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Schneiders Site Redevelopment - Printable Version

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Schneiders Site Redevelopment - Spokes - 12-10-2015

A thread to discuss the future Schneiders site redevelopment.  Whenever that may be



RE: Schneiders site redevelopment - Section ThirtyOne - 12-10-2015

[Image: B821883985Z.1_20150307080847_000_GQ51EFC...ontent.jpg]

Schneiders property in Kitchener officially up for sale -- LINK

Quote:KITCHENER — For sale signs will go up in front of the former Schneiders plant this week, the first step in a major redevelopment project expected to attract interest from across the country.

Owner Maple Leaf Foods, which closed the historic meat processing plant in February, believes it's sitting on a gold mine with the vacant factory and surrounding land. The 27-acre property on Courtland Avenue at Borden Avenue is a rare find in the middle of the city — it's near two future light rail transit stations and has about 750,000 square feet of office and industrial space.

City planners, meanwhile, envision a new neighbourhood springing up from the ashes of Schneiders. That could mean condos, shops, restaurants, brew pubs, space for tech companies, retailers and possibly light manufacturing on land that used to produced hotdogs and luncheon meats.

"It's one of the largest offerings in the region today, and there's a rapidly shrinking pool of infill opportunities," said Peter Whatmore, senior vice-president and executive managing director of CBRE Southwestern Ontario, the commercial real estate firm that will sell the property.

"These kind of properties don't come along very often, and it's pretty special."

...



RE: Schneiders site redevelopment - panamaniac - 12-10-2015

Is it too soon to start with wish lists? I want to see the smokestack preserved. If it's fit, I'd like to see the "smokestack building" retained for pubic purposes (retail? food market? small Schneiders museum?). If that were possible, I'd probably want to retain as a "feature" the long elevated conveyor/passageway that extends from that building toward the north-east end of the site. Shoemakers Creek should be uncovered and form the core of the site's largest green space, extending from Courtland to the train tracks and hopefully linked under the tracks to an improved creek/trail extending westward to Borden Parkway (linking also to the Iron Horse Trail). The first buildings to be demolished should be the modern warehouses fronting on the north side of Borden - the area between the LRT and the restored creek would be where I would put a fairly dense mix of smaller stacked townhouses and walk up apartments, which I hope would be moderately priced or include a social housing component and which would have pedestrian access to the rest of the site, but car access only to/from Borden (add in a good pedestrian way to the Mill LRT station). I think the green area and housing out to Borden would occupy almost a third of the main site. It would be OK by me if the existing office tower were re-used as office space. Not sure what I would do with the factory complex itself - any buildings that pre-date WWII I would hope will be looked at carefully from a heritage/retention perspective. I wonder if all or part of the north end of the plant (Courtland at Palmer) could be converted to mixed use lofts?

It would be awfully nice if redevelopment of the Schneiders site spurred developers to acquire and redevelop the land along Courtland (both sides) down to Stirling - that stretch certainly could use some freshening up and densification.

All of this to be completed within ten years, of course. Wink

How does it sound?


RE: Schneiders site redevelopment - clasher - 12-10-2015

I would be in favour of demolishing most of it, the solid wall of brick facing courtland is particularly uninviting and makes for a rather dark street most of the time. There's not really any doors, windows or anything to interact with the street. Even though some of them are kind of old they are really bland red brick buildings. I also don't know what value there would be in saving any of the walkways or covered conveyors (I dunno what they are) and it would limit possibilities for building the site up.

Personally I'd get the first plans for the property at 83 Elmsdale (see this thread for pics) and tweak them to fit part of this site.

I'd love to see the creek opened up and re-naturalized... the city ought to take the opportunity to build a trail following Shoemaker creek all the way to Homer-Watson and connect it to the Iron Horse. I walked through the entire tunneled portion when I was in high school, there wasn't much of anything down there, we were hoping for a body or something exciting, lol.

Here's the google 3d view looking from a western view. Massive amount of opportunity for city building here. I hope it doesn't end up being too bland and banal.

[Image: chwrs43.jpg]


RE: Schneiders site redevelopment - panamaniac - 12-10-2015

The red brick buildings facing Courtland have been altered and added to so many times that it is hard to get an impression of what might be worth saving. There is one section dating to 1941 with a bit of style, although some windows have been bricked over. The northern half of the red brick complex dates to only 1976, which is why I wondered if it might not be suitable for conversion to loft space (a lot of the red brick could, one assumes, be replaced by large windows a la Arrow Lofts). I suspect that there may be other, older buildings behind the older ones fronting on Courtland, but who knows whether any of it is salvageable or worth saving? The report compares the site to Toronto's distillery district, which suggests there may be more there than meets the eye.


RE: Schneiders site redevelopment - clasher - 12-11-2015

Just looking at the buildings on the 3d google view I don't see much if any redeeming features. I would guess the cost of re-working the industrial interior into something useful for offices or residential wouldn't be worth it. Given the way the buildings are all attached to each other now it might be not even be feasible to knock some of them down without compromising the structural integrity of whatever might be worth saving. It would be neat to salvage the brick and incorporate it into something new.

The biggest question is whether they could get the hotdog smell out of the place Wink


RE: Schneiders site redevelopment - panamaniac - 12-11-2015

(12-11-2015, 10:25 AM)clasher Wrote: Just looking at the buildings on the 3d google view I don't see much if any redeeming features. I would guess the cost of re-working the industrial interior into something useful for offices or residential wouldn't be worth it. Given the way the buildings are all attached to each other now it might be not even be feasible to knock some of them down without compromising the structural integrity of whatever might be worth saving. It would be neat to salvage the brick and incorporate it into something new.

The biggest question is whether they could get the hotdog smell out of the place Wink

Hey, if they could get the smell out of Kaufman Rubber, anything is possible!


RE: Schneiders site redevelopment - Spokes - 12-11-2015

What exactly is owned by Schneiders here? I know about the main buildings, but I thought there were some on the other side of courtland too?


RE: Schneiders site redevelopment - Spokes - 12-11-2015

(12-10-2015, 11:19 PM)clasher Wrote: I would be in favour of demolishing most of it, the solid wall of brick facing courtland is particularly uninviting and makes for a rather dark street most of the time. There's not really any doors, windows or anything to interact with the street. Even though some of them are kind of old they are really bland red brick buildings. I also don't know what value there would be in saving any of the walkways or covered conveyors (I dunno what they are) and it would limit possibilities for building the site up.

Personally I'd get the first plans for the property at 83 Elmsdale (see this thread for pics) and tweak them to fit part of this site.

I'd love to see the creek opened up and re-naturalized... the city ought to take the opportunity to build a trail following Shoemaker creek all the way to Homer-Watson and connect it to the Iron Horse. I walked through the entire tunneled portion when I was in high school, there wasn't much of anything down there, we were hoping for a body or something exciting, lol.

Here's the google 3d view looking from a western view. Massive amount of opportunity for city building here. I hope it doesn't end up being too bland and banal.

[Image: chwrs43.jpg]


It is indeed fairly uninviting, but i think there could be some serious push to restore an old industrial building.  You can see where there used to be windows, maybe with them back in it could look good like Kaufman or Arrow.

Is it safe to assume the office building stays as is?  I'd guess so.


RE: Schneiders site redevelopment - tomh009 - 12-11-2015

Realistically, there isn't much. Maybe one of the earlier red brick factory buildings might be salvageable, with the bricked-in windows restored. The brutalist office building is surely functional, might be worth keeping if it can be renovated at a modest cost. The rest ... I think they'll be better off demolishing and rebuilding mid- and high-density new buildings, hopefully with enough mixed-use.

Incidentally, that warehouse at the intersection of Borden wasn't really so much of a warehouse -- it was the distribution building, where products would arrive from the factory buildings and get picked and packed for grocery store orders, and loaded onto trucks. Most products would spend only a few hours in the building. (I spent a few summers in the building filling racks and trying to keep up with the order fulfillment.)