Stephen Avenue Quarter | 214m | 66s | Triovest | Gibbs Gage

Disraeli

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I hope this dies as well prior to any demolition going forward. The Bow South Block should be front and center on everyone's minds. I'm pretty sure the city is still eating the cost of storing the York Hotel facade in their Manchester storage facility
 

Surrealplaces

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The forumer on SSP who heard about the company moving in says it's Suncor (big oil company in big red building). Imagine adding the Suncor towers to the empty inventory around the core! Amazing that nothing has been learned from every successive oil boom then bust. By the time this tower gets built the war in Ukraine will hopefully be over and the cost per barrel will be much lower. Not to mention the transition to renewables will have further undermined O&G. This proposal seems like an even ballsier move than when Encana had the city grant them the massive parkade and destruction of the York hotel in exchange for a cultural building which never materialized. At least they hired a reputable architect and had a vision. This seems like they are trying to hide the design rather than flaunt it. I have almost zero faith the other two towers will ever happen and if they do they will be much shorter and value engineered.
Very disappointing if that's the case. I have a feeling you're right, we'll end up with a new building that's essentially a massive podium of office space and no residential towers.
 

lemongrab

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If we were to hold a fantasy draft of all downtown blocks in Calgary for potential redevelopment (to bring general benefit to the city), where would this rank? If we exclude blocks that are obviously unrealistic (already containing tall towers or other new(ish) development), I think this block would probably be in the bottom 5.

Therefore, I think any redevelopment plan should be nearly perfect with hardly any concerns/compromises - this proposal clearly isn't that. We can be a beggar on a lot of other blocks, but we should absolutely be a chooser here.
 

JTron

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So far I’m not a big fan of this overall design, but I would like to see better renderings to get a better idea.
The two main reasons I don’t like this proposal are
1) The changes to existing heritage buildings and the older buildings on seventh Avenue.
2) I don’t like the phasing portion. I sense a bait and switch where we end up with a big ass chunk of office space but no residential towers.
 

darwink

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The forumer on SSP who heard about the company moving in says it's Suncor (big oil company in big red building). Imagine adding the Suncor towers to the empty inventory around the core! Amazing that nothing has been learned from every successive oil boom then bust. By the time this tower gets built the war in Ukraine will hopefully be over and the cost per barrel will be much lower. Not to mention the transition to renewables will have further undermined O&G. This proposal seems like an even ballsier move than when Encana had the city grant them the massive parkade and destruction of the York hotel in exchange for a cultural building which never materialized. At least they hired a reputable architect and had a vision. This seems like they are trying to hide the design rather than flaunt it. I have almost zero faith the other two towers will ever happen and if they do they will be much shorter and value engineered.
If it is part of a consolidation of their spaces from acquisitions, and shift to support more remote work, they're going to be shedding a lot of space anyways. How much space is this development anyways? 500k square feet? maybe a tad more? Far less than what their component parts once had (or currently hold leases for).

All that being said, council cannot deny a project on office supply grounds unless they pass a policy officially against office growth.

If the speculative office tenant wants big floor plates, they should go all in on a renovation of Gulf Canada Square—updating a former greenest building into a new generation of greenest building would be quite the statement for an oil company!
 

Duck Lightning

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If it is part of a consolidation of their spaces from acquisitions, and shift to support more remote work, they're going to be shedding a lot of space anyways. How much space is this development anyways? 500k square feet? maybe a tad more? Far less than what their component parts once had (or currently hold leases for).

All that being said, council cannot deny a project on office supply grounds unless they pass a policy officially against office growth.

If the speculative office tenant wants big floor plates, they should go all in on a renovation of Gulf Canada Square—updating a former greenest building into a new generation of greenest building would be quite the statement for an oil company!
If a councillor is apposed to the additional office space they can vote down the project regardless of any "policy officially against office growth." At the end of the end of the day it's a yes or no vote.
 

O-tac

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Richard White has already posted a bit of a project booster article on his blog...


I think this is the most important tidbit from his article:

"Stephen Avenue Quarter will be a phased project, likely taking 15+ years to complete"

So we lose historic parts of Stephen Avenue today all on the promise of a phased project that might last over 2 decades of changes in economic realities?? Has any phased project in Calgary actually built out as originally planned? The heart of downtown is about to be destroyed on a promise of a better tomorrow from a company that already promised a better tomorrow for the historic buildings along 7th Avenue and failed to deliver. I honestly think this thread is the most depressing one I've come across on this forum because we are about to destroy the only vibrant part of downtown Calgary for a shit project and everyone is pretty resigned to the fact that this Council will sign off on it happening.

I finally read that blog post after bookmarking it at the start of the week. Was just going to post the part about a 15 year build out. This is absurd! Reading more from the Last Word section:

Last Word​

Stephen Avenue Quarter will be a phased project, likely taking 15+ years to complete. And while it is a very exciting and ambitious project, it will mean major disruptions for pedestrians, transit users and drivers during the many years of construction. Especially so when you combine it with major nearby construction projects at The Glenbow, Arts Commons and Green Line .

Tall towers are not ideal for creating a great downtown experience as they dwarf pedestrians, can cause wind tunnels and create shadowing issues especial in the winter. Mega projects don’t have a great track record in Calgary for create street vitality. In fact they are often devoid of any street animation.

For Stephen Avenue Quarter to be successful, they will have to incorporate dozens of small spaces for cafes, boutiques and restaurants along both Stephen Avenue and 7th Avenue. And the spaces will have to be affordable for local small businesses and not geared to chain stores, as nobody is going to come downtown to shop or dine at the same places they have in the suburbs.

It will be interesting to see what kind of community engagement will be conducted as part of the approval of this project and how that will result in changes to the developer’s plans.

Does anyone believe that this block buster mega project being driven solely by high oil prices from the war in Ukraine and the lure of a major O&G tenant will offer anything close to affordable retail spaces that will attract vendors besides things like Jugo Juice and Second Cup? After what happened with the Bow and Encana leaving does anyone even believe the future phases will ever get built?
 
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O-tac

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If a councillor is apposed to the additional office space they can vote down the project regardless of any "policy officially against office growth." At the end of the end of the day it's a yes or no vote.

I e-mailed my councilor Evan Spencer and requested a call back. Anyone else written an e-mail or called in?
 

darwink

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If a councillor is apposed to the additional office space they can vote down the project regardless of any "policy officially against office growth." At the end of the end of the day it's a yes or no vote.
Oh, but making the rejection non-appealable is import too!
 

O-tac

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You know Calgary is maturing when: Most of the people on a skyscraper forum are against an 800' tower because it could have a negative effect on the urban environment. I remember the early days of SSP when the battle cry was MOAR HEIGHT!

Looking at what happened with the Bow gives insight into the potential / likely pitfalls of a project like this. Like I said earlier at least the Bow offered a landmark architectural building. This is going to be bland AF and downright oppressive at street level. In all honesty besides the Plensa sculpture the Bow offers nothing to anyone who isn't an employee in the tower. You can't even take pictures of it without being harassed by security guards. Then there's the south block. A promise of a cultural institution replaced by a fucking wooden deck!

Anyone pretending this project isn't even riskier is in Lala land. It's plain to see that this is being driven by unsustainably high oil prices. This shit happens every time we hit over $100 / barrel and then the developers pretend that they couldn't predict that oil prices would collapse and so can't complete the later public realm phases of the project. Frankly I find this proposal insulting to Calgarians.
 

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