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-   -   [Halifax] RBC Waterside Centre | 37 m | 9 fl | Completed (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=144928)

someone123 Sep 12, 2008 1:50 AM

They are not worthless, but it is unlikely that somebody would be willing to pay more than the huge costs of relocation and renovation that are required. Something else to keep in mind is that the developers still have to pay to demolish and dispose of these houses if they are not claimed by somebody.

As for whether or not it's somehow "cost effective" to re-use these homes, well, it is not if all you care about is square footage, but the character of these buildings holds huge value to some people and reproducing them as they are would be prohibitively expensive. Halifax has a limited number of houses like this and they are worth preserving. If I had money I would invest in maintaining the city because it is unique and beautiful. Not everything in life has to be utilitarian.

Dmajackson Sep 12, 2008 3:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 3794455)
They are not worthless, but it is unlikely that somebody would be willing to pay more than the huge costs of relocation and renovation that are required. Something else to keep in mind is that the developers still have to pay to demolish and dispose of these houses if they are not claimed by somebody.

As for whether or not it's somehow "cost effective" to re-use these homes, well, it is not if all you care about is square footage, but the character of these buildings holds huge value to some people and reproducing them as they are would be prohibitively expensive. Halifax has a limited number of houses like this and they are worth preserving. If I had money I would invest in maintaining the city because it is unique and beautiful. Not everything in life has to be utilitarian.

Ummm....I think you're in the wrong thread. Assuming by you saying houses and relocation I think you are talking about the Trillium not the Waterside...

I do agree with everything you mentioned above, though.

someone123 Sep 12, 2008 4:12 AM

Hah, yes. Wrong thread. :)

Dmajackson Sep 14, 2008 12:29 AM

Phil Pacey had a nice little rant in the Herald today about the Waterside:

Quote:

Historic Properties project out of bounds

By PHIL PACEY
Sat. Sep 13 - 6:10 AM

On Sept. 9, HRM council began considering two matters of grave importance for the heritage of Nova Scotia.

First is an application, dated May 26, by Armour Group Limited to demolish the classical, brick Imperial Oil Building, a registered heritage property at the northwest corner of Duke and Upper Water streets. Earlier, Armour had applied to demolish the early wooden Peter Martin Building, two doors north at 1870 Upper Water Street, which housed the dining room of Sweet Basil Bistro until Aug. 31.

Second is an application by Armour Group for a development agreement to permit construction of a nine-storey glass and concrete office building on this block. It is clear, from an examination of the drawings attached to the draft development agreement, that the project would also require the demolition of almost all but the street facades of three other registered heritage buildings on this block.

These are the rare, pitched-roofed Fishwick Express Building at 1861 Hollis Street, the unique stone Harrington Warehouse, that runs through the block from Hollis to Upper Water, and the decorative, L-shaped, brick Shaw Building at the northeast corner of Hollis and Duke streets. The ground would be hollowed out, and a 16-car parkade would be installed underground, with an unsightly garage entrance off Upper Water Street.

This matter should be decided on the basis of the law. There are two central issues – the removal of most of the historic material of the buildings, and the construction of the nine-storey block. The demolition and substantial alteration of the exterior appearance of the heritage buildings should be decided on the basis of the official HRM Building Conservation Standards. The standards, however, are not mentioned in the staff report recommending approval of the applications.

There are several standards that would be contravened by the Armour proposal. For example, Standard 9 requires that, "New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction shall not destroy materials that characterize the property." The Armour proposal would destroy roofs, chimneys, rear and sidewalls, all protected by the Heritage Property Act. The proposal clearly contravenes the standards. The demolition permit application should be rejected.

The second issue is the construction of the 114-foot high office block. The Land Use By-law says that no building exceeding 25 feet in height may be constructed on these lots unless the building is consistent with the Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS).

The MPS contains Policy CH-1, which says that "any additions thereto shall respect and be subordinate to any municipally registered heritage property on the site…" A nine-storey office building covering most of the block would not be "subordinate" to the modest two- to four-storey heritage buildings.

Viewed from across the streets, the office block would overwhelm and dominate the heritage buildings. The proposal contravenes the mandatory Policy CH-1. The application for a development agreement should be rejected.

Forty years ago, these buildings were threatened with demolition for an expressway. In 1973, city council formally resolved that the three-block area north of Duke Street from Granville Street to the water should be "preserved in its entirety." The buildings were preserved with the co-operation of the federal, provincial, and municipal governments, and Historic Properties Ltd. The restoration of the 28 heritage buildings in this group helped put Halifax on the map as a heritage destination. These buildings are major generators of tourist dollars for Nova Scotia.

These buildings are a source of pride for residents of HRM. In a poll a year ago, Historic Properties was voted one of the seven wonders of HRM. In petitioning on Natal Day weekend, members of the Heritage Trust learned again of the strong affection people have for these buildings. People want these buildings to remain intact.

A generation later, we need council to uphold this legacy and the law. The necessary first step is for council to reject the demolition and development agreement applications next Tuesday. Then the Heritage Trust is prepared to work with council, with the Armour Group, and with others, so that these buildings can continue to be a source of pride for Nova Scotians.

Phil Pacey is president of the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia.

Takeo Sep 14, 2008 12:57 AM

I'm no fan of Pacey... but how can you possibly characterize that as a "rant"? It was extremely even and balanced and based pretty much purely on facts and the existing regulations. There was no emotion or hyperbole in the article at all. As I say... I'm not a fan of the HT... but the article is well written and makes a compelling argument. Pacey has a lot of valid points (gasp).

Dmajackson Sep 14, 2008 1:03 AM

I know that rant probably wasn't the best choice of words but i didn't know what else to call it. If anything I named it rant because of its length, not its content.

worldlyhaligonian Sep 14, 2008 5:09 PM

Can this thread be renamed Waterside Centre, I find it annoying trying to remember that 1860 Upper Water Street is this specific development.

sdm Sep 14, 2008 5:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Takeo (Post 3798223)
I'm no fan of Pacey... but how can you possibly characterize that as a "rant"? It was extremely even and balanced and based pretty much purely on facts and the existing regulations. There was no emotion or hyperbole in the article at all. As I say... I'm not a fan of the HT... but the article is well written and makes a compelling argument. Pacey has a lot of valid points (gasp).

his points unfortunatley are not vaild

1870 upper water has nothing to do with this as its not a heritage property.

the demo agreement is precautionary for the imperial oil building if the foundation is found to be a safety issue. The developer has taken it out (within the context of the development agreement) so in order to meet the legal requirements under the act. It would be unreasonable to be in mid project and have to wait a year. Besides, they feel they won;t have to or if they do they will build it back to the ORIGINAL appearance.

I would hate to see growth in this city be stalled by a chimney....

The side walls and rear walls? The buildings run from hollis to upper water, so where are the rear walls? The side walls, there is one, which if i can remember the developer is keeping within the development.

Height, 25 feet. Guess we will never develop downtown then..

CH-1 policy has words omitted. I suggest reading the policy.

The area is not a heritage district, and has never formally been one.

To me the heritage trust is just trying to stop another development downtown. They claim they want development on vacant lots, but they have opposed every development on a vacant lot.

sdm Sep 14, 2008 5:30 PM

Also found this on www.hpwatersidecentre.ca


Statement - A.M. (Ben) McCrea, P.Eng., Chairman The Armour Group Limited
It was the vision of the President and the Board of Directors of NSCAD University to preserve the Granville Streetscape that led to a 1972 agreement with Historic Properties to create a new downtown campus within the historic buildings. NSCAD was almost singularly responsible for saving Granville Street from the wrecker's ball. The University's agreement with Historic Properties to enter into a 30 year Lease provided the fundamental economic base for Historic Properties to buy and renovate the buildings which provided NSCAD 120,000 square feet of space for their downtown campus.

The properties in the Hollis/Upper Water Street Block formed a very small portion of the space but the vacant land in that block was a key piece to allow for their kiln buildings and kiln operations.

NSCAD have used the 12,000 square feet of space in the upper floors of the four buildings currently part of Armour's Waterside Centre proposal for 35 years. NSCAD is well aware of the condition of these buildings and the need for an economically feasible re-development of the buildings ensures the preservation of the historical past.

They understand that compromise solutions are necessary to avoid losing these buildings and we are very gratified that NSCAD has come forward at the Public Hearing and provided unqualified support for our Waterside Centre project.

Empire Sep 15, 2008 12:00 AM

Waterside is a loser development. There are four registered heritage buildings that will be all but demolished in the heart of what should be historic properties period. These buildings are just as important as the buildings at historic properties. This block was a very bad investment for the Armour Group and they should get out while they have a chance.

sdm Sep 15, 2008 12:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Empire (Post 3799648)
Waterside is a loser development. There are four registered heritage buildings that will be all but demolished in the heart of what should be historic properties period. These buildings are just as important as the buildings at historic properties. This block was a very bad investment for the Armour Group and they should get out while they have a chance.

I rather it be a proven developer of heritage then someone new that will opt the go the easier route and tear them all down.

I gather you would just like to see a bunch of old buildings decaying and crumbling to dust then.

someone123 Sep 15, 2008 12:26 AM

There are heritage buildings downtown that were similarly reassembled or gutted but still look mostly fine. A good example of this is the western side of Granville Mall. The metal roofing doesn't look great and of course the Barrington Street side is kind of ugly but overall the look and feel of the area was retained. The interiors arguably could be a loss for some kind of heritage buildings but because these are middling to begin with and have been altered that is a non-issue.

There are plenty of elements of this development I don't like. The ground floor additions in particular are quite poor. However, I don't think it's right to assume that this group of heritage buildings will be ruined.

Empire Sep 15, 2008 2:43 AM

Founders Sq. saw the retention of more of the buildings involved. The building that houses the Old Triangle was completely saved and renovated. The Waterside development will demolish two buildings. The Imperial Oil Building will not be the same rebuilt. The Harrington fronts on both Upper Water and Hollis St. with an ironstone wall visible to the walkway beside it. These buildings are in relatively good shape and should be restored in their entirety. Look at the Henry House on Barrington. Would we be better off if their was an office building through the middle of it with only 5 feet left? Who is renovating the Morses Tea building and why not tear it down. The Dennis building, the Bank of Montreal on Spring Garden Rd. and the Roy building are on the chopping block. The Kelly building had to go as well because it was unsafe. No I don't want to see the buildings crumble, that is why I would call on the developer to sell them.

Jonovision Sep 17, 2008 1:28 AM

Wasn't this suppose to continue at council tonight? It wasn't on eastlink.

sdm Sep 17, 2008 2:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jonovision (Post 3804434)
Wasn't this suppose to continue at council tonight? It wasn't on eastlink.

Eastlink decide the film festival was more important.

Speakers have closed, now under debate by council.

It has been delayed for another 2 weeks. There were some very crazy stuff happening there tonight.......

Jonovision Sep 17, 2008 3:39 AM

Shit! I missed it! I hope the broadcast it at some point!

spaustin Sep 17, 2008 4:23 AM

I heard from one of the attendees this evening that it'll be broadcast Wednesday.

sdm Sep 17, 2008 10:28 AM

No decision on Waterside Centre, yet
Council will need another session to debate proposed development
By AMY PUGSLEY FRASER City Hall Reporter
Wed. Sep 17 - 5:34 AM

A proposed development for downtown Halifax is no closer to a decision after its second night at city hall.

The Armour Group’s Waterside Centre had another go-around Tuesday night at the second half of a public hearing but it’s clear regional councillors want to have their say, too.

At 11 p.m. — after 26 people spoke, bringing the total over two weeks to 61 — there were still eight councillors left to speak on the proposal.

The debate will continue in two weeks.

Ben McCrea, chairman of the Armour Group, told council last week that his proposal, which would link existing buildings on the corner of Duke, Hollis and Lower Water streets with a six-storey glass tower above, is necessary to make the buildings viable.

On Tuesday, he said he’s spent more than 2½ years working on the proposal.

And it’s been tough, he said.

He’s had a good working relationship with the heritage conservation groups over his 40-year career, he said.

"And I find it very difficult to keep on the high road to deal with the fact my company has been continually attacked by the (Heritage) Trust’s misinformation and portraying me and my company as the destroyer of Historic Properties."

Indeed, the animosity weighed upon Coun. Debbie Hum, who said she would have liked to see council faced with making a less contentious decision, not one that will fracture the group.

"We should not be name-calling and putting each other down," she said, noting that development hearings often pit heritage advocates against developers.

All of the speakers Tuesday night were against the development, bringing the total over the two-night hearing to 14 for and 47 against.

Those who rejected it said only the facades of the buildings would be preserved, while the interiors will be rebuilt to support the new six-storey tower above.

Despite the number of speakers who spoke out against the development, Coun. Reg Rankin said council is charged with one thing.

"The question for council tonight is: ‘Is this building within the rules?’ "

He pointed to the positive, "unbiased" staff report, which recommended its approval.

But the decision wasn’t so simple for some councillors.

Coun. David Hendsbee said it was one of the most difficult he has had to make over his lengthy council career.

Halifax is a jewel in terms of heritage properties "and we have to respect and exalt that," he said.

"I can’t see it fitting properly. . . . I have difficulty imagining it there."

( apugsley@herald.ca)

sdm Sep 17, 2008 10:43 AM

Fate of Waterside Centre still undecided
September 17, 2008 - 6:21 am
By: Desiree Finhert







The fate of a proposed nine-storey development on top of historic buildings in the downtown core won't be decided for at least another two weeks.

A second public hearing on the issue took so long on Tuesday night that councillors didn't have time for their own discussion - so the vote has been deferred.

The Armour Group proposal will link existing buildings on the corner of Duke, Hollis and Lower Water streets with a six-storey glass tower. Armour Group chair Ben McCrae has said the development will preserve the buildings' facade, and is necessary to make the buildings viable.

Twenty-five people who didn't have a chance to speak at last week's public hearing had their turn Tuesday, and all but one spoke against the development.

"This proposal before you will turn back the clock on Halifax 35 years to the days of the harbour expressway and the demolition of the Heritage port district," warned historic urbanism professor Ian Taylor.

But Lower Sackville Coun. Bob Harvey says HRM can't leave the developer hung out to dry.

"If this is really important to the character of our downtown and we're going to reject this proposal, this council should be prepared to work in a meaningful way to work with the Armour Group to do what we want," he said. "Which is to preserve this block of buildings as it is."

Armour Group chairman Ben McCrae was emotional in his closing comments.

"I find it very difficult...to deal with the fact my company is continually attacked by the (Heritage) Trust's misinformation intended to portray me and my company as a destroyer of Historic Properties," he said.

Councillors asked for a staff report on the project for the resumption of the debate on Sept. 30

sdm Sep 17, 2008 10:46 AM

Found this as well on www.hpwatersidecentre.ca under news

HISTORIC PROPERTIES – WHAT ARE THE FACTS?
The very small wood building at 1870/72 Upper Water is not a heritage building. It cannot be incorporated in our development and is not a matter before Council. A demolition permit for this building has been issued by HRM.

The Imperial Oil building (O’Carrols) is shown on the original 1925 drawings to be entirely built on piles which appear on these drawing to be wood. The pile tops are 8 feet below sidewalk elevations on Upper Water and are in the tidal zone. Pile foundation technology available in the 1920’s whether wood or steel, does not compare with modern engineering design and materials and we and our structural engineers expect deterioration. The extent of the deterioration cannot be determined without complete excavation. While we are confident a technically feasible and viable solution can be implemented to upgrade and strengthen this foundation there is always a risk that the building would have to be rebuilt with new foundation. To facilitate this remote possibility we must meet the legal technical requirements of the Heritage Property Act and a demolition application is part of the Contract application.

Those opposed to this project repeatedly cite Policy CH-1 (f) which in the body says “additions shall be subordinate to any municipally registered heritage property” but of all who have repeated this line not one has completed the sentence which includes the word “BY’ and have ignored the fact that the Policy has four specific requirements to address. The Policy says “subordinate BY”.

One of the “BY’s” relates to architectural issues requiring additions to have materials which are “subordinate to and distinguishable from the historic building materials”. Our architect, Mr. Andy Lynch has strongly recommended a very light tint glass. HRM staff has fully supported this and have advised Armour they could not support a brick cladding as it would NOT meet the requirements of the Policy. HRM-By-Design based on the current document will go further in support of rooftops and the use of glass.

Another of the BY’s relates specifically to rooftop additions requiring them to be set back. Waterside Centre is set back a minimum of 7.5 feet. Waterside Centre represents a rooftop addition as did Founders Square. HRM’s Policy clearly contemplates this type of development. Rooftop additions would clearly require a new structure be built inside the heritage building and new foundations. Removal of the bulk of the interior would be necessary with new construction replacing existing floors. These interior walls and floors, etc are not covered by the Heritage Property Act.

In 1973 Historic Properties construction work was well underway both on Granville Street and the Waterfront. The issue that gave rise to the Halifax City Council’s resolution in the Spring of 1973 related only to the potential demolition of a large number of the buildings on the West side of Granville by Halifax Developments to create a new high rise office building. Historic Properties and NSCAD were seeking to preserve the unique streetscape. The Halifax City Council’s resolution which included the West side of Granville simply expressed a “wish” that the area be preserved “as much as possible”. It was this expressed wish of that Council that paved the way for a four party agreement that saved the Granville Street streetscape. Halifax Developments agreed to reasonably maintain the West side of the street and the City sold them the “triangle” lands at the North of Granville and granted Halifax Development, development rights for a 20+ storey office building. It was a transfer of development rights.

Halifax Developments demolished all of the buildings and using the removed stone rebuilt the facades of three and in-filled the remainder with compatible designs. The space to create the necessary space for the hotel was thus provided with only a storey rooftop addition. These historic facades are very much part of the Granville streetscape and the fact they were rebuilt or have a metal clad rooftop was not then nor is it now an issue in the community.

We firmly believe we are respecting the “wish” of the previous Council with our Waterside Centre project. For more information visit our website www.hpwatersidecentre.ca


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