Monday, April 8, 2013

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – March 2013

The following relate to urban development and urban design in general, specific projects, and sun/shade issues.  They were derived from our twitter feed ( or @SunPosition).


1926 Lakeshore by Carttera RT @NewHomeBuyers: Twin towers headed to Toronto's waterfront

ETOBICOKE - 1926 Lake Shore Blvd. West is the location of the former Four Points Sheraton. Located along the shore of Lake Ontario, the hotel was very popular for tourists who wanted easy access to the downtown core while staying in a greener area. As we reported last year, Carttera has purchased the site, but at that point we didn’t really have much info on the development. We speculated that Carttera would be looking to develop a twin-tower project, and now we have confirmation.

According to an application submitted to the City of Toronto, Carttera is seeking permission to build two residential towers, reaching 42 and 48 storeys. The towers would share a four-storey podium, which would be home to ground floor retail (something the area needs desperately). In total, the two new towers could bring up to 847 units to the area. There’s been no word on whether Carttera is planning on partnering with a seasoned developer for when the project hits the market…


Belmont high-rise towers get go-ahead

PERTH - The multibillion-dollar Belmont Racecourse redevelopment has been given the green light to build the tallest skyscrapers outside of the Perth central business district.

The WA Planning Commission yesterday lifted its 30-storey height limit at the Burswood peninsula site, saying the limit was unwarranted and unnecessary.

The Perth-based Golden Group plans to build a $3.5 billion mixed-use development that includes eight towers of 38 to 53 storeys.

When the WAPC met earlier this month to consider the project, planners recommended a 30-storey height limit be imposed across the 73.6ha site.

They argued buildings of more than 30 storeys were "untested" outside of central Perth and the development could diminish the prominence of the CBD.

But yesterday, the WAPC statutory planning committee dropped the limit after advice from the City of Perth and the Office of the Government Architect…


RT @NewHomeBuyers: New highrise community headed to Etobicoke

ETOBICOKE - With a rising deficit, the City of Toronto is looking to rid itself of any available pocket of land that is deemed as “excess.” One area that they continue to look at is the TTC lands. With massive parking lots and a significant amount of office buildings, the City is attempting to market these plots to both residential and commercial developers in order to liquify its assets and help fund some of its capital expenditures…

Tridel has purchased 64 Cordova Ave., a TTC parking lot adjacent to Islington Subway Station. According to an application filed with the City of Toronto, Tridel is looking to build three towers, ranging in height from 32 to 45 storeys, all sharing a three-storey podium. Overall, the development would feature over 1,300 brand new suites. Tridel has partnered with Kirkor Architects to design to buildings…


RT ‏@NewHomeBuyers: 501 Yonge St. continues to move forward

TORONTO - One of the most popular development sites we have featured in the past year is 501 Yonge, owned by Lanterra Developments. Months later, the few posts on the project are still some of the most visited on our blog. There is no doubt about it — Toronto is extremely interested in this project.

This week, the project went to the design panel, who critiques the form and design of the building, then makes suggestions on how it should be changed to better fit in with the neighbourhood. The panel has released their feedback on 501 Yonge, and it looks like Lanterra is getting ready to move forward

Lanterra and architectsAlliance received positive feedback for the design, and we’re very happy to have a new rendering to see. We had only seen the working drawings of the proposal, which didn’t exactly give us an idea of the impact that the project would make, but this new image gets us pretty excited! By no means is this the finalized design, but we’re getting somewhere.

For those unaware, Lanterra has been working with the City for some time to bring this new tower to the area. The plans have changed somewhat: Lanterra is now seeking approval to build two towers, reaching 52 and 23 storeys, versus the twin 58-storey towers they initially had in mind. Lanterra is also working on incorporating both ground floor residential and above-ground parking, which are things we don’t see every day. It’ll be a challenge, but if anyone can do it, Lanterra and architectsAlliance can…


French architecture firm targets China’s pollution and population problems with cutting-edge ‘farmscrapers’

SHENZHEN, CHINA - Vincent Callebaut Architects has designed 6 towers for its ‘Asian Cairns’ prototype project, complete with eco-friendly wind turbines, water recycling and solar cells — aimed at slashing carbon dioxide emissions and focusing on renewable resource use…


Martin Scorsese Pushes to Protect Bowery from High-Rise Development

LOWER EAST SIDE, NEW YORK - This is one mean street that's worth protecting.

That's the message from Academy Award-winning director and Downtown native Martin Scorsese, who has asked the city to do more to protect the Bowery from overdevelopment. 

The former Elizabeth Street resident wrote to the City Planning Commission on March 13, urging it to support the East Bowery Preservation Plan, which includes limiting new development height to 85 feet on the infamous strip's eastern flank.

Despite the Bowery's official listing on the National Register of Historic Places in February, the designation is honorific and does not provide any restrictions for developers regarding construction along the one-time "skid row."…

…The East Bowery Preservation Plan was created by the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors to protect the thoroughfare by limiting building heights along the strip and preventing the demolition of significant buildings…


Board Votes Down High-Rise Plan for Landmarked 815 Fifth

NEW YORK, NY - Upper East Siders care a lot about their historic townhouses, right down to the nitty-gritty (and beloved) details like cornices, arched windows, and the kind of stone used for the facade. But in the case of 815 Fifth Avenue, a petite mansion represented by Elliman for which a Brazilian developer shelled out $32 million last year, the stakes are even higher. Dating back to 1871, it's the oldest residence on Fifth between 59th and 110th streets. Under the guise of a locally based LLC, JHSF Participacoes wants to build a skinny 14-story "high-rise" (up to the height of its neighbors on either side—it's all relative, right?) in the narrow space the mansion currently occupies between 62nd and 63rd streets, sandwiched as it is between two taller, newer building.

But at last night's meeting of Community Board 8's Landmarks Committee, scaled-back plans presented by architect Tim Greer, which had been revised to be more "more sensitive to the context" of the building's own past and the surroundings of the landmarked Upper East Side Historic District, were denied a second time…

Read more:


RT ‏@OttawaCitizen: Out-of-context building in ByWard Market might as well get taller, say heritage experts

OTTAWA, ON - The stark grey Union of Canada office tower in the ByWard Market doesn’t match its surroundings and looms over its neighbours, so Claridge might as well fix it up so it’s prettier as part of a hotel and condo development, the city’s heritage experts say.

The plans call for adding 17.5 metres, or more than 50 feet, to the existing 11-storey concrete and glass building on Dalhousie Street, in addition to re-cladding the outside and renovating the inside. Claridge needs permission from the city’s committee on heritage buildings because the tower is in a heritage conservation district, where individual projects get reviewed to make sure they don’t wreck the neighbourhood…

Read more:


Marriott doubles down on high-rise hotels in L.A.

LOS ANGELES, CA - As demand for downtown Los Angeles hotel rooms grows, plans have emerged for yet another high-rise inn near Staples Center.

The announcement comes as hoteliers are scrambling to cash in on downtown's revival as a tourist destination and convention hub. Three large hotel projects are already underway and developers are prospecting for other potential sites in the neighborhood.

Next on the horizon is the Renaissance Hotel, which will be more than 20 stories tall with 450 rooms and is slated to open in 2016 across the street from the L.A. Live entertainment complex.

It will cost $200 million and rise on Olympic Boulevard next to a 24-story tower already under construction that will house a Courtyard by Marriott and a Residence Inn by Marriott under one roof when it opens in summer 2014.

The developer of the side-by-side hotel projects is Williams/Dame and Associates, a Portland, Ore., firm that helped build three luxury condominium buildings east of Staples Center in the mid-2000s. Williams/Dame will start work on the Renaissance in early 2014, Chairman Homer Williams said…

…Other developers are also making pricey bets that downtown will continue to attract overnight visitors…


Construction to begin this summer on 46-storey Kakaako high-rise project

KAKAAKO, HI - Developers of a high-rise project in Kakaako have unveiled a sales plan that includes a lottery so aspiring homeowners won't be forced to camp out for condominiums.

The 46-story tower proposed at 801 South Street will feature a mix of studio, one and two bedroom units at prices between $200,000 to $600,000. The Hawaii Community Development Authority in December approved the project. Construction will begin this summer…

…The site is prime real estate that was formerly used by The Honolulu Advertiser. The show Hawaii Five-0 uses the property for filming. The lease for filming there runs out in May, and the show is moving to the film studio at Diamond Head…

…The developer of 801 South Street is Downtown Capital LLC, led by Marshall Hung. The project team includes Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company, Kazu Yato AIA & Associates Inc., and Marcus & Associates…


Giant skyscraper 'Australia 108' to go ahead, shadow fears have been allayed

MELBOURNE, AUS - The Planning Minister has defended a decision to give the "green-light" to plans for the tallest building in the southern hemisphere in Melbourne's Southbank.

The 388-metre high, 108-storey hotel and apartment complex will go up not far from the city's current tallest building, the Eureka Tower.

Melbourne City Council initially opposed the project because of fears it would over-shadow the Shrine of Remembrance.

Matthew Guy says these fears have been allayed…


Work on 13-storey high-rise condo on King Street in historic downtown Chatham about to begin

CHATHAM, ON - Preliminary work on a 13-storey, $50 million high-rise condominium on King Street in historic downtown Chatham is about to begin.

The highly-anticipated Boardwalk on Thames residential development, the first new construction in the city's core area in more than 30 years, has been close to two years in the making.

Victor Boutin of Everlast Group told The Chatham Daily News the ultra-modern facility should be ready for occupancy within 24 months…

…The waterfront condo overlooks Tecumseh Park, the downtown city boat docks and Waterfront park as well as historic King Street…


Chinese breathing competitive life into Sydney high-rise scene

SYDNEY, AUS - The arrival of the Chinese-based Greenland Group to Australian shores is an auspicious occasion.

The group will build Sydney's tallest residential high-rise on the former Water Board site after paying around $100 million to the loss-taking Canada-based Brookfield Asset Management with whom it will, in a face-saving arrangement, reportedly team up to assist in the development of the tower...

…The project, to be called Sydney Greenland Center.

The Bathurst Street site has stage-one development approval for 400 apartments over up to 70 levels reaching 240 metres high…


Massive redevelopment. North Vancouver City gives Onni highrise approval

METRO VANCOUVER, BC - City of North Vancouver council has given approval to Onni Group's request for a massive redevelopment of the Safeway site at Lonsdale and 13th.

In a 4-3 split vote Tuesday night, council passed second and third readings of a rezoning bylaw that will allow the developer to build 344 condos in 24-storey and 18-storey towers, along with an eight-storey office tower and commercial units on the site…

…Coun. Don Bell made a long list of problems the proposal has had in its various iterations over the years, including traffic ingress on 14th Street, too large a footprint of the residential towers, shadowing on Stella Jo Dean Plaza and a lack of commercial storefronts on 13th Street, almost all of which Onni was willing to change after getting public feedback and requests from council…

Read more:


New highrise on city's horizon

REGINA, SK - A new office tower in downtown Regina is on its way to begin construction this summer.

The City of Regina's planning commission on Wednesday approved Harvard Developments Inc.'s application to build an 11-storey highrise on Hamilton Street for Farm Credit Canada.

The proposed building, to be located between Mosaic Tower and FCC Tower, goes before city council Monday night…

…Known as Agriculture Place, the highrise would house FCC employees who are currently scattered throughout four Regina buildings. Retail space would be available at street level…

Read more:


Toronto 4th largest city in North America


High-rise plans worry councillor

AUKLAND, NZ - Councillor George Wood fears how much fight people have left in them to stop Auckland Council's dramatic intensification plans.

Apartment heights in Browns Bay and Milford are particularly concerning but other areas will also be affected by the Unitary Plan, Mr Wood says…

…Metropolitan centres, like Albany and Takapuna, and town centres, like Milford, Browns Bay, Highbury, Glenfield and Northcote would have the highest apartments.

Massive changes are also proposed in mixed housing zones on the outskirts of shopping centres and near public transport routes...

…Four storey terraced housing and apartment buildings are proposed next to most shopping centres and up to six storeys in metropolitan centres...

...During early Auckland Council talks last month Mr Wood spoke out against apartment heights in Milford and Browns Bay.

He says previous Milford consents kept heights at two to three storeys but the draft plan proposes four to eight…

…Traffic increases and shading will be key concerns for residents, he says…

Read more: 


RT @NewHomeBuyers: Freed Developments bringing a new projects to 155 Redpath Ave

TORONTO, ON - …According to an application submitted to the City of Toronto, Freed is looking to bring a new 35-storey condominium to the midtown site, featuring upwards of 470 units. The site is currently a series of low-rise homes at the southeast corner of Redpath Ave. and Roehampton Ave.

It will be interesting to see how this project is received. On one hand, there are a significant amount of low-rise homes in the area, with owners who will be concerned with shadowing and the intensification of the area. On the other hand, there are a significant amount of existing high-rise apartment buildings in the area, and a number of proposed condos…


Cheers, Ralph

Sun Glare While Driving – March 2013

The following relate to the dangers of sun glare while driving and traffic safety in general.  They were derived from our twitter feed ( or @SunPosition).


Even school buses can be hard to see in sun glare > Police on school bus crash: Sun a 'major factor'

NORTON SHORES, MI – A 21-year-old Decatur, Mich., woman was cited for the Wednesday morning crash involving a Mona Shores Public Schools bus, police said.

Authorities said the woman was cited for being “unable to stop within assured distance ahead” following the accident that occurred shortly after 8 a.m. on Hile Road, east of Grand Haven Road.

Norton Shores Police Lt. Jon Gale said both the school bus and the Ford Focus were both heading east on Hile Road from Grand Haven Road. He said the sun “played a major factor in the crash” as they were traveling “directly into the sun.”…


It's that time of year again, be extra careful making left turns > Sun glare blamed in crash

OMAHA, NE —A woman blamed sun glare on a Wednesday morning crash.

Officers were called to the scene near Eighth and Bancroft just before 8 a.m.

According to police, an eastbound Suzuki Forenza attempted a left turn onto Eighth Street when it hurt a Ford Escort.

The driver of the Suzuki, identified as Natividan Hernandez, 20, told officers that sun glare caused her not to see the other vehicle.  Hernandez was cited for failure to yield…

>Leigh Buchan ‏@lives2talk: @SunPosition Be careful making any turns! In mornings have make right turn EB; glare so bad can't see if anything parked on south side

>Ralph Bouwmeester ‏@SunPosition: @lives2talk So true, be careful making any turns.


RT @BurnabyRCMP: Did you know? A GPS in direct view creates blind spot 5.5'x9.5' at 5 car lengths away! Mount low enough to see WHOLE road.


Police: Sun glare may have caused motorcycle crash

PEMBERTON TOWNSHIP, PA - Sun glare may have been responsible for a motorcycle accident Saturday that sent a Pemberton man to the hospital with serious injuries, police said Monday.

The two-vehicle accident happened about 9:20 a.m. when a motorcycle driven by Charles VanWinkle, age unavailable, crashed into the rear of a car driven by David Waterman of Brooklyn, N.Y., on Vincentown Road.

VanWinkle was taken by helicopter to Cooper University Hospital in Camden with internal injuries. His condition was not available Monday.

Waterman, age also unavailable, was not hurt.

A preliminary investigation revealed both vehicles were traveling south. Investigators said sun glare may have prevented VanWinkle from seeing the car in front of him…


Be sure of the colour of traffic lights, especially against sun glare

SIDNEY, NE - A car accident occurred on 10th Ave. and Illinois St. in Sidney yesterday at around 5 p.m. According to a Sidney Police Department report, one driver was traveling southbound on 10th Ave. and entered the intersection at Illinois with a green light. The other driver was driving westbound on Illinois and said that the sun’s glare prevented them from seeing that the stoplight had turned red, and ran his vehicle into the other…


RT ‏@NewsCoSprings: Sun Glare May Have Caused SUV To Hit Toddler

DENVER, CO - A sun glare may have caused a crash that left a 2-year-old in critical condition.

The toddler was hit by an SUV Thursday while chasing a stray ball into the street. He remains in the hospital Friday with life-threatening injuries to the head.

Sister station KCNC says the driver may have swerved to avoid the collision, and did remain on scene afterwards. Investigators are now working to learn if a sun glare obstructed the driver's view of the child and caused the crash.

The accident occurred near the intersection of Green Court and Grove Street in west Denver…

Read more: 


Sun glare may have caused injury crash

TEMECULA, CA - Two people were seriously injured Monday evening, March 11, when they were struck by a car coming down a hill in Temecula in the glare of the setting sun.

The driver of a Toyota Matrix was heading west on Pauba Road shortly before 6 p.m. Monday, while driving down a hill with two young children in the car, according to a Temecula police statement.

As the driver approached Elinda Road, two female pedestrians were walking in a bike lane in a shaded area. Police said the driver was adjusting from direct sunlight in the line of sight when the car drifted into the bike lane and struck the pedestrians…


Toronto sunset 7:18 pm tonight.

>Leigh Buchan‏@lives2talk: @SunPosition Wish we could stay on daylight savings time permanently. Reason for turning the clock back are no longer relevent!

>Ralph Bouwmeester ‏@SunPosition: @lives2talk Almost 2/3 of the year is currently DST.

>Leigh Buchan ‏@lives2talk: @SunPosition "Semi-annual 1-hr chg linked to increase in heart attacks, more traffic fatalities …

>Ralph Bouwmeester ‏@SunPosition: @lives2talk After time change sun position and glare conditions change during commuting hours, hence increase in traffic accidents.

>Leigh Buchan ‏@lives2talk: @SunPosition Also to be considered is the feeling of jetlag drivers have!


RT @SafeDriver: Changing the clocks tonight means longer days and more time driving toward the sun...are you ... 


Be extra careful driving after the time change. The sun won't be where you have been used to it being on your way to and from work.


RT ‏@SafeDriver: Pay attention to shiny things while driving...oh yeah, they're called school buses!

>Ralph Bouwmeester ‏@SunPosition: @SafeDriver School buses are out when sun glare conditions are often worst.


Police blame sun glare for 4 pedestrian fatalities on one street in 2 yrs

BERGEN COUNTY, NJ - Fourteen pedestrians were killed on Bergen County roads in 2011, according to an analysis of federal traffic fatality data.

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a group advocating for reduced car dependency, found that Essex Street in Hackensack and Route 17 were the deadliest roadways for pedestrians…

…Four pedestrians died on Essex Street from 2009 through 2011, more than any other road in Bergen County.

Hackensack Police in 2011 blamed sun glare for the accidents, the Record reported...


Cheers, Ralph