950 McPherson Square | 50m | 10s | Jemm Properties | Zeidler

gsunnyg

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Love love love this. If the 'bridges' development (with slightly more retail space) was replicated all over Calgary, we would have an absolutely incredible city.
Touche, I was thinking the same thing the other day when I saw this proposal. If all the inner communities around Calgary were made exactly like this, mid rises everywhere including non-mainstreets along with an odd highrise here and there, Calgary would be a beast. One of my buddies recently went to Stockholm and was telling me how many of their neighbourhoods around the city core resemble a lot like Bridgeland. I wish more neighbourhoods like Sunnyside allowed this sort of planning instead of limiting 5-10 storey buildings around main streets. Infilling homes is great but planning like this is what I call real progress in terms of density!
 

MichaelS

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So, the CPC agenda was finally published this morning (usually goes up Thursday afternoon, not sure of the delay). As mentioned earlier, the land use for this one was going to CPC this week. Interesting to note that Administration is recommending REFUSAL for it. Here is the report:
https://pub-calgary.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=74839

Sounds like parking is the main concern. From the report:
This report concludes that while Administration is supportive of a district that would allow for increased density, greater building height to allow flexibility in built form, and a mix of uses in close proximity to an LRT station, Administration is not in support of this application based on the use of a DC and the proposed parking rates, as presented. The proposed DC District is being used for the purposes of solidifying a proposed parking relaxation. The use of a DC District in this situation, conflicts with Section 20(2) of the Land Use Bylaw 1P2007, where it states that a DC should not be used in substitute of a stock district that can achieve the same outcome with or without relaxations. The proposal can be adequately accommodated through the M-U1f5.5h50 District. Further, Administration is not in support of the proposed parking rate prescribed in the DC District that is lower than the base MU-1 District. There is insufficient understanding of the future development and implementation, based on preliminary information provided. Despite requests for additional information, no development permit application or plans were submitted at the time of report writing.

And attachment 3 provides a bit more of a breakdown of what is being requested by the applicant, and how it compares to the stock mixed use district:
https://pub-calgary.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=74842

It sounds like the applicant has a building design in mind, including a lower than normal parking ratio. By asking for this to be enshrined in a Direct Control zoning district, it would minimize their appeal risk (and potentially approval risk) at the DP stage, giving them more assurances before proceeding with the development.
 

Just build it

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Parking requirements, what a pain in the ass. This is right beside an LRT station! Getting this city to get into a decent urban thinking mindframe is like pulling teeth.
So, the CPC agenda was finally published this morning (usually goes up Thursday afternoon, not sure of the delay). As mentioned earlier, the land use for this one was going to CPC this week. Interesting to note that Administration is recommending REFUSAL for it. Here is the report:
https://pub-calgary.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=74839

Sounds like parking is the main concern. From the report:
This report concludes that while Administration is supportive of a district that would allow for increased density, greater building height to allow flexibility in built form, and a mix of uses in close proximity to an LRT station, Administration is not in support of this application based on the use of a DC and the proposed parking rates, as presented. The proposed DC District is being used for the purposes of solidifying a proposed parking relaxation. The use of a DC District in this situation, conflicts with Section 20(2) of the Land Use Bylaw 1P2007, where it states that a DC should not be used in substitute of a stock district that can achieve the same outcome with or without relaxations. The proposal can be adequately accommodated through the M-U1f5.5h50 District. Further, Administration is not in support of the proposed parking rate prescribed in the DC District that is lower than the base MU-1 District. There is insufficient understanding of the future development and implementation, based on preliminary information provided. Despite requests for additional information, no development permit application or plans were submitted at the time of report writing.

And attachment 3 provides a bit more of a breakdown of what is being requested by the applicant, and how it compares to the stock mixed use district:
https://pub-calgary.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=74842

It sounds like the applicant has a building design in mind, including a lower than normal parking ratio. By asking for this to be enshrined in a Direct Control zoning district, it would minimize their appeal risk (and potentially approval risk) at the DP stage, giving them more assurances before proceeding with the development.
 

CBBarnett

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Parking requirements, what a pain in the ass. This is right beside an LRT station! Getting this city to get into a decent urban thinking mindframe is like pulling teeth.
An unnecessary pain, especially if we are thinking in the long range that is needed to truly appreciate how pseudo-science the guessing of parking requirements is. If built, this development will be there for 50 - 100 years with any luck. Regardless of technology (cars, LRT, bicycle, Autonomous vehicles etc.) this is a development in a highly walkable one and about as connected to the city for all modes as any development as could be with no sign that parking is a critical need here.

Do we really think that this area will require more parking in the future at the heart of a major city? Why can't we just let the market decide this and let the developer rent out their units to the car-lite and car-free?
 

maestro

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Would you let the market decide on other city building decisions? Parking is no different than density and height. You can't count on developers putting the interests of Calgarians first. In all likelihood, they would stop building underground parking entirely. It's a money loser. Current requirements only need to be re evaluated and adjusted and/or parking variances streamlined.
 

Zoom

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Would you let the market decide on other city building decisions? Parking is no different than density and height. You can't count on developers putting the interests of Calgarians first. In all likelihood, they would stop building underground parking entirely. It's a money loser. Current requirements only need to be re evaluated and adjusted and/or parking variances streamlined.
Letting the market decide on parking requirements is fine IMO, so long as it's a proposal that's near a BRT node or LRT station or a neighborhood with permit parking, where it's not detrimental. The developers may all start to develop projects with little or no parking, but it should be up to the consumer to decide that they want to pay fort a parking spot.
 

zagox

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An unnecessary pain, especially if we are thinking in the long range that is needed to truly appreciate how pseudo-science the guessing of parking requirements is. If built, this development will be there for 50 - 100 years with any luck. Regardless of technology (cars, LRT, bicycle, Autonomous vehicles etc.) this is a development in a highly walkable one and about as connected to the city for all modes as any development as could be with no sign that parking is a critical need here.

Do we really think that this area will require more parking in the future at the heart of a major city? Why can't we just let the market decide this and let the developer rent out their units to the car-lite and car-free?
Reading the report, I find the city’s position is pretty reasonable. They aren’t against reduced parking on the site given the good TOD location, but want more detailed assurances with respect to design before granting them. How are visitors accommodated? Drop offs for Uber/taxi? How good is the bike infrastructure? Are there car sharing options? These are reasonable questions to ask to make sure that access to the building doesn’t create negative impacts on the neighborhood. A concurrent DP application that gets built into the DC district at some level is a way to answer these questions before granting land use approval.
 

Habanero

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Reading the report, I find the city’s position is pretty reasonable. They aren’t against reduced parking on the site given the good TOD location, but want more detailed assurances with respect to design before granting them. How are visitors accommodated? Drop offs for Uber/taxi? How good is the bike infrastructure? Are there car sharing options? These are reasonable questions to ask to make sure that access to the building doesn’t create negative impacts on the neighborhood. A concurrent DP application that gets built into the DC district at some level is a way to answer these questions before granting land use approval.
Just playing devil's advocate here, but are those questions the city is asking important? They aren't necessarily unreasonable, but are they necessary at this stage?
- Visitor parking would be handled the way it's handled in any inner city community, via parking zones.
- Drop offs for Tax and Uber would be handled the same way it's done on other inner city streets. The taxi pulls over to the nearest available spot and picks up/drops off.
- bike infrastructure should fall under a general plan and not tied to one building. The city would design a plan for the area, and the building may have to accommodate it, but in this case I think the city needs to lay that out rather than the developer.
 

zagox

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A building with a significant parking relaxation should probably be asked to do “extra” on each of these fronts. E.g. car share within the building’s garage rather than on the street, or off-street pick up for Uber/taxi, or great bike parking facilities. If the developer isn’t willing to commit to doing anything beyond the minimum for non-single occupancy car access, I think it’s reasonable for the city to say - sorry, we won’t guarantee you a relaxation until we see a DP.

It comes down to whether a TOD location and restricted street parking in the neighborhood is justification enough for a large parking relaxation - in my view, it’s maybe 75% of the criteria but the city is reasonable to ask for some design aspects that guarantee the other 25% will be present.


Just playing devil's advocate here, but are those questions the city is asking important? They aren't necessarily unreasonable, but are they necessary at this stage?
- Visitor parking would be handled the way it's handled in any inner city community, via parking zones.
- Drop offs for Tax and Uber would be handled the same way it's done on other inner city streets. The taxi pulls over to the nearest available spot and picks up/drops off.
- bike infrastructure should fall under a general plan and not tied to one building. The city would design a plan for the area, and the building may have to accommodate it, but in this case I think the city needs to lay that out rather than the developer.
 

Zoom

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Apparently some cities in the U.S. are doing away with mandatory minimum parking requirements altogether. According to the article a couple of cities have done it, and now Minnie is looking to do it. I don't have a strong opinion either way, except in this case I'm leaning on the side of the developer due to how close it is to downtown (walking distance), and how close it is to the LRT.
https://usa.streetsblog.org/2018/12/12/minneapolis-moves-to-eliminate-mandatory-parking/
 

maestro

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Letting the market decide on parking requirements is fine IMO, so long as it's a proposal that's near a BRT node or LRT station or a neighborhood with permit parking, where it's not detrimental. The developers may all start to develop projects with little or no parking, but it should be up to the consumer to decide that they want to pay fort a parking spot.

Agree 100%. Parking should not be included in the purchase price of a condo. That's just how developers are addressing current parking requirements in order to be not stuck with millions in unsold inventory. Letting the market decide doesn't mean developers will build parking. As I said before, it's a loser even when you sell it all. It can easily double the budget and construction timeline in tight conditions and at current requirements. Transit infrastructure across the country sucks to the prototypical European city. Every building should have some parking on it's property.
 

Atticus

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Some minimum parking requirements such as visitor or car share parking is good. It can be done without having to excavate, and that can be a difference maker. When I was staying a friend's place in New York they had visitor parking at ground level in a car park type setup, and it was highly controlled with there being something like 10 spots for a building with 3 dozen units. Residents had to get a parking permit off of the super ahead of time. Kind of hassle, but it worked. I can't see it being an issue to do the same here in Calgary.
 

outoftheice

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Has anything been posted about this development before?

"Local developer Jemm Properties and Zeidler Partnership Architects are in the pre-application phase of transforming the under-utilized site at 950 McPherson Square NE — near the CTrain’s Bridgelan/Memorial Station — into a mixed-use redevelopment with a height of up to 164 ft."

https://dailyhive.com/calgary/950-mcpherson-square-ne-calgary
 

haltcatchfire

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Touche, I was thinking the same thing the other day when I saw this proposal. If all the inner communities around Calgary were made exactly like this, mid rises everywhere including non-mainstreets along with an odd highrise here and there, Calgary would be a beast. One of my buddies recently went to Stockholm and was telling me how many of their neighbourhoods around the city core resemble a lot like Bridgeland. I wish more neighbourhoods like Sunnyside allowed this sort of planning instead of limiting 5-10 storey buildings around main streets. Infilling homes is great but planning like this is what I call real progress in terms of density!
Is it zoning or is it worse issues when a simple development like Glo can get rejected by work of a couple single family owners opposite the alley?
 

Habanero

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It would be nice to see this one get built. I wonder if these would be rental, there isn't much info out there on Jemm Properties.
 

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