Lyfe Marda Loop | ?m | 5s | The Providence Group | Casola Koppe

Cyric

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It's nice to see something proposed there. I used to live just on the west side of Crowchild and walked past the houses that will be removed, I'm amazed they have lasted as long as they have.
 

Always_Biking

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I believe the community association is opposing the development, not sure why, but that's what I had heard.
 

Silence&Motion

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I found this document on the Richmond/Knob Hill community association website: https://www.richmondknobhill.ca/downloads/161208-ML33 Appel Update.pdf

It doesn't sound too aggressive. My guess is they want to knock its height down to 4 storeys. As a Marda Loop resident, I think it's fine as is. Everyone in this community seems to want to turn 33rd into a thriving high street, but to do that you actually need lots of people living within walking distance of the street. Developments like this one are exactly what will turn 33rd into a busy pedestrian environment.
 

UrbanWarrior

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At least it's something. That's really all I have to say about this one. Density boost with a shitty design and terrible retail accessibility. Or is there even retail?

However, I will say I am liking the continued effort to densify the 33rd Avenue Corridor.
 

Oddball

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At least it's something. That's really all I have to say about this one. Density boost with a shitty design and terrible retail accessibility. Or is there even retail?

However, I will say I am liking the continued effort to densify the 33rd Avenue Corridor.
Second.

And there doesn't appear to be any retail space in the render. There is next to nothing across the street from it either. The real walking part of the street starts a block up as it is, and with this proposal it will surely remain that way.
 

CBBarnett

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Second.

And there doesn't appear to be any retail space in the render. There is next to nothing across the street from it either. The real walking part of the street starts a block up as it is, and with this proposal it will surely remain that way.
True, but there is probably not much this development can do specifically to change the street characteristic. This site doesn't really have much of a chance to be successful as a walking street immediately in front due to it's role as a weird quasi-on ramp for Crowchild. To fix that - emblematic of Marda Loop's strange characteristic of being unusually car-oriented for a pedestrian-street neighbourhood - requires a few decades of ever-reducing parking minimums, increasing densities, and a far more aggressive pro-pedestrian stance from the transportation department. So not really something that a single development can solve. The density is good though.
 

Alex_YYC

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I agree with Rylucky. It could be better but I'll take it. It's a part of the avenue that isn't very pedestrian oriented anyhow, and I think a 10 or 12 story building would actually work really well there. It would give some good density to the area in an otherwise not very useful location.
 

DougR

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This actually ended up being approved as a 135-unit development as it lost some units at the back when it had to provide more clearance from the Enmax overhead wires and then lost another 10 units when it had to reduce its FAR from 2.9 to 2.6 as a condition of obtaining the land use redesignation to M-H1. The community association ended up appealing the DP approval to the SDAB as the proposed development did not comply with several key provisions of the recently approved Marda Loop ARP including exceeding the ARP's projected density/intensity for the block face, not stepping back the upper storeys to reduce mass, not providing a 6m wide public realm, not providing main floor retail/commercial or at least future convertibility to retail/commercial, etc. New BRT stations are planned for the west end of this block face at the 33 AV SW and Crowchild Trail interchange, so there will soon be plenty of pedestrian traffic along this stretch to have made main floor retail/commercial viable. There is also a City-owned green space at the west end of the block face that has good potential to be developed into a public gathering space and which could have benefited greatly from having an active use (eg. cafe) along its east side. The community association was also concerned that the proposed changes to the existing NB restrictor on 22 ST SW at 33 AV SW, which are intended to allow direct vehicle access to the parkade from 33 AV SW and therefore make sense from that perspective, will have unintended adverse impacts on traffic in the area (including EB thru traffic on 33 AV SW getting backed up behind a vehicle waiting to make a newly allowed left turn at 22 ST SW, as no left turn bays are proposed to be added). The SDAB allowed the community association's appeal in part but when the written decision was finally issued the only change they required was to replace several proposed Siberian Larch trees with another species of coniferous tree that does not lose its foliage in the fall. This was the first proposal for a significant development in the Marda Loop business district to be submitted since the new ARP was approved back in 2014 and the community was looking forward to it being the first development to reflect the "vision" set out in the ARP. Unfortunately it would appear that no one at the City much cared whether it did or not. Kinda makes you wonder why the City even bothers doing ARPs. Very disappointing.
 

DougR

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I found this document on the Richmond/Knob Hill community association website: https://www.richmondknobhill.ca/downloads/161208-ML33 Appel Update.pdf

It doesn't sound too aggressive. My guess is they want to knock its height down to 4 storeys. As a Marda Loop resident, I think it's fine as is. Everyone in this community seems to want to turn 33rd into a thriving high street, but to do that you actually need lots of people living within walking distance of the street. Developments like this one are exactly what will turn 33rd into a busy pedestrian environment.
Given the desire to turn 33 AV SW into a thriving high street and the current plans to install BRT stops at the west end of the Marda Loop business district, from a planning perspective it would actually make most sense to put the most of the density:
1) on 34 AV SW, so that 33 AV SW can retain its year-round access to sunlight and its human-scale, so that it can continue to be a place people want to hang out; and
2) towards the east end of the business district so that more residents have to walk by the 33 AV shops on their way to and from the BRT stations, increasing the potential for unplanned stops and purchases.
 

AJX

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Welcome to Skyrise DougR! Thanks for the input on this one. It's nice to get feedback from someone who's been involved in the process. It's a good point about the density on 34th ave, I concur. What would like to see different for this proposal? I don't live in Marda Loop, I'm just curious.
 

DougR

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Welcome to Skyrise DougR! Thanks for the input on this one. It's nice to get feedback from someone who's been involved in the process. It's a good point about the density on 34th ave, I concur. What would like to see different for this proposal? I don't live in Marda Loop, I'm just curious.
The community association would have liked this project to have been more consistent with the vision set out in the ARP, and by doing so set a better precedent for future Marda Loop developments, including:
1) 4 storeys instead of 5, with the upper storey stepped back (like The Odeon did a couple blocks further east, and like the Anthem Properties development on Memorial Drive in Kensington will);
2) an attractive 6m wide public realm appropriate for this building's "gateway" location adjacent to soon-to-be installed BRT stations;
3) main floor retail, or at least future convertibility to main floor retail, to give pedestrians more reason to actually WANT to walk along 33 AV SW on their way to and from the planned BRT stations, and to help activate the adjacent green space
 

DougR

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The community would have also liked to see more variety in the unit sizes and configurations, to appeal to a wider demographic, and more thought put into the traffic/vehicle access issues. We asked the City for their suggestions on how to minimize cut-thru and other adverse traffic impacts from the densification of the business district on the adjacent low density residential areas without resorting to a "gated community" approach like was done in Kensington, but received nothing back.
 

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