Comment 122633

By Locke (registered) | Posted March 20, 2018 at 12:33:54 in reply to Comment 122626

I agree and I spend about a quarter of my year in my hometown of Vancouver, so I'm very familiar with that city and the various limits they've place on height, preserving views and requirements for street interaction.

As you'll no doubt know, Vancouver's west end is full of mid-rise towers and the downtown itself topping out (with few exceptions) at 300 feet (30 stories). They now allow a few exceptions of 500 to 700 feet in specific locations meant as gateway landmarks.

We can't on the one-hand identify Vancouverism as a model and then ignore that the city has been restrictive of development. Part of Vancouver's success is that they have kept height restrictions in place and this has spread the development across downtown.

It's worth noting some Vancouver developers still complain they want to go taller and claim housing supply problems as a motivator. This despite a large supply of single story retail along main corridors outside of downtown which could be five- to eight-stories tall with residential above retail. Developers will always want to maximize their profit on a site and if you say the max is 50-stories, they'll ask for 70 while other locations remain under-utilized. (Those other corridors are often restricted to four- or five-story developments, so it's pretty clear why a builder would rather add ten-stories to an ongoing project rather than develop a new project limited to five stories.)

But back to Hamilton and Television City: At 40-stories, this location will dwarf all other buildings downtown until the first 50- to 60-story building on lower ground -- and I'd argue it's hardly a gateway location since it's not several blocks from the LRT line and located on secondary roads. At 30 stories it may well rise above all or all but one other building in the city.

Maybe that's OK, but I'm not yet convinced. My biggest fear is that there is too much fawning over this developer and this development. Ask tough questions and demand good answers. Density is good, but it's not the only requirement for urban life.

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