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K2 Condos | 21 fl | U/C
K2 Condos
160 King St. North, Waterloo
Developer: UID Development

[Image: 2057561_7424320_lg.jpg]
Past and future collide
November, 06, 2013 | James Jackson | Waterloo Chronicle |Link
Quote:Parishioners of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of St. Sophia filled the council chambers Monday night to protest a proposed mixed-used condo development near uptown Waterloo.

Seven people, including the parish priest and tenants of the church-owned semi-detached home on the property, spoke against the project by UID Development Inc., a two-tower condo that could ultimately reach 23-storeys tall.

“We are dedicated to working with the city and our neighbours, we understand it and we accept (development will occur) but we will guard our own interests,” said Franko Diakowsky, a parishioner of the church.

The proposed development would consolidate several pieces of property directly adjacent to the church, which is located at 154 King St. N. The properties to be consolidated include 158 and 160 King St. N., 8 and 10 Noecker St., and 11 James St. S.

If approved, the project would become one of the tallest in uptown. It will have a two-storey base on the ground floor, home to commercial space, and two residential towers built on top. One is designed to be 21 storeys tall, excluding the base, and the other would be 11 storeys. The development would have 185 units, most of them one-bedroom spaces.

The development would also have two levels of underground parking with 106 spaces and some surface parking with 27 spots. The builder is requesting relief from nearly every property setback required by the city, with sections of the underground parking seeking a zero metre setback.

The sheer size of the development and associated impacts such as wind, shade and privacy are among the concerns of the church. Moreover, they are worried having so many people living so close to the church would limit parking in the area, lead to rowdy behaviour on church property and impact the quality of life for those who worship.

“I worry I will never see the sun,” said Rev. Myroslav Shmyhelsky, who also lives in the semi-detached home on the property and has a young family. “I want privacy (for my family), I want it to be safe, I don’t want someone throwing a bottle out of the 21st floor.”

There are also worries about the impact the construction of the project will have on the church, from noise to damage to the structure. The church offers worship every evening during the week, on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and on special feast days (at least two per month).

Parishioners also say they received inadequate notice of Monday’s meeting. They say a notice was posted on the property late last week.

While not opposed to new development, they feel this project does not fit into the neighbourhood and will be a disruption. They want to ensure steps are taken to protect them and their property.

The church wants the developer to pay the rent of the tenants currently living in the semi-detached home on the property, that they provide a church and home inspection prior to construction and pay for any repairs necessary and that the developer pays for new windows to be installed in the church to insulate against sound.
“We know we can’t block (the development), but we want them to be concerned with our concerns,” said parishioner Claudia Griebnow.

Edward Thomas of SRM Architects spoke to council about the development and said his group is willing to work with the church to address some of their issues. He said the building was primarily aimed at a young professional crowd, not undergraduate students, and the site was ideal given its proximity to both the uptown core and the university lands.

Since Monday’s meeting was an informal session, no decisions were made. A formal public hearing and council vote on the project is expected next year.
State of limbo
February, 26, 2014 | James Jackson | Waterloo Chronicle | Link
Quote:After 55 years at the corner of King Street North and Noecker Street near uptown Waterloo, the congregation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of St. Sophia has an uncertain future.

Worried about the potentially negative impacts of a 23-storey and 13-storey twin-tower condo development next door, the church has been put up for sale and church leaders are considering their next move as they look to preserve their parish.

“At the moment, because we’re being hemmed in and they’re changing their plans constantly to try and get approval from council, we’re in a state of limbo,” said Claudia Griebenow, a member of the St. Sophia council. Members of the church are worried about damage to their building during the construction phase of the new condo.

“We don’t know which direction to take. We have contacted a real estate agent who is going to speak on our behalf and to see if we should be selling and if there is some place we can move to.”

The 0.22 acre property is posted on the Royal LePage website for $2.2 million, which includes the church and a semi-detached home with a combined area of 3,000 square feet. The church purchased the property in 1969 for $45,000, according to their website.

Parishioners do not want to move and feel they are being pushed off their land by the development, which will tower over their church.
The development has not been approved by council.

“The city (does) not understand the spiritual purpose of the church,” said Rev. Myroslav Shmyhelsky, who lives in the semi-detached home with his wife and four children. Another tenant rents the other half.

“The city understands it as (a) building. But we are (a) church. We are not (just a) house. We are (a) church. We are (a) community.”

Coun. Melissa Durrell said the private sale is the church’s business and the community will have to wait on the outcome. She urged other landowners in the area to look at the zoning surrounding their homes, or businesses to understand what may be built around them as the city intensifies, to hopefully avoid future conflicts.

The proposed development from UID Development Inc., referred to as K2 Condominiums, would consolidate several pieces of property directly adjacent to the church, located at 154 King St. N. The properties to be consolidated include 158 and 160 King St. N., 8 and 10 Noecker St., and 11 James St. S.

SRM Architects, designers of the development, did not respond to a request for an interview, and a spokesperson from UID said the company is continuing to work with the city on the design.

The city held an informal public council meeting in November to discuss the development and parishioners filled the chamber and several spoke in protest of the condo. The city hosted another public meeting with the community on Feb. 10.

Parishioners are concerned about noise, both during construction and once the building is complete, as well as disrespectful residents and the loss of privacy. The church has already had problems with vandalism from local students, they say.

During the public meeting in November, the architect said the building would be aimed at young professionals, not students, but Griebenow is wary of that claim. “Why else would they build so close to the (Wilfrid Laurier) university?” she asked.

Since the November meeting, the developer has agreed to pull the building back slightly from Noecker Street and reduce the number of parking spots and the number of units.

Under the original plan the building was to have 133 parking spots and 185 units, the majority of them one-bedroom units. In the new plan, there will be 122 parking spots and 174 units with a mix of one- and two-bedrooms, said Laura Dewar, a development planner at the city.

The developer will also reduce to height of the second tower by several metres, but maintain the 13-storeys.

Wilf Wallace is the realtor representing the parish in talks with the city and the developer, but he hasn’t been able to reach UID Development for the past several weeks to discuss a possible deal.

He admitted the asking price of $2.2 million was a little high, but said it not only includes the property and the buildings, but the added inconvenience of finding a new site to move to. Should they decide to move, several local churches have agreed to grant the congregation temporary use of their space until they find a new home, Wallace said.

The property was listed for sale on Jan. 30 but Wallace said they are holding back on posting any advertising on the property in the hopes they can work out a deal with UID.
“The developer wants to develop that block and it would help them if they also had that parcel the church owns,” Wallace said.

“From my understanding of chatting with the city, they would like to see this development go through, and this would help the development go through if the church wasn’t there anymore,” he added.

Dewar said the city has not sided with the developer in the project and is weighing the interests of both the developer and the church as they move forward.

“The city hasn’t been forceful or overly involved in that decision (to sell the church), that is coming from them,” she said. “They may feel that way but I can’t say that there’s anything to substantiate that claim.”

She also said as the city continues to push for increased intensification, especially along major corridors like King Street, there could be future conflict as large, new developments are built next to original, one- or two-storey homes.

“We are in a period of transition,” she said.

The next public meeting to discuss the development at council is tentatively set for April 7, and notices should be mailed out in the next few weeks, Dewar said. Ultimately it is up to council to decide if the development goes ahead.

The uncertainty is taking its toll on the nearly 75 people who attend the church regularly. They say they need to find a similar site close to the city core because many of their attendees walk or bicycle in the summer, or take public transit in the winter, and the current site is very easy to access.

“We feel like we’re in the middle of a tornado and all around us something is happening that’s beyond our control,” said Griebenow.
The boarded up buildings by the Ukrainian church are demolished. The boarded up buildings at Elgin are still boarded up.

But does anyone know about the boarded up buildings at 122 King, right across from Central? I thought they had businesses in there, and have never seen any applications related to those buildings/site. Have seen much activity there on the way home from work.
Does any one else thinks the Ukrainian church will come to regret not having sold when they had a chance to?
Land prices will only go up. Given that the developer offered the Church $20,000 to drop their OMB challenge as well as a list of other conditions I think the church did the right thing to turn them down.
The points in the Chronicle article leave something to be desired. Concern that construction is noisy, and needs to be done carefully to avoid damaging neighbours, is an issue about how you do things, not that you can't do things. The point about proximity refers to some variances for setbacks, and while valid, the options are not always great, e.g. "We can move back from a 1m variance to the 1.5m bylaw, but that space will be added vertically, taking our building from a 12 storey podium-tower combo to a maximum-allowed 20 storey cube."

If there has been effort made to work with the developers, I wish it would be reported on more, but the current narrative seems to be of the church opposing anything happening in the block they occupy, however accurate or not that may be.

I was very happy, as a contrast, when Knox rebuilt their church, and delegated at various meetings about how they wanted to be an urban church, recognizing that King-adjacent lands would always be the densest in all of Waterloo, and they supported it, while asking for consideration to be given during construction of things like ION (e.g. noise during important services, in favour of the rail vs Erb path of ION to reduce turning noise at the intersection).
From the record:

Quote:The church asked $2.2 million asking price for the 0.22-acre property near the uptown core.

I think this says it all. A similar 0.23-acre property on Columbia St is going for $480K, so the Church was asking for a 4.6x premium. Is it any wonder UID declined to purchase the lot?
Well it could mean the church is satisfied staying where they are, however if someone was willing to throw stupid money at them, they would move. I don't think it necessarily indicates they were being foolish or greedy.
I used to be the mayor of sim city. I know what I am talking about.
(11-05-2014, 06:06 PM)Drake Wrote: Well it could mean the church is satisfied staying where they are, however if someone was willing to throw stupid money at them, they would move. I don't think it necessarily indicates they were being foolish or greedy.

Except that in all their declarations they have expressed their unhappiness about their current situation. But aside from that, yeah.
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