YourBoy007

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Tearing down historical buildings of no real historical value has also been done before. Remember Penny Lane? Sure we now have 2 nice towers in the skyline but I remember reading all the fancy architect speak on Eighth Avenue Place documents about how the podium was going to integrate with the pedestrian realm on Stephen Avenue and create street presence and blah blah blah. That block is no completely dead and the incredible vibrancy we had in Penny Lane is gone forever.
It would be more vibrant too but it's 9th Ave that's the problem. It's a main artery of downtown. A wide, fast, and noisy street with the train right near and an empty parking lot to stare endlessly into. Most of Calgary's downtown is not pedestrian friendly.
 

haltcatchfire

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It would be more vibrant too but it's 9th Ave that's the problem. It's a main artery of downtown. A wide, fast, and noisy street with the train right near and an empty parking lot to stare endlessly into. Most of Calgary's downtown is not pedestrian friendly.

What? It’s the street activation of EAP that’s non existent. It’s just entries to the office lobby, stairwell exits, parkade access doors/elevators and blank window fronts.

9th being 9th has nothing to do with EAP sucking on Stephen.
 

JoeUrban

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Just so what? We can brag we have an ugly tower on a crappy podium that's taller than Edmonton's ugly tower on a crappy podium?
That's assuming those later phases even get built. Remember all the perks given for the Bow in anticipation of phase 2? And we got nothing. I am very much reminded of that here. So we could suffer the losses and get nothing in return.
 

adamyyc

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There is a lot to unpack here, but here are my initial thoughts.

  1. It will be sad to lose the buildings on 7th, but they’ve largely been lost to long-term vacancy already. The south side of 7th is not a pleasant experience. The sidewalk narrows in areas, there are overhead wires from the C-train, etc. Perhaps if the C-train platforms weren’t elevated and pedestrians could cross the street mid-block, 7th wouldn’t feel as utilitarian. IMO, development on the north side of the block will be a substantial improvement and bring much-needed activity to that part of the core.
  2. The C-train platform on the north side of 7th is going to be dark!
  3. Palominos will be a loss!
  4. The building proposed to be removed to open to the “courtyard” on the east end of 8th is expendable IMO. I like the improved connectivity between 7th and 8th.
  5. I don’t really like the proposal to open the building on the west end of 8th (where SportChek used to be).
  6. It’s hard to get a feel how far the podium will be setback from the 8th facade. If the massing can be directed towards the north of the site (towards 7th) then it might not be so bad, but if the podium is right above 8th, it’s going to take away from the feel of Stephen Ave. Bankers Hall is proof that historic facades can be nicely incorporated into modern buildings, but the modern building needs to be setback from the pedestrian street so the historic building still feels like it’s own structure.
  7. I’d prefer to see separate podiums for the towers. There needs to be a break in the podium, particularly on the 8th side. Perhaps a U-shaped podium with the opening mid-block on 8th.
  8. If this is real, I really don’t want to see the City invest too much into revitalizing Stephen Ave too soon.
  9. Would love if this spurred more investment in the area (see HBC).
  10. This will be the most popular thread this year.
 

FCC1982

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The DP drawings for this project have now been posted:
Office tower (24 stories), rental tower (54 stories) and condo tower (66 stories)

No major renderings in the DP package, but here are some elevations:
View attachment 399101View attachment 399102
View attachment 399103

It looks like the heritage buildings on 7th ave are being removed......

View attachment 399104
View attachment 399105

View attachment 399106

I will go through these in more detail to see what other info I can glean. Looks to be a pretty massive podium. Hopefully we see some detailed renderings soon.
Something is weird with those floor datum elevations on the phasing diagrams.
The Ground Floor lists ‘100000’ with a “?” above it. On the levels above that an extra digit is added.
Is there anything else that confirms the 287m height ? (Michael S - can you help ?).
 

Bokimon

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^ Ignore that question mark on the datum, it might be a revit thing as something does look off with the digits, maybe some parameter was not working properly, the larger sections and elevations seem to show those properly.

Looking at the facade enlarged elevations, I can see that there looks to be some sort of articulation of using some angular formed cladding bands between the glazing, maybe to break up the enormous expanse of the total elevation. I would wager maybe, some kind of formed metal panels with curtainwalls complemented by terra cotta cladding for the solid bits at the podium. I thought I also read T/O LIGHTBOX for the residential towers, I am curious to see what that looks like. I'd also bet that Gensler is the design architect and Lemay the interior design while GGA does the local record keeping and stamping for the construction documents.
Rest assured expect further submissions for revised DP on something like this which will eventually show renders and full elevations etc. The shadowing diagram does show a bit of what the mass of the towers will look like, at 30x30m square floorplates for the residentials I really hope it isn't littered with tacked on balconies or excessively 'slabby' profiles like seen at Guardian and many condos in Toronto.
This DP seemed to be curated to cover the work scope involving the salvage and restoration of the heritage buildings, which will be a fairly careful process so it is good to get that part into the city first while more time is then set aside to get the rest of the new build properly DD'ed and then sent in again with a full gamut of renders, materials which I hope will show genuinely thoughtful efforts in the design with creative solutions for many of the interfaces between old and new..

I would of liked to see some public art somewhere or a winter garden for the users of this office/residentials & (notice a Hotel option too!) which would of become truly a destination in the heart of Downtown, as well larger light portals to 7th ave as one of you guys mentioned above. There does appear to be enough of a setback from the 8ave heritage buildings so that the new build doesn't over power as much and I see an expansive rooftop patio which could be some kind of common amenity.
The Density FAR is maxed out as expected and total sq. footage looks to be nearing 2 mills sq.ft so this project is bringing back some of the 2006, 2012 vibes.
I also see some issues with the truck loading access, proposed looks a little complicated and will demand excessively skilled driving to enter into the loading dock with a series of tight 90 deg turns, I forsee questions being raised about the simulations done and that will need refining. Lastly, traffic will be a nightmare in this area unless they get rid of streetside parking or put some directional signs/barriers to restrict only to right hand turns or something.

Overall, think I have no choice but to continue checking this thread throughout this year as news of this project develops further. Toronto, Vancity, Montreal have been roaring with new towers as demand is very strong over there, I hope office spaces begin to lease out again in yyc too.
 

outoftheice

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That's assuming those later phases even get built. Remember all the perks given for the Bow in anticipation of phase 2? And we got nothing. I am very much reminded of that here. So we could suffer the losses and get nothing in return.

Agree with you 100%. The second those buildings along Stephen Avenue are torn down we lose the vibrancy of the street and the York Hotel and phase 2 of the Bow is evidence that the promise to one day restore the facades could easily disappear. Not to mention part of what makes Stephen Ave attractive to people is the character of the interior of the buildings and how the lend themselves to the businesses inside. Guaranteed you will not get quirky or unique pubs like the Bear & Kilt or James Joyce behind those facades. You'll get a Boston Pizza or some other polished space hidden behind a historic facade and the rents charged for these new spaces will guarantee it which will also kill any sort of draw to Stephen Ave outside of the 9-5 corporate lunch crowd.

In a city with a downtown full of empty gravel parking lots, this density is better placed elsewhere. I wonder how much Druh Farrel is kicking herself today? She managed to almost single handedly kill that auto-parkade proposal for this block which would have restored all the older buildings along 7th Ave, created a pedestrian space in the alley and protected the character and human-scale of Stephen Ave for the foreseeable future. Instead we get another classic Calgary project. In the last 70 years we haven't created anything other than a dead downtown of highrises with zero vibrancy. Stephen Ave is the one exception to that and we're about to tear out the heart of it and try to convince ourselves that this project will be different in maintaining/creating vibrancy even though we don't have a single successful example to point at in 7 decades.
 

JoeUrban

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An interesting contrast between the Inglewood Brewery redevelopment proposal and this. With the brewery they put up a website and scheduled public engagement. With this plan the clock is ticking for public comment, less than 3 1/2 weeks for comments to be accepted for the land use amendment and Gibbs Gage doesn't even have a reference to it on their website, nothing but crickets.
 

wolvie

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giphy-downsized.gif
 

darwink

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Agree with you 100%. The second those buildings along Stephen Avenue are torn down we lose the vibrancy of the street and the York Hotel and phase 2 of the Bow is evidence that the promise to one day restore the facades could easily disappear. Not to mention part of what makes Stephen Ave attractive to people is the character of the interior of the buildings and how the lend themselves to the businesses inside. Guaranteed you will not get quirky or unique pubs like the Bear & Kilt or James Joyce behind those facades. You'll get a Boston Pizza or some other polished space hidden behind a historic facade and the rents charged for these new spaces will guarantee it which will also kill any sort of draw to Stephen Ave outside of the 9-5 corporate lunch crowd.

In a city with a downtown full of empty gravel parking lots, this density is better placed elsewhere. I wonder how much Druh Farrel is kicking herself today? She managed to almost single handedly kill that auto-parkade proposal for this block which would have restored all the older buildings along 7th Ave, created a pedestrian space in the alley and protected the character and human-scale of Stephen Ave for the foreseeable future. Instead we get another classic Calgary project. In the last 70 years we haven't created anything other than a dead downtown of highrises with zero vibrancy. Stephen Ave is the one exception to that and we're about to tear out the heart of it and try to convince ourselves that this project will be different in maintaining/creating vibrancy even though we don't have a single successful example to point at in 7 decades.
Wasn’t the parkade project killed at SDAB?
 

JoeUrban

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Agree with you 100%. The second those buildings along Stephen Avenue are torn down we lose the vibrancy of the street and the York Hotel and phase 2 of the Bow is evidence that the promise to one day restore the facades could easily disappear. Not to mention part of what makes Stephen Ave attractive to people is the character of the interior of the buildings and how the lend themselves to the businesses inside. Guaranteed you will not get quirky or unique pubs like the Bear & Kilt or James Joyce behind those facades. You'll get a Boston Pizza or some other polished space hidden behind a historic facade and the rents charged for these new spaces will guarantee it which will also kill any sort of draw to Stephen Ave outside of the 9-5 corporate lunch crowd.

In a city with a downtown full of empty gravel parking lots, this density is better placed elsewhere. I wonder how much Druh Farrel is kicking herself today? She managed to almost single handedly kill that auto-parkade proposal for this block which would have restored all the older buildings along 7th Ave, created a pedestrian space in the alley and protected the character and human-scale of Stephen Ave for the foreseeable future. Instead we get another classic Calgary project. In the last 70 years we haven't created anything other than a dead downtown of highrises with zero vibrancy. Stephen Ave is the one exception to that and we're about to tear out the heart of it and try to convince ourselves that this project will be different in maintaining/creating vibrancy even though we don't have a single successful example to point at in 7 decades.
This feels like the "improvements" to the Devonian gardens but applied to a national historic site, reducing an area to a husk of what it was in order to extract profits.
 

Chinook Arch

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I was super excited when I saw the thread title, but not so much after looking it over. If you’re going to block the view of Telus Sky from Stephen ave or the Calgary tower, it better be something nice.
 

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