16 Avenue Co-op Redevelopment (The Winston on Sixteenth) | 22m | 6s | Calgary Co-op | Riddell Kurczaba

UrbanWarrior

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It really is garbage. The city says they’re trying to make 16th somewhat walkable, yet allowing a 6 story impermeable megalithic wall abutting the sidewalk with zero activation for an entire block except when you get to the parking entrance. ?

Edit: my bad, there is one cafe in one corner along the street. That makes up for the terribly designed block long blank wall, or no of course it doesn’t. I guess these are just my caviar tastes resurfacing.
 

Chinook Arch

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I'm going to go against the grain on this one. I'm happy it's being built, and I'm not upset about the design. Given the location and that 16th is a write off when it comes to pedestrian ambiance, I couldn't care less how the street treatment is.It would be nice to see 16th ave turned into a decent pedestrian/cyclist/retail corridor, but it's never going to happen.

a) the city killed that opportunity when they added the extra lanes a few years back.
b) large trucks still use 16th ave as a truck route. I know this because I watch them come in from the city limits and I follow them down 16th ave on my way to work.
c) there are too many stretches of 16th ave that are disjointed or have sound walls, or something else holding it back (school yards, etc..)

I'm happy to see something, make that anything being developed that improves what's there now.
 

Ubran Outdoorsman

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I'm going to go against the grain on this one. I'm happy it's being built, and I'm not upset about the design. Given the location and that 16th is a write off when it comes to pedestrian ambiance, I couldn't care less how the street treatment is.It would be nice to see 16th ave turned into a decent pedestrian/cyclist/retail corridor, but it's never going to happen.

a) the city killed that opportunity when they added the extra lanes a few years back.
b) large trucks still use 16th ave as a truck route. I know this because I watch them come in from the city limits and I follow them down 16th ave on my way to work.
c) there are too many stretches of 16th ave that are disjointed or have sound walls, or something else holding it back (school yards, etc..)

I'm happy to see something, make that anything being developed that improves what's there now.
Agreed, 16th ave will never be a destination. The best it can hope for is private investment and some proper density. Given how aweful most of 16th avenue is currently, I'll celebrate any small step towards being something other than an eyesore.
 

Joborule

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The reworking of the roads to make it three lanes was a lose-lose since it didn't make the road a freeway/expressway - where the north is badly in need of a centralized one - but the amount of thorough traffic on the road with the additional lanes, have prevented it from making it urban. It's a perfect example of making the worst possible design and function.

But as Chinook said, any development that has multiple levels of residence is better than nothing here.

I do think that with the green line, the density around the Centre Street area can make density along 16th ave spread down the road. But the road itself will have to become more urban focused by making the outside lanes become parking lanes outside of rush hour to encourage active storefronts.
 

Surrealplaces

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As long as 16th stays 3 car lanes in each direction it’s doomed to be what it is today. It’s never going to be a pedestrian friendly avenue.

It doesn’t hurt to have buildings built up to the avenue in case they ever do turn a couple of the lanes into parking lanes. I agree with Joborule, that having a couple of parking lanes on each side could help salvage what is pretty much a disaster.
 

Golfing guy

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Why does everything have to be pedestrian friendly? We all know 16th ave is the Trans Canada Highway don’t we? Both ends of it connect to freeways. While it would be nice to have some of the parking lots filled In along the way. I’m Happy the road was rebuilt from the 4 lane dump it used to be to the nice flowing road it is now (a few to many lights though). Through time it will be built up along it. There are many great communities that butt up to it. That’ll help attract development.
 

outoftheice

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I can see the stretch between 4th St NW and Edmonton Trail becoming a semi-descent strip with street facing retail due to the Centre St Green Line station acting as the pedestrian draw but moving further east or west and I think you're unfortunately doomed to have an auto-focused strip and the type of developments (like this one) that go with it.
 

Joborule

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Why does everything have to be pedestrian friendly? We all know 16th ave is the Trans Canada Highway don’t we? Both ends of it connect to freeways. While it would be nice to have some of the parking lots filled In along the way. I’m Happy the road was rebuilt from the 4 lane dump it used to be to the nice flowing road it is now (a few to many lights though). Through time it will be built up along it. There are many great communities that butt up to it. That’ll help attract development.
It is the TCH, which is why it's the way it is. But should it remain the TCH? With the SW & W portion of the Ring Road being built within the next couple of years, it completes a segment that could ultimately be part of the new route of the TCH if the government were to follow through in rerouting it. Highway 22X from east of the city could connect with the current TCH around the Gleichen area, and the new route would run from there, and reconnect with the current route at the TCH/Stoney Trail NW interchange.

Through traffic wouldn't have to go through 16th Ave anymore, and the amount of truck traffic can be drastically reduced. The pedestrian and urban realm can still have good potential as a result of this. 16th Ave from Deerfoot to Shaganappi could feel a lot different.
 

Calgcouver

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Why does everything have to be pedestrian friendly? We all know 16th ave is the Trans Canada Highway don’t we? Both ends of it connect to freeways. While it would be nice to have some of the parking lots filled In along the way. I’m Happy the road was rebuilt from the 4 lane dump it used to be to the nice flowing road it is now (a few to many lights though). Through time it will be built up along it. There are many great communities that butt up to it. That’ll help attract development.

My problem is with the City of Calgary on this one. They create Main Streets policy to create buildings that have street-oriented commercial uses at-grade. But it seems with this application they have little to no intention to create anything resembling Main Street-style development. Shows a complete lack of vision on the part of the City regarding treating 16 Ave North as a Main Street, which they obviously are fine with completely auto-oriented applications coming in and continuing to dominate the streetscape, and they are showing no intention of transitioning it away from the mess of a street that it is.

I just don't see any reason why this shouldn't look and feel like 'The Rise' on Cambie Street in Vancouver. Similar conditions, built on a busy and wide roadway connection to a bridge, but it houses a Home Depot, Save on Foods, Winners/Homesense and has finer-grained CRU's for part of the main floor and has residential above. It is the exact type of development that would be appropriate for this location on 16 Ave.
The Rise:
1588871920125.png

 
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CBBarnett

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My problem is with the City of Calgary on this one. They create Main Streets policy to create buildings that have street-oriented commercial uses at-grade. But it seems with this application they have little to no intention to create anything resembling Main Street-style development. Shows a complete lack of vision on the part of the City regarding treating 16 Ave North as a Main Street, which they obviously are fine with completely auto-oriented applications coming in and continuing to dominate the streetscape, and they are showing no intention of transitioning it away from the mess of a street that it is.
The whole 16 Avenue saga is now a few decades in the making. I can't find the original audit that was formerly published online, but here's an article that skims the surface of some of the mistakes, from way back in 2011 https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/city-hall-learns-from-16th-ave-expansion-1.674583

Some others might remember better, but from what I recall in the audit document:
  1. Scope changes galore: the road was expanded in 2004 - 2006 ish, imagined as a classic automotive capacity increase, one of the last major attempts on a non-expressway roadway. Only after uproar and push-back from some members of Council did it convert to more of an urban corridor format.
  2. Land acquisition "plan" was a gong show: with scope changes and not great project controls and monitoring, the cost and time of acquiring land continued to climb throughout the project. Land was still being negotiated while the bulldozers were working on other sections. Result of this was a muddled implementation, where some elements are fine others were inevitably cut from the budget to deal with overruns and pressure to finish. It's why some areas have good sidewalks/street trees and why some areas have no upgrades and some areas.
  3. No urban vision or plan was established until well into the project: in reality it was retroactively applied: this reminds me of the 17th Avenue SW utility upgrades project a bit. It was always and still is only a utility project, but got caught without a adequate vision or goals to preserve the street as it's primary function: an urban high street. Similarly, the 16th Avenue project was a car-capacity increase project that had its urban corridor pieces bolted on. IIRC, at the time lots of lip service was paid for street parking, future transit corridor provision, expand capacity here so we won't need capacity elsewhere etc. not much of that came to fruition.
  4. In the confusion and lack of follow-through, communities treated completely differently: Rosedale advocated and won it's sound wall randomly out of the chaos and budget overruns, on what was supposed to be a "urban corridor", again after the project had started and not in the original scope of work. Not only did this kill the idea of adequate sidewalks or a slow conversion to an urban high street, it also created one of our publicly-financed quasi-gated communities that now entrenched as a wealthy anti-development suburban oasis next to an urban corridor and major post-secondary university.
There's probably more details I forget - and some stuff I got wrong - but the poor plan, poor execution and unclear vision of that project created the street you see today. We are still dealing with the consequences of having a poorly executed 2004 road-capacity-only project influence poor design outcomes today. Land use was forgotten in the mix of the original plan, resulting in weird parcels that can't fit parking ramps adequately. 15 years later on and all we have to show for the bolted-on-urbanism is some anti-pedestrian sidewalks along the side of a major highway and a single non-dedicated-lane bus route - ironically with even further widening of the road to put in bus bays added to avoid interrupting traffic - and a few more billions of highway and arterial expansion in the north of the city which was not avoided.

The lesson here is don't let utilities and transportation project slip under the radar with scopes that don't respect the urban condition. Design, knowledge and urban thinking are light-years more prevalent everywhere than they were in 2004, but small mistakes or blind spots have a huge impact and create missed opportunities along whole corridors for decades.

If someone does find the original project audit and is a nerd for that kind of project-management-meets-planning thing, I strongly suggest a read. It was more scathing than my summary.
 

UrbanWarrior

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My problem is with the City of Calgary on this one. They create Main Streets policy to create buildings that have street-oriented commercial uses at-grade. But it seems with this application they have little to no intention to create anything resembling Main Street-style development. Shows a complete lack of vision on the part of the City regarding treating 16 Ave North as a Main Street, which they obviously are fine with completely auto-oriented applications coming in and continuing to dominate the streetscape, and they are showing no intention of transitioning it away from the mess of a street that it is.

I just don't see any reason why this shouldn't look and feel like 'The Rise' on Cambie Street in Vancouver. Similar conditions, built on a busy and wide roadway connection to a bridge, but it houses a Home Depot, Save on Foods, Winners/Homesense and has finer-grained CRU's for part of the main floor and has residential above. It is the exact type of development that would be appropriate for this location on 16 Ave.
The Rise:
View attachment 244542


Exactly. People here are just so used to the shittiest suburban developments possible that as soon as one involves a bit of density, it makes it acceptable despite its offensive design. This is the opposite of anything urban, and we need to be planning for the future, not the past. It’s not a difficult concept to grasp. Have any of you (who think this project is somehow acceptable) been to any other city anywhere, outside of their downtown cores? Because good development is allowed to exist outside of downtown cores. Just FYI.
 

UrbanWarrior

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My problem is with the City of Calgary on this one. They create Main Streets policy to create buildings that have street-oriented commercial uses at-grade. But it seems with this application they have little to no intention to create anything resembling Main Street-style development. Shows a complete lack of vision on the part of the City regarding treating 16 Ave North as a Main Street, which they obviously are fine with completely auto-oriented applications coming in and continuing to dominate the streetscape, and they are showing no intention of transitioning it away from the mess of a street that it is.

I just don't see any reason why this shouldn't look and feel like 'The Rise' on Cambie Street in Vancouver. Similar conditions, built on a busy and wide roadway connection to a bridge, but it houses a Home Depot, Save on Foods, Winners/Homesense and has finer-grained CRU's for part of the main floor and has residential above. It is the exact type of development that would be appropriate for this location on 16 Ave.
The Rise:
View attachment 244542


Exactly. People here are just so used to the shittiest suburban developments possible that as soon as one involves a bit of density, it makes it acceptable despite its offensive design. This is the opposite of anything urban, and we need to be planning for the future, not the past. It’s not a difficult concept to grasp. Have any of you (who think this project is somehow acceptable) been to any other city anywhere, outside of their downtown cores? Because good development is allowed to exist outside of downtown cores. Just FYI.
 

Golfing guy

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Exactly. People here are just so used to the shittiest suburban developments possible that as soon as one involves a bit of density, it makes it acceptable despite its offensive design. This is the opposite of anything urban, and we need to be planning for the future, not the past. It’s not a difficult concept to grasp. Have any of you (who think this project is somehow acceptable) been to any other city anywhere, outside of their downtown cores? Because good development is allowed to exist outside of downtown cores. Just FYI.
Why yes I have been to many other cities in the world. Calgary unlike many other cities it’s size or larger has one unique feature... that is it’s not limited to expansion (area wise) as a city. You can’t compare it Greater Vancouver because they can’t expand because of Oceans, rivers, mountains, borders agriculture land reserves and the General lack of developable land. So they must increase density. They have no other choice. Toronto has similar problems. They have no more greenfield developments allowed. So they must increase density.
So like it or not, Calgary can just keep growing outward. We have an ever increasing density in the core and certain nodes around the city are looking good. We just don’t have the population to have main street developments everywhere. The city can have plans to make 16th ave a main street but if people don’t want to live there then what we have no is what you have to expect. Developments (like the co-op one) arent going to throw millions of extra dollars Into a project just to make people like yourselves happy. They have a business plan and our only accountable to their investors. If the city mandates to many pricey requirements then developers will just take their money elsewhere. Our economy was in toilet and will be considerably worse when we come out of this COVID-19 crisis. Let’s be happy that developers are even starting projects. That’s my 2 cents worth.
 

UrbanWarrior

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So, because we don’t have geographic barriers to development, we should not expect quality design from our developers, or expect our city to enforce the guidelines for decent design which they have laid out. Got it.

#caviardreams
 

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