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  1. Je vais déménager à Manhattan au mois d'Août. Je garde un pied-à-terre à Vancouver et reviens fréquemment à Montréal. Je viens de voir cette nouvelle toute fraiche. Je vais habiter tout juste à côté de Washington Square, et ce nouveau développement m'intéresse au plus haut point. J'esssaierai de vous en faire part régulièrement. Voici l'article du Wall Street Journal: First Look at NYU Tower Plan University Wants 38-Story Building on Village Site; Critics Fret Over Pei Design By CRAIG KARMIN New York University on Thursday expects to unveil its much-anticipated design plans for the proposed 38-story tower in Greenwich Village, one of the most ambitious projects in the school's controversial 25-year expansion plan. Before and after: The space between two towers designed by I.M. Pei, above, would be filled by a new tower, in rendering below, under NYU's plan. The tower, sight-unseen, is already facing backlash from community groups who say the building would interfere with the original three-tower design by famed architect I.M. Pei. Critics also say the new building would flood the neighborhood with more construction and cause other disruptions. The concrete fourth tower with floor-to-ceiling glass windows would be built on the Bleecker Street side of the site, known as University Village. It would house a moderate-priced hotel on the bottom 15 floors. The 240-room hotel would be intended for visiting professors and other NYU guests, but would also be available to the public. The top floors would be housing for school faculty. In addition, NYU would move the Jerome S. Coles Sports Center farther east toward Mercer Street to clear space for a broader walkway through the site that connects Bleecker and Houston streets. The sports complex would be torn down and rebuilt with a new design. Grimshaw Architects The plan also calls for replacing a grocery store that is currently in the northwest corner of the site with a playground. As a result, the site would gain 8,000 square feet of public space under the tower proposal, according to an NYU spokesman. NYU considers the new tower a crucial component of its ambitious expansion plans to add six million square feet to the campus by 2031—including proposed sites in Brooklyn, Governors Island and possibly the World Trade Center site—in an effort to increase its current student population of about 40,000 by 5,500. The tower is also one of the most contentious parts of the plan because the University Village site received landmark status in 2008 and is home to a Pablo Picasso statue. The three existing towers, including one dedicated to affordable public housing, were designed by Mr. Pei in the 1960s. The 30-story cast-concrete structures are considered a classic example of modernism. Grimshaw Architects, the New York firm that designed the proposed tower, says it wants the new structure to complement Mr. Pei's work. "It would be built with a sensitivity to the existing buildings," says Mark Husser, a Grimshaw partner. "It is meant to relate to the towers but also be contemporary." Grimshaw Architects NYU says the planned building, at center of rendering above, would relate to current towers. He said the new tower would use similar materials to the Pei structures and would be positioned at the site in a way not to cut off views from the existing buildings. Little of this news is likely to pacify local opposition. "A fourth tower would utterly change Pei's design," says Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. He says that Mr. Pei designed a number of plans about the same time that similarly featured three towers around open space, such as the Society Hill Towers in Philadelphia. Watch a video showing a rendering of New York University's proposed 38-story tower, one of the most ambitious projects in the university's vast 2031 expansion plan. The tower would be located near Bleecker Street in Manhattan. Video courtesy of Grimshaw Architects. Residents say they fear that the new tower would bring years of construction and reduce green spaces and trees. "We are oversaturated with NYU buildings," says Sylvia Rackow, who lives in the tower for public housing. "They have a lot of other options, like in the financial district, but they are just greedy." NYU will have to win permission from the city's Landmark Commission before it can proceed. This process begins on Monday when NYU makes a preliminary presentation to the local community board. Jason Andrew for the Wall Street Journal NYU is 'just greedy,' says Sylvia Rackow, seen in her apartment. Grimshaw. While the commission typically designates a particular district or building, University Village is unusual in that it granted landmark status to a site and the surrounding landscaping, making it harder to predict how the commission may respond. NYU also would need to get commercial zoning approval to build a hotel in an area designated as residential. And the university would have to get approval to purchase small strips of land on the site from the city. If the university is tripped up in getting required approvals, it has a backup plan to build a tower on the site currently occupied by a grocery store at Bleecker and LaGuardia, which would have a size similar to the proposed tower of 270,000 square feet. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704198004575311161334409470.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsForth
  2. Details on first page here: http://www.westmountindependent.com/WIv7.6a.pdf Essentially: Demolish building, build condos Developer: EMD Construction 2 story underground parking 57 unites, six stories
  3. There's heavy renovation inside and outside of this beautiful old building which now houses Charcos and Smoke's Poutinerie. Condos? Rental? Who knows. At least it's getting a new life. They did a fair bit of demolition to put in windows (and what I assume will be balconies). Here's what it looked like last summer.
  4. http://nymag.com/homedesign/urbanliving/2012/hudson-yards/ Atop the 1,300-foot office tower, soon to rise at 33rd Street and Tenth Avenue, by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates. Photo: Rendering by Visualhouse From 0 to 12 Million Square Feet In a few weeks, construction begins on New York’s largest development ever. Hudson Yards is handsome, ambitious, and potentially full of life. Should we care that it’s also a giant slab of private property? An exclusive preview. By Justin Davidson Published Oct 7, 2012 ShareThis On a Friday afternoon in September, a conclave of architects and real-estate executives gathers in a hotel conference room to look over plans for Manhattan’s largest remaining chunk of emptiness. Hudson Yards, the railroad depot that stretches from Tenth Avenue to the Hudson River, and from 30th to 33rd Street, barely registers on the mental map of most New Yorkers. Look down from a neighboring window, and you see only a pit full of trains hazed with their diesel fumes. The planners’ view, though, takes in sugarplum dreams of the city’s shiny next wing: an $800 million concrete roof over the yards, and above it the country’s largest and densest real-estate development: 12 million square feet of *offices, shops, movie theaters, gyms, hotel rooms, museum galleries, and open space, and 5,000 apartments, all packed into 26 acres. In the first, $6 billion phase—scheduled for completion by late 2017—the tallest tower will top the Empire State Building, and even the shortest will have a penthouse on the 75th floor. The people in the conference room can visualize that future in high-resolution detail. On the screen, digital couples stroll among trees pruned to cubical perfection. A chain of glowing towers garlands the skyline, and tiny figures stroll onto a deck hanging nearly a quarter-mile in the air. Architects discuss access points, sidewalk widths, ceiling heights, flower beds, and the qualities of crushed-stone pathways. You could almost forget that none of this exists yet—until one architect points to a lozenge-shaped skyscraper and casually, with a twist of his wrist, remarks that he’s thinking of swiveling it 90 degrees. The Related Companies, the main developer of the site, has called this meeting so that the designers of the various buildings can finally talk to each other, instead of just to the client. I’m getting the first look at the details at the same time some of the participants are. Suddenly, after years of desultory negotiations and leisurely design, the project has acquired urgency: Ground-breaking on the first tower will take place in the coming weeks. There’s a high-octane crew in the room: William Pedersen, co-founder of the high-rise titans Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; David Childs, partner at the juggernaut Skidmore Owings and Merrill; Elizabeth Diller, front woman for the cerebral boutique Diller Scofidio + Renfro; *David Rockwell, a virtuoso of showbiz and restaurant design; Howard Elkus, from the high-end shopping-center specialists Elkus Manfredi; and landscape architect Thomas Woltz, the only member of the group new to New York real-estate politics. Their task is to compose a neighborhood from scratch. The success of Hudson Yards depends on the question: Can a private developer manufacture a complete and authentic high-rise neighborhood in a desolate part of New York? “This isn’t just a project; it’s an extension of the city,” says Stephen Ross, Related’s founder and chairman. New York has always grown in nibbles and crumbs, and only occasionally in such great whale-gulps of real estate. In the richest, most layered sections of the city, each generation’s new buildings spring up among clumps of older ones, so that freshness and tradition coexist. A project of this magnitude, concocted around a conference table, could easily turn out to be a catastrophe. The centrally planned district has its success stories—most famously, Rockefeller Center. Coordinated frenzies of building also produced Park Avenue, Battery Park City, and the current incarnation of Times Square. But this enterprise is even more ambitious than any of those, and more potentially transformative than the ongoing saga of the World Trade Center. New York has no precedent for such a dense and complex neighborhood, covering such a vast range of uses, built in one go. That makes this Ross’s baby. Hundreds of architects, engineers, consultants, planners, and construction workers will contribute to the finished product. Oxford Properties Group has partnered with Related, and the city dictated much of the basic arrangement. But in the end, how tightly the new superblocks are woven into the city fabric, how organic their feel, and how bright their allure will depend on the judgment and taste of a billionaire whose aesthetic ambitions match the site’s expanse, and who slips almost unconsciously from we to I. “We went out and selected great architects and then created a whole five-acre plaza,” Ross says. “People will have never seen such a world-class landscaping project. I can’t tell you what that plaza will look like, but what I visualize is a modern-day Trevi Fountain. It’s going to be classical and unique.” The best clue to what he has in mind isn’t in Rome, but at Columbus Circle. Ross lives and works in the Time Warner Center, which Related built, and if you imagine the complex blown out to five times its size, you begin to get a sense of what’s coming at Hudson Yards: crowds flowing from home to boutique, hotel to subway, office to spa, concert to restaurant—and all that activity threaded around and through a curving plaza equipped with fountains and a very tall monument, as yet unchosen. The Time Warner Center brought profitable liveliness to Columbus Circle, the once moribund, now vibrant hinge between midtown and the Upper West Side. But massive as it is, the Time Warner Center is dainty by comparison. Hudson Yards circa 2017 1. This office tower, by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, will become Coach headquarters. 2. Apartments by Diller Scofidio +Renfro, joined by David Rockwell: condos on top, rentals below. 3. The flagship office building, also by KPF: 1,300 feet high. 4. The curvy multiuse tower by David Childs contains a hotel, condominiums, and a big Equinox gym. 5. The shopping arcade (please don't call it the mall). 6.The Culture Shed: still unrevealed, but a great big space for traveling exhibits and other events. Photo: Rendering by Visualhouse Unnumbered buildings (the western half of the development) have yet to be designed. Photo: Map by Jason Lee The view from the High Line. Photo: Rendering by Visualhouse Photo: Rendering by Visualhouse Photo: Rendering by Visualhouse Photo: Rendering by Visualhouse Photo: Rendering by Visualhouse Start on the High Line, at West 30th Street near Tenth Avenue. At the moment, the landscaped section peters out here, but the old elevated railway continues, forking both east and west to form the southern border of Hudson Yards. Eventually, you’ll be able to continue your stroll beneath the canopy of an office tower housing the headquarters of the leather-goods company Coach. It’s a tricky spot, and the interaction of city street and raised park forces the architecture to perform some fancy steps. The building genuflects toward Tenth Avenue on muscular concrete legs. Coach’s unit reaches out toward the High Line, and the crown greets the skyline at a jaunty tilt. With all its connections and contortions, the tower, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, assembles its identity out of the complexities of city life. “My whole career has been about taking buildings that are inherently autonomous and getting them to become social gestures,” remarks Pedersen. Head up a couple of blocks from Coach’s future headquarters, and at West 33rd Street, another KPF tower tapers from vast hoped-for trading floors to a jagged peak 1,300 feet up. A state-of-the-art office building these days requires huge open layouts and thick bundles of elevator shafts, which tend to give it the natural grace of a hippopotamus thigh. But look up: Here, the design artfully disguises the two towers’ bulk by making them seem dramatically foreshortened, as if they were speeding toward the sky. One slopes toward the river, the other in the direction of midtown, parted like stalks of corn in a breeze. The cone of space between them draws sunlight to the ground and leaves a welcome break in the city’s increasingly crowded skyline. With any luck, you should be able to stand at the foot of these towers and feel sheltered but not squashed. It would have been far easier to wall the development off and let each tower stand in isolated splendor. Instead, planners have tried to soften the borders of their domain. That’s not just civic-mindedness; it’s good business. If Hudson Yards is going to be a truly urban place, it will have to lure people who neither work nor live there but who come because everyone else does. The development will have two major magnets, one for commerce, food, and entertainment, the other for that primal necessity of New York life: culture. Related is pinning a lot of financial optimism on a five-floor, two-block-long retail extravaganza that links the two KPF towers, rather like the Time Warner Center shops, only bigger, busier, sunnier, and more tightly knit to the city. “We don’t want this to feel like a mall,” insists its architect, Howard Elkus. Pedestrian passageways cut through the building, extending the streets indoors, and a succession of great glass walls turn window-shopping into a spectator sport. The liveliness engine is on the fourth floor, where a collection of informal but high-end food outlets curated by Danny Meyer looks out over the central plaza—“Eataly on steroids” is how one Related executive describes it. Above that are more expensive restaurants and a ten-screen multiplex. Stroll out the western side of the shopping center toward the central plaza, walk diagonally across to 30th Street, halfway between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues, and you come to the most intriguing and mysterious element of Hudson Yards: the Culture Shed. Having set aside a parcel of land for cultural use, the city put out a call for ideas. Elizabeth Diller and David Rockwell answered with an amalgam of architectural and institutional innovations: a flexible gallery complex to accommodate traveling exhibits and nomadic performing events. Together, they designed an enormous trusslike shell that could fit over the galleries or roll out like a shipyard gantry to enclose a vast performance space. The city refuses to discuss architectural details, how the still-theoretical organization will function, or who would pay to build and operate it. But it’s easy to imagine it being used for film premieres and high-definition broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera or as a permanent home for Fashion Week, which now camps out in tents. The Culture Shed can give Hudson Yards the highbrow legitimacy and cutting-edge cool it needs to become an integral part of New York, and also create a cultural corridor running from the Whitney Museum at Gansevoort Street (now under construction), through Chelsea’s gallery district, and up to Lincoln Center. The project may be in the wishful-thinking stage—it could still get scaled back or dumbed down, or it could vanish altogether. But it does have one crucial booster: the Related Companies. “The Culture Shed is critically important,” says Jay Cross, the executive who is running the Hudson Yards project. “We’re going to be major supporters because we want and need to see it come to fruition.” Hudson Yards is getting much more from the city than just the Culture Shed. While planners keep working out ways to weld the complex to its environs, the West Side has already begun to embrace its coming addition. New rental towers have sprouted in the West Thirties and burly office buildings will soon rise along Ninth and Tenth Avenues. “There are communities around us—Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown South, West Chelsea, New Jersey to the west—that if we do a great job are just naturally going to flow in and populate that space,” says Cross. The site as a whole is a yawning pit, not so much a blank slate as an empty socket, surrounded by amenities and infrastructure just waiting to be plugged in. Hudson River Park runs along the western edge (set off by Twelfth Avenue), the High Line spills in from the south, and the future Hudson Park and Boulevard will swoop down from the north. The No. 7 subway-line extension is on the way to completion, the Javits Center is being overhauled, and maybe one day Moynihan Station will even get built. In all, $3 billion in taxpayer-funded improvements encircle the Related fiefdom—not including city tax abatements. “Where else have you ever seen this kind of public money for infrastructure to service a whole new development, in the heart of the city, with that much land and no obstacles?” Ross asks. His vocal enthusiasm for Mitt Romney and the Republican Party’s small-*government credo evidently hasn’t curbed his appreciation for public support. Although it’s the next mayor who will cut the first ribbon, in the long run Hudson Yards may well be the grandest and most dramatic piece of Michael Bloomberg’s legacy. It’s been on the city’s to-do list for almost a decade, ever since Bloomberg hoped to draw the 2012 Olympics to New York with promises of a West Side stadium. The fact that London won the games was a disappointment to him but a stroke of luck for the West Side, scuttling what would have been a disastrous stadium plan, while at the same time calling attention to the value of the real estate above the tracks. Eager for space to put up high-rises and now prompted by a big hole on Manhattan’s western flank, the city focused on a rezoning that is gradually pulling midtown’s center of gravity westward. There are two ways to conceive such a monster project. One is for a single architectural overlord to shape the whole shebang, as Raymond Hood did at Rockefeller Center. Steven Holl, whose offices overlook Hudson Yards and who has designed two similarly gargantuan complexes in China, submitted an entry that might have resulted in a work of thrilling coherence, with the same sensibility imbuing every detail, from door handles to office blocks. But the auteur development also risks yielding a place of oppressive uniformity, where each aesthetic miscalculation is multiplied many times over. Related chose the second option: recruiting an ensemble of brand-name designers. That approach emulates a sped-up version of New York’s gradual, lot-by-lot evolution; the danger is that it can produce a jumble. “Sometimes architectural vitality leads to messiness, or varying degrees of quality, and we’re trying to avoid that,” acknowledges Cross. “Every building is going to be best in class. That’s the common thread.” But bestness is not actually a unifying concept, and when the city held the competition to award the development rights in 2008, the Related entry failed to wow the city, the public, or the critics. “With a drop-dead list of consultants, contributors, collaborators, and anyone else who could be thrown into the mix … [the company] has covered all possible bases with something dreadful for everybody. This is not planning, it’s pandering,” wrote the critic Ada Louise Huxtable in The Wall Street Journal. None of that mattered: The project originally went to another developer, Tishman Speyer, and when that deal fell through, Related scooped it up. Architecture had nothing to do with it. Yet nearly five years later, with contracts signed and money starting to flow, that gold-plated crew of designers, working in separate studios, with different philosophies and, until recently, little consultation, has nevertheless produced a kind of haphazard harmony. What unites them is their taste for complexity and the deftness with which they maneuver conflicting programs into a single composition. Just past the Culture Shed, on the 30th Street side of the site at Eleventh Avenue, is the eastern half’s only purely residential tower, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, with David Rockwell. It’s an architectural griffin, grafting together rectilinear rental units on the lower floors with flower-petal condo layouts up high—about 680 apartments in all. The fantastically idiosyncratic bulges and dimples join in complicated ways that make the glass façade look quilted. Now walk north, back across the plaza and past a still-to-be-designed café pavilion, and you come to another tower with a textured exterior—vertical folds with stone on one side and glass on the other, as if a palazzo had merged with a modernist shaft. Actually, the building is even more hybridized than that. David Childs, the architect of the Time Warner Center and One World Trade Center, had to shoehorn a large Equinox gym plus offices, an orthopedic hospital, a sports emporium, a hotel, and a condominium into a curved base and a slender tube. “Hudson Yards is a city within a city. This tower is a city within a city—within a city,” he says. The most delicate, crucial, and treacherous design problem at Hudson Yards isn’t a building at all but the public space, and especially the five acres in the middle, an expanse about as large as Bryant Park. Done right, it could be the most vibrant gathering spot on the West Side, a New York version of Venice’s Piazza San Marco. Done wrong, it could be a windswept tundra populated only by office workers scuttling between the subway and their desks. It’s worrisome that Ross and his team postponed thinking about that void until so much of the architecture had been designed, but heartening that they are intensely focused on it now. Related has given the job to the talented Thomas Woltz, whose quietly refined restorations of gardens and college campuses may not quite have prepared him for the fierce pressure of shaping New York’s most ample new public space. It’s not just a place for people to mingle but for the relationships between the various buildings to express themselves across the connecting plaza. “One of the paintings I admire most is The School of Athens,” says KPF’s William Pedersen, referring to Raphael’s klatch of bearded philosophers chatting beneath noble vaults. “You have great historical and intellectual figures gathered together in dynamic groups of interchange, gesturing to each other. That’s the architectural assignment for each of us.” David Childs phrases a similar thought in a way that graciously defers to Woltz even while sending the message: Don’t screw this up. “We have an obligation to create great architecture, and all the buildings have to be related to the space in the center,” he says. “The void is the most important part.” Woltz has gotten it wrong once. In his first presentation, he placed a plush lawn at the center of the complex, and Ross nearly kicked him out of the room. What Ross wants is not a place to toss a Frisbee, but a town square alive with purpose and electricity. That’s a spectacular challenge; there are few great models for a European-style piazza within a ring of skyscrapers. For now, Woltz’s solution is a paved ellipse, outlined by a perimeter of trees cultivated with geometric severity—given “the Edward Scissorhands topiary treatment,” as one designer puts it. The idea is to create a verdant transition from the human scale to that of glass-and-steel giants. “In an open space next to 1,000-foot towers, our tallest tree is going to be like an ant next to a tall man’s shoe,” Woltz says. But the most maddening paradox of Woltz’s assignment is that he must tailor an open space to the motley public—in ways that will please a potentate. Like some fairy-tale monarch, Ross has dispatched his counselors to find an artist capable of supplying his modern Trevi Fountain. What he wants is something monumental enough to focus the entire project, a piece that’s not just watery and impressive but so instantly iconic that people will meet by it, shoot photos of it, notice it from three blocks away, and recognize it from the cover of guidebooks. You get the feeling that Ross is hedging his bets: If Woltz can’t deliver a world-class plaza with his trees and pavers, maybe a Jeff Koons or an Anish Kapoor can force it into life with a big honking hunk of sculpture. A giant puppy can’t solve an urban design problem, though. It’s nice that a hardheaded mogul like Ross places so much faith in the civic power of art, but he may be asking it to do too much. The plaza is the node where the site’s conflicting forces reveal themselves: the tension between public and private, between city and campus, between democratic space and commercial real estate. Occupy Wall Street’s takeover of Zuccotti Park last year pointed up the oxymoron inherent in the concept of privately owned public space: You can do anything you like there, as long as the owners deem it okay. Childs hopes that his client’s insistence on premium-brand design won’t make Hudson Yards just the province of privilege. “We want this project to be laced through with public streets, so that everyone has ownership of it, whether you’re arriving in your $100,000 limo or pushing a shopping cart full of your belongings.” The plans include drop-off lanes, so the limos are taken care of. But if the shopping-cart pushers, buskers, protesters, skateboarders, and bongo players start feeling too welcome at Hudson Yards, Related’s security guards will have a ready-made *argument to get them to disperse: This is private property.
  5. http://www.montrealgazette.com/Canada+driversdeserve+Roads+Czar/4434450/story.html I am not thinking highly of a federal office to solve problems. That said, the monies recieved from at least the federal gasoline and diesel excise tax & GST on gasoline should be invested in roads and highways and not the BS black hole it goes into currently (notwithstanding various federal-aid highway projects which seem to be common, like A-30, A-85, Montreal bridges, Calgary & Edmonton ring roads, NB Route 2 etc, the total investment is still much less than the excise revenues).
  6. Finally the huge crappy industrial building on the southeast side of Jarry and Viau is either going down or it'll be part of a large redevelopment!! The block is completely fenced in and the walls are being stripped and all the insides are being gutted..Let's hope for the first 20+ storey tower for the east end...the project belongs to the very deep pocketed Saputo clan and their associates.
  7. http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/sale+city+buildings+prime+spots/5275338/story.html By Allison Lampert, The Gazette August 18, 2011 10:08 PM The former H.L. Blachford Ltd. manufacturing building at 977 Lucien L'Allier St. was purchased for $6.8 million in 2000 MONTREAL - The real-estate arm of the city of Montreal is poised to sell two buildings in prime downtown locations that have been sitting half-empty for years, The Gazette has learned. The two buildings, located near the Bell Centre, are among hundreds of thousands of square feet of downtown Montreal real estate that has recently changed hands – or is to be sold off – for new office and residential projects, at a time when land prices have reached all-time highs. The buildings, which are to be put up for tenders this year by the Société d’habitation et de développement de Montréal, are located on sites originally destined for the third phase of Quebec’s ill-fated E-Commerce Place. Quebec’s Department of Finance mandated the SHDM to manage the buildings it bought for close to $7.9 million in 2000. “We want to put them for sale by the end of the year,” said Carl Bond, director of real estate management for the SHDM, a paramunicipal organization that owns and manages affordable housing units, along with several commercial buildings. “Those buildings will be sold, but we need an authorization from the (Department) of Finance.” Located at 977 Lucien l’Allier, and 1000-1006 de la Montagne St., south of René Lévesque Blvd., the buildings were initially slated to be demolished to make way for gleaming office towers. They were to be the last part of the 3-million-square foot Parti Québécois-supported project that was later scrapped by the Liberal government in 2003. The 24,000-square-foot site north of the Lucien l’Allier métro station was purchased from manufacturer H.L. Blachford Ltd. for $6.8 million in 2000 – far above the building’s 2011 municipal evaluation of $4.5 million. The disparity between the sales price and the current evaluation, an SHDM spokesperson explained, is because the land was to be used for a lucrative office tower, worth far more than a four-storey manufacturing plant. The two buildings have taken a long time to come to market. That’s because Blachford had a lease at the building until this spring when it ceased operations, Bond said. A travel agency is still operating at the building on de la Montagne, part of which is in a decrepit state. What’s more, the SHDM is now embroiled in legal talks with Blachford over the cost of cleaning up the building, which is contaminated. “Right now the lawyers are talking and we’re hoping to settle this out of court,” Bond said. But some commercial brokers say the SHDM lucked out in waiting. The buildings, they said, would be ideal for residential development at a time when new condos are being constructed in record numbers and downtown land is selling at a premium. “In terms of timing, it’s better to go to the market today,” said Louis Burgos, senior managing director, Cushman & Wakefield, Montreal. Today, land in the downtown area is being sold for $250 to $350 per square foot, brokers say, depending on the level of building density, or how much can be developed overall on the site. The SHDM’s two buildings won’t be coming to market alone. Another three sites have either traded hands, or are to come to market this year for the purpose of development. In late July, a site of Overdale Ave., an estimated 140,000-square-foot plot on the south side of René Lévesque Blvd, beside Bishop St., was sold by a company based out of a Sherbrooke St. West art gallery run by director Robert Landau for $28 million, provincial records show. The buyer is a numbered company owned by investor Kheng Li, who is a partner of E. Khoury Construction Inc. A worker at Khoury who didn’t want to be identified, said the site could be used for either residential or office development. And in April, Cadillac Fairview Corp. Ltd. announced a $400 million investment for an office and three condo towers to be built near the Bell Centre, on Saint Antoine and de la Montagne Sts. Yet a fifth land site near the Bell Centre is to be put on the market next week, The Gazette has learned. The price these sites will fetch will depend on a combination of zoning and market demand. The red-tape Montreal developers have historically faced in obtaining zoning changes to built higher — and more economically viable buildings — may be easier to deal with if the seller is a city agency, brokers say. [email protected] http://www.twitter.com/RealDealMtl Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/sale+city+buildings+prime+spots/5275338/story.html#ixzz1VRFi0FYh
  8. En 2011m, il y a eu un désencrassage majeur pour cet édifice de McGill. Nous n'avions pas de fil sur le sujet. Avant : Après :
  9. La succursale va fermer. C'est incroyable. On dirait presque un canular. Perte immense pour le patrimoine de Montréal... *** Royal Bank abandons historic 360 St. Jacques building June 23, 2010. 1:57 pm • Section: Metropolitan News The Royal Bank of Canada is closing its historic branch in Old Montreal, in what was once the tallest building in the British Empire and the bank’s head office. The image above, from Google Earth, shows the building (in the middle, foreground) and the skyscrapers that followed it. The bank has more on the history of the Montreal landmark here and here. And check out this city of Montreal history. This story appeared in the Granby Leader-Times on March 4, 1927: http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2010/06/23/royal-bank-abandons-historic-360-st-jacques-building/
  10. 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.
  11. MVRDV and ADEPT win Copenhagen high-rise competition with design ‘Sky Village’ The municipality of Rødovre, an independent municipality of Copenhagen, Denmark, announced today MVRDV and co-architect ADEPT winner of the design competition of the Rødovre Skyscraper. The 116 meter tall tower accommodates apartments, a hotel, retail and offices. A public park and a plaza are also part of the privately funded scheme. The new skyscraper with a total surface of 21,688 sq m will be located at Roskildevej, a major artery East of the centre of Copenhagen. It is, after the Frøsilos, MVRDV’s second project in Copenhagen. The skyscraper is shaped to reflect Copenhagen’s historical spire and present day high-rise blending in the skyline of the city, it further combines the two distinctive typologies of Rødovre, the single family home and the skyscraper in a vertical village. Consideration of these local characteristics leads to Copenhagen’s first contemporary high-rise. Responding to unstable markets the design is based on a flexible grid, allowing alteration of the program by re-designating units. These ‘pixels’ are each 60m2 square and arranged around the central core of the building, which for flexibility consists of three bundled cores allowing separate access to the different program segments. On the lower floors the volume is slim to create space for the surrounding public plaza with retail and restaurants; the lower part of the high rise consists of offices, the middle part leans north in order to create a variety of sky gardens that are terraced along the south side. This creates a stacked neighbourhood, a Sky Village. From this south orientation the apartments are benefitting. The top of the building will be occupied by a hotel enjoying the view towards Copenhagen city centre. The constellation of the pixels allows flexibility in function; the building can be transformed by market forces, however at this moment it is foreseen to include 970 sq m retail, 15,800 sq m offices, 3,650 sq m housing and 2,000 sq m hotel and a basement of 13,600 sq m containing parking and storage. Flexibility for adaptation is one of the best sustainable characteristics of a building. Besides this the Sky Village will also integrate the latest technologies according to the progressive Danish environmental standards. Furthermore the plans include a greywater circuit, the use of 40% recycled concrete in the foundation and a variety of energy producing devices on the façade. A public park adjacent to the Sky Village is part of the project and will be refurbished with additional vegetation and the construction of a ‘superbench’, a meandering public path and bench. A playground, picnic area and exercise areas for elderly citizens are also part of the plan. Lead architect MVRDV and co-architect ADEPT Architects won the competition from BIG, Behnisch and MAD. Winy Maas and Jacob van Rijs present the plan today in Copenhagen together with Anders Lonka and Martin Krogh from local office Adept Architects, Dutch engineering firm ABT and Søren Jenssen act as consultants for the project. Earlier MVRDV realised the Frøsilos / Gemini Residence in the port of Copenhagen: a residential project marking a new way in refurbishment of old silo’s which was highly acclaimed and received international awards. http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=10584
  12. J'ai eu cette idée de ssc.com. Quelle tour qui est présentement en contruction (ou recemment complétée) n'importe ou dans le monde, aimerais tu voir à Montréal? N'oubliez pas les photos! je commence le MoMa à NYC!!! Vraiment incroyable! NYC n'a vraiment pas peur de construire à l'avant garde. Il ne s'inquiètes pas des osties de NIMBY's!!! New York Times November 15, 2007 ARCHITECTURE Next to MoMA, a Tower Will Reach for the Stars By NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF A rendering of the Jean Nouvel-designed tower to be built adjacent to the Museum of Modern Art. The interior of Jean Nouvel’s building, which is to include a hotel and luxury apartments. Cass Gilbert’s Woolworth Building, William Van Alen’s Chrysler Building, Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building. If New Yorkers once saw their skyline as the great citadel of capitalism, who could blame them? We had the best toys of all. But for the last few decades or so, that honor has shifted to places like Singapore, Beijing and Dubai, while Manhattan settled for the predictable. Perhaps that’s about to change. A new 75-story tower designed by the architect Jean Nouvel for a site next to the Museum of Modern Art in Midtown promises to be the most exhilarating addition to the skyline in a generation. Its faceted exterior, tapering to a series of crystalline peaks, suggests an atavistic preoccupation with celestial heights. It brings to mind John Ruskin’s praise for the irrationality of Gothic architecture: “It not only dared, but delighted in, the infringement of every servile principle.” Commissioned by Hines, an international real estate developer, the tower will house a hotel, luxury apartments and three floors that will be used by MoMA to expand its exhibition space. The melding of cultural and commercial worlds offers further proof, if any were needed, that Mr. Nouvel is a master at balancing conflicting urban forces. Yet the building raises a question: How did a profit-driven developer become more adventurous architecturally than MoMA, which has tended to make cautious choices in recent years? Like many of Manhattan’s major architectural accomplishments, the tower is the result of a Byzantine real estate deal. Although MoMA completed an $858 million expansion three years ago, it sold the Midtown lot to Hines for $125 million earlier this year as part of an elaborate plan to grow still further. Hines would benefit from the museum’s prestige; MoMA would get roughly 40,000 square feet of additional gallery space in the new tower, which will connect to its second-, fourth- and fifth-floor galleries just to the east. The $125 million would go toward its endowment. To its credit the Modern pressed for a talented architect, insisting on veto power over the selection. Still, the sale seems shortsighted on the museum’s part. A 17,000-square-foot vacant lot next door to a renowned institution and tourist draw in Midtown is a rarity. And who knows what expansion needs MoMA may have in the distant future? By contrast the developer seems remarkably astute. Hines asked Mr. Nouvel to come up with two possible designs for the site. A decade ago anyone who was about to invest hundreds of millions on a building would inevitably have chosen the more conservative of the two. But times have changed. Architecture is a form of marketing now, and Hines made the bolder choice. Set on a narrow lot where the old City Athletic Club and some brownstones once stood, the soaring tower is rooted in the mythology of New York, in particular the work of Hugh Ferriss, whose dark, haunting renderings of an imaginary Manhattan helped define its dreamlike image as the early-20th-century metropolis. But if Ferriss’s designs were expressionistic, Mr. Nouvel’s contorted forms are driven by their own peculiar logic. By pushing the structural frame to the exterior, for example, he was able to create big open floor plates for the museum’s second-, fourth- and fifth-floor galleries. The tower’s form slopes back on one side to yield views past the residential Museum Tower; its northeast corner is cut away to conform to zoning regulations. The irregular structural pattern is intended to bear the strains of the tower’s contortions. Mr. Nouvel echoes the pattern of crisscrossing beams on the building’s facade, giving the skin a taut, muscular look. A secondary system of mullions housing the ventilation system adds richness to the facade. Mr. Nouvel anchors these soaring forms in Manhattan bedrock. The restaurant and lounge are submerged one level below ground, with the top sheathed entirely in glass so that pedestrians can peer downward into the belly of the building. A bridge on one side of the lobby links the 53rd and 54th Street entrances. Big concrete columns crisscross the spaces, their tilted forms rooting the structure deep into the ground. As you ascend through the building, the floor plates shrink in size, which should give the upper stories an increasingly precarious feel. The top-floor apartment is arranged around such a massive elevator core that its inhabitants will feel pressed up against the glass exterior walls. (Mr. Nouvel compared the apartment to the pied-à-terre at the top of the Eiffel Tower from which Gustave Eiffel used to survey his handiwork below.) The building’s brash forms are a sly commentary on the rationalist geometries of Edward Durell Stone and Philip L. Goodwin’s 1939 building for the Museum of Modern Art and Yoshio Taniguchi’s 2004 addition. Like many contemporary architects Mr. Nouvel sees the modern grid as confining and dogmatic. His tower’s contorted forms are a scream for freedom. And what of the Modern? For some, the appearance of yet another luxury tower stamped with the museum’s imprimatur will induce wincing. But the more immediate issue is how it will affect the organization of the Modern’s vast collections. The museum is only now beginning to come to grips with the strengths and weaknesses of Mr. Taniguchi’s addition. Many feel that the arrangement of the fourth- and fifth-floor galleries housing the permanent collection is confusing, and that the double-height second-floor galleries for contemporary art are too unwieldy. The architecture galleries, by comparison, are small and inflexible. There is no room for the medium-size exhibitions that were a staple of the architecture and design department in its heyday. The additional gallery space is a chance for MoMA to rethink many of these spaces, by reordering the sequence of its permanent collection, for example, or considering how it might resituate the contemporary galleries in the new tower and gain more space for architecture shows in the old. But to embark on such an ambitious undertaking the museum would first have to acknowledge that its Taniguchi-designed complex has posed new challenges. In short, it would have to embrace a fearlessness that it hasn’t shown in decades. MoMA would do well to take a cue from Ruskin, who wrote that great art, whether expressed in “words, colors or stones, does not say the same thing over and over again.”
  13. BMW Welt by Coop Himmelb(l)au wins best of Production at WAFl Awards 2008 BMW Welt, literally “the World of BMW”, is a hybrid exhibition and automobile delivery centre designed by Austrian practice Coop Himmelb(l)au. The multi-functional centre is divided in 5 key areas: Premiere, at the center of BMW Welt, where the vehicles are handed over to customers on rotating platforms, from where they can drive out of the building via a generously sized ramp; Lounge, integrated into the roof and virtually suspended over the delivery area, supported only by the utility service shafts and a column; Forum, located in the north wing of the building, a state of the art Auditorium for up to 1200 people; Tower, in the southwest, a multifunctional area with restaurants, exhibition, sales floors and administrative offices; Double Cone, resting on eleven columns, a full-service event realm extending over several levels, including a stage with its own catering infrastructure, rotating platforms and infrastructure connections for events. Wolf D. Prix, co-founder and design principal of Coop Himmelb(l)au described the project: "The concept behind the design envisions a hybrid building representing a mixture of urban elements. Not an exhibition hall, not an information and communication centre, not a museum, but instead all of these things, along a passage organized under one roof and horizontally and vertically layered. A conjoining of urban marketplace and stage for presentations”. The WAF judges chose it as the winner amongst 12 shortlisted entries in the Produciton category and defined the scheme as “deeply indebted to Le Corbusier´s enquiring mind and dedication to experimental culture” adding that “Wolf D. Prix pursues new meanings and forms in architecture.” Incidentally BMW Welt represents the zenith of Wolf D. Prix’s fascination with turning clouds into architecture, as his words testify: "From the very start we’ve wanted to build cloud architectures and cities that change like banks of clouds.” The centre was also one of the 10 RIBA European Awards winners in 2008. Laura Sal http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=10552
  14. Le Groupe Le Parc is moving ahead with phase 2 of their retirement residences, corner Viau and Jarry. 8 storey building will be erected. The sales office trailer is installed and the signs are up. =================================================================================================
  15. http://business.financialpost.com/2011/10/14/rbc-trades-bay-street-for-bay-view/ They are going to have a nice new place.
  16. http://montreal.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20100505/mtl_building_100505/20100505/?hub=MontrealHome Surprise surprise.
  17. Les projects Altoria et Waldorf Astoria Hotel sont mentionne dans cette article,que j'ai trouver tres interessante. MONTREAL – On the gutted eighth storey of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Andrew Torriani walks across white marble floors turned grey from dust. But despite the renovations under way, Torriani, president and CEO of the historic Ritz-Carlton Montreal, can imagine the hardwood floors, glass walls and marble finishes to come. After being delayed a year, and suffering $30 million in extra costs, he says, the Ritz's über-luxury residence and 130-room hotel project - when complete - will stand above the city's array of existing high-end condominiums. "It's the details - details you wouldn't have believed existed," Torriani said while touting the benefits of Ritz ownership to a reporter this week. The Ritz's 46-unit residence - to open about winter 2011 - follows the injection of nearly 280 other high-end condo units into the city since 2007. Plus, Monit Investments insists its plans for a $200-million downtown Waldorf Astoria Hotel & Residence, with 100 condos and 225 hotel rooms, will go ahead near the corner of Sherbrooke and Guy Sts. These condos, which can cost millions of dollars per apartment, are developers' response to a robust market, aging demographics and rock-bottom interest rates that have incited buyers to upgrade their homes. Some hail the trend as a boon for Montreal as it lures the elite back to the city. Former SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. CEO Guy Saint-Pierre bought one downtown, while Bombardier Inc. Chairman Laurent Beaudoin was considering a condo at the posh Sir George Simpson. But several real estate agents, brokers and developers interviewed by The Gazette question how many luxury condos Montreal can sustain above the key $500 a square foot price point. "We really believe there is a limit in Montreal to the sale of condos over $500,000," said Richard Hylands, president of Kevric Real Estate Corp. which is building the more modest 115-condo Altoria project near Old Montreal. "Basically we're offering a very good product. We're not selling indoor golf or an indoor theatre. The people we are selling to want quality but not high condo fees." Real estate observers say the proof is in the for-sale signs. Despite offering striking views, private terrasses and hotel-style amenities, half of the 10 penthouses at Le Roc Fleuri on Drummond St. are empty - even though most of the 140-unit building is sold out. Meanwhile, five of the 31 condos at the Sir George Simpson building are for sale. Since late 2008, the Ritz project has sold 17 of its 46 units. "I think there is an over-supply of high-end condos in Montreal," said Pierre Laliberté, a specialist in condos with the real estate consulting firm Altus Group Ltd. "When you try to sell a condo for $1 million for more, there aren't a lot of buyers." Veteran real estate agent, JJ Jacobs, president of JJ Jacobs Realty Inc., agreed: "The $1,000 a square foot market is a high market for Montreal," she said. "There have been some very big sales, but it's only so deep. "Personally I don't know how many more the city can hold." Condo prices haven't dropped, however, because Montreal developers tend to have deep enough pockets to absorb the cost of the empty units, Laliberté said. Recently, Montreal's high-end condo market has exploded with a handful of new buildings going up between 2006 and last year. Many were bought by aging empty nesters eager to exchange their houses for the convenience of a condo. "There's going to be a portion of those buyers who are going to enjoy the downtown and they have the resources to do it," said Alan Marcovitz, president and chairman of the Westcliff Group of Companies, which built the sold-out Beaux arts condominiums on Sherbrooke St. Even during a time of economic crisis, Montreal's resilient real estate market coupled with low interest rates, also motivated third and fourth time buyers to upgrade, Marcovitz said. And with the economy improving, demand hasn't dwindled despite plans to slowly raise interest rates, he said. "Your typical buyer is in a significantly better position today than a year ago." But most developers agree that few buyers of ultra high-end condos worry about interest rates. "The challenge is finding the right buyers," said Daniel Lalonde, sales and marketing director for Le Roc Fleuri. "We have a limited pool." In Montreal, wealthy buyers have a wide choice of homes - either condos or houses. "They (high-end condos) sell, but you must really satisfy the buyers and this is a very discriminating clientèle," said Normand Lépine, vice-president of Groupe Lépine, which built Sir George Simpson, among other high-end buildings. "The developer shouldn't under-estimate the amount of effort required. You must really have the right project." Among the basics, high-end condo buildings feature a 24-hour doorman, indoor pool, and spa or massage room. Residents of the Ritz, the Crystal de la Montagne, and the Roc Fleuri's penthouses, have the added option of ordering in room service, getting their dry cleaning delivered, or even having a light bulb changed. The Ritz project - which will cost up to $150 million including key indirect expenses - offers residents a private concierge. It also has a back-up power system able to run the building at virtually full capacity in the event of a electricity failure, said Torriani, whose Monaco Luxury Hotel Management Co. is a risk-sharing partner in the Ritz project. But sales at the Ritz - which closed as a hotel in 2008 - started slowly as the recession discouraged prospective customers. Both the Roc Fleuri and the Ritz have attracted a significant number of foreigners - and these buyers feared for their stock portfolios and the future of Montreal's real estate market. "They postponed their plans," said the Roc Fleuri's Lalonde. "It reduced the amount of visits I got from out of town buyers." Faced with the recession and unexpected construction problems - workers discovered asbestos deep within the Ritz's walls - Torriani decided to revamp his plans on a more grandiose scale. To boost sales he brought in Liza Kaufman, a star real estate agent and managing director of Sotheby's International Realty Québec. While 2009 started off slowly, Kaufman said business at the Ritz has picked up. "If the building was already constructed I would have sold out yesterday," she said. Kaufman, who has sold countless multi-million dollar homes said Montreal is more attractive to foreign buyers than locals realize. "I think the market is evolving," she said. "We have to understand that our city has a lot to offer." Torriani said he isn't worried about a lack of local buyers with the financial means to live at the Ritz, which has an 8,000 square foot penthouse listed for $12 million. Indeed, Torriani left his job as Air Canada's director of human resources, to run the Ritz, where he once worked summer jobs as a dishwasher and waiter. His family, including veteran hotelier Marco Torriani, has a vast stake in the project's success. Before leaving the Ritz's construction site this week, Torriani passes by a swathe of blue and cream brocade wallpaper and wood panelling outside the 98-year-old hotel's former boardroom. The room, along with the hotel's façade will be preserved - vestiges of the Ritz's opening in 1912, when the city was booming and its status as "the Paris of North America" wasn't yet a cliché. Torriani insists that today's economic climate - including the success of the Cirque du Soleil and "Quebec Inc." companies - is equally ripe for the Ritz's reopening, both as a high-end hotel and as a residence. "I think we've seen a resurgence in the last five years or so," he said. "Montreal has a lot more wealthy people than you would expect." [email protected] thegazette.canwest.com Join Allison Lampert at our blog Inc. Ink for a tour of the Roc Fleuri's most expensive condo and see what $9.5 million will buy. http://www.montrealgazette.com/story_print.html?id=2759239&sponsor=
  18. CIBC on St Jacques moved into Quebecor-Videotron and now RBC on St Jacques is planning on moving into the "Stock Exchange Tower" near Square Victoria in 2012. I am quite surprised to get a letter from RBC this morning saying they were moving. It was such a wonderful location. I guess the rent was getting to high for them. Seeing in the letter, they were only occupying about 20% of the building now. Interesting thing is about the RBC building, its owned and managed by a company that operates out of Halifax, but the head guy runs a business in New York called "Time Equities Inc". The company in Halifax is called "360 St Jacques Nova Scotia Inc" or something like that. Whats more interesting is, the head office is in a building called "Bank of Montreal Tower". One of the owners/members/chairs part of "360 St Jacques Nova Scotia" is Montreal's own George Coulombe that over sees 360 St Jacques (RBC building) here in Montreal. One thing that was interesting in the letter was that RBC actually sold the building back in the 60s. Anyways I just wonder who will take up the space at CIBC and RBC now.
  19. City planners take new look at urban vistas Frances Bula, Special to the Globe and Mail, March 30th, 2009 --------------------- Vancouver’s famous view corridors have prompted more anguished howls from architects than almost anything else I can think of over the years. Now, the city is looking at re-examining them. (And, as the sharp-eyed people at skyscraper.com have noted, the posting for people to run the public consultation went up on city website Friday. You can see their comments on the whole debate here.) You can get a flavour of the arguments from my story in the Globe today, which I’ve reproduced below. --------------------- Vancouver is legendary as a city that has fought to prevent buildings from intruding on its spectacular mountain backdrop and ocean setting. Unlike Calgary, which lost its chance to preserve views of the Rockies 25 years ago, or Toronto, which has allowed a highway plus a wall of condo towers to go up between the city and its lake, Vancouver set an aggressive policy almost two decades ago to protect more than two dozen designated view corridors. But now the city is entertaining re-examining that controversial policy, one that has its fierce defenders and its equally fierce critics, especially the architects who have had to slice off or squish parts of buildings to make them fit around the corridors. And the city’s head planner is signalling that he’s definitely open to change. “I’ve got a serious appetite for shifting those view corridors,” says Brent Toderian, a former Calgary planner hired two years ago, who has been working hard to set new directions in a city famous for its urban planning. “The view corridors have been one of the most monumental city-shaping tools in Vancouver’s history but they need to be looked at again. We have a mountain line and we have a building line where that line is inherently subjective.” The issue isn’t just about preserving views versus giving architects free rein. Vancouver has used height and density bonuses to developers with increasing frequency in return for all kinds of community benefits, including daycares, parks, theatres and social housing. A height limit means less to trade for those amenities. Mr. Toderian, who thinks the city also needs to establish some new view corridors along with adjusting or eliminating others, says a public hearing on the issue won’t happen until the fall, but he is already kicking off the discussion quietly in the hope that it will turn into a wide-ranging debate. “The input for the last few years has been one-sided, from the people who think the view corridors should be abolished,” he said. “But we’re looking forward to hearing what everyone thinks. Most people who would support them don’t even think about them. They think the views we have are by accident.” The view-corridor policy, formally adopted in 1989, was the result of public complaints over some tall buildings going up, including Harbour Centre, which is now, with its tower and revolving restaurant, seen as a defining part of the Vancouver skyline. But then, it helped spur a public consultation process and policy development that many say confused the goal of preserving views with a mathematical set of rules that often didn’t make sense. One of those critics is prominent architect Richard Henriquez, who said the corridors don’t protect the views that people have consistently said they value most from the city’s many beaches and along streets that terminate at the water. Instead, he says many of the view corridors are arbitrarily chosen points that preserve a shard of view for commuters coming into town. That has resulted in the city losing billions of dollars of potential development “for someone driving along so they can get a glimpse of something for a second.” And, Mr. Henriquez argues, city residents have a wealth of exposure to the city’s mountains throughout the region. “Downtown Vancouver is a speck of urbanity in a sea of views,” said Mr. Henriquez, who is feeling the problem acutely these days while he works on a development project downtown where the owners are trying to preserve a historic residential hotel, the Murray, while building an economically feasible tower on the smaller piece of land next to it. The view corridor means the building has to be shorter and broader and is potentially undoable. His project is one in a long list of projects that have been abandoned or altered because of view corridor rules in Vancouver. The Shangri-La Hotel, currently the tallest building in the city at 650 feet, is sliced diagonally along one side to prevent it from straying into the view corridor. At the Woodward’s project, which redeveloped the city’s historic department store, one tower had to be shortened and the other raised to fit the corridor. And architect Bing Thom’s plan for a crystal spire on top of a development next to the Hotel Georgia was eventually dropped because city officials refused to budge on allowing the needle-like top to protrude. But one person wary about the city tinkering with the policy is former city councillor Gordon Price. “When people talk about revisiting, it just means one thing: eroding,” said Mr. Price, still a vocal advocate on urban issues. “People may only get this fragment of a view but it’s very precious. And those fragments will become scarcer as the city grows. The longer they remain intact, the more valuable they become.” It’s a debate that’s unique to Vancouver. Mr. Toderian said that when he was in Calgary, there was no discussion about trying to preserve views from the downtown to the Rockies in the distance. --------------------- cet article n'est pas tres recent, mais je sais pas s'il avait deja ete poste sur ce forum. meme s'il y a des differences, a mon avis beaucoup de ces arguments pourraient s'appliquer aussi pour Montreal. est-ce qu'on devra attendre une autre vague de demande bousillee pour relancer le debat ?
  20. L'entreprise Temlam et sa filiale Jager Building Systems ont déclaré faillite lundi, mettant ainsi en péril 300 emplois. Pour en lire plus...
  21. Repairs to Hélène de Champlain building force eatery to shut Restaurant's owner plans to close it down when lease expires at end of 2009 ALAN HUSTAK, The Gazette Published: 8 hours ago The building that houses the Hélène de Champlain restaurant on Île Ste. Hélène needs massive repairs, and the restaurant will close for good in 16 months when its lease expires. Pierre Marcotte, the French- language television personality who has leased the red sandstone building from the city since 1983, says the property needs between $3 million and $5 million in repairs. "We have no choice but to close," he said. "The city has decided not to renew its lease after 2009 in order to undertake the repairs. That could take a year or more to complete. The electrical and heating systems are outdated, and major repairs to the building itself are necessary." Initially meant to be a sports pavilion, the island chalet was built during the Depression as a Quebec government make-work project. It was designed by Émile Daoust to resemble a Norman château, and the grounds were landscaped by Frederick Todd. It was turned over to the city in 1942 and in 1955 became a municipal restaurant, but didn't get a liquor licence until 1960. In 1966, Mayor Jean Drapeau had the building redone as the official residence for Expo 67's Commissioner-General, Pierre Dupuy. It also had a hall of honour next to the main dining room that was used by Drapeau as a reception centre for visiting dignitaries and heads of state. The reception for French President Charles de Gaulle was held in the chalet after he delivered his controversial "Vive le Québec libre" speech. Even though the restaurant proved to be a money-loser, Drapeau kept its five dining rooms open until 1977, when they were closed because of a labour dispute. They reopened in 1981. Marcotte said he does not plan to renew his lease, and no one is certain what will happen to the building once the repair work is done. In the past, there has been talk of converting the site into a hotel for high rollers at the Montreal Casino. [email protected] thegazette.canwest.com