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  #241  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2020, 1:43 PM
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This plan definitely builds on the momentum we've been seeing in Bedford over the past decade. That square of 5 buildings on the right looks promising. One gripe I have about these latest towers-in-the-park styled developments along Larry Uteck and Clayton Park is that they're a bit out of the way.

I think if you live in a building surrounding hemlock square in the western portion of Larry Uteck, doing your daily errands or grabbing a bite must be very convenient. If there's a nice park in the area, that's even better. However, if you're on the eastern end of Larry Uteck, many sections of Clayton Park, and innovations drive next to Bayers Lake, there's a lot to be desired. There are almost zero ammenities within walking distance.

I don't want to be too harsh and call them commieblocks, although an eastern european district layout is even better done than this, architecture aside. I don't want to glorify anything here, but you would at least be directly on subway or tram lines, and have parks and grocery stores integrated into your neighbourhod unit.

I think the real example here are the chinese "microdistricts". The parking is all underground, freeing up space for a large garden with walking trails, playgrounds, pools and ponds. These are gated communities, meaning you don't have to worry about unfamiliar people wandering about. Outside the compound on street level, there are grocery stores, pharmacies and restaurants making them super-convenient. They may get some flak for the cookie-cutter architecture, but it's not like Larry Uteck is any better.



Photo by Yitian Group: https://www.yitiangroup.com/business_id.asp?id=675



Photo by Booking.com: https://www.booking.com/hotel/cn/mei...yang-fang.html

Here is a developer website: http://www.lvgem-china.com/en/service/develop/

I don't think this is necessary for our population densities, but it would be cool to see elements of such projects incorporated into new tower developments, or added to existing ones. I think we are moving in the right direction, as the newer tower developments at least have some space for a convenience store or daycare.
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  #242  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2020, 3:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Good Baklava View Post
This plan definitely builds on the momentum we've been seeing in Bedford over the past decade. That square of 5 buildings on the right looks promising. One gripe I have about these latest towers-in-the-park styled developments along Larry Uteck and Clayton Park is that they're a bit out of the way.

I think if you live in a building surrounding hemlock square in the western portion of Larry Uteck, doing your daily errands or grabbing a bite must be very convenient. If there's a nice park in the area, that's even better. However, if you're on the eastern end of Larry Uteck, many sections of Clayton Park, and innovations drive next to Bayers Lake, there's a lot to be desired. There are almost zero ammenities within walking distance.

I don't want to be too harsh and call them commieblocks, although an eastern european district layout is even better done than this, architecture aside. I don't want to glorify anything here, but you would at least be directly on subway or tram lines, and have parks and grocery stores integrated into your neighbourhod unit.

I think the real example here are the chinese "microdistricts". The parking is all underground, freeing up space for a large garden with walking trails, playgrounds, pools and ponds. These are gated communities, meaning you don't have to worry about unfamiliar people wandering about. Outside the compound on street level, there are grocery stores, pharmacies and restaurants making them super-convenient. They may get some flak for the cookie-cutter architecture, but it's not like Larry Uteck is any better.



Photo by Yitian Group: https://www.yitiangroup.com/business_id.asp?id=675



Photo by Booking.com: https://www.booking.com/hotel/cn/mei...yang-fang.html

Here is a developer website: http://www.lvgem-china.com/en/service/develop/

I don't think this is necessary for our population densities, but it would be cool to see elements of such projects incorporated into new tower developments, or added to existing ones. I think we are moving in the right direction, as the newer tower developments at least have some space for a convenience store or daycare.
I lived in Korea for a year and they have a similar approach. Despite being close to the edge of town, there was still lots of density, and everything I would need through the week was walkable. There was a “new downtown” and “old downtown” with a lot more diversity and bustle, but for groceries/takeout/household needs/haircuts I didn’t need to walk more than 10 minutes. I agree — the reason I wouldn’t want to live out there isn’t because it’s far from the core, it’s just that downtown is the only place with a lot of close amenities
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  #243  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2020, 5:00 PM
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Living and having family in Korea that like said above a place that has these types of developments I can honestly say I wouldn't want to live there. They are too planned out, they feel sterile and when you have 30 apartment buildings that all look the same in one spot it isn't fun to walk around after you do it for a while and does still take a while to get anywhere.

I think the solution here is to generally have a lot more pockets of density. With apartment buildings being close to homes like downtown. There is no reason that homes and apartment buildings need to be separated by 200m+ Having pockets of mixed use areas between green belts would be better in my opinion. The buildings should have underground parking with no above ground to better facilitate walking. Buildings should have ground floor retail so people have places to walk to even if it's not for every day things. Bedford West should have been done up more like Rockingham South.
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  #244  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2020, 5:34 PM
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I don't really get the point of these medium density suburban developments in metro Halifax. I understand why people like urban neighbourhoods or quasi-village/town neighbourhoods, and I understand why people like quasi-rural large lot subdivisions where you have the privacy of forest. This is a bit like the worst of both worlds; lack of privacy and neighbours all around you but limited conveniences.
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  #245  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2020, 6:18 PM
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I don't really get the point of these medium density suburban developments in metro Halifax. I understand why people like urban neighbourhoods or quasi-village/town neighbourhoods, and I understand why people like quasi-rural large lot subdivisions where you have the privacy of forest. This is a bit like the worst of both worlds; lack of privacy and neighbours all around you but limited conveniences.
Agreed. And I can't help but feel this is the direction that Halifax planners wanted to take them in. Ensuring enough "green space" and not too much density but giving enough, lack of height etc. I'm unsure of the discussions since it was approved so long ago but I feel that a lot of it was at the direction of HRM at the time.

IMO the other side of the highway, Larry Uteck Hemlock square, the older sections of oceanview is much more convenient and more cohesive in development.
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  #246  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2020, 7:40 PM
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Living and having family in Korea that like said above a place that has these types of developments I can honestly say I wouldn't want to live there. They are too planned out, they feel sterile and when you have 30 apartment buildings that all look the same in one spot it isn't fun to walk around after you do it for a while and does still take a while to get anywhere.

I think the solution here is to generally have a lot more pockets of density. With apartment buildings being close to homes like downtown. There is no reason that homes and apartment buildings need to be separated by 200m+ Having pockets of mixed use areas between green belts would be better in my opinion. The buildings should have underground parking with no above ground to better facilitate walking. Buildings should have ground floor retail so people have places to walk to even if it's not for every day things. Bedford West should have been done up more like Rockingham South.
I have to agree with your points. I know the developers of these asian projects have been trying to mix things up recently by adding a different styles for each phase. So that a development of 20 buildings could have 3-4 different architectural styles. The walking is far better than our suburbs, but isn't really comparable to downtown.
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  #247  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2020, 4:22 AM
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The older section of Clayton Park seems to have been planned more thoughtfully, with many of the multi-unit buildings within walking distance of the commercial cluster at Lacewood & Dunbrack, which also had a bus terminal. It's not perfect but it's a hell of a lot better than the mess along Larry Uteck Boulevard.


(Google Earth)

In Hong Kong, even housing in remote areas (like hillsides) has some kind of commercial element, such as a tiny shopping centre with a supermarket and a few cafes and shops. Often integrated with a bus terminus:


(Google Earth)

In many 20th century European suburbs the same thing is achieved with a much more "urban" form. Shops and housing in suburban Amsterdam:
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  #248  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2020, 12:06 AM
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So the Loblaws (City Market) site on Hogan Court is owned by PLAZA REIT. The Site Plan on their website says a Pizza Co. will be moving in the strip mall next door and 6 more of the 11 retail units are lease pending.
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  #249  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2020, 1:38 PM
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IHOP is D8
NSLC rumoured to be B
D1 I hear may be a Subway

there is also a dentist and barber signed
unsure which units
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  #250  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2020, 2:33 PM
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IHOP is D8
NSLC rumoured to be B
D1 I hear may be a Subway

there is also a dentist and barber signed
unsure which units
Both C and D1 look like they have drive thru's. D1 would make sense for subway. Unsure what C could be.
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  #251  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2020, 4:58 PM
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Originally Posted by alps View Post

In Hong Kong, even housing in remote areas (like hillsides) has some kind of commercial element, such as a tiny shopping centre with a supermarket and a few cafes and shops. Often integrated with a bus terminus:

In many 20th century European suburbs the same thing is achieved with a much more "urban" form. Shops and housing in suburban Amsterdam:
A bit late on my response, but my only experience with HK was a cross-border shopping day in Tuen Mun. Even if it’s known as one of the less nice suburbs, I did find the towers stacked on shopping centres to be an impressive combo. The luxury towers appeared to be the ones closest to shopping centres and despite most stores being inside malls, the streets were pretty lively around the pedestrian bridge and transit stop. I’ve heard that some wealthy people don’t bother to buy a car because MTR is more convenient.

I think the Dutch suburbs you’re showing would be more suited to Haligonian tastes, and probably a lot more quiet despite being within one of the densest countries on earth (16th)! A lot of people go to the Netherlands for the sake of entertainment, but I would go just to see the urban form.
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Last edited by Good Baklava; Nov 19, 2020 at 10:40 PM.
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  #252  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2020, 5:04 PM
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So the Loblaws (City Market) site on Hogan Court is owned by PLAZA REIT. The Site Plan on their website says a Pizza Co. will be moving in the strip mall next door and 6 more of the 11 retail units are lease pending.
I’ll have to pop down through Larry U. and Hogan court to see these additions on my next visit to town. Because of the pandemic they’ll probably be done by the time I’m able to go.
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  #253  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2020, 1:34 AM
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Originally Posted by HalifaxRetales View Post
IHOP is D8
NSLC rumoured to be B
D1 I hear may be a Subway

there is also a dentist and barber signed
unsure which units
NSLC with a drive thru? Also there's a NSLC Signature across the highway. I guess it could be a Cannabis store but I heard Mill Cove is getting one.

D1 for Subway would make sense. All of the other big fast food chains have a location in Bedford South and/or Bedford West. Their closest are Mill Cove and Kearney Lake Plaza which are outside the huge new population centre.

"C" by the way is almost certainly a gas station with a carwash. The tiny store footprint indicates brands like Wilsons, Canadian Tire or Esso. Mobil are in Superstore parking lots but don't have carwashes. Petro Canada, Irving, and Fast Fuel are all nearby and usually build bigger stores. Shell tends to partner with Sobeys Express who would never build in a Superstore parking lot.
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  #254  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2020, 11:57 AM
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NSLC with a drive thru? Also there's a NSLC Signature across the highway. I guess it could be a Cannabis store but I heard Mill Cove is getting one.
I would be shocked if NSLC returned to having drive-thrus. They got out of them because they were expensive to operate and inefficient. Hopefully we don't have a drive-thru weed store.
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  #255  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2020, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Dmajackson View Post
NSLC with a drive thru? Also there's a NSLC Signature across the highway. I guess it could be a Cannabis store but I heard Mill Cove is getting one.

D1 for Subway would make sense. All of the other big fast food chains have a location in Bedford South and/or Bedford West. Their closest are Mill Cove and Kearney Lake Plaza which are outside the huge new population centre.

"C" by the way is almost certainly a gas station with a carwash. The tiny store footprint indicates brands like Wilsons, Canadian Tire or Esso. Mobil are in Superstore parking lots but don't have carwashes. Petro Canada, Irving, and Fast Fuel are all nearby and usually build bigger stores. Shell tends to partner with Sobeys Express who would never build in a Superstore parking lot.
Looking at it more you're 100% right about C being a car wash and the pumps to the right.

Looking at B more there is what looks to be a dumpster to the right with 2 doors facing superstore and 1 door out towards the parking lot. I'm wondering if this could be an A&W?
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  #256  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2020, 6:18 AM
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Can never have enough A&W around here
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  #257  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2020, 5:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Dmajackson View Post
NSLC with a drive thru? Also there's a NSLC Signature across the highway. I guess it could be a Cannabis store but I heard Mill Cove is getting one.

D1 for Subway would make sense. All of the other big fast food chains have a location in Bedford South and/or Bedford West. Their closest are Mill Cove and Kearney Lake Plaza which are outside the huge new population centre.

"C" by the way is almost certainly a gas station with a carwash. The tiny store footprint indicates brands like Wilsons, Canadian Tire or Esso. Mobil are in Superstore parking lots but don't have carwashes. Petro Canada, Irving, and Fast Fuel are all nearby and usually build bigger stores. Shell tends to partner with Sobeys Express who would never build in a Superstore parking lot.
agreed on NSLC but that is what a couple of folks have told me someone in the construction industry (I too am not convinced)
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  #258  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2021, 7:18 PM
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Superstore has begun their employment drive for the new store and construction is moving along quickly. Shouldn't be too long before its open;



Across the street the Springhill Suites is almost completed on the outside;



And about a kilometre up Larry Uteck the first commercial development in that area is well underway. This particular spot is Brookline Plaza and will be home to three strip malls. It's located on Brookline Drive at Larry Uteck.



As for the residential side of things there are a lot of apartment buildings going up across all of the parks. I did take a photo of the tallest buildings underway which are Innovation Towers on Innovation Drive directly across from C.P. Allen High School.



On the smaller residential scale most of the parks are fully built out. The current greenfield expansion area is in Brookline Park. The houses are the standard suburban mix of standalone and townhouses with a few bungalow sites aimed at the retirement community. Of note though is the street system is now open to Cairnstone Lane. This is the western limit of West Bedford and the houses along this street back onto Black Duck Brook in Birch Cove - Blue Mountain Wilderness Park. There will be a trailhead near the Highway 113 corridor eventually but the secondary entrances on the side streets should be apparent in the spring.

All photos above were taken by me and hosted on my blog (see my signature).
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