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General Urban Kitchener Updates and Rumours
Wow. Didn't expect to see that. The Queen street one is really interesting. With the parking garage link you could do a really cool blend of retail, commercial, boutique hotel and residential.

The Zion concept is hideous though (IMO)
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(10-19-2018, 09:12 AM)ijmorlan Wrote:
(10-19-2018, 08:39 AM)Spokes Wrote: Wow.  That would be truly fantastic!  

Does the zoning allow for it?  I wonder if they're trying to show what could be done with it to drum up some interest.

Here are the images:

I predict the response will be “Nimby”. Maybe they just need to let the property get a bit more dilapidated until everybody agrees that something like the render would be an improvement on the current state.

This is actually pretty close to what many residents proposed in a design charette run by the city. I was there, among the group of 50-60 people. It felt like a productive session and the city is doing a nice job of follow-up.

Lots of details to debate, but overall looking at a complete teardown and rebuild to max of 6 maybe 7 stories with upper stories stepped back. Underground parking plus some surface. Integrate aspects of original building in the new, such as a partial facade. Ground floor businesses that function as an extension of the neighborhood's "front porch" character -- such as restaurant with strips of patio seating.

Unfortunately, site contamination and poor building condition make it unfeasible to keep the current structure. :-(
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I quite like the Queen proposal, does a lot of good work with a property in dire need of being refreshed. And the bridge to the parking garage is inspired.
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
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(10-19-2018, 08:09 PM)Becubed Wrote:
(10-19-2018, 09:12 AM)ijmorlan Wrote: I predict the response will be “Nimby”. Maybe they just need to let the property get a bit more dilapidated until everybody agrees that something like the render would be an improvement on the current state.

This is actually pretty close to what many residents proposed in a design charette run by the city. I was there, among the group of 50-60 people. It felt like a productive session and the city is doing a nice job of follow-up.

[....]

Unfortunately, site contamination and poor building condition make it unfeasible to keep the current structure. :-(

Good to hear about the charette. I just look at 6 stories in a neighbourhood of small single-family homes and think “opposition!”. Maybe they’ve managed to get the neighbourhood onside this time.

Too bad about the building condition. Building the new structure into the existing brick building, even if only as a facade, would help maintain the historical character. With any luck the new building will still be attractive.
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(10-19-2018, 08:25 PM)KevinL Wrote: I quite like the Queen proposal, does a lot of good work with a property in dire need of being refreshed. And the bridge to the parking garage is inspired.

The bridge is good … but the upper part is really mismatched with the lower floors.
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The Queen/Charles building looks quite nice, but I think the city might take issue with an actual proposal given their plans for a park on that corner.

The heritage of 53-55 Queen will also likely be an issue for some as it is on the non-designated heritage list.
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
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(10-19-2018, 09:12 AM)ijmorlan Wrote: I predict the response will be “Nimby”. Maybe they just need to let the property get a bit more dilapidated until everybody agrees that something like the render would be an improvement on the current state.

There is already a petition and lots of comments against the visioning statement attached to the staff report going on November 5th.

Typical comments (starting around page 16):
"the existing proposal will destroy the value of homes"
"our roads won't support the increase in traffic volume...this is not King St!"
"having commercial businesses on the ground floor is bad because there is no foot traffic...this is a pure residential area. Would create noise."
"roads won't support the increase in traffic volume"
"...no stores, no pubs, no coffee shops!!"
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
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(10-19-2018, 10:08 PM)Pheidippides Wrote: The Queen/Charles building looks quite nice, but I think the city might take issue with an actual proposal given their plans for a park on that corner.

The heritage of 53-55 Queen will also likely be an issue for some as it is on the non-designated heritage list.

The zoning of 55 Queen St S is D-1, which is fine. But it appears that they are counting on purchasing the corner property from the city -- it looks like the last fifth of the building is on the city-owned land? Now, that part is open on the ground floor, so the amount of green space is about the same as if the city did still own it (and got rid of the handful of parking spaces), so maybe this is their angle to get a deal done.
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(10-19-2018, 06:54 PM)Lens Wrote: I was on the sites of a few local architects and came across these two project renders from Thinkform:

Queen and Charles:
[image: https : //static.wixstatic.com/media/2ab86b_8f2fa66fbc654913bff5ddff1fc79c73~…_s_4_2.webp]

Could someone repost these in a widely supported format?
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(10-19-2018, 11:15 PM)Pheidippides Wrote:
(10-19-2018, 09:12 AM)ijmorlan Wrote: I predict the response will be “Nimby”. Maybe they just need to let the property get a bit more dilapidated until everybody agrees that something like the render would be an improvement on the current state.

There is already a petition and lots of comments against the visioning statement attached to the staff report going on November 5th.

Typical comments (starting around page 16):
"the existing proposal will destroy the value of homes"
"our roads won't support the increase in traffic volume...this is not King St!"
"having commercial businesses on the ground floor is bad because there is no foot traffic...this is a pure residential area. Would create noise."
"roads won't support the increase in traffic volume"
"...no stores, no pubs, no coffee shops!!"

To put it a different way, predictions are correct, as usual.

*sigh*...I cannot understand these people who would rather live next to a burned out factory building for no other reason than that's what they live next to now and change is scary.
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Given that this is the view out my window:

   

I think I can consider this as "IMBY".

I am surprised that such a large building is proposed for relatively small site, but hey, if they can figure it out, with the step backs and such, great. I personally don't like the aesthetic all that much--of the top building anyway--it just looks mismatched from the bottom...but I fully support the density.  I would also fully support a 0 parking requirement.  This is across the street from a) an LRT station and b) a mostly empty city parking garage.  There is zero reason to waste any money building more parking here.

YIMBY please.

I had the same opinion of the Vive development in the other direction.  Of course, this looks like it would be expensive condos contributing to more gentrification, instead of midrange rental apartments, so I'm sure this development will be approved, where the other was declined. \< /cynical_sarcasm >
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If I had to guess the only acceptable use for some of those people is to rip it down and make it a park.
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(10-20-2018, 12:44 PM)kps Wrote:
(10-19-2018, 06:54 PM)Lens Wrote: I was on the sites of a few local architects and came across these two project renders from Thinkform:

Queen and Charles:
[image: https : //static.wixstatic.com/media/2ab86b_8f2fa66fbc654913bff5ddff1fc79c73~…_s_4_2.webp]

Could someone repost these in a widely supported format?

Ah, yes, looks like webp is supported by Chrome and Edge only for now. I use Edge for WRC so I hadn't noticed the issue. Let me see if I can convert and post the images later tonight ...
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(10-20-2018, 05:24 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: *sigh*...I cannot understand these people who would rather live next to a burned out factory building for no other reason than that's what they live next to now and change is scary.

I was thinking the same thing. The fact that the reaction is this strong to the vision statement for the property, not an actual proposal, is striking.


Do owners really think that living next to a crumbling, polluted, potential fire hazard of a site is adding more value to their properties than a cleaned and redeveloped site?

Why bother living in the city at all? If you value peace and quiet, uninterrupted vistas, and no traffic, pedestrian or otherwise, why live in the heart of the city? Sounds like living in the country would be more appealing.
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
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(10-20-2018, 10:20 PM)Pheidippide Wrote: Why bother living in the city at all? If you value peace and quiet, uninterrupted vistas, and no traffic, pedestrian or otherwise, why live in the heart of the city? Sounds like living in the country would be more appealing.

They want country living while being extremely close to everything so their drive is only 1 minute instead of 30 minutes.
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