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Developers Can Do Better/Highrise

Re: Developers Can Do Better

Postby WalterWhite » Aug 25th, 2017, 4:11 pm

Let's also not forget, that while these revised plans may or may not be to everyone's taste regarding aesthetics - it's nothing more than an artists conceptual drawing. If there's one thing I've learned over the years with regard to our city planning and development staff - they have practically zero means to ensure a developer actually builds what was initially proposed - let alone the cajonies for enforcement.
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Re: Developers Can Do Better

Postby Queen K » Aug 25th, 2017, 4:12 pm

They all lie.

There's usually no greenry. No parking. And no safe place to lock up bikes.
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Re: Developers Can Do Better

Postby Omnitheo » Aug 25th, 2017, 5:27 pm

Isn't there underground parking? Also it's a block from transit and walking distance to anything else in downtown.

As for greenery, that is always the first thing cut from every development when moving from the conceptual stage. This building at least isn't pretending to have trees all over it. Either way there will be no less greenery than there is now. Plus there are also the other improvements to the area that were already built.

I haven't hear or seen anything regarding bikes, though downtown does have a few secure bike locks in the area already doesn't it?
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Re: Developers Can Do Better

Postby dle » Aug 25th, 2017, 5:43 pm

Omnitheo wrote:Wouldn't it be beneficial for the city though for there to be housing available there too? It lends to a more vibrant downtown, and with increased residents, there is more opportunity for businesses there to have hours past 5pm.

There's really no difference between 20 and 30 floors. All it takes is 2 floors to block out a view from street level. Nobody is going to be missing out on any scenery, and the tower is going to be visible from a ways away anyways, so I'm not sure what the difference is. Adjusting the height to add residential units doesn't sound like a bad idea.

As for the design, what is it lacking in charm class or character? These sound like arbitrary terms that detractors would apply to any structure regardless of it's appearance. The building's colouring seems to match other structures in the area. And is actually similar to the madison. The biggest contrast between them is that this structure has smoother balconies that follow a patterned contour around the building. The Madison's blocky balconies jut out like buttresses.


I agree it would be beneficial to build some housing - although the type of housing we desperately need in Kelowna isn't that high end so that doesn't fly with me. They are just looking to maximize their ROI. I agree no difference between 20 and 30 floors - anything over about 6 floor downtown is too high in that particular area in my belief. I am not nixing the skyrises altogether - just not there. They have a great area down by the Dolphins for that type of building. That whole neighbourhood is trending in that direction and that's great. As for the charm, class and character issue - I'm referring to buildings downtown that have been recently built that are brick for instance and lowrise. The Westcorp building is shiny steel and cement and of a totally different type than what the area is building toward. What other steel and concrete buildings are you referring to that the proposed build seems to match in that area? I can't think of any offhand myself so please help me refresh my memory. If you are referring to the proposed Ella, I don't agree with that going up where it is set to be built either - for all of the same reasons I've just noted. As for a similarity between the Westcorp building and the Madison - I just don't see that at all. It's all going to be a matter of "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and we all like what we like and that's great. I just think the Ella and the Westcorp buildings aren't going to add to the character of that area - but that's just me. I know there are lots of people who think they will be just fine.
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Re: Developers Can Do Better

Postby dle » Aug 25th, 2017, 5:48 pm

WalterWhite wrote:Let's also not forget, that while these revised plans may or may not be to everyone's taste regarding aesthetics - it's nothing more than an artists conceptual drawing. If there's one thing I've learned over the years with regard to our city planning and development staff - they have practically zero means to ensure a developer actually builds what was initially proposed - let alone the cajonies for enforcement.


Yep - funny how that happens isn't it?
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Re: Developers Can Do Better

Postby Omnitheo » Aug 25th, 2017, 6:21 pm

dle wrote:
Omnitheo wrote:Wouldn't it be beneficial for the city though for there to be housing available there too? It lends to a more vibrant downtown, and with increased residents, there is more opportunity for businesses there to have hours past 5pm.

There's really no difference between 20 and 30 floors. All it takes is 2 floors to block out a view from street level. Nobody is going to be missing out on any scenery, and the tower is going to be visible from a ways away anyways, so I'm not sure what the difference is. Adjusting the height to add residential units doesn't sound like a bad idea.

As for the design, what is it lacking in charm class or character? These sound like arbitrary terms that detractors would apply to any structure regardless of it's appearance. The building's colouring seems to match other structures in the area. And is actually similar to the madison. The biggest contrast between them is that this structure has smoother balconies that follow a patterned contour around the building. The Madison's blocky balconies jut out like buttresses.


I agree it would be beneficial to build some housing - although the type of housing we desperately need in Kelowna isn't that high end so that doesn't fly with me. They are just looking to maximize their ROI. I agree no difference between 20 and 30 floors - anything over about 6 floor downtown is too high in that particular area in my belief. I am not nixing the skyrises altogether - just not there. They have a great area down by the Dolphins for that type of building. That whole neighbourhood is trending in that direction and that's great. As for the charm, class and character issue - I'm referring to buildings downtown that have been recently built that are brick for instance and lowrise. The Westcorp building is shiny steel and cement and of a totally different type than what the area is building toward. What other steel and concrete buildings are you referring to that the proposed build seems to match in that area? I can't think of any offhand myself so please help me refresh my memory. If you are referring to the proposed Ella, I don't agree with that going up where it is set to be built either - for all of the same reasons I've just noted. As for a similarity between the Westcorp building and the Madison - I just don't see that at all. It's all going to be a matter of "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and we all like what we like and that's great. I just think the Ella and the Westcorp buildings aren't going to add to the character of that area - but that's just me. I know there are lots of people who think they will be just fine.


Am I viewing it wrong? It looks like there's a significant wood looking facade. I don't know if it's simulated or not, but it certainly doesn't appear to be entirely steel and concrete.

If it is wood though, the Queenseay bus exchange and Simpson Walk and new wharf immediately come to mind. Sounds like it actually matches the area.
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Re: Developers Can Do Better

Postby dle » Aug 25th, 2017, 7:04 pm

Omnitheo said:

"Am I viewing it wrong? It looks like there's a significant wood looking facade. I don't know if it's simulated or not, but it certainly doesn't appear to be entirely steel and concrete.

If it is wood though, the Queenseay bus exchange and Simpson Walk and new wharf immediately come to mind. Sounds like it actually matches the area."



I watched the video and I do see what looks like a fair amount of wood or simulated wood on it but it still has a lot of concrete on it. It looks very nice - my issue isn't whether it looks lovely or not - it's the size of the thing and because of that, where it is being built just seems like the wrong place to me for a building of that height. It is huge and I just think it looks wrong in that area. However, as another poster said the finished product never looks like what the artist renderings make us think we are getting so we won't really know what we are getting til we have it! Then if we don't like it, too bad so sad too late.....
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Re: Developers Can Do Better

Postby lightspeed » Aug 25th, 2017, 7:10 pm

Omnitheo wrote:Isn't there underground parking? Also it's a block from transit and walking distance to anything else in downtown.

As for greenery, that is always the first thing cut from every development when moving from the conceptual stage. This building at least isn't pretending to have trees all over it. Either way there will be no less greenery than there is now. Plus there are also the other improvements to the area that were already built.

I haven't hear or seen anything regarding bikes, though downtown does have a few secure bike locks in the area already doesn't it?


Who needs grotty bikes.

We're talking about Porsches and Corvettes in this market. Not Johnny Recycler on his clapped out bike carrying six bags of empties.
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Re: Developers Can Do Better

Postby Terris » Aug 27th, 2017, 7:23 pm

WalterWhite wrote:I'm curious how a height increase would be necessary for seismic or ground instability reasons. Care to elaborate?


Okay... I'll sniff this bait...

For starters...
https://www.irjet.net/archives/V4/i8/IRJET-V4I8246.pdf

Basically, in a seismic zone, lower buildings are generally safer from the more extreme effects of earthquakes. The effects vary at different heights. 10 to 20 story buildings being generally more damage prone then lower or taller buildings. But even taller buildings (over 40 stories) again being more prone to seismic damage.

Each design requires different and/or more costly engineering.

The ground under the proposed site is very unstable, with no solid bedrock and a water table that extends as far in as Gordon Dr.

An extra few stories is probably being proposed to give added weight and stability on this floodplain.

I'm not an engineer but all the waterfront development along the Kelowna waterfront has shifting foundation and ground displacement issues.

This site is no different...

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Re: Developers Can Do Better

Postby LANDM » Aug 28th, 2017, 10:12 am

Terris wrote:
I'm not an engineer but...

No kidding.
Perhaps leave it to the engineers then.

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Re: Developers Can Do Better

Postby Queen K » Aug 28th, 2017, 10:16 am

lightspeed wrote:
Omnitheo wrote:Isn't there underground parking? Also it's a block from transit and walking distance to anything else in downtown.

As for greenery, that is always the first thing cut from every development when moving from the conceptual stage. This building at least isn't pretending to have trees all over it. Either way there will be no less greenery than there is now. Plus there are also the other improvements to the area that were already built.

I haven't hear or seen anything regarding bikes, though downtown does have a few secure bike locks in the area already doesn't it?


Who needs grotty bikes.

We're talking about Porsches and Corvettes in this market. Not Johnny Recycler on his clapped out bike carrying six bags of empties.



Some bikes can be more expensive than most peoples electronics.

What I'm saying is they promise but don't deliver. And every artist conception makes it look far more attractive than it is.
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Re: Developers Can Do Better

Postby Terris » Aug 28th, 2017, 1:12 pm

LANDM wrote: No kidding. Perhaps leave it to the engineers then.


Ditto...

I wouldn't want the responsibility or the stress.

I've witnessed "developers" excoriate site engineers in a most humiliating fashion. I've also witnessed engineers quitting a job on the spot from the stress that developers incur on engineers.

It's a cut throat business.

Companies I've worked for and recently, my own company, have been involved with several engineering firms here in Kelowna at one time or another on many of the downtown projects.

I have done engineering data analysis for these companies which is being kept and processed to keep track of building displacements and other variances from the norm due to seasonal swelling and contraction of the underlying soil structures.

Building a heavy structure on a loose, porous foundation material subjects the surrounding areas to ground displacement.

I predict that it won't be long after the new downtown "hotel" is built that the long standing Kelowna heritage structures in proximity will begin to experience structural shifts and damage.

One project I'm working on involves just this, where a 6 story high-rise was built next to a single home gated community which has begun to experience water drainage issues, sinkholes and many other underground problems within a year after the high-rise was built.

It's interesting to run the historical and current GPS temporal data from the geotagged buildings and watch how they move around over the course of a year.

Kelowna is built on a seismic fault line and floodplain and the closest bedrock, which itself is mostly shattered scree from the last ice age, is 300 feet in places.

The loam on top of the scree debris is what made the valley a perfect agricultural zone.

Most buildings here are floating on this floodplain debris and this requires some particularly specialized engineering.

The information is out there for non engineers if you know how to search ...

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Re: Developers Can Do Better

Postby unimpressed » Aug 28th, 2017, 7:22 pm

The Developer comes back with a even higher tower 32 stories now ... was there not a "vision" from Kelowna City Planner about this particular portion of the water... maximum height 16 stories...

I guess what the Developer wants the Developer will get ... regardless of the "vision" for the downtown waterfront.

Kelowna City Planner should send him back and make this Developer adhere to the "vision" plan and/or move the infamous tower away from the water which will still have a great view for the money people. Kelowna is just getting bigger and bigger and now this new tower will probably steal even more waterfront for their boats, etc. A few hard benches on a paved area for walking... very appealing for a family picnic.

The scariest part of all this project... projected 30 months of construction ... and that if all goes well... From what street to what street will the barriers go to... how about the businesses already struggling to make it. Downtown is already not great to go park... imagine then.

P.S. Let's not forget the Tourist Information booth will also go downtown at the water... another construction project happening down there. Still don't know how the big RVs or smaller ones for that matter are going to be able to park and go to that Info Tourist booth. When they see the parking troubles I guess they will just continue their way to Vernon or Penticton.

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Re: Developers Can Do Better

Postby Omnitheo » Aug 29th, 2017, 7:15 am

How will having more people living downtown hurt struggling businesses?
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Re: Developers Can Do Better

Postby Fancy » Aug 29th, 2017, 9:24 am

unimpressed wrote:The scariest part of all this project... projected 30 months of construction ... and that if all goes well... From what street to what street will the barriers go to... how about the businesses already struggling to make it. Downtown is already not great to go park... imagine then.

P.S. Let's not forget the Tourist Information booth will also go downtown at the water... another construction project happening down there. Still don't know how the big RVs or smaller ones for that matter are going to be able to park and go to that Info Tourist booth. When they see the parking troubles I guess they will just continue their way to Vernon or Penticton.

I would imagine the barriers would be similar to the other tall buildings that have been built - businesses will still be accessible. Think of all the restaurants that will be busier. The new tourist centre won't be catering to vehicle traffic so RV's are a non-issue.
An older thread on this:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=55410

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