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Waterloo Corporate Campus
#16
Also "existing loft office" HAHA. What a joke. Who are they trying to fool?
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#17
It's hard to say without better renders, but it doesn't seem that bad. The buildings are at least abutting the street, which is a major improvement over other projects. The major question, though, is whether they face the street or not.
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#18
(12-05-2015, 02:26 PM)insider Wrote: Also "existing loft office" HAHA. What a joke. Who are they trying to fool?

I assume by "loft" they mean that the building reuses the original structure of the old NCR building, and that it has exposed ductwork and such. Is that not the case?
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#19
(12-05-2015, 02:31 PM)jamincan Wrote: It's hard to say without better renders, but it doesn't seem that bad. The buildings are at least abutting the street, which is a major improvement over other projects. The major question, though, is whether they face the street or not.

I work on Northfield and pass this site most days. I have hopes, but they're not high. Something tells me that the buildings near the street (which still have a pretty big setback) are going to be those creepy faux facades that are not actually the entrances to the buildings. We'll see.

It looks like some progress, what with (some of) the parking behind the buildings. I don't think it's going to be too good on balance, though. The proof will be in the pudding: how degrading and dangerous will be the walk from Weber to the new grocery store?
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#20
I hope it will be more successful for Intermarket (the developer) than their Sportsworld Crossing project...
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#21
I took a closer look while walking by today. None of the buildings along Weber look accessible from the sidewalk. The plan has two sidewalks from Weber into the parking lot, a large one at the intersection and a smaller one (with a significant grade) south of the 19,040 red building. The latter is a regular width sidewalk, not the wider style common in areas with high foot traffic.

The main roadway from Weber also has a grade, and none of the buildings bordering it have windows on the north side.
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#22
(12-07-2015, 12:56 PM)jwilliamson Wrote: None of the buildings along Weber look accessible from the sidewalk.

I think you're right about this. Same goes for the retail buildings on Northfield: they will not actually be accessible from the street they front. Asinine.
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#23
This development could stand to learn from what I've been seeing go up in suburban Toronto.

Here, at Midland/McNicoll, there's a street-adjacent retail building. The parking is around the back. The building has been built with street-accessible entrances, and parking-accessible entrances for each unit. It is up to the individual retailer to decide which one they want to be their front door. It allows the development to be parking-facing in the early years, but if the street ever becomes more active, then there can be a very natural transition. Some could even potentially use both entrances simultaneously.
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#24
(12-07-2015, 02:03 PM)Markster Wrote: This development could stand to learn from what I've been seeing go up in suburban Toronto.

Here, at Midland/McNicoll, there's a street-adjacent retail building.  The parking is around the back.  The building has been built with street-accessible entrances, and parking-accessible entrances for each unit. It is up to the individual retailer to decide which one they want to be their front door.  It allows the development to be parking-facing in the early years, but if the street ever becomes more active, then there can be a very natural transition.  Some could even potentially use both entrances simultaneously.

I know that one.  It's a nice concept, but the reality is that Midland is a high-speed, heavy-traffic four-lane arterial road (pretty similar to Northfield, in fact).  Few people slow down enough to see the store signage, let alone stop.  And when I walk past there (to get to Starbucks), I rarely see anyone walking.  The result is that the tenants' street-facing windows are effectively being used just for signage, or are simply obscured. 

The intentions are right, but with this kind of traffic patterns, it's really hard to make it work.
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#25
(12-07-2015, 04:24 PM)tomh009 Wrote: I know that one.  It's a nice concept, but the reality is that Midland is a high-speed, heavy-traffic four-lane arterial road (pretty similar to Northfield, in fact).  Few people slow down enough to see the store signage, let alone stop.  And when I walk past there (to get to Starbucks), I rarely see anyone walking.  The result is that the tenants' street-facing windows are effectively being used just for signage, or are simply obscured. 

The intentions are right, but with this kind of traffic patterns, it's really hard to make it work.

Sure, it's "hard to make it work", but do you see any harm in building it that way? If even a few of the malls built this way eventually do transition to majority streetfront entrances, then I'd say it's still a success.
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#26
(12-07-2015, 04:35 PM)Markster Wrote: Sure, it's "hard to make it work", but do you see any harm in building it that way? If even a few of the malls built this way eventually do transition to majority streetfront entrances, then I'd say it's still a success.

Well-put. On Northfield, if these had been built that way, maybe one day enough people from the nearby Ion station or offices would use the sidewalks, and Northfield could be given a street diet to foster that, creating a virtuous cycle. If there's no reason at all to walk on Northfield, however...
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#27
Markster Wrote:This development could stand to learn from what I've been seeing go up in suburban Toronto.

Here, at Midland/McNicoll, there's a street-adjacent retail building.  The parking is around the back.  The building has been built with street-accessible entrances, and parking-accessible entrances for each unit. It is up to the individual retailer to decide which one they want to be their front door.  It allows the development to be parking-facing in the early years, but if the street ever becomes more active, then there can be a very natural transition.  Some could even potentially use both entrances simultaneously.

Here is a really good example of having "street facing doors" to commercial units in a relatively new plaza in Guelph (at Wellington Street and Gordon Street). The units actually have dual doors - one to the parking lot in the 'rear' and one to Gordon Street. The plaza is at a major intersection with each road at 4 lanes. However, on-street parallel parking was recently added on Gordon Street in front of the units.

A lot of retailers are reluctant to have dual entrances at the front and back for loss prevention purposes, but for restaurants, it can work well.

In order for "street facing doors" to work on Northfield, I think at a minimum, it would require some on-street parking.
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#28
(12-07-2015, 06:41 PM)The85 Wrote:
Markster Wrote:This development could stand to learn from what I've been seeing go up in suburban Toronto.

Here, at Midland/McNicoll, there's a street-adjacent retail building.  The parking is around the back.  The building has been built with street-accessible entrances, and parking-accessible entrances for each unit. It is up to the individual retailer to decide which one they want to be their front door.  It allows the development to be parking-facing in the early years, but if the street ever becomes more active, then there can be a very natural transition.  Some could even potentially use both entrances simultaneously.

Here is a really good example of having "street facing doors" to commercial units in a relatively new plaza in Guelph (at Wellington Street and Gordon Street). The units actually have dual doors - one to the parking lot in the 'rear' and one to Gordon Street. The plaza is at a major intersection with each road at 4 lanes. However, on-street parallel parking was recently added on Gordon Street in front of the units.

A lot of retailers are reluctant to have dual entrances at the front and back for loss prevention purposes, but for restaurants, it can work well.

In order for "street facing doors" to work on Northfield, I think at a minimum, it would require some on-street parking.

Something like this should be mandated on all new developments.  The era of not giving a shoot what your city's commercial developments look like has to be forced to an end.  How are people not revolting against the ugliness of our cities yet?
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#29
(12-07-2015, 06:41 PM)The85 Wrote:
Markster Wrote:This development could stand to learn from what I've been seeing go up in suburban Toronto.

Here, at Midland/McNicoll, there's a street-adjacent retail building.  The parking is around the back.  The building has been built with street-accessible entrances, and parking-accessible entrances for each unit. It is up to the individual retailer to decide which one they want to be their front door.  It allows the development to be parking-facing in the early years, but if the street ever becomes more active, then there can be a very natural transition.  Some could even potentially use both entrances simultaneously.

Here is a really good example of having "street facing doors" to commercial units in a relatively new plaza in Guelph (at Wellington Street and Gordon Street). The units actually have dual doors - one to the parking lot in the 'rear' and one to Gordon Street. The plaza is at a major intersection with each road at 4 lanes. However, on-street parallel parking was recently added on Gordon Street in front of the units.

A lot of retailers are reluctant to have dual entrances at the front and back for loss prevention purposes, but for restaurants, it can work well.

In order for "street facing doors" to work on Northfield, I think at a minimum, it would require some on-street parking.

This is good, but it looks more like King St S than Northfield -- maybe I'm wrong, I don't really know Guelph.  Parking at the street would surely help, yes.  Doing entrances ONLY at the street, forcing people to walk around (again, similar to King St S) would be better yet.

All that said, I'm not opposed.  I'm just somewhat skeptical of how well it will work, at least in the short/medium term.
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#30
(12-07-2015, 07:42 PM)notmyfriends Wrote: Something like this should be mandated on all new developments.  The era of not giving a shoot what your city's commercial developments look like has to be forced to an end.  How are people not revolting against the ugliness of our cities yet?

I don't disagree with what you are saying here, but think about what you are asking. We live in a capitalist society. Big business complain about the low taxes they pay, they 'hate' government telling them what to do. What is more of a reality is the free-market (consumers) will support progressive developments more, and personally I think that is happening already locally. Look at Uptown Waterloo. Are the businesses in the mall doing well, are they leased? Compare them with the retailers and businesses on the outside with street entrances. I can't help to notice that new development posted for Guelph in this thread. Look at the retailers they have leasing compared with the businesses in the dated, suburban plaza across the street.

The free market will force this "new" (but already dated format) Waterloo Corporate Campus to change. They will have a hard time leasing their spaces and/or they won't fetch the same type of leases that they do Uptown Waterloo or in other areas of the Region supporting the type of progressive developments the public would like to see.
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