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Midtown Station | Multiple Buildings | IBI Group | Midtown Station

Surrealplaces

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That's one ambitious looking concept. I'd like if it began a block north and was tied into Chinook Centre.
 

people.talking

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If I remember correctly there is an outline for Chinook that has the southeast parking of the mall as well as the lot to the east of that being developed into apartment as well as an expansion for the mall.
 

CBBarnett

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Midtown: impressive density, I didn't see it on their site but I am assuming 4,000 - 5,000 units? So 1/3rd of a Beltline worth over the build-out period of several decades. Take my pros/cons with a grain of salt as it's not much more than a massing diagram at this point.

Pros:
  • Obvious improvement to what's there
  • Transit station considered in the first phase.
  • These units would have to go somewhere in the region, better here than on the southern edges of the city. Great node and the midtown logic is sound, if hard to execute and with limited success so far.
Cons:
  • Too much "tower in the park" - it's a 2020 - 2050 version of what lots of cities built from 1950 - 1980 as car-oriented suburban tower developments, now wildly criticized for creating isolated pockets of density and having pointless/unusable lawns that ultimately fall into disrepair. Le Corbusier would be proud.
  • No details that inspire confidence the pedestrian realm will be considered beyond some generic street renderings. Surface parking, large and useless setbacks, roads with big turn bulbs, and a lot of detail on a 30-year-away pedestrian bridge connection to keep pedestrians out of the roads reveal the priorities at the early stages. It reads as a plan designed by engineers to max density, not rock the transportation boat, throw a bone to some stormwater concerns (e.g. lawns instead of buildings), and ignore the reasons why a community like this could actually be a great place to live. Perhaps that is fine this early in the process, but also a warning sign.
  • We aren't exactly lacking zoned capacity to create a "midtown" at Chinook - all those planning policies and station area proposals for the past decade or two are in place and do a good job articulating some of the details missing here (e.g. connectivity, streetscapes etc.) Why is this one different and by going through with it, will be more successful than the numerous plans already floating out there?
Some of this critique will be withdrawn later when better renderings and more details are available, but we should always be careful as path-dependency - particularly car-orientation - kicks in early. Nothing about this proposal inspires confidence yet, perhaps a good example of doing the "not doing the right thing, but doing the wrong things better". Reminds me a bit of the Brentwood Co-op that suffered similar issues of not quite articulating the right things.

I hope to be proven wrong come 2050 when it's done!
 

Chinook Arch

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Definitely it would be a slow go. That's a shitload of units!

I like the plan, and even if the final product was half the amount of units and development, I'd still be happy.
 

Ubran Outdoorsman

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I like the idea. However my only concern is that other major 'midtown' type developments are already in the works for Calgary and yet seem not to be going anywhere. Currie and Westbrook being two prime examples. Not to mention U/D which is well underway. I guess my concern would be around whether there's really much of a market for it? Maybe in 30 years when some of these others have hopefully been completed.
 

darwink

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Westbrook
That has its own problems. The main one is that the developer bought the land as already upzoned in a competitive bid situation from the city, which squeezes the margin enough to kill projects.

2nd best (vickery) auctions might be a better process for the city since it stops the developers from paying too much if they have irrational exuberance about the site and really 'need' to get the land.
 

Dārayavauš

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I like the idea. However my only concern is that other major 'midtown' type developments are already in the works for Calgary and yet seem not to be going anywhere. Currie and Westbrook being two prime examples. Not to mention U/D which is well underway. I guess my concern would be around whether there's really much of a market for it? Maybe in 30 years when some of these others have hopefully been completed.
This area is ready for development though. I can see it progressing very nicely once they get started.
 

UrbanWarrior

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I just stumbled across the Midtown Station development plan and answered the survey.

I’ve never heard of it before, does any one on here know any more about it? I personally think this is a brilliant plan and I hope they build it soon!


WOW! Thanks for posting that.
 

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