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East Victoria Park - Ideas

Calgcouver

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Wanted to discuss thoughts in East Victoria Park and I think this may be a case where CMLC should actively be looking for lower densities (ie. no more high-rises, only low and mid-rise).

Was looking at a few sites in East Victoria Park and was considering what would be reasonable for redevelopment considering the current level of saturation in the inner-city condo market, and what kind of a scale the neighbourhood should be. I am beginning to think that it should be exclusively low and mid-rise buildings, 3-10 storeys. Nothing taller. I think that by allowing too much height and density on the land, the land will be worth too much, and proformas will only work for towers. I want to see prices stay down and for smaller wall-to-wall parcels be created that would allow for more "heritage sized" lots and blocks, similar to older parts of Yaletown or Gastown in Vancouver. Gastown for instance, was largely either renovated in, or purpose-built in the 1990s, and is an interesting and distinct place even though it is only kind of faux-old. I think this land strategy would create what could be a distinct area of the city, by zoning the land for lower heights and densities we could develop at a smaller scale, and we could fill the blocks in more easily and keep the cost of developable land in the area at a reasonable level. It could be an interesting way to create a more "loft-style" community.

I have a feeling that CMLC will shoot for East Village heights and densities (and they appear to be), but if that is the case, we won't see any meaningful development in the area for decades. It will remain as unproductive bus barns and large surface parking lots for a long time. Largely because we don't need more land for high-rise towers, constrict it to the Beltline and Downtown to force developers to make more productive use of the inventory of lots and density allowed there, and too intentionally push development and adaptive re-use back to the core. Kind of the exact opposite approach as Vancouver haha.

It sometimes feels like the case that we have so much land available for towers, that we only get a few, very large developments, instead of a critical mass of smaller scale developments that would fill in all those unproductive surface parking lots all over this area and throughout the inner-city broadly.

CMLC's massing renders for East Vic Park.



I think developments like this Gastown/Crosstown development by Westbank would be a very appropriate scale and look for the East Victoria Park area. The taller of the too buildings should be the maximum height allowed in East Vic Park imo.




And this zoning could even be more supportive of stacked townhomes like this Roncesvalle example in Toronto;

upload_2018-9-19_15-3-29.jpeg


or these:



I understand this is a lot of text, but really think that this should be the land strategy for CMLC, and I am curious what everyone here thinks, because i know most of you like towers, whereas I prefer continuous streetwalls and human-scale development.

Interested to see what you guys think would be the highest and best use of the land in East Victoria Park!

TLDR: I don't think their should be anymore high-rises as part of the Victoria Park land strategy by CMLC, fight me about it :)
 

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JonnyCanuck

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I think all bets are off until such time as Stampede Park starts their expansion, and a decision is made on the location of the new arena (east Vic Park was one of the sites being looked at).
Once those pieces are filled in, then I would hope a 're-imagining' of the remaining land parcels is possible. However a Stampede expansion and a new arena will probably drive land prices up. When land prices go up, so do the height of buildings as that is the only way developers can see an ROI.
 

darwink

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Arena + Olympic Village, plus once we decide to expand convention facilities at the Stampede, instead of trying another facility, a lot of hotels.
 

Social Justice

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Wanted to discuss thoughts in East Victoria Park and I think this may be a case where CMLC should actively be looking for lower densities (ie. no more high-rises, only low and mid-rise).

Was looking at a few sites in East Victoria Park and was considering what would be reasonable for redevelopment considering the current level of saturation in the inner-city condo market, and what kind of a scale the neighbourhood should be. I am beginning to think that it should be exclusively low and mid-rise buildings, 3-10 storeys. Nothing taller. I think that by allowing too much height and density on the land, the land will be worth too much, and proformas will only work for towers. I want to see prices stay down and for smaller wall-to-wall parcels be created that would allow for more "heritage sized" lots and blocks, similar to older parts of Yaletown or Gastown in Vancouver. Gastown for instance, was largely either renovated in, or purpose-built in the 1990s, and is an interesting and distinct place even though it is only kind of faux-old. I think this land strategy would create what could be a distinct area of the city, by zoning the land for lower heights and densities we could develop at a smaller scale, and we could fill the blocks in more easily and keep the cost of developable land in the area at a reasonable level. It could be an interesting way to create a more "loft-style" community.

I have a feeling that CMLC will shoot for East Village heights and densities (and they appear to be), but if that is the case, we won't see any meaningful development in the area for decades. It will remain as unproductive bus barns and large surface parking lots for a long time. Largely because we don't need more land for high-rise towers, constrict it to the Beltline and Downtown to force developers to make more productive use of the inventory of lots and density allowed there, and too intentionally push development and adaptive re-use back to the core. Kind of the exact opposite approach as Vancouver haha.

It sometimes feels like the case that we have so much land available for towers, that we only get a few, very large developments, instead of a critical mass of smaller scale developments that would fill in all those unproductive surface parking lots all over this area and throughout the inner-city broadly.

CMLC's massing renders for East Vic Park.



I think developments like this Gastown/Crosstown development by Westbank would be a very appropriate scale and look for the East Victoria Park area. The taller of the too buildings should be the maximum height allowed in East Vic Park imo.




And this zoning could even be more supportive of stacked townhomes like this Roncesvalle example in Toronto;

View attachment 157243

or these:



I understand this is a lot of text, but really think that this should be the land strategy for CMLC, and I am curious what everyone here thinks, because i know most of you like towers, whereas I prefer continuous streetwalls and human-scale development.

Interested to see what you guys think would be the highest and best use of the land in East Victoria Park!

TLDR: I don't think their should be anymore high-rises as part of the Victoria Park land strategy by CMLC, fight me about it :)
You hit the nail right on the head. I love mid-rise buildings, unfortunately Calgary doesn't do too many high quality mid-rise buildings.

I'm not a big fan of some of the newer developments I see going up around the core (West Towers, 11+11 and the new 'Hat' proposal come to mind). The height and design of them bring to mind a soulless, dystopian future. I think it'd be kind of depressing living in parts of urban Toronto. That's probably why Drake songs are so depressing. I can just imagine wheel chair Jimmy sitting inside his $15 million Toronto penthouse looking down on a soulless landscape and knowing that he doesn't have a single friend in the world that likes him for who he is, and not his money. Pic related.



But, it's all okay, because it brings in foreign money to the boost the local construction industry. Municipalities like it because it's extra tax dollars into the coffers and urbanites like it because of 'muh density' or some shit like that.
 

Surrealplaces

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You won't get a fight out of me. I wouldn't be sad if no more high rise towers (other than the ones already started) went up in Vic Park, and would rather see low rise buildings and the odd mid rise building fill the rest of that area.

I understand this is a lot of text, but really think that this should be the land strategy for CMLC, and I am curious what everyone here thinks, because i know most of you like towers, whereas I prefer continuous streetwalls and human-scale development.

Interested to see what you guys think would be the highest and best use of the land in East Victoria Park!

TLDR: I don't think their should be anymore high-rises as part of the Victoria Park land strategy by CMLC, fight me about it :)
 

Calgcouver

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I think all bets are off until such time as Stampede Park starts their expansion, and a decision is made on the location of the new arena (east Vic Park was one of the sites being looked at).
Once those pieces are filled in, then I would hope a 're-imagining' of the remaining land parcels is possible. However a Stampede expansion and a new arena will probably drive land prices up. When land prices go up, so do the height of buildings as that is the only way developers can see an ROI.
I don't see why stampede expansion or a new arena would specifically drive up land cost, personally. Maybe a grocery store/park/transit will create a bit of upwards pressure on land prices, but arenas/stampede grounds don't create enough direct benefits for immediate neighbours on a regular basis (IMO). I think that by limited allowable height and density, it would cap land prices and would allow for smaller-scale developments to get shovels in the ground earlier, and we could have something that resembles a community in the near to mid term, as opposed to four towers in a sea of empty parking lots for the next 20 years.
 

JonnyCanuck

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The Stampede expansion is a plan to turn the north end of the park into a year round destination. The new arena plan, if located nearby and done properly, will enhance that area. Residential developers will want to get in on the action, as they did in Edmonton around their new arena. If you are currently sitting on vacant land in the vicinity and don't plan on developing it yourself, why wouldn't you sell it to the highest bidder?
 

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