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  #1461  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2023, 4:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Saul Goode View Post
In the case of Waterside Centre, the cost to retain, rehabilitate and bring up to code the historic buildings in question would have been four times the cost of the new construction. And that calculation was not challenged by anyone. As the UARB stated, "Neither Heritage Trust nor HRM suggested any alternative to Armour’s proposal which would be even remotely economically feasible." (I added the boldface).
It is hard to know what to make of these stories. Often old buildings aren't brought up to code and there's a big information gap between building owners and developers and everybody else. In most historic cities you don't get a battle of detailed proposals with historic renovation winning out for financial reasons. Demolition is just de facto banned and the properties remain standing and occupied. The uses that really need the specific qualities of new construction move to the new buildings, and people adapt to the old buildings. The developers that like to build office towers and condos don't buy the properties without development potential, their price remains more modest, and other buyers can afford them.

One issue with allowing developers to demolish buildings only if they're too far gone is that developers have the power to bring their buildings into that state. It doesn't have to be nefarious; they just decide that they want to develop something someday so there's no point in maintaining it, and the never to be paid maintenance bill explodes.
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  #1462  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2023, 5:15 PM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
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It's very hard to parse these stories, as Someone123 says.

Like I said, a few years ago, the government was saying even parts of the facade of the Dennis were unsalvageable. It currently appears to be being salvaged with little problem. A few years before that, the Green Lantern's then-owner, Jeff Webber, was describing how deteriorated and hopeless the building was. Eventually he sold it to an arm of the Ghosn family, who immediately turned around and restored it (at least most of it). Another high-profile example is the Elmwood, the demolition of which seemed nearly a fait accompli until recently. Yet now the developer has apparently decided that an extensive restoration (not to mention relocation) is indeed economical.

It's impossible to hear these he-said-she-said accounts and separate out the reality from individual preferences and motivations.
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  #1463  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2023, 5:21 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Which, for the record, I clearly didn't advocate. I mostly agreed with you.
General statement, not directed at you specifically, but more to address the point I was trying to make in a previous post.
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  #1464  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2023, 5:32 PM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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It's impossible to hear these he-said-she-said accounts and separate out the reality from individual preferences and motivations.
Of course. And each case is unique in some way(s).

Waterside is a little easier to evaluate as everything's been set out in detail in the public record - one of the main reasons I cited it. And by no means was I suggesting it was a typical case.
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  #1465  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2023, 5:33 PM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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General statement, not directed at you specifically, but more to address the point I was trying to make in a previous post.
Gotcha. No worries.
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  #1466  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2023, 5:58 PM
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Waterside is interesting in that it turned out OK, although maybe it could have been a bit better. I always thought one problem there might be that the height limit was too aggressive and I am not sure what purpose it served. It looks oddly short and squat in that area.

I think a big heritage issue in Halifax is that the planning rules encourage squat buildings. It would be a lot better to allow height on the non-historic parcels and then preserve the historic parcels instead of demolishing lots of historic buildings for medium height buildings. Transferrable density rights might help.

If you listen to many ostensibly pro heritage groups they will treat building heights and related issues as though they're almost as bad as demolition, or worse. A lot of heritage advocacy is a blend of advocacy for historical architectural preservation and low density, and the low density people will naturally jump on the bandwagon of preserving small houses and shops. That's politics, but it could be better probably.
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  #1467  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2023, 6:12 PM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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The mention of height reminded me: AllNS has reported that Sukhdev Toor (Manga Hotels) "...hopes to start construction within the year on the first of three 33-storey towers" behind the Doubletree/Metropolitan Place property on Wyse Road.

I know we've talked about that development here before; is there a separate thread for it? Does anyone here know whether it's even a real thing, or just a fantasy? I don't recall hearing that the developer had ever submitted anything to HRM.

The leasing of the entire hotel to the province as a homeless shelter would suggest that something real may be happening - that impending large-scale construction would discourage regular bookings at the hotel, as the AllNS story says, and a whole-house lease to the province would certainly obviate that concern.

Last edited by Saul Goode; Mar 29, 2023 at 6:29 PM.
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  #1468  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2023, 11:52 PM
terrynorthend terrynorthend is offline
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Originally Posted by Saul Goode View Post
The mention of height reminded me: AllNS has reported that Sukhdev Toor (Manga Hotels) "...hopes to start construction within the year on the first of three 33-storey towers" behind the Doubletree/Metropolitan Place property on Wyse Road.

I know we've talked about that development here before; is there a separate thread for it? Does anyone here know whether it's even a real thing, or just a fantasy? I don't recall hearing that the developer had ever submitted anything to HRM.

The leasing of the entire hotel to the province as a homeless shelter would suggest that something real may be happening - that impending large-scale construction would discourage regular bookings at the hotel, as the AllNS story says, and a whole-house lease to the province would certainly obviate that concern.
I think this is an "as of right" development and doesn't need additional approval, but I could be wrong.
Is that entire doubletree hotel a shelter now? I hadn't realized that. I know that is the case with another hotel behind the UHaul place by the McKay Bridge.
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  #1469  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2023, 12:12 AM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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Is that entire doubletree hotel a shelter now?
Not quite yet, but it will be very soon. The deal was just announced on Monday.
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  #1470  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2023, 12:19 AM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Saul Goode View Post
Not quite yet, but it will be very soon. The deal was just announced on Monday.
Sounds like a good business case. If at least part of the new builds are going to be hotels (even if they're not), they will likely be tearing down the old Holiday Inn building at the end of the lease, so may as well get some revenue from the province while filling a temporary shelter need while they are at it.
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  #1471  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2023, 1:14 AM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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[QUOTE=OldDartmouthMark;9905495]Sounds like a good business case. If at least part of the new builds are going to be hotels (even if they're not)/QUOTE]

Supposedly, all will be apartments.

Quote:
they will likely be tearing down the old Holiday Inn building at the end of the lease
I wouldn't be so sure of that at all. Manga just put close to $10 million into renovating it about five years ago (so I'm told; the published figure was lower but they ran into a lot of difficulties with concrete walls on the lower floors). Plus there'll be a franchise contract with Hilton to be dealt with.
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  #1472  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2023, 4:11 AM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Saul Goode View Post

Supposedly, all will be apartments.



I wouldn't be so sure of that at all. Manga just put close to $10 million into renovating it about five years ago (so I'm told; the published figure was lower but they ran into a lot of difficulties with concrete walls on the lower floors). Plus there'll be a franchise contract with Hilton to be dealt with.
Ah... okay. Thanks for that.
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  #1473  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2023, 12:31 PM
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Keith P. Keith P. is offline
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Originally Posted by Saul Goode View Post
I wouldn't be so sure of that at all. Manga just put close to $10 million into renovating it about five years ago (so I'm told; the published figure was lower but they ran into a lot of difficulties with concrete walls on the lower floors). Plus there'll be a franchise contract with Hilton to be dealt with.
The costs of rehabilitating it back to a hotel after the homeless are eventually evicted (if they ever are) will be much more than that sum. The conversions to shelters are usually the last gasp of hotels that no longer are able to keep their head above water financially, and then maintenance is dramatically reduced and damage goes way up.
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  #1474  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2023, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
It's very hard to parse these stories, as Someone123 says.

Like I said, a few years ago, the government was saying even parts of the facade of the Dennis were unsalvageable. It currently appears to be being salvaged with little problem. A few years before that, the Green Lantern's then-owner, Jeff Webber, was describing how deteriorated and hopeless the building was. Eventually he sold it to an arm of the Ghosn family, who immediately turned around and restored it (at least most of it). Another high-profile example is the Elmwood, the demolition of which seemed nearly a fait accompli until recently. Yet now the developer has apparently decided that an extensive restoration (not to mention relocation) is indeed economical.

It's impossible to hear these he-said-she-said accounts and separate out the reality from individual preferences and motivations.
It is usually a relatively simple equation that depends on how deep the owner's pockets are. What is unrealistic for a Jeff Webber may well be mere pocket change for a Ghosn.

In turn those costs determine what the final use becomes sometimes. Rent for a restaurant like O'Carrols or the Silver Spoon in the pre-reno Waterfront Centre site was likely merely a fraction of what RBC are paying for the shiny new ground level space now. It is unlikely that a retail business can afford those kind of rents in DT Halifax these days, especially with a long-term road destruction project underway nearby to prevent customers from patronizing them.
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  #1475  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2023, 12:53 PM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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The costs of rehabilitating it back to a hotel after the homeless are eventually evicted (if they ever are) will be much more than that sum.
Much more than $10M? That's rash speculation, Keith. Personally, I highly doubt it, and I have some real familiarity with what went into development of the hotel.

Quote:
The conversions to shelters are usually the last gasp of hotels that no longer are able to keep their head above water financially, and then maintenance is dramatically reduced and damage goes way up.
"Usually the last gasp"? You say that as if conversion to shelters is the typical course for hotels, which it clearly isn't. In any event, my understanding is that the hotel's bookings have been good. AllNS's reporting, and it makes some good sense, is that the lease to the province is way to ensure occupancy (and hence, revenue) while the hotel's surroundings become a busy, noisy, dirty construction zone.

Time will tell, but I don't think your prediction will be borne out.
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  #1476  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2023, 1:51 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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To bring this back to topic, this is what the site in question looked like in 1969, when the hotel was a relatively new Holiday Inn.



Source
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  #1477  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2023, 2:07 PM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
To bring this back to topic, this is what the site in question looked like in 1969, when the hotel was a relatively new Holiday Inn.
Oh, my...there are tons of memories for me in that single shot. Thanks!
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  #1478  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2023, 2:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Saul Goode View Post
Much more than $10M? That's rash speculation, Keith. Personally, I highly doubt it, and I have some real familiarity with what went into development of the hotel.
Depends on the number of fires, and how much damage to plumbing and electrical, and the degree of deep cleaning/fumigation required. And of course all finishes and fixtures of both rooms and common areas/elevators will need to be replaced.


Quote:
"Usually the last gasp"? You say that as if conversion to shelters is the typical course for hotels, which it clearly isn't.
More and more it is, and it is becoming quite typical. A number of NYC hotels have had it occur, the same with some in Seattle I am aware of, and I would expect the same holds true in most major cities. If you read reviews of such hotels on travel sites they immediately become 1-star facilities once used as shelters. Not really any surprise.

Quote:
In any event, my understanding is that the hotel's bookings have been good. AllNS's reporting, and it makes some good sense, is that the lease to the province is way to ensure occupancy (and hence, revenue) while the hotel's surroundings become a busy, noisy, dirty construction zone.

Time will tell, but I don't think your prediction will be borne out.
If that was totally valid, it would seem that DT Halifax hotels would be the first to go this route given the multi-year Cogswell project detracting from their appeal to guests. I suspect the rationale is mere wallpaper for the mgmt of the hotel to explain away their difficulties.
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  #1479  
Old Posted Mar 30, 2023, 2:59 PM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
Depends on the number of fires, and how much damage to plumbing and electrical, and the degree of deep cleaning/fumigation required. And of course all finishes and fixtures of both rooms and common areas/elevators will need to be replaced.




More and more it is, and it is becoming quite typical. A number of NYC hotels have had it occur, the same with some in Seattle I am aware of, and I would expect the same holds true in most major cities. If you read reviews of such hotels on travel sites they immediately become 1-star facilities once used as shelters. Not really any surprise.



If that was totally valid, it would seem that DT Halifax hotels would be the first to go this route given the multi-year Cogswell project detracting from their appeal to guests. I suspect the rationale is mere wallpaper for the mgmt of the hotel to explain away their difficulties.

Some good points there, I'll grant you. But let's see how it all plays out.

Regardless, I think your $10M+ estimate is fantasy.
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  #1480  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2023, 4:58 AM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Oh, my...there are tons of memories for me in that single shot. Thanks!
A few random memories of my own taken from that shot:

Dartmouth Memorial Rink... I was at the Bill Lynch Shows on Nantucket (where McDonald's is currently located) when that burned down in the mid 1970s (can't remember the exact year at the moment):




Fairley and Stevens on the left, Beacon Pontiac on the right:




Halliday's Building Supplies (?):




The original House of Mei Mei restaurant (?):




Park School:

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