Calgary

Cube | 26m | 7s | Strategic Group

Surrealplaces

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A thread for Strategic's 'Cube' project, seeing as it is now in full swing. Calgary's first full office to residential conversion.

The 7 storey 62,000 sq foot building located here will be converted into 65 one and two bedroom residential units.

Stephenson - Rendering .jpg
 

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Always_Biking

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Not the most beautiful of residential buildings, but a win for the Beltline, and also great for people who want to rent in a good location.
 

CBBarnett

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Is it affordable housing or anything? otherwise it looks awful, not really an improvement over what's there right now...
100+ people in the area is the only improvement I think. Wish we could get some street trees or a design that gives the slightest bit of attention to pedestrian realm. If not perhaps another 100 voters and customers along a fugly street will help motivate some change in the future.

If we were a different city- one with a perspective that urban areas don't have to be hostile and unwelcoming to the people that live there simply to placate a few hundred rush-hour suburban commuters - all these developments and new residents in the area would have motivated the community, city and developers to dust-off and update the 11th and 12 Ave conversion back to two-way streets proposal and lump in some pedestrian improvements to the scope while they are at it.
 

BKha

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The extra people is the bonus. I agree with CB in that more people along 11th and 12th ave might be the catalyst needed to get away from those dreadful one way avenues. While the new design isn't the sexiest around, the street level is better than the existing building.
 

Calgcouver

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The extra people is the bonus. I agree with CB in that more people along 11th and 12th ave might be the catalyst needed to get away from those dreadful one way avenues. While the new design isn't the sexiest around, the street level is better than the existing building.
Glad it is going residential, looks decent enough considering the existing structure. Wish they had considered awnings for the ground floor retail, covered patio space would be nice. Maybe some roll up doors, do something a little less boring. if you have a pretty ugly building on the upper floors, it wouldn't hurt to make the podium more interesting to distract from it.
upload_2018-10-3_16-52-15.jpeg



 

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Surrealplaces

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I prefer two way streets simply for the ambiance. I don't have any facts to back this up, but it seems like cars go slower on two way streets. Regarding J-walking...yeah, I agree with you there.

As for the efficiency, some are finding that one way streets aren't much more efficient than two way streets as commonly believed.

http://www.accessmagazine.org/fall-2012/two-way-street-networks-efficient-previously-thought/
Two-Way Street Networks: More Efficient than Previously Thought?
City officials and urban planners have started a movement to convert downtown street networks from their traditional one-way operation to two-way operation. This effort seems to be largely successful—many cities (e.g., Denver, CO; Dallas and Lubbock, TX; Tampa, FL; Des Moines, IA; Salina, KS; Kansas City, MO; Sacramento, CA) have either recently made or are in the process of making such conversions
The current literature on urban street network design stresses that two-way streets create higher levels of economic activity and improve the livability of downtown areas. For example, two-way streets are better for local businesses that depend heavily on pass-by traffic. Additionally, traffic signal timing on two-way streets forces vehicles to stop more frequently than on one-way streets, giving drivers more exposure to local businesses.
One-way streets also allow higher travel speeds since signal timing results in less frequent stops for vehicles.
 
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UrbanRED

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I prefer two way streets simply for the ambiance. I don't have any facts to back this up, but it seems like cars go slower on two way streets. Regarding J-walking...yeah, I agree with you there.

As for the efficiency, some are finding that one way streets aren't much more efficient than two way streets as commonly believed.

http://www.accessmagazine.org/fall-2012/two-way-street-networks-efficient-previously-thought/
Two-Way Street Networks: More Efficient than Previously Thought?
Thanks for the explanation
 

Josh Gibbs

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For some reason I really like the yellow, orange, and red squares on this building make over. It reminds me of the classic iOS game cube runner.
 

Social Justice

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Random question - why do you all consider one ways so bad? As an inner city person I find it easier to jaywalk on them...
Sometimes one ways feel like a freeway.

3 lanes of traffic going at 70km/h.
 

Mountain Man

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The extra people is the bonus. I agree with CB in that more people along 11th and 12th ave might be the catalyst needed to get away from those dreadful one way avenues. While the new design isn't the sexiest around, the street level is better than the existing building.
The street level looks pretty much the same with the exception that the building and retail entrances aren't recessed on the NW corner. Hopefully they can get a good restaurant in there, used to eat at Uptown Sushi all the time before they sold to different owners and the quality went off a cliff lol.
 

CBBarnett

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Random question - why do you all consider one ways so bad? As an inner city person I find it easier to jaywalk on them...
In Calgary inner city one-ways have been implemented with many features that make them exclusively auto-focused to the detriment of the neighbourhood around them. They are part of the way of thinking that promotes speed and volume of vehicles passing through, rather than promote connectivity and access for local residents.

Combined with a variety of other traffic control features imposed on the inner city (e.g. green-wave light timing for vehicles, advanced green turn signals for vehicles, very long light signal timing cycles for one-way avenues) all these features accumulate to creating unwelcoming, loud and fast auto-focused corridors to the detriment of everyone else: particularly local residents and pedestrians, as well as anyone travelling north and south that is forced to wait to cross the light. These extra features are not exclusive to one-ways, but have been implemented here most whole-heartedly on the corridors in the city centre.

I actually prefer one-ways on narrower and local focused streets. A single lane of one-way traffic - with the right traffic controls like stops, signals and pedestrian bump-outs - can be a great way to mitigate speed and reduce cut-through traffic. 7th Street to 11th on 14th Avenue SW is a great example. Sure, there is more traffic as a result of the 17th Avenue construction, but as a resident it's more predictable and slower (which is the whole point). One-ways don't scale up very well though: 5 lanes walls of traffic at 55km/h doesn't make for a livable urban environment or pedestrian-focused streets.

TL/DR: 5 lane, auto-focused one-ways are terrible for urban, pedestrian-centric life in urban areas. Two-ways can be better, but most importantly pedestrian-focused design of streets in our urban areas is critical, one-way or two-way. All roads don't and can't be tiny like 14th Avenue SW, but big roads can be done a hell of a lot more pedestrian-focused than any of our major inner city one-way avenues.
 
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AccUnit

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I know there has been chatter about doing some office to residential conversions. Interesting to see a project actually follow through. It makes sense, you swap class C office which won't be occupied for years for grade A apartments.
 
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