, the longest day of the year, there’s a shadow that stretches out for about an extra half an hour and it just takes over a sliver of the corner, but nothing significant, and it’s over by nine o’clock in the morning."

Drawings on display Wednesday showed the broadcaster in a new building where the YMCA is now on South Park.

The CBC hasn’t decided yet whether it will have offices in the project, said Nadine Antle, a spokeswoman for the public broadcaster.

Under the new plan, the YMCA will take up about 71,000 square feet and sit on the corner now occupied by the CBC. If the CBC opts in, it will move to the spot now occupied by the YMCA. Should the broadcaster opt out, the 66,000 square foot space will be opened up for commercial development.

A 6,000 square foot, five-storey atrium will connect the two structures.

"The magic really is this atrium and how it connects and brings all these things together," Whitehead said. "That’s just going to be an amazing space."

The bottom two storeys of the new corner building will mimic the "iconic" art deco look of the present structure, said Bette Watson-Borg, president of the YMCA.

A swimming pool with lanes, a pool with a movable floor and warmer water and a hydro-therapy spa pool are in the plans.

"We’ve tried to create something here that we think has a wow factor," Watson-Borg said of the design created by Halifax architect Michael Napier.

Plans call for 375 underground parking spots and a covered bicycle storage area.

The overall cost will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, Whitehead said.

"It will likely be in the neighbourhood of 400,000 square feet."

Building a new YMCA recreation and fitness centre where the CBC is now will cost about $22 million. The YMCA, which plans to issue a request for proposals from private developers, is hoping to realize about $10 million from the project, Whitehead said.

"It’s not simply a sell it and then rent back situation. We want to maintain some interest in what’s going on."

The CBC’s situation is similar, he said.

"Their revenue from that development will either be used to be a part of this development or it will be used elsewhere."

( )

fenwick16 May 6, 2010 11:45 AM

There seems to be a lot of misinformation in both the and the Herald. The allnovascotia has this as being the same square footage as the Nova Centre when in fact it would only be about 1/3 (I keep hearing 1.2 million square feet for the Nova Centre) whereas the Herald has this YMCA/condo complex as being about 400,000 square feet ( The Herald has this as costing hundreds of millions of dollars. Based on the new YMCA portion costing $22 million for 71,000 then it should only be about $125 million (still significant). However, this is all very preliminary since the design is mainly just a concept to get public input.

worldlyhaligonian May 6, 2010 2:18 PM

I like the base of the corner tower... but not the tower so much.

The other tower looks good and I like how it covers the paramount's blank wall as well.

The glass area and the green is butt ugly... it should be red brick (can't believe I'm saying this) or something more fitting.

halifaxboyns May 6, 2010 3:16 PM

I think the blue and green are actually pretty cool - the blue has a very maritime theme, as does the green (considering the public gardens across the street).

The stepping down of the tower for the CBC site is pretty interesting, although I don't know if that is really needed if the tower behind is taller.

I think the colour of the building replacing the CBC is a little - well I'm torn on that. I think white would be fine, versus the colour shown in the diagram. I do like the base building for the CBC site - looks very much like the existing building with a few modifications.

halifaxboyns May 6, 2010 3:23 PM


Originally Posted by sdm (Post 4827665)
not sure on the building on the CBC building, but i will take it if thats what they want.

I love the last rendering, DENSITY, about freakin time we get density working downtown.

I think developers are realizing the value of Dresden Row/South Park block between Sackville and down to Morris - mainly because of the fact it's the only two blocks in that part of downtown not covered by one or more of the view planes.

The two greatest pieces of land in this area - the parking lots (which could have so much potential) are completely covered - so I suspect the best height you might get would be similar to City Centre (so maybe 8 stories - if you are lucky). What a waste.

DigitalNinja May 6, 2010 3:35 PM

I personally like this, again the only problem I have is the CBC tower, making it a straight glass tower inset from the bottom 2 stories I think would have looked better. But it isn't bad at all. We should all show up at the hearing to preach that this is NOT to tall.

bluenoser May 6, 2010 3:50 PM

Hey all, it's been awhile since I've posted...

I actually really like these plans overall. The green and blue are really growing on me as I like the idea of bright colours closer to the street, but I can see how they wouldn't do it for everyone.

It appears that the design already has been modified because the picture shown in the Herald has a black base (where the green was), with a red portion that stays flush with the street and a 'green' roof that extends back to the red and black tower. I'm not sure which is the more current design, though?

Phalanx May 6, 2010 4:30 PM

I kind of like it. My only real nitpicks are the upper part of the CBC building - not a huge fan of the progressive step back/down like that (the idea is interesting, just doesn't seem to fit with the style of the building), and I was hoping for some retail on the South Park side of the CBC building - there doesn't appear to be any as is. Otherwise the CBC podium is pretty much exactly what I was hoping for (as mentioned in another thread awhile back), and the Y building is unconventional (for Halifax), so it's nice to see. I'm guessing the choice of red, white and black for the Y building is intentional - being official Y colours an' all... and the green and blue will grow on me, I'm sure.

Doggard May 6, 2010 4:57 PM

I love the colour, it makes the whole area look more exciting, and engaging. I also like the contrast with the Paramount, which I've always thought looked like a wet cardboard box. I think the set backs are a solid part of the design as well, creating active negative space between the two towers. Fingers crossed on this one!

fenwick16 May 6, 2010 4:57 PM

I read that the current CBC building will become the new YMCA (at least the lower couple of floors will be). The current YMCA would become the condo building since the developer would have to own the land outright so that it can be condo development (I have read that according to Nova Scotia laws in order for it to condo, the land can not be leased from the YMCA but must be eventually turned over and owned by the condo owners).

Does the current YMCA have a residential portion? I wonder if the YMCA will want to continue having a residential portion or just have it as a separately managed hotel or apartment building (the portion on top of the CBC building which would become the YMCA).

Jonovision May 6, 2010 6:53 PM

There is one rendering that wasn't posted. It showed the view looking up Bell Rd at the new YMCA tower on the corner. That rendering was solid and it looked great. For me it the part on the back that steps down. I think it could work, but in this particular fashion I'm not a fan. I also really like the changing windows in the YMCA tower. Some being indented others protruding from the facade. It's definitely workable.

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