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SIXO Midtown | 28 + 20? + 12? + ? fl | Proposed
Just so they're all here for reference:

[Image: Humphreys-Partners-Urban-Architecture-Ki...igpurk.jpg]

[Image: Humphreys-Partners-Urban-Architecture-Ki...igpurk.jpg]

[Image: Humphreys-Partners-Urban-Architecture-Ki...16r8xs.jpg]

[Image: Humphreys-Partners-Urban-Architecture-Ki...jwsn40.jpg]
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In Waterloo and Kitchener, I'd say second storey stores are about the most unpopular option for businesses. The number of steps, turns, and storeys required for someone not living here to get to the stores is going to be a huge encumberance. You have the central hub for all non-car transportation in the region across the road, nearly, but you're going to make it hard/unpleasant for them to get to you? This seriously needs more thought.
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Why are multiple levels acceptable for indoor shopping malls, but unacceptable for core downtown retail?

My mind boggles, I have seen multiple levels of (successful) retail in so many cities that I fail to understand why it cannot work in Kitchener.
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Not a huge fan of the retaining walls and I imagine it would be possible to grade the site so they'd be unnecessary. I think multiple floors of retail could work here, there are a lot of units planned for the side with the three towers so there will be some customers that are only an elevator ride away from the retail. I kind of like the rest of the design, the towers are kinda something that looks like it belongs on the cover of simcity 2000 but I don't think that's a bad thing. I'm excited for the potential of this site.
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In order to not have any retaining wall, the grade on the site would need to follow (the fairly steep) grade on the street.  It makes the building design much more challenging.  For perspective, I did some rough estimating of the retaining wall length using Google Maps.  It looks like there would be two roughly 50m sections on either side of the entrance lanes.  Each one of those is about 50% primarily greenery, and 50% (25m) of primarily concrete.  That's about 20 seconds (x2) of walking past concrete at a moderate walking speed of 5 km/h.

   

As for second floor access, escalators are an simple way to make access to other floors easier.  And not that expensive in the big picture.
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If the retaining walls are set far back enough (maybe just an additional meter or 2, making the sidewalk 3-4 meters wide, I dont think it would even be that big a deal. Maybe throw in some nice street lamps, or hanging planters. Could be nice.
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(04-08-2016, 02:24 PM)GtwoK Wrote: If the retaining walls are set far back enough (maybe just an additional meter or 2, making the sidewalk 3-4 meters wide, I dont think it would even be that big a deal. Maybe throw in some nice street lamps, or hanging planters. Could be nice.

An excellent suggestion.  Really no extra cost and no significant impact on the proposal.
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(04-08-2016, 06:39 AM)MacBerry Wrote:
(04-07-2016, 01:41 PM)Elmira Guy Wrote: Not sure why you quoted my post with your comment, jordan2423. Doesn't seem to make a lot of sense, but then hey. I went to Laurier for my undergrad. What do I know?

Ya it is tough, Elmira Guy, I too went to Laurier and can't figure out how I manged to get three additional graduate degrees following an undergrad degree from such a "joke" (jordan2423) higher education institute. What do I know?

Words can make you friends or enemies, choose wisely!

lol now I'm being ambushed. It was a joke, no need to take offence. I apologize.
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(04-08-2016, 02:11 PM)tomh009 Wrote: Each one of those is about 50% primarily greenery, and 50% (25m) of primarily concrete.  That's about 20 seconds (x2) of walking past concrete at a moderate walking speed of 5 km/h.

The problem isn't really the 2 sections of 25m of retaining wall, it's the fact that the entire 150m frontage on the sidewalk is inactive. Either a retaining wall, generic hedges, or a gaping void for a pathway that eventually leads to... somewhere.

All I want is for them to extend a concrete path above that garage entrance and bridge over the pedestrian canyon, so that you can walk parallel to King, but at the shops level.
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(04-08-2016, 03:13 PM)Markster Wrote: All I want is for them to extend a concrete path above that garage entrance and bridge over the pedestrian canyon, so that you can walk parallel to King, but at the shops level.

Yes, and ultimately connect that to the north rail platform and/or proposed trail on the overpass.
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Am I the only one who finds it strange to have two vehicle ramps gumming up traffic on the King St side of this development?  Surely all traffic should enter and exit via Wellington or am I out to lunch?
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I can say that indeed there will be some changes to the design, especially regarding the street level wall that many in this thread are pointing out. Either way, it's going to be a nice addition to the city.
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(04-08-2016, 04:59 PM)panamaniac Wrote: Am I the only one who finds it strange to have two vehicle ramps gumming up traffic on the King St side of this development?  Surely all traffic should enter and exit via Wellington or am I out to lunch?

Yeah I was thinking the same thing... it's a lot easier to access via Wellington if one is driving there. Even for the trucks it would probably be easier than making the turn up the ramp by tracks.
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No vehicle entrances on the King St side would seem best, but if it must have a vehicle entrance from King St, then the better approach would be to take a portion of the McDonald's site to realign Moore/Breithaupt and create a full intersection that would incorporate the vehicle entrance.  The idea of having both the parking garage entrance and (seemingly) a ramp to podium parking giving on to King St strikes me as a formula for traffic chaos.
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(04-08-2016, 02:11 PM)tomh009 Wrote: In order to not have any retaining wall, the grade on the site would need to follow (the fairly steep) grade on the street.  It makes the building design much more challenging.  For perspective, I did some rough estimating of the retaining wall length using Google Maps.  It looks like there would be two roughly 50m sections on either side of the entrance lanes.  Each one of those is about 50% primarily greenery, and 50% (25m) of primarily concrete.  That's about 20 seconds (x2) of walking past concrete at a moderate walking speed of 5 km/h.



As for second floor access, escalators are an simple way to make access to other floors easier.  And not that expensive in the big picture.

Saying its only 50 m on either side sacrifices 100 meters of urban public realm and we should in no way be compromising our street facing urban realm. I won't give reason as to why as there are reams of content out there to do it for me... a sampling of recent articles found on the matter scanning my twitter feed for 3 or so minutes:

http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2016/03/six-s...reetfight/
http://www.citylab.com/cityfixer/2016/04...=SFTwitter
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZijyXVlW...pp=desktop
http://www.citylab.com/design/2015/12/pu...=SFTwitter
http://www.archdaily.com/580467/inclusiv...um=twitter
http://thewalrus.ca/tv-cities-for-people-not-just-cars/
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