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345 King St W
#16
(03-20-2017, 07:20 PM)Rainrider22 Wrote:
(03-20-2017, 06:48 PM)KevinL Wrote: A story on the Record site indicates it will be a six-storey office and retail building.

Features that the city liked from the proposal included pedestrian-friendly use of the laneway, and public use of the parking garage after business hours.

Missed opportunities,    I am always reminded of how small town our local developers are,  boring yawn... sad..

I agree, though I suppose they can't force the buyer to put up a skyscraper either. Then you'd also have NIMBY's from across the street complaining that they can no longer see the top trees of of Victoria Park if this building exceeds 6 floors.

You'd think with the LRT just behind this proposal though, should have been incentive enough. Though maybe they're worried about the HUB and Sixo. Either way, though I suppose I'd take a 6 storey office building with retail over an ugly parking lot just laying their like a dead crow in the streets.
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#17
Seems smaller in scale than I had imagined but it will be nice to see a new office complex go up in the core, especially if it has architectural flair. The article did not indicate whether the buildings adjacent to the lot would be demolished or not as part of the project.
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#18
Hopefully a six-storey building can go up much, much faster than a 20+ storey one. It'll still be an massive improvement over the current surface parking lot.
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#19
I believe that there is a by-law in effect for new builds on King Street. There is a height restriction so that they blend in with other properties in the core. That may be the reason for just 6 stories.
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#20
The Tall Building Urban Design Guideline they're putting in place for downtown restricts you to a FSR of 3.0, with up to another 3.0 available from design bonusing, so a six storey building that occupies nearly the entire lot footprint is all you could put there. In this case, it's your council members and city staff you should be complaining to, the ones who think that tall buildings like 1Vic destroy cities, but the large from-road setbacks you see with the towers on King between University and Columbia are a necessary separation of people and buildings (TBUDG also requires a setback of the building's height).
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#21
There's more than enough surface parking lots in downtown Kitchener and along Charles for high rise office buildings in the future.  This is an exciting and overdue infill project they need.  I like that it will complete the street with ground level retail and the six stories will seem appropriate for King.  Congratulations Kitchener!
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#22
The point is that the same rules that this development is working with that limit it to 6 storeys will also limit the height of future parking lot redevelopments. Under the new rules, the Walper hotel and the American block should both be torn down, along with pretty much all of downtown, due either to being too tall, or setback being too little.
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#23
(03-21-2017, 09:05 AM)Viewfromthe42 Wrote: The point is that the same rules that this development is working with that limit it to 6 storeys will also limit the height of future parking lot redevelopments. Under the new rules, the Walper hotel and the American block should both be torn down, along with pretty much all of downtown, due either to being too tall, or setback being too little.

Tall building guidelines would not apply to any of these structures as they are not tall buildings. Up to 8 floors is mid-rise, not tall building - and aside from all that, this development is not subject to those guidelines as they are not going to be in place for several years to come.
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#24
That's what I mean though, you would only get a "tall building" if you went into the height arena of the Tall Building Urban Design Guidelines. Even though the rules aren't yet in place, councils have generally tried to force proposals to fit molds they are trying to build, and The BUDGie would fit this kind of not-yet-existing-but-still-expected kind of guideline just as the region has expected things to fit their newer plan even before it was fully in place, or Waterloo expecting their Northdale plans to be similarly respected even before their full establishment.
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#25
It basically sounds like these Tall Buildings Design Guidelines are going to kill any projects that would have had height, very sad.
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#26
(03-21-2017, 04:15 PM)rangersfan Wrote: It basically sounds like these Tall Buildings Design Guidelines are going to kill any projects that would have had height, very sad.

I agree, I really hope these guidelines don't scale back the SIXO development!
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#27
(03-21-2017, 10:09 PM)Square Wrote:
(03-21-2017, 04:15 PM)rangersfan Wrote: It basically sounds like these Tall Buildings Design Guidelines are going to kill any projects that would have had height, very sad.

I agree, I really hope these guidelines don't scale back the SIXO development!

Have either of you even looked at the tall building guidelines or attended any of the sessions? It's sad that this community of development advocates seems to think that there is a zero sum relationship between development taking place and good planning & design. I support development, but I want to see it happen with the best design possible (from both an architecture and planning perspective.) Having attended the tall building guideline sessions I can say that they in no way kill development projects - they should make them better. They should also increase the likelihood of them being approved because expectations are clear from the outset. Finally, there are no set timelines for delivery of the tall building guidelines - just a "statement of expectations" from developers - so your points about the guidelines impacting developments now - prior to official adoption - is incorrect as the guidelines themselves do not exist in any form available to the public (or developers) at this point. The tall building guidelines aside, I don't think any of you have anything worry about in terms of development projects being approved in Kitchener under the current council (if history is any indicator).
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#28
^ Some might be confusing the tall building guidelines with the infill development policies.  One was far more regressive than the other as I recall.
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#29
Owen, I have indeed attended sessions on the guidelines. Yes, the aims are to create better designs, but some of the logic there is severely flawed. The guideline that the building setback must equal the height of any podium does not create good design, it pushes people into a less welcoming space, less like City Hall or 1Vic (which has definitely picked up since Settlement Co.'s opening), more like the towers on King in Northdale. Yes, while there is no formal structure of guidelines for developers, they were still all very much in attendance at sessions, picking up packages which were very detailed about what the initial proposals for the TBUDG were, and indeed they will and do feel pressure to work within or towards those guidelines, I've attended enough sessions over the last decade to see this play out across multiple councils.
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#30
(03-22-2017, 09:38 AM)Viewfromthe42 Wrote: Owen, I have indeed attended sessions on the guidelines. Yes, the aims are to create better designs, but some of the logic there is severely flawed. The guideline that the building setback must equal the height of any podium does not create good design, it pushes people into a less welcoming space, less like City Hall or 1Vic (which has definitely picked up since Settlement Co.'s opening), more like the towers on King in Northdale. Yes, while there is no formal structure of guidelines for developers, they were still all very much in attendance at sessions, picking up packages which were very detailed about what the initial proposals for the TBUDG were, and indeed they will and do feel pressure to work within or towards those guidelines, I've attended enough sessions over the last decade to see this play out across multiple councils.

First - I think tall building setbacks are a very important issue (no surprise there) - I don't think expecting them to be set back the height of the podium is a bad idea. This is NOT the podium setback, it's the setback of the tall building on top of the podium from the property line. The intent here is to ensure that in the future, if another tall building should happen to go in next door, that there is adequate separation between them. I don't think it's good for Kitchener (or any city) if we end up with a bunch of low-value residential condos that no one wants to live in because they're staring directly at another tall building (let's just say - in 20 or 30 years when the market swings back the other direction and real-estate isn't so hot anymore - as it inevitably will - keeping in mind these buildings will be where they are for 100 years or so).

Second - that rule you're talking about didn't even make it into the statement of expectations - that was in an early draft. The official statement of expectations that was published is linked below - I don't think it restricts development at all - rather it makes sure that we don't accidentally construct a ghetto (in all of our excitement to see development happen). Everyone here gets so excited about seeing a beautiful shiny tower go up that you seem to forget that these towers all need to work with each other to create a great place for people to live (because we're going to be stuck with them for a loonnnnnng time!!)

https://www.kitchener.ca/en/businessinki...ations.pdf
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