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United Gulf Development

To no one's surprise, Halifax City Council has voted to approve the United Gulf Developments twin tower complex on the Halifax waterfront. Unsurprisingly, the councillors were reluctant to actually suggest using the municiple planning strategy to wipe their ass, instead they opted for meaningless motherhood statements like:
"I certainly respect heritage, I recognize the need to hold on to heritage and keep a grasp on our past but I think that we do need to move forward," Coun. Brad Johns (Middle and Upper Sackville-Lucasville) said of opponents’ arguments that the buildings won’t fit in with historic structures in the downtown district.
No, Brad, I don't believe you do recognize the need and I don't approve of what you and this council mean by "moving forward", which appears to be twofold:
  • turn Dartmouth into a strip mall at the end of the highway so it can be a little more like romantic Moncton
  • and toss up a few skyscrapers to suck out the remaining tenants from the downtown historic buildings so they can be torn down in turn

The council decision may yet be overturned by the Utility and Review Board.

I find myself half-agreeing w/ you. I suppot the project but it should really be moved. It should obstruct the view of the Citadel. Maybe along the waterfront or over in Dartmouth, but right in the front of Citadel Hill is kinda dimwitted

That's more or less my feeling, too. I'm not anti-development, I'd just like to see a bit more thought put into it. There is a written municiple planning strategy, and only a loose reading of it allows this development. And, if you're going to ignore your own plan anytime someone comes at you with a handful of dollars, what's the point in planning at all?

Downtown Dartmouth is not a bad idea.

I see this development as further bad news for Barrington Street. I have suggested in a previous post that maybe you could take down some of the older, mostly vacant buildings along it and build some 4-5 story buildings that don't contravene the viewplane ordinance in their place. That would probably be enough to revitalize it, whereas this development is just going to suck more of the traffic away from that area.

And that is the absolute WORST place to attract traffic to. It's nearly impossible to keep traffic moving as it is.

The MPS is a vague document and any interpretation is subjective. There are no heritage buildings facing the UG site and the towers are no taller than some neighbours, plus they're outside of the protected viewplanes. The heritage people who are fighting the proposal have tried to twist these facts.

As for putting the towers elsewhere, that's where the demand is. It is also unlikely that the building will suck tenants out of nearby heritage buildings since it will be mostly condos while the heritage buildings are office and retail. If anything, this proposal will provide a market for heritage buildings since more people will be around to frequent nearby shops.

I'm not a United Gulf cheerleader but I think the downtown really needs new buildings if it is to be successful.

Preserving the downtown like Quebec City is not going to work unless somebody invents a time machine. Most of the original pre-war downtown was demolished between 1950-1990 and there are lots of holes.

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