JoeUrban

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I guess there's this, gives you an idea of the "public space" (actually public?) between the alley and 7th Ave, you can see that it does look similar to the municipal building atrium.

Screenshot_20220511-133418_Acrobat for Samsung.jpg
 

MichaelS

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Beggers can't be choosers.

Having issues with the design is OK, but I think many people are missing the most important component of this development and that is it's adding much needed density we've all been begging for.
Have we been begging? Keep in mind, this permit is just for the office building, with the residential being "future phases". hence why no tower design (for anyone who has seen the plans can confirm). It is density, but density of a use that we have openly been saying for years we have too much of. To the point we are paying tax dollars to remove some of it. If the ENTIRE project built out, it would be great. But as pointed out earlier by (I think) JoeUrban, is it worth the risk of allowing certain compromises for a future "promise", a strategy that has burned us all too often in the past (distant and recent)?
 

JonnyCanuck

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I'm hoping the renders will be public soon. They were in the pdf circulated to stakeholders but not put into the pdf for the public...
Also keep in mind, the renderings will be preliminary. The public engagement has not started. The city has not weighed in either.
Regardless of what the final design is going to be, there will be towers in place of some existing buildings. You can't achieve density on that block without towers. Whether the podiums/mezzanines maintain enough elements of the original buildings remains to be seen. I don't see any scenario where the developer bows to some public outcry and says 'OK, we give up, we'll keep things the way they are'. The city won't settle for that either.
 
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Atticus

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The current businesses and historic buildings along 8th Ave are nice, however it's still a ghost town most of the time. They aren't exactly flourishing with people. Even on their busiest of times, it's rather lame compared to other cities/countries. Renovating them would do very little to increase foot traffic and increase business.
Is that true though? For the last 2 Years Stephen Ave. has been quiet due to Covid, but before that it was the busiest street downtown and the only one that has had any amount of life after work hours.
I don’t believe keeping the façades but building a large mega podium in behind them will make it any more vibrant.

Not to mention the risk of the façades being taken away and then they never get put back again cough *York* cough.
 

haltcatchfire

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I guess there's this, gives you an idea of the "public space" (actually public?) between the alley and 7th Ave, you can see that it does look similar to the municipal building atrium.

View attachment 399782

A space that will be in perpetual shadow in a city with 9 months of cool days. That's a lot of money to spend on a smokers patio.
 

Mountain Man

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Have we been begging? Keep in mind, this permit is just for the office building, with the residential being "future phases". hence why no tower design (for anyone who has seen the plans can confirm). It is density, but density of a use that we have openly been saying for years we have too much of. To the point we are paying tax dollars to remove some of it. If the ENTIRE project built out, it would be great. But as pointed out earlier by (I think) JoeUrban, is it worth the risk of allowing certain compromises for a future "promise", a strategy that has burned us all too often in the past (distant and recent)?
We have been begging, relatively speaking. All of us have been calling for more residential in the core, obviously we all want more skyscrapers and we have been calling for more development in the core. If it weren't for the threat to the extremely limited supply of heritqage buidlgins downtown, we would all be in 10o0% support of this project. That and the office component, it's downright irresponsible to build office space in downtown Calgary right now.

Someone hinted at a tech company as an anchor tenant here? if that's sufficient to make the residential part happen I'm good with it, they just need to scale down the podium (like, chop off 3 floors to start) and make more effort to keep the heritage façades on both 7th and 8th avenues. The punch throughs seem like an interesting idea, but the city should push back against it. Lets not destroy heritage buildings to create an empty plaza. If there is a plan to activate the plaza year round, then it's a discussion worth having, otherwise leave Clarence Block the fuck alone! lol
 

artvandelay

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To be fair and counter some of the negativity - let's not lose sight of the fact that this development has all of the ingredients to be an excellent addition to downtown. They just need to be assembled much more strategically:

- Beautiful heritage buildings that could be leveraged to create character retail space that is appropriately scaled for pedestrian realm
- Ample at grade retail space (often missing from the typical office mega development in Calgary)
- Bigtime density
- A "woonerf" type space that could be fantastic if executed appropriately - there is enough retail frontage on the woonerf to activate the interior areas, however there has been to much space dedicated to turning radii and passenger drop-off as designed
- A well balanced mix of pretty much every use you would want in a downtown core that should keep the site buzzing at all hours
- Optimal location at the heart of downtown
A space that will be in perpetual shadow in a city with 9 months of cool days. That's a lot of money to spend on a smokers patio.
If you look closely, the massing is arranged in a way that should allow maximum light penetration into that space, as the bulk of the density is positioned along the N and E sides of the site. Credit where due.
 

shermanator

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This is an absolutely terrible idea. I'm one of the few people who've spent many nights along that section of Stephen Ave. It would completely destroy that street. I don't know why this city with its limited history is so intent on tearing it down.

The 7th avenue side, sure, I can see the reasoning.
 

outoftheice

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To be fair and counter some of the negativity - let's not lose sight of the fact that this development has all of the ingredients to be an excellent addition to downtown. They just need to be assembled much more strategically:

- Beautiful heritage buildings that could be leveraged to create character retail space that is appropriately scaled for pedestrian realm
- Ample at grade retail space (often missing from the typical office mega development in Calgary)
- Bigtime density
- A "woonerf" type space that could be fantastic if executed appropriately - there is enough retail frontage on the woonerf to activate the interior areas, however there has been to much space dedicated to turning radii and passenger drop-off as designed
- A well balanced mix of pretty much every use you would want in a downtown core that should keep the site buzzing at all hours
- Optimal location at the heart of downtown

If you look closely, the massing is arranged in a way that should allow maximum light penetration into that space, as the bulk of the density is positioned along the N and E sides of the site. Credit where due.

Just a comment on your last point... the shadowing diagrams included by the applicant in their PDF show that this central courtyard space will be completely shadowed every hour of the day. This will not be a pleasant space for anyone to linger in, especially in the winter. Perhaps if the southern podium wasn't 5 stories high and was instead only 2 stories and hidden behind the heritage podiums sunlight would penetrate this space during the time around noon and create a pleasant courtyard but sadly that is not the case.
 

DougB

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Bingo bango.
I disagree. That
Just a comment on your last point... the shadowing diagrams included by the applicant in their PDF show that this central courtyard space will be completely shadowed every hour of the day. This will not be a pleasant space for anyone to linger in, especially in the winter. Perhaps if the southern podium wasn't 5 stories high and was instead only 2 stories and hidden behind the heritage podiums sunlight would penetrate this space during the time around noon and create a pleasant courtyard but sadly that is not the case.
From a design perspective, that is the biggest issue. The podium s/b no more then 2-3 stories on the south, and 3-4 on the north.

If Triovest thinks it can make money on the office portion, let it try. The City should not be incenting office to residential conversion as developers like Triovest capture some of the value.
 

artvandelay

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Just a comment on your last point... the shadowing diagrams included by the applicant in their PDF show that this central courtyard space will be completely shadowed every hour of the day. This will not be a pleasant space for anyone to linger in, especially in the winter. Perhaps if the southern podium wasn't 5 stories high and was instead only 2 stories and hidden behind the heritage podiums sunlight would penetrate this space during the time around noon and create a pleasant courtyard but sadly that is not the case.
Yeah actually if they chopped one storey off of the podium at the SW it would really help.
 

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