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-   -   [Halifax] NFB Building | 15 m | 7 fl | U/C (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum//showthread.php?t=183321)

Waye Mason Mar 7, 2012 5:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by halifaxboyns (Post 5618695)
Like I mentioned in one of the other threads, the beltline here in Calgary had a bunch of projects announce they were coming off the shelf and then they ran into financing problems.

I suspect this might be the same thing - from what I'm hearing, lenders are now tripple checking things to make sure that loans they guarenteed are worth it (and in some cases making developers start the process all over again). I don't know if the last part is the case out here, but I've heard that happened to a couple developers here in Calgary.

This is global, has been since 2008. International finance markets are weak and lack confidence, making it harder and harder to build...

worldlyhaligonian Mar 7, 2012 5:30 PM

We aren't talking about a major skyscraper here, this redevelopment could only be a few million bucks.

I bet this is held up by red tape somewhere along the line.

Waye Mason Mar 7, 2012 6:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by worldlyhaligonian (Post 5618847)
We aren't talking about a major skyscraper here, this redevelopment could only be a few million bucks.

I bet this is held up by red tape somewhere along the line.

Did you ever watch "Flip This House" back in 2007 or so? Ever wonder why a 25 year old working at Starbucks was able to get a $1 million mortgage with no money down? Then the economy collapsed and that went way.

Things are tighter at all level of risk, not just subprime. My understanding is that these guys are not big time developers, and I suspect that it is just a lot harder for them to get financing now than when they conceived of their plan.

So even for a small development, tighter rules around having leases signed, cash in the bank could slow them down.

That said, Halifax is all over red tape. I don't think the approval process is our problem as much as the post-approval process of getting 18 different HRM departments to sign off on your project.

beyeas Mar 7, 2012 6:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Waye Mason (Post 5618931)
Did you ever watch "Flip This House" back in 2007 or so? Ever wonder why a 25 year old working at Starbucks was able to get a $1 million mortgage with no money down? Then the economy collapsed and that went way.

Things are tighter at all level of risk, not just subprime. My understanding is that these guys are not big time developers, and I suspect that it is just a lot harder for them to get financing now than when they conceived of their plan.

So even for a small development, tighter rules around having leases signed, cash in the bank could slow them down.

That said, Halifax is all over red tape. I don't think the approval process is our problem as much as the post-approval process of getting 18 different HRM departments to sign off on your project.

Yeah I went back and re-read the article from the property owners that started this thread. The had at the time stated that the project would start last fall or at the latest this spring, and at the time the identified that their biggest challenge was securing financing.

someone123 Mar 7, 2012 7:07 PM

Yeah, not surprised about financing, but either way it's unfortunate that this hasn't gotten off the ground.

They had problems for a couple of years because they applied for a federal heritage grant and then the program was cut. After that they went to the city and it took some time for the Barrington heritage district stuff to be sorted out.

Keith P. Mar 7, 2012 10:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keith P. (Post 4915393)
Yep. Ugly old thing. Should have had a date with a bulldozer a decade ago. Another waste of tax dollars, both to preserve the facade after it burned down and now to incorporate that undistinguished facade into a new red-brick faux-Victorian.

Still my view.

fenwick16 Jan 3, 2013 3:13 AM

According to the allnovascotia.com, the NFB redevelopment will be going ahead. The proposal is for 16 residential units contained within 5 storeys and 3,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor. (source: Caryi Buys More Barrington, allnovascotia.com, Wed, Jan 2nd, 2013 edition).

I think this is great news. I think the NFB building is a great old building and the shell will be restored.

someone123 Jan 3, 2013 4:49 AM

Yeah, it is wonderful news, and it explains some delay in the development. The former owners had plans but I'm not sure they are used to developing properties like this and they seemed to have trouble getting financing. The new owner was behind the Freemasons Building restoration and has experience managing many heritage properties on Barrington. In some ways this might even be easier than a restoration project since it is pretty much a new build.

The streetscape along the west side of Barrington is going to be pretty nice with the new NFB, 1592, and Barrington Espace. I think the new TD building will also have a positive impact on the feel of the street. Aside from the NFB building the only big remaining problem on Barrington is the empty lot at George Street; that probably only still exists at this point because it is government-owned. Hopefully the province will develop it soon. It would also be nice to see restoration work on the Green Lantern Building and the Pacific Building.

Keith P. Jan 3, 2013 2:15 PM

While it will be good to have the ugly facade of the NFB used for something, that streetscape will remain unattractive and foreboding until its neighbors are all either knocked down or redeveloped. That is a scar on Barrington that should have been fixed long ago.

Drybrain Jan 3, 2013 3:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keith P. (Post 5957415)
While it will be good to have the ugly facade of the NFB used for something, that streetscape will remain unattractive and foreboding until its neighbors are all either knocked down or redeveloped.

Well, the building next door at 1566 has been quite beautifully fixed up, the redevelopment at 1592/Cd Plus is going ahead, and the Tramway building as well seems to be in some intermediate stage of repair. Things actually look pretty good to me—vastly better than a couple of years ago.

And no, neither the Khyber or the building immediately south of it (which could use a good cleaning, to be fair) are going anywhere, so that's just sort of that.

someone123 Jan 3, 2013 6:54 PM

The middle (Neptune/"Ford") building is interesting. It does not have a storefront because it was built as a house in 1821, back before Barrington was a major commercial street. In some ways I think it would have been better if these had been replaced by a larger building, like the former Eaton's building for example, but they are still interesting architecturally.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Drybrain (Post 5957498)
Things actually look pretty good to me—vastly better than a couple of years ago.

I think we'll see a "night and day" difference along this stretch of Barrington over the next couple of years, partly because of what's happening on the street but also partly because of what's happening a couple of blocks away. The Nova Centre will be about 100 paces from Barrington and Sackville, and the Southwest apartment building will have hundreds of residents who would be well-served by businesses along Barrington.

halifaxboyns Jan 3, 2013 7:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 5957874)
The middle (Neptune/"Ford") building is interesting. It does not have a storefront because it was built as a house in 1821, back before Barrington was a major commercial street. In some ways I think it would have been better if these had been replaced by a larger building, like the former Eaton's building for example, but they are still interesting architecturally.

I think we'll see a "night and day" difference along this stretch of Barrington over the next couple of years, partly because of what's happening on the street but also partly because of what's happening a couple of blocks away. The Nova Centre will be about 100 paces from Barrington and Sackville, and the Southwest apartment building will have hundreds of residents who would be well-served by businesses along Barrington.

It will really be interesting to see this stretch in the next 5-10 years. I think Someone123 is right and more so, this may become one of the best examples of change (Spring Garden Road, IMO being the best example).

I've also noticed that the recent CH article on the businesses closing down on Barrington wasn't the typical doom and gloom of downtown. It was more along the lines of - this is the cycle of business, but new businesses will open up and more people are coming. That to me, shows a sign of shifting attitudes.

spaustin Jan 7, 2013 7:24 PM

They interviewed the new owner of the property on CBC this afternoon (sale is closing today). Apparently it's going to be 5 storeys with a mix of studio and 3 bedroom apartments on the top four floors. If everything lines up, he's hoping to get started in May. My guess is that deadline will slip as there are bound to be complications in figuring out how to build a new building behind the old NFB facade. The whole development is contingent on the engineers not finding that, after 22 years, the facade is too far gone to save. If that turns out to be the case, than Keith may still get his wish.

JET Jan 7, 2013 7:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spaustin (Post 5962963)
They interviewed the new owner of the property on CBC this afternoon (sale is closing today). Apparently it's going to be 5 storeys with a mix of studio and 3 bedroom apartments on the top four floors. If everything lines up, he's hoping to get started in May. My guess is that deadline will slip as there are bound to be complications in figuring out how to build a new building behind the old NFB facade. The whole development is contingent on the engineers not finding that, after 22 years, the facade is too far gone to save. If that turns out to be the case, than Keith may still get his wish.

given what they have been able to do with other old brick and stone facades in Halifax, I expect that they should be able to keep the facade. It is too bad that the sandblasting that was done decades ago messed up the detailing on the building

Drybrain Jan 7, 2013 8:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spaustin (Post 5962963)
They interviewed the new owner of the property on CBC this afternoon (sale is closing today). Apparently it's going to be 5 storeys with a mix of studio and 3 bedroom apartments on the top four floors. If everything lines up, he's hoping to get started in May. My guess is that deadline will slip as there are bound to be complications in figuring out how to build a new building behind the old NFB facade. The whole development is contingent on the engineers not finding that, after 22 years, the facade is too far gone to save. If that turns out to be the case, than Keith may still get his wish.

According to this heritage committee doc from a few years ago, the plan was then also to restore the mansard roof. http://www.halifax.ca/council/agenda...0420ca1131.pdf

I imagine that given that, and the overall terrible shape of the facade, the project will include not only restoration, but some reconstruction as well.

Keith P. Jan 7, 2013 10:55 PM

Faux-heritage. Just wonderful. :slob:

fenwick16 Jan 7, 2013 11:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Drybrain (Post 5963074)
According to this heritage committee doc from a few years ago, the plan was then also to restore the mansard roof. http://www.halifax.ca/council/agenda...0420ca1131.pdf

I imagine that given that, and the overall terrible shape of the facade, the project will include not only restoration, but some reconstruction as well.

I think the latest proposal is a scaled down version with fewer units (only 16). So it might have changed significantly.

worldlyhaligonian Jan 7, 2013 11:03 PM

Vinyl siding mansard roof?

I hope they restore the facad and use the space in front of the building more effectively:

http://goo.gl/maps/cbs1i

Keith P. Jan 8, 2013 12:23 AM

But think about the panhandlers and layabouts! What of them?!? ;)

Funny how Google felt they needed to blur out one of the pictures filling in the broken windows... :haha:

Drybrain Jan 8, 2013 1:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keith P. (Post 5963345)
Faux-heritage. Just wonderful. :slob:

Not if the materials used are actually high quality and equivalent to the original, which I anticipate for a project like this they would be. This kind of thing has been done all over the world to repair damaged buildings. On a small scale, we have Forbes Restoration, re-Victorianizing houses in the north end (Check out their before-and-after photos.)

You could argue that what they're doing is faux, but presumably they're basing these restorations on what the buildings were likely to look like when originally constructed, before bad renos removed detailing, etc. And even if it's just fanciful, I'd rather the north end look like that than see the structures left looking like vinyl-clad shacks.

I've posted this before, as well, but it's a pretty stunning project that proves few buildings are too far gone to save if one has the inclination. Involved lots of reconstruction of ruined brickwork and trim. And the developers weren't even required to do it--it wasn't a heritage structure and there was no mobilization to save the building. They just WANTED to do it.


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