Welcome Guest!
In order to take advantage of all the great features that Waterloo Region Connected has to offer, including participating in the lively discussions below, you're going to have to register. The good news is that it'll take less than a minute and you can get started enjoying Waterloo Region's best online community right away.
or Create an Account




Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Downtown Kitchener Tall Building Urban Design Guideline.
#31
I fear that in the end, this initiative will simply slow down the construction of high raises, instead of achieving what it was meant to do, i.e. high raises of architectural high quality.

Additionally, it seems to me that the experience in the region is that as more and more high raises go up, the competition forces the builders to come up with better designs. If we look at Northdale the more recent buildings are far superior to the original King and Columbia high raises. Ditto for Trio on Belmont, 1 Victoria, City Centre, the Red, etc.

So maybe the best thing Kitchener could do is allow as many high raises to go up as they can, so builders forced to stand out to attract potential buyers.
Reply


#32
Why will it slow things down? It's a guideline, not a law or a regulation.
Reply
#33
(08-09-2016, 02:44 PM)BuildingScout Wrote: Additionally, it seems to me that the experience in the region is that as more and more high raises go up, the competition forces the builders to come up with better designs. If we look at Northdale the more recent buildings are far superior to the original King and Columbia high raises.

What I've heard about the more recent Northdale designs is that the design guidelines that Waterloo now has in place are playing a role.
Reply
#34
I'd also say that this is Kitchener's "Umpteenth time is a charm" moment.  After decades of declining downtown employment as the factories closed, and various attempts to attract new activity to the Downtown, things are beginning (slowly) to look up.  It will still take a while, and the unknown is how sustainable the current start-up boom is.  The industrialists that created the factories 100+ years ago that are now being populated by start-ups no doubt thought that their industrial enterprises would be around forever too.

On a related note, the Detroit skyline is getting some TLC.  The Book Tower and the David Stott Building are being renovated.  From the article, "the tower, which looks like it’s straight out of Gotham City, will house a boutique hotel, offices, main street retail and apartments or condos."  I would love if a local Urban Design Guideline included the line, "make it look like its straight out of Gotham City."
Reply
#35
(08-12-2016, 12:43 PM)nms Wrote: It will still take a while, and the unknown is how sustainable the current start-up boom is.

While there are a lot of startups in DTK, that's not all there is.  Deloitte, D2L, EA, Google, NetSuite (Oracle) and Thompson Reuters, among others, are well beyond the startup phase.
Reply
#36
When we bring up the bad King experience in Waterloo, from University to Columbia, bear in mind that The BUDGie actually cements one of its main failings. Walking up King, the buildings are set so far back from the roadway and sidewalk that you feel vulnerable, stranded, and disconnected (albeit from buildings which largely don't seek your attention). In Kitchener, while we're pushing for ground floor activity, one of the guidelines as currently stands requires buildings to be set back by the podium height. So if you have a relatively innocuous four floor podium, your setback is now fairly massive, and you feel stranded just like in Waterloo.
Reply
#37
(08-15-2016, 02:43 PM)Viewfromthe42 Wrote: When we bring up the bad King experience in Waterloo, from University to Columbia, bear in mind that The BUDGie actually cements one of its main failings. Walking up King, the buildings are set so far back from the roadway and sidewalk that you feel vulnerable, stranded, and disconnected (albeit from buildings which largely don't seek your attention). In Kitchener, while we're pushing for ground floor activity, one of the guidelines as currently stands requires buildings to be set back by the podium height. So if you have a relatively innocuous four floor podium, your setback is now fairly massive, and you feel stranded just like in Waterloo.

I have to say whenever I walk that stretch I never feel disconnected, stranded or vulnerable. I just walk.  Huh
Reply
#38
More progress: http://www.therecord.com/news-story/6928...100-years/

And an interesting bit of information, although these aren't necessarily all Downtown:

Quote:"But others argued that it makes sense to have the guidelines in place sooner, because Kitchener is already getting early proposals for a number of tall buildings. Developers have about half a dozen proposals for tall buildings at the pre-approval stage, and there's probably another half dozen in the early discussion stages, said planning director Alain Pinard."
Reply
#39
(10-24-2016, 08:51 PM)Lens Wrote: And an interesting bit of information, although these aren't necessarily all Downtown:

Quote:"But others argued that it makes sense to have the guidelines in place sooner, because Kitchener is already getting early proposals for a number of tall buildings. Developers have about half a dozen proposals for tall buildings at the pre-approval stage, and there's probably another half dozen in the early discussion stages, said planning director Alain Pinard."

Excellent -- even if not all of these will come to fruition.  (The only ones I can think of at the moment are 100 Victoria and King's Crossing.  And maybe the multi-modal as an early discussion.)
Reply
#40
I'd bet money one of them is the Duke / College property!
Reply
#41
Don't forget the mysterious project at Charles/Gaukel!  Wink
Reply
#42
Quote:"I think it's overdue," said Coun. Frank Etherington. "Get it done as soon as possible so that we're not caught short with … ugly, poorly constructed highrises. We've already got our share of those around the city."

Also like this quote. My city councillor doesn't mince words! Big Grin
Reply
#43
(10-25-2016, 08:58 AM)Section ThirtyOne Wrote:
Quote:"I think it's overdue," said Coun. Frank Etherington. "Get it done as soon as possible so that we're not caught short with … ugly, poorly constructed highrises. We've already got our share of those around the city."

Also like this quote. My city councillor doesn't mince words! Big Grin

He's not wrong haha
Reply
#44
Has the City issued renders of what would/would not meet the new standards, or have things not yet progressed to that point?
Reply
#45
The final tall building urban design guidelines are going to Kitchener city council on December 4th and can be found here (page 10).
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
Reply
« Next Oldest | Next Newest »



Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

About Waterloo Region Connected

Launched in August 2014, Waterloo Region Connected is an online community that brings together all the things that make Waterloo Region great. Waterloo Region Connected provides user-driven content fueled by a lively discussion forum covering topics like urban development, transportation projects, heritage issues, businesses and other issues of interest to those in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and the four Townships - North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot, and Woolwich.

              User Links