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  1. I'm sure there's a thread for this piece of land but too lazy to look. In Saturday's Gazette a report on a new Preval projet on the former Franciscan church site. Suspects are apparently already complaining though that's a small piece of the report. MONTREAL - A vast tract of downtown land, left partially empty after the site’s historic Franciscan church was destroyed in a 2010 blaze, could be reinvented as two 18-storey condo towers. Groupe Prével, the developer that transformed the former Seville theatre near the old Forum into a sold-out multi-phase condo project, has an option to buy part of the site on the south side of René Lévesque Blvd., west of Fort St. and the entrance to Highway 720. The Prével project — which would include a 330-square-metre public park on part of the site — would require the city of Montreal to change the zoning from institutional to residential. “We’ve had internal discussions with the planning department and they seem positive about it,” said Jonathan Sigler, a co-founder of the urban condo developer, which has also built the Lowney project in Griffintown. “But obviously, this is going to go through a public consultation.” The project comes at a time when the city of Montreal, along with other local muncipalities, is under fire for fast-tracking residential development at the expense of green space and such services as schools and daycares in areas like Griffintown. Sigler said Prével’s project would balance development with the need for green space, by creating the park and maintaining the woods in the back of the site known as the jardin des Franciscains. “Nothing would be knocked out,” Sigler told The Gazette. But some residents in nearby Shaughnessy Village have already called on city officials to “firmly oppose the project” and come up with a plan oriented toward better public access to the site instead of for “building condo towers.” Through the deal with the Franciscans, Prével would acquire only part of the site, which includes two heritage buildings used by commercial tenants. The religious order, which first stepped foot in Quebec nearly 400 years ago, would continue to own these two buildings. The historic Franciscan church was destroyed in an early-morning fire more than three years ago. News reports said the religious order had ceased holding services at the aging church, and abandoned the building in 2007 because it couldn’t afford the $5 million in needed repairs. Read more: Montreal Gazette | Page Not Found
  2. Revitalizing Calgary's core: Some possibilities for rebirth 'Calgary has reinvented itself before ... from a ranching/agriculture-based economy to oil and gas' By Richard White, CBC News Posted: Jun 17, 2016 While it is shocking that Calgary's downtown skyscraper vacancy rate skyrocketed to 20 per cent at the end of March, and that it could soon surpass the vacancy record of 22 per cent set in 1983 (twice what it was a year ago), we should keep some perspective. These numbers are not unheard of in major corporate headquarter cities. Back in the 1970s, New York City was in decline. By the mid-70s, the city came close to bankruptcy and its office vacancy rate hit 20 per cent. In 1993, Toronto's downtown office vacancy rate hit 20.4 per cent. Vancouver's rose to 17.4 per cent in 2004. And these may not even be records, as data only goes back to 1990 for those cities. Today, New York City, Toronto and Vancouver's downtowns are booming. All downtowns go through periods of growth, decline and rebirth. Montreal's decline and rebirth In the '60s, the case could still be made Montreal was Canada's business capital. Its downtown was a major office headquarters for Quebec's natural resource industry as well as a thriving financial industry, including the head offices of the Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada and insurance giant Sun Life. In 1962, when the Place Ville Marie office designed by iconic architects I.M. Pei and Henry N. Cobb opened, it symbolized Montreal's arrival as a world-class city. This was further reinforced with the hosting of Expo '67, the arrival of Montreal Expos baseball team in 1969, and the 1976 Olympics. However, the '70s brought the threat of separation, which prompted many corporate headquarters and their executives to move to Toronto. By 1971, Toronto's population surpassed Montreal's. The 1976 Montreal Olympics, the most expensive in history, plunged the city into a legacy of debt and decline for decades. Today, Montreal has reinvented itself as an international tourist destination and a major player in the gaming and music industries. New York's return from the brink In 1975, New York City was on the brink of bankruptcy. The gradual economic and social decay set in during the '60s. The city's subway system was regarded as unsafe due to crime and frequent mechanical breakdowns. Central Park was the site of numerous muggings and rapes; homeless persons and drug dealers occupied boarded-up and abandoned buildings. Times Square became an ugly, seedy place dominated by crime, drugs and prostitution. Today, New York City is back as one of the world's most successful cities, economically and culturally, and Times Square is again one of the world's most popular urban tourist attractions. Calgary's future Perhaps Calgary has already begun to reinvent itself. Despite the growing vacancy rate downtown, the CBRE's First Quarter 2016 Report says, "Not all commercial real estate in the city has been affected, though. Suburban office space held steady from the last quarter, and the industrial real estate market is still robust because it's not tied to oil and gas." Indeed, Calgary has become one of North America's largest inland port cities, including two state-of-the art intermodal rail operations. Calgary is now the distribution headquarters for Western Canada, a position once held by Winnipeg. And so Calgary's industrial sectors employ more people than the energy sector. Calgary Economic Development is working with the real estate community to implement a "Head Office/Downtown Office Plan" with three action items. One idea is the repurposing of smaller older office spaces as incubators and innovation hubs to attract millennials and/or entrepreneurs. A good example of this is in West Hillhurst, where Arlene Dickenson has converted an old office building at the corner of Memorial Drive and Kensington Road that was once home to an engineering firm into District Ventures, home to several startup packaged goods companies. Another repurposing idea would be to convert some older office buildings into residential uses. In the U.S., programs like Vacant Places Into Vibrant Spaces have been successful but mostly for office to residential conversions of older buildings with smaller floor plates. They don't work for offices buildings with floor plates over 7,500 square feet (which is the case for most of Calgary's empty high-rise office space), as it is expensive and difficult to meet residential building codes, which are very different from commercial ones, making it tough to compete with new residential construction. In an ideal world, Calgary could become a global talent hub, where skilled workers who have been displaced from the energy and related industries continue to live in Calgary but become a remote workforce for energy projects around the world. Temporary and permanent satellite offices could be established in Calgary with teams of engineers, geologists, accountants, bankers etc. working on projects around the world. The obvious strategy would be to woo international companies in the finance, insurance, transportation, agriculture, digital media and renewable resources to set up a Canadian or North American office in Calgary, maybe even relocate here. With cities like San Francisco, Seattle and Boston facing major affordable housing crises for millennial workers, Calgary could become a very attractive place for a satellite office for companies in those cities. One "off the wall" idea postulated by George Brookman, CEO of West Canadian Industries, would be to promote Calgary as an "International Centre for Energy Dispute Resolution," similar to the Netherland's TAMARA (Transportation And Maritime Arbitration Rotterdam-Amsterdam), which offers an extrajudicial platform for conducting professional arbitration for settling disputes. However, one wonders: Could Calgary compete with London and New York, which are already leaders in the international arbitration business? Incentivize rebirth Calgary has reinvented itself before, evolving from a ranching/agriculture-based economy to oil and gas in the middle of the 20th century. Indeed, the downtown core, which is an office ghetto today, would benefit immensely if incentives could be made to convert a dozen or so office buildings into condos, apartments or hotels to foster a rebirth of the core as a place to live. Calgary at a Crossroads is CBC Calgary's special focus on life in our city during the downturn. A look at Calgary's culture, identity and what it means to be Calgarian. Read more stories from the series at Calgary at a Crossroads. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/calgary-core-kickstart-richard-white-1.3638276
  3. Montreal, March 21st, 2012 - Ivanhoé Cambridge has selected Sid Lee Architecture, in collaboration with Sid Lee, to re-envision the Rockhill multi-residential complex, located in Montreal. "We are thrilled for the chance to work with Ivanhoé Cambridge Residential on the new Rockhill. This complex is part of Montreal's urban landscape and taking part in its revitalization is an honour for us," explains Jean Pelland, architect and senior partner. "This partnership with Ivanhoé Cambridge will allow Sid Lee Architecture to bring a fresh perspective to a building that has left its mark on Montreal." The idea is to breathe new life into the apartments and into this six-building complex, located at the foot of Mount Royal and 10 minutes from downtown Montreal. For Sylvain Fortier, president of the residential entity of Ivanhoé Cambridge, Sid Lee Architecture's approach really shines a spotlight on the Rockhill as a whole, with architecture being integrated not only into the infrastructure, but also the branding. Their ventures in residential real estate, urban development and retail are proof of their expertise and we believe that they are the best professionals for the project. In order to relive its glory days of the 1960s, the Rockhill, a multi-residential rental complex, will undergo a modernization, both architecturally speaking and in terms of branding, thanks to the teams at Sid Lee Architecture and Sid Lee. Due to its expertise in the fields of urban, architectural and interior design, Sid Lee Architecture was selected to re-envision the complex. The two teams will also be responsible for producing the strategy behind the new Rockhill, in line with Ivanhoé Cambridge Residential's vision of offering quality multi-residential housing in up-and-coming neighbourhoods boasting interesting perspectives. The Rockhill is located in Montreal's Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood and comprises six rental buildings, over a thousand apartments and a small shopping mall. Built in the 1960s, it was Ivanhoé Cambridge's first multi-residential acquisition in Quebec. About Sid Lee Architecture – http://www.sidleearchitecture.com Founded in 2009 following the integration of architecture firm NOMADE (founded in 1999), Sid Lee Architecture is a partnership between seasoned architects and urban designers Jean Pelland and Martin Leblanc, and Sid Lee, a global commercial creativity company. Established in Montreal, with satellite offices in Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Paris (France), Sid Lee Architecture boasts a team of 25 architects, technicians, designers, managers and support personnel. This multidisciplinary team enjoys a solid reputation, having successfully carried out many large-scale projects. Sharing common views on interior design, brand strategy, urban approach, and the role of context, the Sid Lee Architecture team has had the opportunity to put its knowledge and expertise to work, successfully completing a wide range of multidisciplinary projects. About Sid Lee – http://www.sidlee.com We are a multidisciplinary creative team of 600 artisans of many persuasions. We work globally for top-tier clients from our Montréal, Amsterdam, Paris, Toronto and Austin ateliers. We are people passionate about embedding brands, products, spaces and services with meaning and resonance. Find us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/meetsidlee Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/sidlee Credits Client: Ivanhoé-Cambridge Architecture: Sid Lee Architecture Branding: Sid Lee Interviews available upon request
  4. Interesting series on PBS on Wednesdays at 22:00 http://www.pbs.org/program/super-skyscrapers/ About the Program As urban space shrinks, we build higher and faster than ever before, creating a new generation of skyscrapers. Super skyscrapers are pushing the limits of engineering, technology and design to become greener, stronger, smarter and more luxurious than their predecessors. This four-part series follows the creation of four extraordinary buildings, showcasing how they will revolutionize the way we live, work and protect ourselves from potential threats. Read more about each episode below. A Closer Look at Super Skyscrapers One World Trade Center Blink Films UK 1 / 12 About the Episodes One World Trade Center (Premiered February 5, 2014) One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the western hemisphere and a famous modern landmark, is engineered to be the safest and strongest skyscraper ever built. This episode follows the final year of exterior construction, culminating with the milestone of reaching the symbolic height of 1,776 feet. For head of construction Steve Plate, as well as scientists, engineers, ironworkers and curtain wall installers, this is a construction job suffused with the history of the site and a sense of duty to rebuild from the ashes of Ground Zero. Building the Future (Premiered February 12, 2014) Commonly known as “the cheese grater,” the Leadenhall Building is the pinnacle of London’s avant-garde architecture. Designed as a tapered tower with a steel exoskeleton, it’s the tallest skyscraper in the City of London and the most innovative. The teams behind the Leadenhall project had to radically rethink every aspect of the traditional building model. This program follows the monumental challenges that come with erecting this super skyscraper: it will be constructed off-site, delivered to location, and stacked and bolted together like a giant Lego set. The Vertical City (Premiered February 19, 2014) Shanghai Tower isn’t just a skyscraper — it’s a vertical city, a collection of businesses, services and hotels all in one place, fitting a population the size of Monaco into a footprint the size of a football field. Within its walls, residents can literally work, rest, play and relax in public parks, looking up through 12 stories of clear space. Not just one, however, but eight of them, stacked on top of each other, all the way to the 120th floor. When complete, the structure will dominate Shanghai’s skyline, towering over its neighbors as a testament to China’s economic success and the ambitions of the city’s wealthy elite. The Billionaire Building (Premiered February 26, 2014) Upon completion, One57, on Manhattan’s 57th Street, will rise more than 1,000 feet, making it the tallest residential tower in the western hemisphere and boasting spectacular views of Central Park. “One57” follows the teams tasked with creating New York’s most luxurious residential skyscraper and their ambition to redefine luxury living the big city. Condominiums at One57 showcase state-of-the-art interiors — double-height ceilings, full-floor apartments, bathrooms clad in the finest Italian marble and the finest material finishes. Super Skyscrapers was produced by Blink Films. sent via Tapatalk
  5. MDCM

    5677 Parc

    Very very cool story. The building was constructed in 1929 for the Laurentian Bank. In 1975, the bank covered the building with chunky cladding made of metal and white stucco. Then, last spring, the overlay was torn off, revealing a striking stone building built in a Beaux Arts style, made of Scottish red sandstone. - The new owner plans to set up his son’s veterinary clinic in one of two ground-floor commercial spaces. - A third floor will be added to the building to accommodate 15 residential condo units. http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/montreal-diary-new-life-for-parc-ave-building http://histoireplateau.org/architecture/architectures_traditionnelles/facades/ancienneFacadeBeauxArts.html
  6. Square Dealing: Changes could be afoot at the iconic Westmount Square BY EVA FRIEDE, MONTREAL GAZETTE OCTOBER 10, 2014 2:16 PM Investor Olivier Leclerc outside Westmount Square, who has purchased 84 units in the complex for $70 million. Photograph by: John Mahoney , Montreal Gazette An investor has bought 84 rental units at Westmount Square for $70 million, and says that less than two months after the sale, he has already resold at least 48 of the apartments. Olivier Leclerc, 26, acting with real estate broker and adviser Albert Sayegh, bought the units at the iconic Mies van der Rohe buildings in August from Elad Canada, a division of the Israeli real estate multinational Tshuva Group. The deal means that Elad has sold all of the approximately 220 units in the two residential towers of Westmount Square. Now it is proposing to convert Tower 1, with 200,000 square feet of office space, to condos. But Westmount has slapped a freeze on all conversions from commercial or institutional buildings to residential use and is studying all development in its southeast commercial sector, from Atwater to Greene Avenues. The freeze is in effect until an interim bylaw is adopted and an update on the study is expected in November, said Westmount councillor Theodora Samiotis. Samiotis, who is the commissioner of urban planning for Westmount, said there are two concerns about such a conversion. First is Westmount Square’s heritage value as a Mies van der Rohe mixed commercial-residential project, completed in 1967. “On a heritage value, obviously we would want to make sure that any architectural aspect of the design would respect that,” she said. And there are those who would argue that changing the usage combination would change the architect’s vision, she said. The complex was conceived with three towers — two residential and one office — and an 86,000-square-foot shopping concourse. Equally important to Samiotis is the commercial vibrancy of the area. “So when you tell me you are changing a commercial tower to a residential tower, I am concerned about the impact this is going to have on my commercial district,” she said. Residential tax rates are lower than commercial rates, so the city also could lose revenue. “It’s not just the conversion of any building. It’s a landmark,” she said. They are very much aware of the proposal to convert the office tower, Sayegh said, but the file is currently closed. “If Tower 1 does occur, we will look at it,” he said. Elad Canada owns, operates or is developing such properties as New York’s Plaza Hotel, Emerald City in Toronto and in Montreal, the Cité Nature development near the Olympic Village and Le Nordelac in Point St-Charles. The 84 Westmount Square units were the remaining rental units in two of the towers. In a meeting at Sayegh’s real estate office — he is president of the commercial division of RE/MAX Du Cartier on Bernard St. W. — Leclerc said he bought the apartments in August as an investment, and resold them to various groups of investors, two of which bought about 12 apartments each. Leclerc would not specify how many of the apartments he intends to keep. It is a significant sale, probably the biggest of the year, said Patrice Ménard of Patrice Ménard Multi-Logement, which specializes in sales of multi-unit residential buildings. But it is not a record. By comparison, the La Cité complex of three buildings with more than 1,300 units sold for $172 million two years ago. Also in 2012, Elad sold the Olympic Village to Capreit Real Estate Investment Trust for about $176 million, Ménard said. Both La Cité and the Olympic Village remain rental properties, however. Both Sayegh and Leclerc emphasized that confidence in the economy was a basis for the Westmount Square purchase. The reselling was not a flip, but a long-term strategy, Sayegh said. “He has his own chess game,” Sayegh said. “The context was favourable to take hold of such a prestigious building — the political context,” Leclerc said. “The socio-economic climate in Quebec has never been as conducive to investments as it is today,” Sayegh added. Leclerc would not say what profit he has taken so far, nor what return he is expecting. “It’s a nice acquisition to my portfolio,” Leclerc said. He also owns or has converted buildings in Mont St-Hilaire and Brossard as well as Hampstead Court on Queen Mary, bought in 2011 and now all sold. Four years ago, Leclerc joined his father, Ghislain, in the business of converting rental buildings to co-operatives. Over 25 years, he and his father have converted more than 2,500 apartments, he said. His father is now semi-retired. With his father, he also worked on the conversion of the Gleneagles apartments on Côte des Neiges Rd., bought in 2010 and sold by 2013. “We do major work. We put the building in top shape,” Leclerc said. “Then we make esthetic improvements. After that, we sell the apartments. “We never throw out the tenants. We profit from the fact that the tenants are in place, who pay rent ‘x’ for an apartment in the state it is in. “We respect the rental laws.” Leclerc said he buys only good buildings in good locations. “The area reflects the tenants. Location, location, location.” At Westmount Square, the tenants are not affected, Leclerc said, as the same company, Cogir, manages the building. The range of price for the 84 apartments was $400,000 to $2 million. efriede@montrealgazette.com Twitter: @evitastyle
  7. http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Language+debates+holding+corporate+plans+developer+says/8451858/story.html MONTREAL — Major corporations are putting expansion, relocations and long-term commitments on hold, because of the “unstable business environment” caused by the Parti Québécois hotly debated Bill 14, Jonathan Wener said Wednesday. “The market has definitely gotten softer and a lot of people are putting major decisions on hold. It’s basically a wait-and-see attitude,” the head of Canderel Group of Companies, a national real estate development and management company, said. Wener is the chairman and CEO of Montreal-based Canderel, which manages 9 million square feet of commercial space and has an additional 2 million square feet of residential development under construction nationally. “I think it is extremely unfortunate that we live in a society that has reduced itself to thinking it needs language police to preserve its culture — point final,” Wener told The Gazette, in a reference to the Office québécois de la langue française. “I’ve travelled a good chunk of the world and when I talk about the fact that we have language police in Quebec they laugh at me.” His comments come as the PQ is expected to put the bill to a second reading vote Thursday morning, despite widespread opposition from different groups and a Liberal filibuster. “It’s reawakened old memories which are just unfortunate because I really felt the most important thing to do was to get on with governing and improving the state of our economy, which needs a lot of work,” he said. A seventh-generation Montrealer, whose family first arrived in the 1860s, Wener is being honoured Thursday night for his support of the non-profit Segal Centre, North America’s second-largest bilingual multidisciplinary performing arts centre. The Segal Centre has a cultural — and not political — vocation. Despite Canderel’s offices in Canadian cities like Toronto, where it is building Aura, the country’s tallest residential skyscraper, the 38-year-old company still has its headquarters on Peel St. in downtown Montreal. While Wener’s personal views supporting English rights are well known, Canderel has worked on business ventures with partners of all political affiliations, including the Fonds immobilier de solidarité, which is controlled by the sovereignist-leaning Quebec Federation of Labour. Canderel and the Fonds are still looking for tenants to launch a two-tower office complex with 1.2 million square feet at the corner of Ste. Catherine and Bleury St. in Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles. Wener said political uncertainty generated by proposals like Bill 14, may have softened, but not “depressed” a Greater Montreal real estate market. Until recently, the industry was breaking records for prices and new condo construction, at a time when former industrial areas like Griffintown and former downtown parking lots transformed with new developments. Indeed, the Bell Centre-adjacent Tour des Canadiens housing project that Canderel is developing with Cadillac Fairview Corp. Ltd. and other partners actually added two floors in January, after the original 48 storeys sold out at a pace that surprised Wener himself. “What I was surprised about is that we could do it as quickly as we did in Montreal. We had allowed for a year, we had allowed for millions of dollars in advertising that we never spent,” Wener said. “We were finished in virtually six to eight weeks.” alampert@montrealgazette.com Twitter: RealDealMtl
  8. À la fois imposant et gracieux, le complexe résidentiel du 333 Sherbrooke constitue un exemple d’intégration urbaine. Érigé sur le terrain en friche de l’ancien couvent Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague, l’ensemble immobilier définit un nouveau lieu mariant harmonieusement architecture, design urbain et architecture du paysage. Le projet relie deux tours d’habitation de 10 étages s’élevant sur la rue Sherbrooke à de nouveaux condoplex de 4 étages jouxtant le square Saint-Louis, haut lieu de l’élite canadienne-française du début du siècle. La façade est rythmée par la répétition d’une baie type parfois agrémentée de balcons français qui donnent du relief à la paroi des bâtiments sur la rue Sherbrooke. La modulation de la volumétrie crée de nombreuses terrasses en cascades. Au sommet des immeubles, une structure en forme de pont suspendu fait office de trait-d’union et abrite une piscine extérieur de même qu’un toit terrasse jouissant de vues imprenables. Du côté jardin, une succession de petits bâtiments individuels de quatre étages s’articule autour d’une placette. Cette organisation s’associe facilement à l’environnement domestique typique du Quartier latin. CANADIAN COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE NEWSLETTER Vol. 10 No. 50 Dec. 15, 2006 Editor: Maurice Gatien LL.B. HOMBURG JV INVESTS IN MONTREAL CONDO PROJECT HOMBURG BPF CANADA, a joint venture between Halifax-based Homburg Invest Inc. and SNS Property Finance (formerly Bouwfonds Property Finance) of The Netherlands, purchased a 66.67% interest in a condominium development in Montreal. The remaining 33.33% interest will be held by LES INVESTISSEMENTS F.P. S.E.C., whose general partner is Montreal-based TELEMEDIA DEVELOPMENT I INC. The joint venture has invested $3.8 million in the residential condominium development located at 333 Sherbrooke Street East in downtown Montreal. Phase I of the development currently includes an inventory of 35 completed units available for sale in a 9-storey condominium tower and 4 multiplexes (113 residential units in total). Phase II is yet to be constructed but will include 112 condominium units and 213 parking stalls housed in another nine story tower and another two multiplexes. Construction on Phase II is expected to begin early in the New Year. Link: http://www.homburginvest.com
  9. yarabundi

    "Urban shift is reshaping Montreal"

    Urban shift is reshaping Montreal Montreal will be a much greyer city 20 years from now, and the aging of our populace will influence everything from home design to urban architecture to public transportation. It will also be a more multi-coloured city, measured in terms of skin tone, and multi-linguistic, too, as new legions of immigrants flow in, altering its face, flavour and sound. It will be more condensed, with condominiums overtaking expensive single-family homes as the lodging of choice for first-time homebuyers. And it will be a poorer city mired in a heavily indebted province, forcing it to focus on necessities like rebuilding roads and paring down bureaucracies and services rather than investing in grand designs like megaprojects or metro extensions. Economic imperatives will force Montreal to focus on what it’s good at to survive — namely, being itself. The city will endure by hosting festivals and conferences, promoting its flourishing arts scene, throwing successful, peaceful street parties for hundreds of thousands at a time and inviting the world to come. It will market itself as a vibrant, fun, creative place to live, and a coveted vacation destination for legions of retired baby boomers with time on their hands and savings to burn. This in turn will lead the city to become more accommodating to pedestrians and cyclists, with stretches of thoroughfares like Crescent and Ste. Catherine Sts. becoming pedestrian-only enclaves. This is the Montreal 2033 vision of McGill University architecture professor and housing expert Avi Friedman. Author of 12 books on housing and sustainable development, he is called on by cities throughout the world to consult on urban development and wealth generation. He sees in Montreal’s future a metropolis that will be poorer, still paying for past transgressions of inept infrastructure design and inadequate maintenance. But at the same time, it will be buoyed by its four major universities and its cachet as one of the cool hangouts in the vast North American neighbourhood, a magnet for tourist dollars, immigrants and creative minds. “Montreal is a brand. We’re not talking about Hamilton or Markham or Windsor. Montreal is a brand. But we need to learn how to use our brand better,” he said. Statistics Canada released figures in the fall that indicated Montreal was becoming a city of singles. Nearly 41 per cent of its residents who reside in a private dwelling live on their own, as compared to 30 per cent in most large Canadian cities. Our aging population, large number of university students, exodus of families to the suburbs, low immigration numbers and high percentage of apartments are largely the cause. The numbers spurred Friedman to ponder where the city he’s lived in for more than three decades will be in 2033. Major urban shifts, he notes, generally take about 20 years to evolve. “I wasn’t looking for pie-in-the-sky ideas, not Jetsons-type futuristic predictions, just reasonable assumptions based on trends we are already seeing today.” The greatest influence will come from the aging of the huge demographic wave that is the baby boomer generation, which will be between 70 and 87 years old in 20 years. Most will no longer be working, or paying as much in taxes. “Montreal, like other eastern cities, is going to be a poorer city than it is today, which is likely to force greater efficiency of all operations and institutions,” Friedman said. “We will have to learn to do more with less.” As families shrink (the average family size has gone from 3.5 individuals in 1970 to 2.5 in 2006), and house prices rise, demand for smaller living units will increase. The era of the single-family house as a starter home within the city limits will be a thing of the past for most, as it has been in many European cities for a long time, Friedman said. First-time buyers, many of them young families, will move into the many condominium projects sprouting downtown. Older boomers will shift from their suburban homes to condominiums. The ratio of family homes to condominiums, now at a roughly 60-40 split, will probably reverse during the next two decades, he predicted. Already densely populated neighbourhoods like Notre Dame de Grâce will see residents and developers building upward, putting additional floors on houses or commercial buildings to add residential space. (In congested Vancouver, developers have already started stacking condominium complexes on top of big-box stores like Walmart and Home Depot.) Homeowners will transform their basements into separate apartments, and the division of single-family homes into separate units to take in two or more families will proliferate. Houses will be transformed as more people opt to work out of home offices, or as retirees alter their living spaces to pursue their hobbies or their work. And seniors will make room for live-in nannies and nurses to help care for them. There will also be more grab-bars, ramps and in-house escalators. Technological advances will allow many routine hospital procedures to be done at home via computer. Patients will be able to check their blood pressure and other health indicators at home and send the information to their caregivers over the Internet, all the while chatting with nurses or doctors face-to-face via Skype. “Aging in place will be on the upswing,” Friedman said. “There will be less and less reason for hospital visits.” The new superhospitals going up downtown and in N.D.G. will also spur residential development as thousands of hospital workers seek housing nearby. Condominiums have started sprouting already near the hospitals, and close to the métro stations and train stations that serve them. Private medical clinics, for locals and foreigners alike, will be built around and even in hospitals, as the cash-strapped government off-loads more services to the private sector for wealthier clients not willing, for example, to wait three years for a hip replacement. The condominium boom, well underway in Montreal and reaching the saturation point, will continue, although at a slower pace. Montreal is on the verge of a condo crash, Friedman predicted, part of the normal ebb and flow of residential construction that regenerates every five years. “You will hear about bankruptcies, about people going under, all sorts of bad stories. This is common. Then there will be a burst of energy and another wave.” Condominium developers will start incorporating more family-friendly features like larger units, terrace gardens and parks on their properties. Condo towers with shops and restaurants on the ground floor will become more common, as will the SOHO concept (Self-Office, Home Office) common in China, where residences are located on upper floors and small offices on lower floors, and people commute by elevator. Many boomers, liberated from their children and their jobs, will give up their suburban homes to live closer to services and entertainment and downtown. Their influx will spur elderly-friendly changes seen in other cities, such as automatic doors at unwieldy metro entrances. Métro stations will become poles of residential development, followed closely by commercial properties to serve the influx of people. Suburbs like the West Island will see more low-level condominiums of four to six storeys, and available land between municipalities will be slowly colonized, making for one continuous metropolis. The densification, with housing projects like those in Griffintown bringing tens of thousands of residents into the downtown core, will result in an even more active and vibrant city, with offshoots of more shops, restaurants, services and life downtown. Neighbourhoods like St-Henri, Rosemont and Park Extension, relatively close to downtown and well-served by public transit, will be the next regions to see a slow gentrification, Friedman predicted. In a sense, we will mirror Toronto’s growth, but on a smaller scale and with a Montreal twist. “In 20 years, downtown Montreal will be populated by many more people who will bring their flavour, their lifestyle and their unique Montreal brand, with things like after-hours clubs, which is not Toronto,” Friedman said. “This is a fun city, with restaurants and pubs and clubs. I believe it will be a fun place.” Friedman sees Montreal’s four major universities and an increase in immigration quotas to make up for low birthrates as other major drivers of change, with immigrants coming from burgeoning regions like Asia and Latin America and settling in the north and east of the city. Already, roughly 10 per cent of the students in Friedman’s bachelor’s-level architecture classes are from mainland China. Montreal needs to do more to attract the droves of computer engineers from places like China, India and Pakistan who currently see California as their first choice. And tourism, with the many jobs it brings, will be Montreal’s bread and butter. At this phase in its history, Friedman sees Montreal as a city bogged down by the sins of its past, fixated on corruption and mismanagement and with no sense of a grand vision coming from city hall. Things will get more difficult from an economic standpoint, and “poorer cities do nothing. If you have wealth, you can change things,” he said, pointing to bike and public-transit friendly European cities like Copenhagen, Helsinki, Amsterdam and Berlin as examples. There is hope for Montreal’s future, Friedman said. It is articulated in the plethora of condominium towers and cranes on its skyline, in Montreal’s reputation for its joie-de-vivre attitude, open-mindedness and its artistic energy, a magnet for the young, adventurous and creative. But the hope is tempered with this caveat: the successful cities that Friedman has observed, are those whose citizens are willing to enforce change, as opposed to hoping city councillors will do it for them. “Do-it-yourself cities are the successful cities. We have to ask ourselves ‘Are we a forwards city, or a backwards one?’ ” Developments already underway provide an indication of the answer. “The densification of the core we’re seeing here will bring life,” he said, gazing up at the condominium towers growing like mighty redwoods of metal and glass in Griffintown. “This city will be a hopping place.” Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/Urban+shift+reshaping+Montreal/8071854/story.html#ixzz2NF8glXu5
  10. having recently walked through griffintown from downtown towards verdun i found that while the area is filled with many condo projects most of them look they have been there for quite a while and they all seem to be waiting after one another to 'pop' from the ground ... in the meantime the place still looks awfully desolate and abandoned and you have to think that this has an effect on the health of those projects - it's not like the city lacks any plans for griffintown but don't you think they should be more proactive about it and inject some fund in the neighborhood to help spur the growth of all these residential towers instead of waiting for them to actually get built before they do anything ? chicken and the egg kinda situation now it seems but imo the city should be the first to do actually do something and not the private developers .. after all all these years down the road its the city that will still be collecting tax funds if anything gets built - not the initial investors
  11. Bizarrement j'ai pas trouvé de fil pour ce méga projet au croisement de la 640 et de la 15. Un projet très important avec 1400 unités d'habitations. Voici une description de la compagnie Cherokee Redevelopment Plan The mixed-use lifestyle development, known as Faubourg Boisbriand, features a communityfocused design that includes the Boisbriand Town Center, 1,400 residential units, a new community center, recreational facilities and an urban square — all within walking distance of the future regional commuter rail line that connects the site to downtown Montreal. More than 15 percent of the development is dedicated to open spaces, including parks, several miles of walking and biking trails and other public amenities. In addition, 2,400 trees are being planted on site, and roughly 140,000 tons of concrete and 2.5 million square feet of asphalt are being reused. The project’s significant achievements were recently recognized by the Canadian Urban Institute’s (CUI) prestigious 2007 “Brownie” Award for best large-scale redevelopment project. Additional information can be found on our project Web site, www. faubourgboisbriand.com. Project Background Cherokee’s project in Boisbriand, Quebec, located just 15 miles north of Montreal, is a former General Motors automobile manufacturing plant encompassing 232 acres. Industrial activity at the site resulted in soil contamination, including petroleum from leaking underground storage tanks and an oil spill. The Cherokee Solution Cherokee acquired the property in 2004, upgraded the remediation to residential standards and secured the necessary entitlements to facilitate redevelopment of an integrated lifestyle community that combines shopping facilities with residential and office space, while providing urban infrastructures and respecting the natural environment. The project was designated as a pilot for USGBC’s new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) program, which integrates principles of smart growth, neighborhood design and green building. Volet résidentiel Le complexe NC4, comptant 68 condos, est situé sur la magnifique avenue bordée d’arbres de la Promenade Saint-Germain, à proximité de la Place de la Fontaine. Les commerces et restaurants environnants complètent ce quartier chaleureux. http://www.nc4condosboutique.com/ Les habitations du Quartier Maisons en rangées Les loggias sur le parc Les unités multifamiliales sont des bâtiments de grande qualité de 4 à 7 étages, avec ossature de béton et ascenseurs. Chaque unité comporte de 1 à 3 chambres, l’accès au garage souterrain et une vue sur le parc central et sur le lac, assurant calme et tranquillité. Les triplex du Faubourg Boisbriand comprennent 21 bâtiments de 2 triplex chacun. Idéal comme investissement, ils peuvent être loués, habités ou vendus en condos Volet commercial Adidas Allstate Aqua Tapas Banque Scotia Bâton Rouge Bell Bouclair Brick Bronzage Laguna Bureau en Gros CentreCorp Commensal Costco Déco Découverte DeSerres Dollarama Empire Sports Future Shop Golf Town Homesense IGA Extra JYSK Kabab Restaurant La Cage aux Sports L’Entrepôt du Cadre L’Équipeur Linen Chest Presse Café SAQ Structube Subway TD Canada Trust Toys’R’Us Vacances Le Faubourg Vinnie Gambini’s Zellers À venir au Faubourg Antoine Laoun Opticien Café Folie Cuisine Gourmet Grafica Studio de photos Jack Astor's McDonald's Petcetera Telus Trade Secret Wasabi Le Village (ouverture 2009) Le Village Phase II (à venir au Faubourg)
  12. Read more: http://www.westislandgazette.com/news/32005 Got to love election time Aren't these the same people that said we would get trains in the West Island?
  13. Glen Carter

    New master urban plan for Dorval

    http://www.westislandgazette.com/news/28915 Dorval considering options for major facelift City wants public input on its draft of master urban plan Albert Kramberger The Gazette Wednesday, March 14, 2012 The city of Dorval is looking to make a few changes in how it looks - everything from revitalizing its waterfront to giving Dorval Ave. a facelift. The next step in preparing a new sustainable master urban plan is a public consultation set for March 26. The city has prepared a draft of its master plan, a general statement of the direction the city should follow over the next two decades regarding development, zoning and quality of life concerns as well as promoting and encouraging "greener" options. It now hopes to gauge input from citizens before adopting the formal version later this fall, said Mayor Edgar Rouleau. Among its proposals, the city aims to make its waterfront along Lake St. Louis more user-friendly and animated, possibly installing outdoor exercise equipment at Millennium Park. As well, it will consider purchasing select private lands near existing cityowned sites, like the Forest and Stream Club, should they ever come on the market, the mayor said. "There are sites along Lakeshore that may, in five or 10 years, become available and the council should at that time evaluate if it's worthwhile to acquire," Rouleau said of potentially adding to publicly owned space along the lake. "Is it going to expensive? As you know, yes." While the city is also looking at encouraging highdensity residential develop-ment, especially around the Pine Beach and Dorval train stations and along Bouchard Blvd., it will have to be measured in light of respecting the single-family home residential character in much of the city. There is also a goal to reverse an aging demographic trend by attracting young families and immigrants, the latter of which are expected to account for more than 30 per cent of Dorval's population by 2024. As of 2011, Dorval had about 18,615 residents and approximately 8,000 households, with an additional 2,000 housing units envisioned by the city within a decade, including more affordable housing. "Residents want the population to increase, but they don't want to lose that residential sector that we have," Rouleau said. "We're not going to change that, except those few big lots we have, like the one at the corner of De la Presentation and Lakeshore, which will soon be developed," he said. The city also aims to revitalize the commercial area on Dorval Ave. and make it more attractive. For example, by allowing outdoor terraces, and making it safer for both pedestrians and cyclists. A study has already been commissioned to prepare some proposals, the mayor said. "We want it more friendly, but the challenge is that we cannot widen the road," Rouleau said of Dorval Ave. "Whatever we extend, we have to take it from somewhere else. Right now it's two lanes each way with an island in the middle and sidewalks on both sides," he said, adding that perhaps the avenue could be reduced to one lane in each direction with a narrow median strip to allow for something like a bike path.
  14. Read this and you'll be discouraged at how sleepy Montreal is. I think back to the Aubin article few weeks back where he questioned the three "tall" residential towers proposed or under construction. As someone noted on that thread it just demonstrates how slow things are here. http://lapresseaffaires.cyberpresse.ca/economie/immobilier/201103/04/01-4376243-la-folie-des-hauteurs-de-toronto.php?utm_categorieinterne=trafficdrivers&utm_contenuinterne=cyberpresse_BO4_la_2343_accueil_POS1
  15. Bylaw tweak could allow more drive-throughs Patty Winsa Urban Affairs Reporter Ads by Google A battle to restrict fast-food and coffee drive-throughs in the city’s residential areas may be brewing yet again. An amendment in Toronto’s new zoning bylaws, which go to council for approval this week, counteracts a 2002 city-wide ban that says drive-through lanes can’t be within 30 metres of homes and, instead, applies the standard to the order box only. The amendment could make it easier to put drive-throughs in some locations. The change comes six years after a residents group and the city successfully defended the original ban at the OMB, following a challenge by the Canadian Bankers Association, the Ontario Restaurant, Hotel and Motel Association along with other business interests, including the OMERS pension fund. “If in fact (the amendment) does undo the intent of the bylaw that we fought three years for and won at the OMB, I’m shocked and outraged,” said Susan Speigel, president of the Humewood Neighbourhood Ratepayers Inc., which raised $30,000 and hired a lawyer to make their case. “I will pursue this with the same dogged determination with which I fought for the original bylaw,” she said. Councillor Peter Milczyn (Etobicoke Lakeshore, Ward 5) pushed the amendment as part of Toronto’s new bylaws, a six-year project to harmonize regulations across 43 zoning areas brought together when North York, Scarborough, Etobicoke, York and East York amalgamated with Toronto in 1998. The situation was complicated by the fact that some of the former cities had a web of bylaws, enacting new sets each time a new residential area was formed. Scarborough had more than 30. The harmonized bylaws went through the city’s planning and growth committee last week and go before city council at its meeting Wednesday and Thursday — the last before the election. Milczyn said he proposed the drive-through amendment after meeting with industry representatives and lobbyists for large companies such as Shell and Esso, who complained the current laneway restrictions were too onerous. “They’ve been attending every committee meeting and deputing and writing on this issue for months and months,” he said. Milczyn proposed a 30-metre distance between homes and the order box, which he says “is the point where there’s the most noise.” The original 30-metre setback was created after city staff did a Toronto-wide report on drive-throughs years ago. “We wanted the separation of the car, noise and fumes, including the order box,” said Joe D’Abramo, the city’s acting director for zoning bylaw and environmental planning, who wrote the original report. “We wanted them pulled away from residential zones. It was quite offensive when they put them right next to one,” he said. Milczyn said he intended the amendment to apply only to corner gas stations with drive-throughs in the outskirts of the city, but the language doesn’t specify that, say planning staff. And even then, it would still contravene the original bylaw. D’Abramo says the amendment put forth by Milczyn requires the order box to be 30 metres away from a residence, but the laneway could be right beside it. The new bylaws are online at http://www.toronto.ca/zoning and can be searched by entering an address or using the interactive maps. What’s new in the amalgamated bylaws Building heights: Say goodbye to stand-alone big-box or liquor stores on main streets in combined commercial-residential areas of the old city. Minimum heights will now be three storeys. Rooming houses: City staff proposed allowing rooming houses in high-density areas, including former boroughs where they were once banned, but the committee decided to defer a decision on the controversial subject until 2011. Group homes: Despite a human rights complaint, the new bylaw requires that group homes, including correctional homes and housing for people with mental health issues, be separated by at least 250 metres. The municipalities had various distance requirements, but mental health advocates such as the Dream Team want none. Restaurants and bars: South of Bloor St., and from the Humber River to Victoria Park, restaurants are restricted to the first floor of a building. Outdoor patios can be at the front or side, but not on the roof or in the back. Industry: The old bylaws had no provisions for propane facilities, but in response to the Sunrise explosion, they are now restricted to industrial zones and must be at least 300 metres from homes. Visitor parking: Council directed staff to include a city-wide ban on paid visitor parking at apartment buildings, which has been in effect for years in North York, but an amendment put forward by Milczyn on Thursday took that off the table. Schools and places of worship: There is no longer an automatic right to put a school or place of worship in a residential area, so as to restrain conversion or elimination of houses. http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/851861--bylaw-tweak-could-allow-more-drive-throughs?bn=1
  16. Montreal is approaching 2011 at full speed August 25, 2010 - John Clinkard (Market Insights) As Montreal heads into the second half of 2010, it’s clear that the city must be doing something right. For the past seven months it has consistently exhibited stronger year-over-year job growth than all but two of the 10 largest metro areas in the country. Job growth has been particularly strong in wholesale and retail trade (+35,200), followed by finance insurance and real estate (+25,800); health services (+17,900); construction (+17,200); accommodation and food services (+10,600); and professional and technical services (+10,200). This strong pattern of employment growth, accompanied by low interest rates and sustained net migration, has helped to underpin housing demand in Montreal. According to the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board, sales of existing homes are up by 10% year to date, and median single family house prices ($258,000) are up by 5% year over year. Demand for new housing is also strong, reflected by a 32% year-to-date increase in housing starts and a 48% year-to-date rise in residential building permits over the first six months of the year. As is the case across much of the country, the combination of dissipating pent-up demand and deteriorating affordability is causing housing demand in Montreal to cool. But the strong year-to-date increase in residential permits should sustain new residential construction into 2011. While the pace of residential construction appears to be down-shifting, the outlook for both industrial and commercial construction is quite strong. According to CB Richard Ellis, a gradual increase in manufacturing demand has caused the industrial availability rates in the Greater Montreal Area (GMA) to decline by 40 per cent since the end of 2009. Reflecting this stronger pace of manufacturing activity, the value of industrial building permits has picked up since the beginning of the year and is now +73% year to date in June. Also, despite relatively high office vacancy rates in the GMA, it appears that stronger retail and office-based employment growth is contributing to a turnaround in commercial construction, reflected by an 8% year-to-date increase in commercial building permits. http://www.reedconstructiondata.com/news/2010/08/montreal-is-approaching-2011-at-full-speed/
  17. http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/toronto/story.html?id=2958954
  18. rosey12387

    Nouveau campus de l'UdM

    I don’t have anything particularly against the U de M Outremont rail yards project but I do think that a) the yards could be better utilized in a more residential capacity and b) that the addition of institutional infrastructure could be of more benefit somewhere else in the city. The area I propose the project to be located is the following (in red, with land to redeveloped in blue): For the Habitation Jeanne-Mance portion, I would propose keeping the towers for seniors but demolishing all 260 single-family residences. Those dwellings could easily be replaced by a newer development with more units in another part of the city (perhaps as part of an almost fully residential redevelopment of the Outremont rail yards). A good portion of the Habitation Jeanne-Mance is scattered surface parking lots that really don’t belong downtown. Taking away the parking and the low rise buildings would leave a lot of room for the science campus’ development, but leaves a good amount of green space – perfect for a university campus. As for the southern portion below rue de Broisbriand, the area currently lacks a central purpose, has a lot of available land to be developed and like the HJM portion is serviced by an extremely underutilised metro station. While this area is technically part of the Quartier des Spectacles, it contains none of the 24 existing sites on the Quartier des Spectacles walking tour and none of its developable land is currently slated for any Q de S projects. Not to mention, there is enough vacant land and underutilized buildings that need to get redeveloped between Philips Square and St-Dominique that this area to the east would likely not receive much attention anyways for at least a decade if not more. Placing the new campus (which will be heavily sciences-related) in this location would also have the added benefit of being adjacent to the new CHUM mega-hospital and the resulting Quartier de la Santé, including the U de M’s planned new ESPUM pavilion.
  19. I've been reading this board and skyscraper's for a while.. but never have I seen such an amazing number of actual and prospective projects for Montreal. Let's list them -400 sherbrooke -Louis Boheme -Geoge Simpson -Quartier des Spectacles.. and RedLight -Rogers tower -OSM new concert hall -CdI and 900 maisonneuve -MUHC and CHUM -John Molson -Nun's Island -Westin Montreal -Old Port residential construction / Solano -Lac Mirabel -Dix 30 -Trudeau airport never ending construction Then you've got new retailers coming such as Apple downtown, H&M downtown Have we turned the corner?
  20. Newbie

    Urban Photos of Venezuela

    Here are some photos I took in and around Caracas yesterday (I will post more later). I have always wondered what non-Venezuelan people think about Venezuelan cities. Here are my views: Venezuelan metro systems are much cleaner, modern and quieter (the trains, not the people) than the older North American and European subways. The streets outside are much dirtier though. These are photos of a metro station near my house: This is the skyline of a small section of the eastern (wealthier) part of Caracas: These are some photos of the area around Altamira, one of the most important business and residential districts of the city: These ones are from the area around the Bellas Artes metro station. Bellas Artes is the bohemian district of Caracas:
  21. LindbergMTL

    Singapore : Residential Complex

    The office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has been commissioned to design a large-scale residential complex in Singapore. The project will be located on an expansive 8 hectare site bounded by the Ayer Rajah Expressway and Alexandra Road, in a central position between the National University and downtown Singapore. With 170,000 m2 of built floor area, the development will provide over 1,000 apartment units of varying sizes with extensive outdoor spaces and landscaping. Instead of creating a cluster of isolated, vertical towers – the default typology of residential developments in Singapore – the design explores a dramatically different approach to the issues and challenges of living and social space. 32 apartment blocks, each six-stories tall, are stacked in a hexagonal arrangement to form six large-scale permeable courtyards. The interlocking volumes form the topography of a “vertical village” with cascading sky gardens and private roof terraces vertically extending the landscape of the courtyards. Extensive communal facilities which are embedded in the lush vegetation offer multiple opportunities for social interaction in a natural environment. While maintaining the privacy of the individual apartment units through unobstructed views and generous spacing of the building blocks, the horizontal and interconnected volumes create an explicitly social network of outdoor spaces within the green terrain. The site completes a green belt that stretches between Kent Ridge, Telok Blangah and Mount Faber Parks, while the stacked volumetric relationship of the apartment blocks extends the landscape and forms a mount/hill that relates to the surrounding topography. Beyond the extensive presence of nature and collective space, the project will be designed to respond carefully to the tropical climate and address issues of sustainability through incorporating multiple features of energy-saving technologies. The project is lead by Ole Scheeren, Director of OMA Beijing, together with Eric Chang, Associate. http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=1943
  22. Hazel Blears gives nod to two major projects on banks of the Thames Two schemes poised for construction at the popular tourist and culture spot of London’s South Bank have been given the go ahead by Communities Secretary Hazel Blears after their planning applications were taken in for review. Matters were taken over the heads of the Southwark Council planning committee in March last year following fears that they may conflict with national and regional policies on issues including height restrictions and landmark significance. 1 Blackfriars Road by Ian Simpson Architects and 20 Blackfriars Road by Wilkinson Eyre Architects were both found to be compliant with the London Plan, English Heritage guidelines and the commanding planning guidelines for the City of London. Being outside of viewing corridors towards the Westminster heritage site and St James Park it was found that “both proposals would satisfy the policy framework relating to the location of tall buildings, including that they would have excellent accessibility to public transport facilities and be at a point of landmark significance,” said the inspector. Ian Simpson Architects’ project will provide a landmark, sail-shaped, luxury hotel and residential tower with 96 apartments and 261 hotel rooms. An undulating public landscape is formed at the base and a public observation deck will be accessible at the top of the building. Wilkinson Eyre’s scheme at 20 Blackfriars Road consists of two towers of 23 and 42 storeys and a public square. The smaller of the two towers will be used for commercial space and the larger for residential. The inspector praised the potential of both schemes: “One of the proposals would bring a hotel; the other would bring offices; both would bring housing, shops/cafes/restaurants and open space,” reads the inspectors report, “Whether individually or jointly, it is difficult to see how the two proposals could not, by consolidating and adding to what is there, ‘help to provide a coherent location for economic clusters of related activities’.” Jim Eyre, Director of Wilkinson Eyre, said of the news: “We are very pleased for our client, Circleplane and, of course, for the team at No. 1 Blackfriars. We are absolutely delighted with the Inspector’s ringing endorsement of the quality of our design and his clear and positive position on both the impact of our scheme from the Blue Bridge in St. James’ Park and on the beneficial contribution in urban design terms to London and in particular Southwark. “We look forward to further discussions with Circleplane on how the project is taken forward in what we all recognize is an exceptionally difficult market.” Niki May Young News Editor http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=11356
  23. Urban areas see revival in housing construction http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/2009-03-10-urban-construction_N.htm?csp=34
  24. ErickMontreal

    Building permits fall for third month

    Building permits fall for third month Canwest News ServiceFebruary 5, 2009 9:01 AM OTTAWA—The value of Canadian building permits fell in December for a third straight month as a slowdown in the economy continued to temper construction activity in both residential and non-residential sectors. Statistic Canada said Thursday that municipalities issued $4.6 billion worth of permits during the month, a decline of 3.9 per cent from November. Residential permits were down 3.2 per cent to $2.6 billion in December, marking the ninth monthly drop in 2008. “Increases in multi-family permits in Ontario were not enough to offset the declines in single-family permits in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia,”the federal agency said. The value non-residential permits fell 4.9 per cent to $2 billion, the third straight monthly decline. This drop was mainly in institutional permits in Alberta and commercial permits in British Columbia, the agency said. Construction permits declined in five provinces and all three territories in December, it said.
  25. ErickMontreal

    Toronto : Sky-high spinoffs

    Toronto : Sky-high spinoffs JOHN LORINC Special to The Globe and Mail September 19, 2008 A gleaming new vertical city has sprouted above Toronto's lower-scale buildings. The big question is whether all this condo construction will translate into sustainable economic growth For Robert Whitfield, the eureka moment occurred when he realized his store was filled with customers trapped between drywall and a hard place. It happened about four years ago, shortly after he opened an upscale furniture store in Liberty Village, a district of warehouse lofts on the west end of Toronto's downtown. Young couples were streaming into his shop, desperate to furnish new stacked townhouses and condo apartments with minuscule master bedrooms and other "spatial challenges." "All of 10-by-11," recalls Mr. Whitfield, the principal of Casalife Inc., of one particularly constrained floor plan. "It just didn't have room for a bed and a dresser and a tallboy. Where are you going to put your socks?" Where indeed? Within months, he had launched a queen bed with drawers cleverly tucked underneath, and a niche market was tapped. Today, Casalife specializes in furniture tailored to the cramped confines of the high-rise condos that proliferate in the city. Mr. Whitfield now has several competitors and spends much of his time attending international trade shows searching for size-conscious items, such as the elusive 18-inch coffee table. "The reality is that this market is still neglected." But there's no doubt it's a market. Indeed, Casalife's commercial success is directly attributable to Toronto's sustained condo boom, which traces its origins to some key land-use reforms made in the mid-1990s. A decade later, the market shows little sign of slowing, despite moribund real estate markets in the United States and Britain. Between 1994 and 2007, the annual dollar value of residential building permits in the City of Toronto jumped more than three-fold, largely on the strength of the condo boom. It's as if a gleaming new vertical city has sprouted amid Toronto's lower-scale buildings. Between 2001 and 2006, a staggering 17,000 residential units were built downtown, the vast majority of them high-rises. At the end of 2006, another 39,000 units, in 155 projects, were in the pipeline. The result has been a remarkable 17-per-cent jump in the population of central Toronto - growth not seen since the early 1970s. Nor is the boom a downtown phenomenon: Clusters of condos have cropped up in traditionally low-rise suburban areas such as North York, Scarborough and Mississauga, with more on the way. And the developments are growing not only in height, but also in scope. Vancouver-based Concord Adex, which is building CityPlace, a sprawling 20-building cluster near the downtown Rogers Centre, is also planning a 15-tower project on a 20-hectare former industrial site near Highway 401. To be built over the next decade, this new project is worth a staggering $2-billion. The key to this growth, planners and economists says, is the fact that the population of Greater Toronto jumps by about 100,000 every year. All these new residents need housing and increasingly they are choosing high-rise condos. This rapid transformation is not without its critics, including homeowner groups upset about tall towers and downtown artists who bemoan the loss of Main Street atmosphere in areas targeted by developers. "Pumping a lot more people into the downtown core hasn't led to balanced growth," says Toronto Councillor Adam Vaughan, whose ward has the highest concentration of condo activity. Yet even skeptics don't deny that the immediate, local spinoffs are substantial. Condos today represent 50 per cent of all residential development activity in Greater Toronto and 80 per cent in the City of Toronto proper - a trend that puts the region sharply at odds with most North American urban areas. The direct investment for condos built since 2001, as well as those under development, likely exceeds $20-billion. And housing starts - whether high-rises or subdivisions - have always functioned like economic spark plugs. Between 2002 and 2007, residential construction as a proportion of GDP rose to 6.7 per cent from 5.5 per cent - a shift that has moved in lock-step with job creation, according to housing economist Will Dunning. "That's where it all comes from." In the GTA, the most direct beneficiaries are construction workers. Mr. Dunning says $1-million of residential construction translates into nine "person-years" of construction employment, as well as another two person-years for consultants, architects and other professionals involved in planning such projects. The other big winners are the local suppliers of building materials. Although non-residential construction consumes a larger amount of basic materials, residential development represents "a particularly important source of demand for producers of windows and doors, kitchen cabinets, gypsum and wallboard and heating and air conditioning," according to an analysis by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. The wages and purchases of materials for Toronto's 2007's condo projects, in turn, triggered about $175-million in tax revenues. In terms of local taxes, city officials say that between 1996 and 2005), the 69,000 new condos completed in that period contributed about $113-million annually to municipal coffers. Then there are the secondary spinoffs - the new supermarkets, dry cleaners, convenience stores, coffee shops, houseware and hardware stores that cater to thousands of residents now living near the financial district. Stephen Dupuis, CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association, says the typical new home buyer purchases about $10,000 worth of goods after taking possession. But Mr. Whitfield, of Casalife, suspects the figure could be higher for condo residents, because of the small size of many suites: "They get their occupancy, they move in and then realize their furniture doesn't fit." Like Casalife, many retail companies are moving to fill the needs of condo dwellers. General Electric Canada's Mabe appliance division recently launched Loft Kitchen, a collection of fashionable, small-scale appliances and stacked washer-driers suited to tiny condo kitchens. Working with developers, GE tailored the collection specifically to this market. "You need to get efficiency and space and hit the prices point," says general brand manager Philippe Meyersohn. Unlike locally sourced construction materials, however, durable goods and appliances tend to be imported from Asia, Mexico and the United States, illustrating how the condo ripple effect can spread well beyond the GTA. Planning consultant Barry Lyon also argues that the high-rise office boom in downtown Toronto (200 floors are currently under construction) is linked to the flourishing condo market. "A lot of the office construction wouldn't be happening were it not for the pool of highly educated technology workers the condos have brought into the city." The big question is whether all this construction will translate into sustainable economic growth for Toronto. Mr. Lyon, who describes himself as "a believer," says the condo boom essentially makes the city function more productively. Intensification gives rise to non-economic benefits such as more transit ridership, energy savings and greater efficiency in municipal services such as garbage handling. Others aren't convinced. Pointing to an earlier generation of high-density towers, Councillor Vaughan says there's a risk that consumers may sour on the glut of tiny suites, leading to losses in market value and condo towers that come to be dominated by low-income tenants. Douglas Young, co-ordinator of York University's urban studies program, points to another pressing issue: "The state of [the city's] infrastructure - physical, social and natural - is in pretty lousy shape." Yet planners continue to approve thousands of new condo units, he says. "You have these fabulous looking high-rises from a distance, but getting from them to somewhere else in the city can be a real pain in the backside." Mr. Lyon counters that the $20,000-to-$30,000 per-unit fee imposed by the city (parks levies, development charges and so on) help underwrite the cost of municipal infrastructure improvements ranging from new transit service to libraries. From his Liberty Village showroom, Rob Whitfield sees no end to the forest of condo towers rising around him, nor a lessening in demand for his products. Casalife recently opened a new outlet in Vaughan, north of Toronto, which has its own big plans to develop high-rise condos and offices in a city-centre to be served by a new subway extension. As he sees it, "I'm a bit of a pioneer."