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The Cortes on King | 6 fl | Complete
#31
Well, I think we could do a lot worse than Paris!

You're not wrong, but I would guess that the likely (and I think desirable) outcome is that we will have high-rise development in KW's three cores (Downtown, Uptown, and the University Zone), and mid-rise along arteries elsewhere- particularly along King between downtown and uptown, where we should demand high-quality mid-rise.
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#32
And the best place for the highest density will continue to be right at ION station locations, like Bauer, Red, and to an extent, Cortes. These are the places that should be the densest of the dense. If we get into a habit where six stories is reserved for 200m from an ION station, it doesn't bode well for a true corridor, or reuse in between stations.
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#33
Not all highest density needs to be right on King. When we moved downtown, for us being a few blocks away from the arteries was a plus. I agree with MidTowner's assessment of the likely/desirable outcome.

But I do hope that the cities relax their FAR limits to allow high-rise in the core areas where developers might actually be interested in building substantially higher (see Princess apartments for an example where the FAR restriction kicked in too early).
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#34
(01-12-2016, 03:43 PM)Viewfromthe42 Wrote: We still need to have balance. If we redeveloped half of all the buildings along King (assuming that not everything will ever truly be replaced) and it was all 6 storeys, it would still not be enough people focused in the core, and we would have difficulty putting more denser-than-average buildings elsewhere in the cities. Will we take it? Of course. But six storeys as the pinnacle of King is not dense enough, nor will accommodating more people who want to live near King be easier if we chew up that land with the lowest worthwhile development height (even if you use wood development, which none of these buildings have, eventually some level of density on the same plot makes up for the cost increase for concrete, let alone when housing the equivalent number of people on six storeys can chew up many times more available King-fronting land).

I'm not saying anyone here is saying that we should aim to be Paris, the endless suburb, but I want to point out that indeed we should not be aiming for that.

I don't think I'm suggesting this as the pinnacle of King. I mean, if you look at it already, we've got Bauer lofts and other buildings (some off King) going much higher near uptown, and much taller developments up and going up near downtown. But I am looking at the midtown area and thinking it would be better off with a more continuous midrise scale streetwall.

You seem worried about this idea of chewing up land without having got enough people living in these parcels, but I question that. For one thing, much of the higher density zoned area along King is quite a narrow corridor, on which it would be difficult to build high to begin with (I'm thinking about the east side of King where Red and Cortes are.) Widening this corridor is both premature and throws away attempts to balance the protection of mature neighbourhoods just off the corridor. For another, I don't think we've got either the need to build everything to 15 stories, nor do we need to worry about failing to do so.

The outcome I see about a "go high or go home" strategy is that you'll see slower development of more expensive units facing more obstacles (from engineers and from NIMBYs) while leaving great gaps between them, which will fail to provide any vibrance to any meaningful part of the King streetscape between William and Victoria.

It's going to take the better part of a generation to fill in this corridor even to this density. The nodal areas (RT stations, major intersections, downtown edges) are probably going to see taller buildings anyway-- hopefully with a podium design which will require deeper plots-- let's look to the area between GRH and Sunlife, how about? Meanwhile I'm very happy to see the spaces in between start to fill with a 4-6 story scale of development that bridges the gap between King as a major corridor and the inner suburbs which exist between uptown and downtown.
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#35
(01-13-2016, 09:12 AM)zanate Wrote: It's going to take the better part of a generation to fill in this corridor even to this density. The nodal areas (RT stations, major intersections, downtown edges) are probably going to see taller buildings anyway-- hopefully with a podium design which will require deeper plots-- let's look to the area between GRH and Sunlife, how about? Meanwhile I'm very happy to see the spaces in between start to fill with a 4-6 story scale of development that bridges the gap between King as a major corridor and the inner suburbs which exist between uptown and downtown.

Editing the quote down to the conclusion, but I'm in full agreement with zanate.
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#36
(01-13-2016, 09:12 AM)zanate Wrote: It's going to take the better part of a generation to fill in this corridor even to this density. The nodal areas (RT stations, major intersections, downtown edges) are probably going to see taller buildings anyway-- hopefully with a podium design which will require deeper plots-- let's look to the area between GRH and Sunlife, how about? Meanwhile I'm very happy to see the spaces in between start to fill with a 4-6 story scale of development that bridges the gap between King as a major corridor and the inner suburbs which exist between uptown and downtown.

(Emphasis mine.)

Seeing the speed of development that Northdale / the university district shows is possible with essentially as-of-right zoning, I'm not really sure that's the case. If LRT takes off in a big way in the public consciousness, the entire corridor could get redeveloped quite rapidly. I think it might, and the opportunity costs of relatively low-density redevelopment are substantial.
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#37
(01-14-2016, 04:18 AM)mpd618 Wrote: Seeing the speed of development that Northdale / the university district shows is possible with essentially as-of-right zoning, I'm not really sure that's the case. If LRT takes off in a big way in the public consciousness, the entire corridor could get redeveloped quite rapidly. I think it might, and the opportunity costs of relatively low-density redevelopment are substantial.

I agree that the Midtown corridor could be substantially redeveloped within a decade if LRT is highly successful. But I believe the pace will be slower if demand is eaten up by relatively few higher-rise buildings. Like zanate, I would prefer two six-floor buildings to one twelve-floor buildings, and certainly three six-floor buildings to one eighteen-floor one. I think the scale of Red and Cortes is the scale that's going to (maybe quickly) lead to a cohesive street wall that will attract people to the area and get a virtuous cycle going that might lead to demand for bigger buildings at the major intersections.

I do feel strongly that, this being a mixed-use corridor, both Kitchener and Waterloo should do what they can to promote mixed-use buildings (in particular, withholding zoning variances from proposals which are single-use). I think that Midtown Lofts not having commercial at ground-floor was a lost opportunity, and the more of those we allow, the less likely a thriving street will be created along this stretch of King.
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#38
What is hard to do is to try and put three six floor buildings to try and support/encourage ground floor commercial in three footprints, rather than one 18 storey building to support a single ground floor commercial footprint. Until countless towers went up in Northdale, we hadn't seen any commercial proposed by developers who created the six-floor wall along South Columbia. The earliest ground floor development that I remember noticing was the BPR lofts on Regina south of Bridgeport, and they had to give up on what was not only multiple ground floor commercial units, but the ability to have a walk-up staircase to a second floor opening as well. Now Waterloo Networking (likely at a discount) eventually took the space. Similarly, the42 had trouble for a time getting itself filled, and it's been the condo developers themselves using half the space, and only both the hair salon and the body sugaring being forced out by bad and selling landlords, respectively, that's filled the rest. Even Bauer hasn't been able to consistently keep their commercial 100% filled.

When you build a six floor unit, unless it's in a very desirable location (Cortes doesn't quite count, and nothing between Union and Victoria will), ground floor commercial is a risk, since it's often sold post-construction, or forced to undesirably be rented out by the developer. Each of the three theoretical six floor developments has to look at itself in isolation; it doesn't know whether the other two will be built, will be built with competing commercial, or any other details. Towers like 1Vic help to anchor a location, establish a commercial presence, and allow for easier decisions by developers.

It's one thing for them to guess as to whether people will drive down a congested road to developments with ample parking, anchored by Wal-Mart and Costco (answer: yes). It's another to ask whether a development that is less suited to cars (still representing at least 85% of all trips outside the home) can pick up enough attention to hold its own on transit, cycling, pedestrian, and determined car visitors. Having an established resident base of significant magnitude is important for this.
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#39
   
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#40
The previous picture seems to show red brick on the top of the building.

In this photo, on the north side of the building (near the red house), it shows a beige colour with red-ish flecks?:
   

It looks like the original blue-ish building in the render at the beginning of the thread has changed to the render that is available in this old record article from page 1:
http://www.therecord.com/news-story/3250...acy-group/
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
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#41
A more neutral design indeed
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#42
Is neutral French for disappointing?
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#43
No, I think that's "bland", which could also be used in this case. Wink
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#44
(02-15-2016, 02:03 PM)notmyfriends Wrote: Is neutral French for disappointing?

Oui.
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#45
Ah, the elusive switch from blue-grey to grey-grey. The blue shade kid of reminded me of insulation so I don't think that switching to full-on grey is the worst thing to do... at least it'll match all the other grey buildings in town. And we won't really notice it on cloudy days.
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