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70 King St N | 16 & 22 fl | Proposed
#21
I quite like the curved glass in the new design. Very different from the usual boxy design of buildings here in KW.
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#22
I guess if Kitchener is going to have a curvy podium at 100 Victoria, then Waterloo needs to have one too...
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#23
I won't be sad to see the demise of the parking lot there. 3 rows crammed in the space for 2. Add snow and people who don't care of they've parked in the lines and it's a fun job to get in and out.

This is a much better use for the space anyway.
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#24
(02-23-2018, 04:07 PM)timio Wrote: I won't be sad to see the demise of the parking lot there.  3 rows crammed in the space for 2.  Add snow and people who don't care of they've parked in the lines and it's a fun job to get in and out.

This is a much better use for the space anyway.

Totally. It's a temporary parking lot. The City of Waterloo looooooves temporary parking lots, they keep purchasing properties for them!
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#25
The curved glass is certainly more eye-catching and technically impressive. I have a personal soft spot for buildings with a restrained and orderly visual rhythm, but I can appreciate the exuberance of the new design as well. It feels a lot less like an office building and much more like a creative / play space.
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#26
Anyone at the meeting last night at council? People on Melissa's facebook page already are comparing the advent of something like this with the vandalism in Hamilton.

Is it just me? I understand gentrification as the process by which an area clears out existing or more diverse groups of residents and businesses, made worse by lack of development. The people/franchises with money simply outbid others for the scarce resources. But when you densify, creating new residences of diverse forms, new commercial spaces of diverse price points, you might see some shifting around of residents and businesses, but overall the pressures are far lower. I find gentrification, as I understand it, to be a negative thing, but so many in the community seem to misconstrue what intensification and dense residences actually means for a community.
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#27
I think it would be difficult to argue that Uptown Waterloo can be "gentrified." Maybe a stronger case could be made for some neighbourhoods in Hamilton.

I think the people who throw that word around read too many articles about U.S. cities without realizing that the situation there is quite different. There they had white flight to the suburbs, followed by disinvestment (that's an understatement) in the minority-dominated inner cities, and now young affluent (and much more likely to be white) newcomers coming to bid up prices to the extent that incumbent residents feel pressure to leave. I also have the sense that these neighbourhoods have lower-than-average home ownership rates, and so those residents don't benefit financially from the process.

The pattern is quite different here, and I agree with you that added density does not constitute gentrification, particularly in an already advantaged area. One point those commenters might have is that recent developments do not offer residences of diverse forms, for instance- a lot of them do seem to cater specifically to young singles and childless couples.
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#28
(03-06-2018, 08:27 PM)MidTowner Wrote: One point those commenters might have is that recent developments do not offer residences of diverse forms, for instance- a lot of them do seem to cater specifically to young singles and childless couples.

One issue I have with this statement is that this is largely their fault. There's only so much capital you can spend when asking for concessions from developers for buildings. Instead of asking for affordable or assisted housing, or two or three bedroom units, residents largely push for more parking. A great example is Circa. The original proposal had 194 residences and 304 bedrooms, so at least 110 beyond-first bedrooms, opening up more units to empty-nesters (how do couples downsize from massive homes if we only have one bedrooms on offer?) and small families. In the end, they wound up (based on renderings, can site plan confirm?) filling the heritage building they were so concerned with preserving with parking instead, trimmed one floor from the building, 6 residences, and ninety bedrooms. The biggest change residents were able to effect was to drastically reduce the family density. The developer still gets to sell 97% of their originally proposed kitchens and bathrooms, the highest-margin parts of a development, while the local residents were able to remove a potential 90 two-bedroom units from coming into UpTown, as many potential homes for couples and families as Erb to Alexandra, Roslin to Avondale.
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#29
(03-07-2018, 09:35 AM)Viewfromthe42 Wrote:
(03-06-2018, 08:27 PM)MidTowner Wrote: One point those commenters might have is that recent developments do not offer residences of diverse forms, for instance- a lot of them do seem to cater specifically to young singles and childless couples.

One issue I have with this statement is that this is largely their fault. There's only so much capital you can spend when asking for concessions from developers for buildings. Instead of asking for affordable or assisted housing, or two or three bedroom units, residents largely push for more parking. A great example is Circa. The original proposal had 194 residences and 304 bedrooms, so at least 110 beyond-first bedrooms, opening up more units to empty-nesters (how do couples downsize from massive homes if we only have one bedrooms on offer?) and small families. In the end, they wound up (based on renderings, can site plan confirm?) filling the heritage building they were so concerned with preserving with parking instead, trimmed one floor from the building, 6 residences, and ninety bedrooms. The biggest change residents were able to effect was to drastically reduce the family density. The developer still gets to sell 97% of their originally proposed kitchens and bathrooms, the highest-margin parts of a development, while the local residents were able to remove a potential 90 two-bedroom units from coming into UpTown, as many potential homes for couples and families as Erb to Alexandra, Roslin to Avondale.

The city should eliminate all parking minima. Better yet, the province should do so provincewide. That would help a lot I think. We would need a policy and enforcement strategy for parking on local roads but that should be manageable.
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#30
Sure, but the main issue here was that residents wanted less density, so to maintain acceptable profits, the developer kept 97% of the units, while the residents eliminated 30% of the bedrooms, including 76% of the multi-bedroom units. The most profitable units a developer can sell are one bedrooms, because they have the highest upgrades-to-floorspace of any unit (kitchen and bathroom being the most upgraded and profitable rooms, bonus bedrooms adding little), and are easiest to sell.

There are a bunch of "costs" you can ask of a developer: reducing height, adding parking, adding exterior designs, adding public art/amenities, having affordable/subsidized units, having multi-bedroom units, reducing density. They all have different costs to the developer. The residents, in this choice, chose what mattered most to them: more parking and lower density, the two costliest requests, and so understandably they didn't get any of the other things they could have prioritized.
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