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someone123 Jan 27, 2008 9:27 AM

[Halifax] RBC Waterside Centre | 37 m | 9 fl | Completed
 
This thread might be a little premature but there has been speculation that the Armour Group will be building an 80,000 sq foot addition on top of some existing historic buildings along Lower Water Street similar to Founders Square.

This cluster of buildings is currently known as Privateers Passage and is currently 50,000 square feet. Founders Square has 230,000 square feet of office space:

http://www.armourgroup.com/uploads/p...c06dd3b5fd.jpg

someone123 Jan 27, 2008 9:32 AM

The Armour Group has requested a demolition permit for 1870 Lower Water Street, the small green building shown above:

http://www.halifax.ca/boardscom/hac/...aterStreet.pdf

sdm Jan 27, 2008 4:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 3310983)
This thread might be a little premature but there has been speculation that the Armour Group will be building an 80,000 sq foot addition on top of some existing historic buildings along Lower Water Street similar to Founders Square.

This cluster of buildings is currently known as Privateers Passage and is currently 50,000 square feet. Founders Square has 230,000 square feet of office space:

http://www.armourgroup.com/uploads/p...c06dd3b5fd.jpg

Hereing this as well, but the site is within the view planes and it could never be built as high as Founders Square. I believe the height limits put it around 9 stories. Regardless, this will be an excellent addition to the area and hope it actually comes true.

someone123 Jan 27, 2008 7:25 PM

The 80,000 square feet implies that it would only in the end be half as tall as Founders Square. I'm guessing they estimated that based on whatever height limitations exist.

I wonder if this development would be heavily fought by the Heritage Trust, etc? They definitely don't want the little wooden building to come down. Presumably that is where the entrance for the new development would go. On top of that, there is the issue that the other buildings are probably going to be reduced to facades.

I'm mixed on the facades but I don't think the wooden building is worth saving, particularly given the fact that it's already surrounded by an empty lot (not sure if the Armour Group owns this or not).

I'm also wondering how the triangle lands idea is coming along.

sdm Jan 27, 2008 8:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 3311506)
The 80,000 square feet implies that it would only in the end be half as tall as Founders Square. I'm guessing they estimated that based on whatever height limitations exist.

I wonder if this development would be heavily fought by the Heritage Trust, etc? They definitely don't want the little wooden building to come down. Presumably that is where the entrance for the new development would go. On top of that, there is the issue that the other buildings are probably going to be reduced to facades.

I'm mixed on the facades but I don't think the wooden building is worth saving, particularly given the fact that it's already surrounded by an empty lot (not sure if the Armour Group owns this or not).

I'm also wondering how the triangle lands idea is coming along.

The Armour Group owns the whole block, including the parking lot.

For sure heritage will stick its foot in, which sucks because it would be nice to see another founders type development seeing how we can;t go up.

Wishblade Jan 28, 2008 12:52 AM

Theres too much of a need for office space downtown, and this wouldnt be very tall. I can't see how it wouldn't go through.

sdm Jan 28, 2008 1:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wishblade (Post 3312089)
Theres too much of a need for office space downtown, and this wouldnt be very tall. I can't see how it wouldn't go through.

Very true, but knowning how the heritage people act around here i can see this being challenged.

Which reminds me, armour had proposed something like 170,000 square feet of office for Queens Landing project, yet that seems to be a dead file.

someone123 Jan 28, 2008 3:06 AM

From ArmourGroup.com:

McCREA PLANS DOWNTOWN HIGHRISE AT HISTORIC PROPERTIES (Nov26/2007 Allnovascotia.com)
Nov. 26, 2007

By Andrew Macdonald

Prominent developer Ben McCrea is looking at building a second Founders’ Square office complex at Historic Properties.

The proposal is mentioned in one paragraph of a five-page report from HRM’s director of community development, written last summer, which recommends against allowing for the demolition of one property on the planned redevelopment.

Paul Dunphy wrote: “Armour Group has stated that it is considering a Founders’ Square type of redevelopment of the adjacent buildings, which have been vacated by NSCAD – and this would require demolition of 1870 Upper Water Street (which Armour owns) because it is an obsolete, wood-framed building that cannot be viably incorporated into the redevelopment.” He said no formal application for a development agreement has been made.

Armour is the major landowner of most of what is considered Historic Properties.

The plans will be controversial. In the early 1970s dozens of historic properties along the waterfront were saved, after a public brouhaha over plans to build a super-highway to the South End container terminal.

McCrea’s ambitious plans would provide new downtown office highrises, which many observers have said are necessary to deal with an influx of financial firms from Bermuda.

Last summer, Armour requested the Heritage Advisory Committee not hold a public meeting over its demolition application, because it would pursue the matter in the courts.

In his report on the proposal Dunphy said that Armour’s rationale that the building at 1870 Upper Water Street does not fit with its redevelopment plans should not be sufficient to justify it being torn down, given it’s in “an important historic area like Historic Properties.”

“This building is an important part of the historical evolution of the Historic Properties waterfront area and is an asset that contributes to the historic character of the area.”

Now, Armour is asking the Nova Scotia Supreme Court to force HRM to lift the heritage designation and order HRM to provide a demolition permit.

If the as yet unscheduled Chambers hearing grants the request, it would mean a public meeting to delist would not be called.

Armour alleges that 1870 Upper Water Street, which it has owned since 1972 via a former interest with FS Industries, had been incorrectly designated a heritage property in 1981 by the old City of Halifax.

The two and a half storey building is known as the P Martin Liquors Building, and is currently home to Sweet Basil, a restaurant owned by Unni Simonsen, part of the Scanway Group.

McCrea was hunting yesterday and not available for comment.

At one point, HRM suggested the developer ask for the deregistration via a public meeting, or wait one year for a demolition application to be heard.

The issue dates to 2006, when McCrea, founder of Armour Group, wrote HRM with what he thought was a mistake in registering the 1870 Upper Water Street property.

“Our company owns a number of registered heritage properties which we treasure and maintain. We do not consider that this property falls into that category,” wrote McCrea in a July 11, 2006 letter to HRM’s municipal clerk.

“Our analysis of the building construction determined that the building, except for the basement, was of recent construction.

“We have indications that the building on the property was significantly changed some time in the early 1900s, and this confirms our opinion that it is more recent construction.”

In an affidavit, McCrea said that he was informed by Maggie Holm, an HRM planner, in the spring of 2006, that the registration of the building was in error.

But last February, Bill Paskett, another HRM planner said the 1981 registration would stand.

“Between 1981 and 1985, all of the buildings in the recommended Historic Properties conservation area were registered as heritage properties, either on their own architectural or historic merit or because they were part of a recommended heritage streetscape or conservation area” wrote Plaskett. He said a representative of the owner, lawyer Hugh Smith, who represented then-owner of the property FS Industries, assented to the heritage designation.

An HRM document from last summer says that FS Industries was aware of the heritage designation, and that it sought council’s permission with renovations it carried out on the property in 2001, including installing new windows.

Armour purchased some of the FS holdings in 2002, while NSCAD University acquired other surrounding properties.

In court documents, Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia president Phil Pacey wrote to McCrea pledging to work with the developer in maintaining the building.

George MacDonald of McInnes Cooper, is representing Armour.

sdm Jan 29, 2008 12:06 AM

from the sounds of that article it looks like a fight is looming. Come on, lets see even 1 new building downtown, regardless of its size. We need new office spaces

Haliguy Feb 2, 2008 8:19 PM

I read in the paper yesterday that details for this project may be released this week.

Jonovision Feb 3, 2008 3:09 AM

Really?! that would be awesome news!

someone123 Feb 3, 2008 3:21 AM

This project is small but could turn out to be really attractive and is exactly what the downtown needs - new office space and adaptive reuse of historic buildings.

I hope we also hear something about the triangle lands eventually.

Another project in the area is the Morse's Teas renovations.

sdm Feb 9, 2008 11:41 AM

Plan will fuse history, business
Armour Group chairman outlines redevelopment of heritage buildings
By STEVE PROCTOR Business Editor
Sat. Feb 9 - 6:43 AM

The man behind the creation of Historic Properties and Founders Square is planning a $16-million redevelopment of another series of historic buildings in downtown Halifax.

Armour (Ben) McCrea, chairman of Armour Group, said Friday he hopes to restore and incorporate four heritage buildings in the block between Historic Properties and the Granville Mall into a new 80,000-square-foot eco-friendly office building.

"This will help meet the demand for more office space downtown but at street level still offer the opportunity for retail and food outlets," he said. "It fuses Halifax history and our collective sense of place with the requirements of modern business."

The company has been working with the city on the project for the last 18 months, he said, and the development complies with all city planning standards. The proposal is for nine storeys, which respects the height restrictions under view plane regulations.

The building and lands involved were purchased by Armour Group in 1972 as part of the Historic Properties development. Parts have been occupied by restaurants, but most of the space has been used in recent years by the NSCAD University.

With the college moving to a new home on the waterfront on Terminal Road, Mr. McCrae said the time is right to give new life to the property.

The plan by Andy Lynch of Lydon Lynch Architects calls for the gutting of the interior of the buildings but the preservation of four of five building facades on the block. A new six-storey glass top will be set back from street level to ensure heritage elements are given visual prominence. Infill on vacant lands will incorporate Nova Scotia sandstone

"Right now it is a rabbit warren of empty spaces with varying floor levels that make it impossible to redevelop and offer modern conveniences and meet building code requirements," said Mr. McCrae. "Some people won’t like that I’m only preserving the facades, but the buildings are functionally obsolete and economically unsustainable."

Mr. McRae said the building at 1870 Upper Water St. has to be demolished to make the project viable. Although it is a designated heritage building, he contends it was designated in error. He will try to convince a judge of that in March when he moves to have the designation revoked and get the city to issue a demolition permit.

"It is just something that has to be done in order for us to be able to save the other four buildings."

Stephen Dempsey, president and CEO of the Greater Halifax Partnership, has seen the plans and loves the design.

"There is a debate in the city about the marrying of heritage buildings and commercial enterprise. Mr. McCrae has done it successfully at Historic Properties and at Founders Square, and it looks like he has an opportunity to do it here again."

The project’s 60,000 square feet of office space won’t go a long way to improve the pressing need for more such space downtown, but he speculated tenants would be drawn to the buildings’ heritage nature and green attributes.

Mr. McCrae said energy efficiency is a key part of the design and the project will use seawater for heating and cooling. The target is to use 40 per cent less energy than a conventional project.

Howard Epstein, the Halifax Fairview MLA who joined with several groups last year in appealing city council’s approval of the Twisted Sisters development, said he hasn’t seen the plans but he’s worried such a project might not be in keeping with the character of the area.

"It always depends on the details, but I think something in the six to seven storeys should prevail," he said. "Even if it is nine or 10 storeys, it shows that you don’t need 25 storeys to have a viable development."

The plans have been filed with the city and a development agreement will have to be negotiated before any building begins. Mr. McCrae said he hopes that process can be completed within six months so that construction can begin in spring 2009. He said it will take about one year to complete.

( sproctor@herald.ca)

Keith P. Feb 9, 2008 12:46 PM

I get so frustrated with Howard Epstein and his ilk. To say that the example of a single developent where the owner has held the property for 35 years somehow proves that developments of 6 stories are viable, most certainly does not prove anything about the viability of 25-storey developments on other sites. Every time he opens his mouth Epstein manages to embarass himself and shows how he is unqualified to discuss development.

someone123 Feb 9, 2008 7:45 PM

I can't find a rendering anywhere but the more details I hear the more I like this project. Tearing down 1870 Lower Water and filling in that part of the block up to Morse's Teas is a big net win for the area, and the glass upper floors sound attractive. They'll contrast with the brick and stone lower floors and will tie in with neighbouring buildings like 1801 Hollis.

Let's hope people are able to see the forest through the trees on this one...

sdm Feb 9, 2008 8:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 3343281)
I can't find a rendering anywhere but the more details I hear the more I like this project. Tearing down 1870 Lower Water and filling in that part of the block up to Morse's Teas is a big net win for the area, and the glass upper floors sound attractive. They'll contrast with the brick and stone lower floors and will tie in with neighbouring buildings like 1801 Hollis.

Let's hope people are able to see the forest through the trees on this one...

Haven;t seen the renderings either but know its on target to be first LEED building downtown with a min LEED silver rating and could be the greenest building this side of toronto if they push the building to Gold. Using seawater like historic has is perfect option for a renewable resouce.

Lets hope they allow this project to go, the project meets all mps and height restrictions. Best part is they have a history of doing this type of redevelopment.

However knowing heritage they will fight it. But the project has too many good things to just say no too.

Jonovision Feb 10, 2008 7:31 PM

There was a picture in the paper with the renderings scattered on a table, so they were hard to make out, but they looked promising. Nice and glassy.

Wishblade Feb 10, 2008 8:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jonovision (Post 3345187)
There was a picture in the paper with the renderings scattered on a table, so they were hard to make out, but they looked promising. Nice and glassy.

Was it part of an article about it? And what paper was it in? I want to look it up.

Jonovision Feb 10, 2008 8:04 PM

It was part of the article above from saturdays chronicle, but there was no image on the online edition.

whyteknight Mar 8, 2008 1:00 AM

sorry to intrude, and I appologize at my crude drawing, but this is what id like to see for that group of beautiful buildings:

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...night1/tyi.jpg

someone123 Mar 9, 2008 2:42 AM

Interesting design. I'd like to see a lot more adaptive reuse of heritage buildings around the downtown area. The top-notch buildings (e.g. Province House) should be left as-is but most others are best if they're modernized so that they don't sit empty or underused.

I believe the Armour Group proposal will be above everything, including the building with the Subway on the other side, and 80,000 sq. ft implies something much taller given the footprint. I have no problem with this - the street level is most important and the downtown needs to be more built up so it becomes busier. I also think that the hole next to Morse's Teas should be filled in.

It would be nice to see a rendering for this but I haven't been able to find one.

The_Bow Mar 11, 2008 9:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by whyteknight (Post 3402165)
sorry to intrude, and I appologize at my crude drawing, but this is what id like to see for that group of beautiful buildings:

Nice design, no doubt the economics require significantly more massing to make a redevelopment profitable.

Empire Mar 12, 2008 1:51 AM

It is unfortunate that the Irving building will be torn down. That stretch with O'Carrols on one side and Historic properties on the other is one of few streetscapes left like that. The new building will be squat and occupy the block except for the Morses Tea building. The design is glass, square and bulky at 9 floors. It will be like Belmont House stuck on that corner.

someone123 Mar 12, 2008 2:05 AM

Irving? The building on the corner says Imperial Oil (presumably it dates to the same era as the refinery) and as far as I know that's registered and will not be torn down.

The building in the demolition application is the green, three storey wood structure in the middle of the block. It's one of those buildings that makes you wonder how it survived for so long without being replaced by something better - it's nowhere near the level of quality of its neighbours.

sdm Mar 12, 2008 11:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 3409827)
Irving? The building on the corner says Imperial Oil (presumably it dates to the same era as the refinery) and as far as I know that's registered and will not be torn down.

The building in the demolition application is the green, three storey wood structure in the middle of the block. It's one of those buildings that makes you wonder how it survived for so long without being replaced by something better - it's nowhere near the level of quality of its neighbours.

Correct, the last building on upperwater street, the green wooden structure will be torn down to accomadate the new development. The imperial building remains, along with the other 3 heritage buildings.

In the end one wooden building goes so that 4 can remain. The wooden building has no historical significance. Also i have seen the design and i like it, nice clean look that appears to meet all current MPS bylaws and use of materials that are found throughout many of the structures downtown.

Lets hope heritage don't stick their foot into this one.

reddog794 Mar 12, 2008 5:39 PM

That looks dynamic, and is forward looking architechture. Maybe we could finally convince those heritage nuts, that this should be the direction the heritage buildings take. I like it.

sdm Mar 13, 2008 12:39 PM

There’s an article in allnovascotia.com regarding Armour Groups Court Case to remove the heritage designation on the violet Clarke building and force HRM to issue a demo permit. Guess it gets heard Monday in the Nova Scotia court of appeals. There is evidence that the building was registered incorrectly.

This looks like the start of the battle between HRM, Heritage and the Developer. Got to give The Armour group credit on this one as they seem to be the only developer wishing to redevelop heritage properties and incorporate modern facilities into the redesign.

I hope we see this project get the green light as it would be positive news for our downtown core, which is been subjected to a lot of negativity for too many years

phrenic Mar 13, 2008 12:41 PM

I hate to state the obvious, but it would be a real shame if this gets quashed for the sake of the little green building.

sdm Mar 13, 2008 1:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phrenic (Post 3413138)
I hate to state the obvious, but it would be a real shame if this gets quashed for the sake of the little green building.

Yes it would, i've seen the design first hand and its cool and fits very well.

phrenic Mar 13, 2008 1:44 PM

Any idea on when the design/render will be released for the public?

(I assume if it were readily available it would have already appeared in this thread)

sdm Mar 13, 2008 2:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phrenic (Post 3413236)
Any idea on when the design/render will be released for the public?

(I assume if it were readily available it would have already appeared in this thread)

I would imagine soon as once this process is done it will become a case for HRM council to review. There is signage on the property that the developer has filled a development agreement for the properties. I gather we will see the renderings there.

Andy Lynch is the architect, so its a good design.

sdm Mar 17, 2008 7:15 PM

Rendering is out on Armourgroup.com site

http://armourgroup.com/uploads/prope...ter%20full.jpg

someone123 Mar 17, 2008 7:52 PM

Looks okay. The perspective in the rendering is a little weird - I guess they did it to make the building look smaller. In practice this building would be maybe 40% as tall as 1801 Hollis.

The only part that looks bad is the ground level part where the current wooden building will be demolished, but that part of the rendering may not even be what the final building will look like. I would prefer it if they simply brought the glass office structure down to ground level, maybe with a large lobby covering the whole space all the way up to the roof line of the other buildings.

worldlyhaligonian Mar 17, 2008 8:26 PM

a glass atrium entrance would most definitely be good in place of the wooden building. kind of like the bank of nova scotia tower in toronto.

Empire Mar 17, 2008 10:57 PM

There is something wrong with this rendering. The initial plan was to demolish the Irving building that now houses O'Carroll's and add a 9 storey glass box. This plan is a mess, it is not a real rendering but merely a bad cut and paste. Given the site, it would be a shame to go to so much trouble and not build higher. The site should be considered for a Founders Square type development only higher. This site could easily accommodate a 20 storey building and should as it is right in the middle of the finincial district.

sdm Mar 17, 2008 11:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Empire (Post 3422356)
There is something wrong with this rendering. The initial plan was to demolish the Irving building that now houses O'Carroll's and add a 9 storey glass box. This plan is a mess, it is not a real rendering but merely a bad cut and paste. Given the site, it would be a shame to go to so much trouble and not build higher. The site should be considered for a Founders Square type development only higher. This site could easily accommodate a 20 storey building and should as it is right in the middle of the finincial district.

The plan was never to demolish the irving (imperial) building. That is a heritage property. The plan is to demolish the violet clarke building, the small green wooden building that isn;t a heritage property.

I don't see anything wrong with it, its a nice fit. Got to remember the building is in the view plan, max height is 9 storey.

Jonovision Mar 18, 2008 12:16 AM

I don't mind the height, but it looks kinda plain to me. I was hoping for an actual just glass box, i don't think i like the roof.

Haliguy Mar 18, 2008 12:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jonovision (Post 3422529)
I don't mind the height, but it looks kinda plain to me. I was hoping for an actual just glass box, i don't think i like the roof.

Yeah, I'm not crazy about the roof either.

someone123 Mar 18, 2008 2:45 AM

Here's roughly how I guess it will fit in (I probably made it slightly too tall):

http://www.pbase.com/image/94350658/original.jpg

Looks like the cladding will be something along the lines of the RIM building (which itself sort of looks like an updated Xwave building). It will probably look nice.

Something else to keep in mind is that the law courts' days are numbered at this point.

sdm Mar 18, 2008 10:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 3422822)
Here's roughly how I guess it will fit in (I probably made it slightly too tall):

http://www.pbase.com/image/94350658/original.jpg

Looks like the cladding will be something along the lines of the RIM building (which itself sort of looks like an updated Xwave building). It will probably look nice.

Something else to keep in mind is that the law courts' days are numbered at this point.

The building will feature clear glazing and use nova scotia sandstone. The Hollis side is glass to the ground floor in the area where people pass through to Historic properties/ granville street mall.

sdm Mar 18, 2008 10:26 AM

Developer makes case for demolition
Building is heritage property, municipality tells Supreme Court
By BILL POWER Staff Reporter
Tue. Mar 18 - 6:39 AM



The legal status of the building at 1870 Upper Water St. in Halifax, which houses part of Sweet Basil Bistro, remains in limbo for at least two more weeks. Armour Group has applied for a permit to demolish the wooden structure as part of its ambitious reconstruction of the historic block. HRM refused to grant a demolition permit, saying the building is registered for protection under the Heritage Property Act. (JEFF HARPER / Staff)





It will be at least two weeks before proponents of a $16-million reconstruction of some historic Upper Water Street buildings learn if the status of a wooden structure will push the project into development limbo.

Armour (Ben) McCrea, chairman of Armour Group, said Monday he is frustrated a dispute over a decades-old "clerical error" involving street addressing landed in Nova Scotia Supreme Court when the matter could be cleared up quickly by a Halifax regional council motion.

"There are ways a lot simpler than this to have this resolved, rather than putting me through the hoops that I’m having to go through. It’s unfair," the developer said outside the courtroom.

Lawyers representing Armour Group and Halifax Regional Municipality squared off before Justice Walter Goodfellow over the heritage status of the wood structure at 1870 Upper Water St. under the provincial Heritage Property Act.

The act requires extensive public consultation prior to demolition or significant alteration of protected properties.

Justice Goodfellow told the court it will be at least two weeks before he renders a decision on the legal status of the building, which houses a portion of Sweet Basil Bistro.

Armour Group has applied for a permit to demolish the wooden structure as part of its ambitious reconstruction of the historic block.

Armour insists the building was never registered with the province as a heritage property, as were four other structures on the same block.

The company is seeking a ruling from the Supreme Court that will force the municipality to process a required demolition permit, which Mr. McCrea said will hasten the development approval process and increase the viability of the project.

Court heard that the municipality refused to grant a demolition permit as it has evidence the building is registered for protection under the act.

Solicitor Karen Brown told the court the matter involves more than a clerical error, as put forward by Armour Group.

"HRM has documents indicating it is a registered heritage property," she said.

After the court proceeding, Mr. McCrea said his company wants the status of the building at 1870 Upper Water St. resolved before going to the public with its redevelopment proposal for the entire block across the street from Historic Properties on Halifax’s waterfront.

Regardless of the outcome of this legal snag, he said his company could demolish the building after one year. But he said his company has never demolished a protected structure and he wants the status of this building clarified.

He said his company wants to maintain its good reputation for attention to heritage issues in its redevelopment work, as reflected in the waterfront Historic Properties project across the street from this site and the nearby Founders Square complex.

Armour Group requires a development agreement with the municipality before beginning construction of the eight-to-nine storey complex in the spring of 2009. It will provide about 80,000 square feet of office and ground-floor retail space and will retain the original historic building facades if approved

sdm Mar 18, 2008 12:43 PM

also see there is an article in the allnovascotia.com that has more facts to the case then the chronicle heralds article.

HRM didn't even call the two witnesses, claimed they had documents, but couldn't find them. And that 1870 was historic properties limited offices address at one time, not an actual building.

Too funny.

Also seem's Mr. Pacey is getting ready to fight it as well, claims he is against Founder Square type redevelopments.

phrenic Mar 18, 2008 12:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sdm (Post 3423336)
Also seem's Mr. Pacey is getting ready to fight it as well, claims he is against Founder Square type redevelopments.

I propose that Ben McCrea and Phil Pacey settle this by battling each other in one of those East Coast Cage fights up at the forum. :haha:

In all seriousness,

Quote:

Originally Posted by phrenic
... it would be a real shame if this gets quashed for the sake of the little green building.


sdm Mar 18, 2008 3:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phrenic (Post 3423342)
I propose that Ben McCrea and Phil Pacey settle this by battling each other in one of those East Coast Cage fights up at the forum. :haha:

In all seriousness,

Considering the size of Pacey to Ben i would give the quick node to Ben in that match.

Seriously though, your totally right Phrenic if this heritage trust stalls another development i believe people will be calling for his head on a plater.

someone123 Mar 18, 2008 6:47 PM

I'd really be surprised if Pacey didn't try to fight this one.

It's too bad we're not seeing more development on completely empty sites. I guess the biggest problem there is that most are government owned (Barrington/George, two on Hollis, waterfront lands, SGR lands).

I wonder if we will hear anything more about an office building for the triangle lands or Trade Mart? This one isn't going to start for a year, minimum.

sdm Apr 1, 2008 7:29 PM

News out in allnovascotia.com

Appears Justice Goodfellow has ruled in favor of the Armour Group stating that the 1870 building is not a registered Heritage property and therefore can be demolished.

Appears the first battle for this redevelopment is done, now the development agreement. I am sure the heritage group will be winding up for their fight.

Haliguy Apr 2, 2008 2:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sdm (Post 3455323)
News out in allnovascotia.com

Appears Justice Goodfellow has ruled in favor of the Armour Group stating that the 1870 building is not a registered Heritage property and therefore can be demolished.

Appears the first battle for this redevelopment is done, now the development agreement. I am sure the heritage group will be winding up for their fight.

Great News!

someone123 Apr 2, 2008 6:39 AM

Yes, good news. I really have no idea how an appeal would go. Of course, I'm guessing nobody else does either since the MPS is mostly vague guidelines. At least there are some good precedents such as Founder's Square and part of Granville.

One issue here is that if they demolish the building and then the development is torpedoed the area will be worse off than it is now. That kind of thing has happened in the past. The developer at this point probably wants to get rid of that building immediately to put create a bit more pressure to approve the new building.

sdm Apr 2, 2008 12:07 PM

Development clears major hurdle
Court rules building doesn’t have heritage designation, developer to continue planning process
By STEVE PROCTOR Business Editor
Wed. Apr 2 - 6:41 AM

A $16-million redevelopment of heritage buildings in downtown Halifax cleared one hurdle Tuesday, but the developer backing the effort worries the project could still get caught up in proposed planning changes for the city.

Armour (Ben) McCrea, chairman of Armour Group, said a decision by Supreme Court Justice Walter Goodfellow affirming that a wood-framed building at 1870 Upper Water St. was mistakenly designated a heritage building will help move the project forward.

But he’s concerned the nine-storey project might still fall victim to height restrictions contemplated in the Halifax by Design planning effort.

"With the issue of the historical designation out of the way, the project meets all existing city policy but with the HRM by Design process moving ahead and the fact I do not yet have a staff report on the project, I’m concerned."

The project calls for the restoring and incorporation of four heritage buildings in the block between Historic Properties and the Granville Mall into a new 80,000-square-foot office building.

Mr. McCrea said the building at 1870 Upper Water St. has to be demolished to make the project viable. If it had remained a designated heritage property, he said he would have had to wait a year before he could tear it down. Worse still, he would leave himself open to be criticized for demolishing such a property.

So instead, he took the city to court and won.

"It was a clerical error made in 1981 that went undiscovered until 2005. Everyone acknowledges it was a mistake, and now the courts do too," he said in an interview. "It’s just unfortunate that it took this kind of time and expense to correct an error."

The city can still appeal the decision.

Mr. McCrea said his development will help meet the demand for more office space downtown but at street level still offer the opportunity for retail and food outlets.

The HRM by Design proposal, which has yet to be presented to council for approval, calls for a seven-storey height restriction on most of the downtown core. The proponents say that even with that limit, there is a potential for an additional 4.4 million square feet of office space.

Mr. McCrea said the Halifax Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Halifax Partnership have been working with local developers to rationalize that number but as yet have been unable to do so.

( sproctor@herald.ca)

sdm Apr 2, 2008 12:08 PM

7 stories for most of downtown, i knew it


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