RNDSQR Block | 45m | 12s | RNDSQR | 5468796 Architecture

UrbanRED

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 29, 2017
Messages
172
Reaction score
292
I'm confused - people are resigning because their opposition to a great new development in their neighbourhood failed and that's bad... why?
 

MichaelS

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jul 5, 2016
Messages
1,106
Reaction score
3,627
I'm confused - people are resigning because their opposition to a great new development in their neighbourhood failed and that's bad... why?
I have a feeling (and it is just my feeling, don't want to speak on behalf of Beazley66 or other opponents) it is much more related to the broken process this community in particular has had to put up with for its community plan. The Inglewood ARP has been under review for years. Starting (I think) in 2017 with a plan to just update the Inglewood ARP, as part of Greenline planning:
That link is quite old, and the 2017 draft plan is no longer a working link. But the "what we heard" report is, and you can see clearly in the community comments that height and density along 9th Avenue was definitely a concern.

A "final" draft was prepared in May 2018 that now included Ramsay, labelled as the "Historic East ARP" that showed this parcel with a target FAR of 3.0, and a height of 20m:
The reasons for merging the two community plans can be seen here:

There was still opposition to this draft if I recall, mostly due to the height of projects like the Grid, over adjacent to the Blackfoot Truck Stop:

I didn't follow the ARP process that closely, but the City hired a local planning firm (B&A Planning Group) to help with community engagement on the ARP, as the final draft from May 2018 was deferred. B&A's final report (including a very good timeline on the whole process) can be seen here:

Of note in that report is, tower sites and iconic gateway locations have been identified for several places (including RNDSQR parcel) in the draft plan. As mentioned, I have not been part of this project, and don't know the full history. But if I were to guess, this is not aligned with the wishes of the Community Association or the BIA, based upon their strong opposition to the RNDSQR block. I also note that the final ARP has not yet been approved by Council, so technically the governing statutory document is the older, 1993 Inglewood ARP that calls for a 20m height limit on 9th Avenue.

So, if you are a volunteer member of the community association, or even just a resident who has a strong interest in the community you live in, and you have been participating in the process for about 4 years now with the same consistent message that the heights on 9th Avenue should remain as 20m / 6 stories, but have constantly been ignored or given reasons as to why our input is not being followed, I can see why you have such a bad taste in your mouth. Any claims that increases in height/density are necessary to spur redevelopment seem to ring hollow, as 67 (edit, forgot about the YWCA) major buildings (some great, some less so) have been built on 9th Avenue in the last decade:
9th Avenue 2009: https://www.google.ca/maps/@51.0423...4!1sDApt_6A9dtzgNOCCpMXT9Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
9th Avenue 2019:

I can very much understand people who have the opinion and viewpoint that the planning department is only there to give developers whatever they want. This community seemed to be very active in the whole official process to set an ARP and community vision, but have now seen on two and a half (The Grid is counted as half) separate occasions (Hungerford at 8th Street, and now RNDSQR, with a 3rd (Mylonas) pending ) their wishes overrun.

So, all of that being said, my personal opinion is Council made the right decision with this one IF (big emphasis on the IF) the building turns out as nice as rendered. If a value engineered hulking mass gets put up in place, there may be a lot of regret. So pressure is on RNDSQR.....

Just some food for thought, does anyone remember the initial renderings of West Village Towers?....
1596048911761.png
 
Last edited:

LloydBraun

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 2, 2017
Messages
173
Reaction score
353
My read of the process: The challenge with the ARP update was a stalemate whereby the community wanted to dig their heels in at the same height as the 1993 policy plan despite many changes taking place in the community and across the city - like green line investment. Part of what's broken is the inability to negotiate a compromise between city, community and industry. Complicating matters is the community seems to be completely out of touch with the realities of land economics, and would actually prefer to stagnate redevelopment (claiming to support density).
 

MichaelS

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jul 5, 2016
Messages
1,106
Reaction score
3,627
My read of the process: The challenge with the ARP update was a stalemate whereby the community wanted to dig their heels in at the same height as the 1993 policy plan despite many changes taking place in the community and across the city - like green line investment. Part of what's broken is the inability to negotiate a compromise between city, community and industry. Complicating matters is the community seems to be completely out of touch with the realities of land economics, and would actually prefer to stagnate redevelopment (claiming to support density).
Well I think this is the challenge when it comes to these documents. I bet the community felt they really were compromising, adding in lots of intensity in some areas (closer to the tracks), and was only asking that the character of 9th Avenue be preserved. If you haven't seen the video (I didn't catch the entire hearing myself) the presentation by the Inglewood BIA representative (Coldgarden Brewery owner I believe) really did a very good job presenting this point of view. The video is not up yet, but the presentation slides are here:

The claims of land economics are also difficult to fully rely on, as again, 7 complete buildings have gone up recently within the existing ARP rules of 20m / 6 storey max (Avli did require a slight bump in height to 22.5m, but not a dramatic relaxation). If a developer overpaid for a piece of property, should the rules be bent/changed to compensate for that?

Again, I still feel this decision was the right one provided the building turns out as rendered. Just highlighting that this was a very difficult situation and decision to make, and there are very valid arguments for the opposing side to it.
 

UrbanRED

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 29, 2017
Messages
172
Reaction score
292
I have a feeling (and it is just my feeling, don't want to speak on behalf of Beazley66 or other opponents) it is much more related to the broken process this community in particular has had to put up with for its community plan. The Inglewood ARP has been under review for years. Starting (I think) in 2017 with a plan to just update the Inglewood ARP, as part of Greenline planning:
That link is quite old, and the 2017 draft plan is no longer a working link. But the "what we heard" report is, and you can see clearly in the community comments that height and density along 9th Avenue was definitely a concern.

A "final" draft was prepared in May 2018 that now included Ramsay, labelled as the "Historic East ARP" that showed this parcel with a target FAR of 3.0, and a height of 20m:
The reasons for merging the two community plans can be seen here:

There was still opposition to this draft if I recall, mostly due to the height of projects like the Grid, over adjacent to the Blackfoot Truck Stop:

I didn't follow the ARP process that closely, but the City hired a local planning firm (B&A Planning Group) to help with community engagement on the ARP, as the final draft from May 2018 was deferred. B&A's final report (including a very good timeline on the whole process) can be seen here:

Of note in that report is, tower sites and iconic gateway locations have been identified for several places (including RNDSQR parcel) in the draft plan. As mentioned, I have not been part of this project, and don't know the full history. But if I were to guess, this is not aligned with the wishes of the Community Association or the BIA, based upon their strong opposition to the RNDSQR block. I also note that the final ARP has not yet been approved by Council, so technically the governing statutory document is the older, 1993 Inglewood ARP that calls for a 20m height limit on 9th Avenue.

So, if you are a volunteer member of the community association, or even just a resident who has a strong interest in the community you live in, and you have been participating in the process for about 4 years now with the same consistent message that the heights on 9th Avenue should remain as 20m / 6 stories, but have constantly been ignored or given reasons as to why our input is not being followed, I can see why you have such a bad taste in your mouth. Any claims that increases in height/density are necessary to spur redevelopment seem to ring hollow, as 67 (edit, forgot about the YWCA) major buildings (some great, some less so) have been built on 9th Avenue in the last decade:
9th Avenue 2009: https://www.google.ca/maps/@51.0423...4!1sDApt_6A9dtzgNOCCpMXT9Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
9th Avenue 2019:

I can very much understand people who have the opinion and viewpoint that the planning department is only there to give developers whatever they want. This community seemed to be very active in the whole official process to set an ARP and community vision, but have now seen on two and a half (The Grid is counted as half) separate occasions (Hungerford at 8th Street, and now RNDSQR, with a 3rd (Mylonas) pending ) their wishes overrun.

So, all of that being said, my personal opinion is Council made the right decision with this one IF (big emphasis on the IF) the building turns out as nice as rendered. If a value engineered hulking mass gets put up in place, there may be a lot of regret. So pressure is on RNDSQR.....

Just some food for thought, does anyone remember the initial renderings of West Village Towers?....
View attachment 260508
Got it, thanks for the detailed reply
 

darwink

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 7, 2016
Messages
1,426
Reaction score
2,328
Any claims that increases in height/density are necessary to spur redevelopment seem to ring hollow, as 67 (edit, forgot about the YWCA) major buildings (some great, some less so) have been built on 9th Avenue in the last decade
I want to address this and only this. If the developer had decided to knock down the not currently Heritage protected bank, I agree. But would the Heritage component then be an obstacle? Most definitely. Almost certainly only the facade would have been retained, removing most context of it as an independent building to be interpreted on its own - especially if the developer was then pushed to use brick with punch out windows for the facade, as seems to be the preference of the community association and BIA.

So what is being 'exchanged' for the height and 0.5 FAR? The bus shelter. The private public open space. The Heritage Designation. Setbacks from the lane, 12th, and 9th. A high percentage of the ground floor being CRUs, all with outside access. The CRUs not being unnecessarily massive, narrow, or deep and likely to sit empty, and with the potential for even further subdivision.
1596132217951.png


The different shape of shadowing (yellow versus dashed line), and funding for shadow mitigation (that still would have been needed if current zoning was followed, just not funded by the developer): -- more available here
1596132339063.png
1596132409686.png


Now would have to look into the application - might be in there but didn't see it on my glance, and I'm sure one of you can answer, at least our Rndsqr friend - does parking extend under the Bank for the current proposal? This would have a major effect on the economics, having to dig deeper to fit a similar volume underground, as the tyranny of ramps and circulation space robs a higher percentage of volume as area decreases.

Considering the above, I think council weighed the trade-offs here and made the correct call. I much prefer this proposal to a faux brick warehouse which exploited the current zoning to achieve the density necessary to be economic.

Edit: Do we want a 6 story mystery box/ Ridtor East with an old bank facade:
1596137677085.png
1596137746419.png


Or this:
1596137805575.png
 
Last edited:

outoftheice

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Aug 19, 2017
Messages
213
Reaction score
783
The one question I have is now that the land use has been approved, when will we actually see construction begin? Is the status quo going to remain for a while as Rndsqr waits for the economy to rebound or is the alleged interest in the office space by several tech companies that was mentioned during the council meeting going to be enough to spur a rapid push for construction?
 

Top