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Amazon Second HQ

syn

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I thought of another site...Ontario Place and the CNE.

Hear me out...

If we take the entire Ontario Place and the parking lots at the CNE it is perfect for a mid-rise European style walkable mixed use community. You have offices in the upper floors and retail and restaurants all along a bunch of boardwalks near the water. This basically takes up all of Ontario Place and is phase 1.

Behind these mid-rise offices you can have taller commerical and residential that is on both sides of lakeshore. But we infill so that the first floor is above lakeshore. Basically lakeshore becomes a sunken highway that is unseen by this new area.

Amazon would keep some of the architecture of Ontario Place alive. Those pods become central hubs with cafes and meeting rooms. Guest lectures at the cinesphere.

On the weekends with the mixed use community the boardwalk would be busy and the pods are used by the entire community (the cafe potion is public).

The CNE would be no more. Other than the agricultural component it's just become a glorified midway anyways. Why not shift this all to downsview? The CNE, the agricultural buildings and the amplitheature.

As Amazon grows we could consider the future of the convention centre in the middle of nowhere. Double the size of the MTCC with Oxford and double the size of the ones at the airport.

Other than a few quirky historical buildings (which gives it character) it gives Amazon a blank slate to work with.

Now the other criteria...

We can give them enwave centre and the pods for a full year as a temporary office space until buildings are ready.

Transit...we can extend the streetcar from the Ex loop south and into the CNE grounds temporarily. Longer term we extend the Queen's quay tracks along Queen's quay and follow Martin Goodman trail behind the tip top building. Then it can follow lakeshore (south of the road) and loop into Ontario Place before going north to the ex loop (and the RER stop). Makes Harbourfront and Bathurst lines into 1 very long route.

It's also close to king west and liberty village so lots of residential and socializing options.
The Portlands seem like a natural fit too.
 

TheTigerMaster

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I thought of another site...Ontario Place and the CNE.

Hear me out...

If we take the entire Ontario Place and the parking lots at the CNE it is perfect for a mid-rise European style walkable mixed use community. You have offices in the upper floors and retail and restaurants all along a bunch of boardwalks near the water. This basically takes up all of Ontario Place and is phase 1.

Behind these mid-rise offices you can have taller commerical and residential that is on both sides of lakeshore. But we infill so that the first floor is above lakeshore. Basically lakeshore becomes a sunken highway that is unseen by this new area.

Amazon would keep some of the architecture of Ontario Place alive. Those pods become central hubs with cafes and meeting rooms. Guest lectures at the cinesphere.

On the weekends with the mixed use community the boardwalk would be busy and the pods are used by the entire community (the cafe potion is public).

The CNE would be no more. Other than the agricultural component it's just become a glorified midway anyways. Why not shift this all to downsview? The CNE, the agricultural buildings and the amplitheature.

As Amazon grows we could consider the future of the convention centre in the middle of nowhere. Double the size of the MTCC with Oxford and double the size of the ones at the airport.

Other than a few quirky historical buildings (which gives it character) it gives Amazon a blank slate to work with.

Now the other criteria...

We can give them enwave centre and the pods for a full year as a temporary office space until buildings are ready.

Transit...we can extend the streetcar from the Ex loop south and into the CNE grounds temporarily. Longer term we extend the Queen's quay tracks along Queen's quay and follow Martin Goodman trail behind the tip top building. Then it can follow lakeshore (south of the road) and loop into Ontario Place before going north to the ex loop (and the RER stop). Makes Harbourfront and Bathurst lines into 1 very long route.

It's also close to king west and liberty village so lots of residential and socializing options.
I was considering making a thread about redeveloping Exhibition Place a few weeks ago. I'm flabbergasted that in 2017 we've seen no proposals to redevelop these lands. Outside of the CNE, Exhibition Place is little more than a huge parking lot. It's a shame that we have such underutilized land in the core of our city.

These land should be redeveloped, perhaps into something similar to Chicago's Canary Wharf, while also allowing accommodations for the Ex to continue. Or, if not that, into a new mixed use community, while shifting the Ex to the Portlands. With the Waterfront Transit Reset in the works, this is an ideal time to do the.

Anyways, this doesn't have much to do with Amazon, so I'll probably stick this in a new thread.
 

OneCity

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If it comes down to a tax & transit issue, I feel like it's a lot less likely to be built in Toronto than in one of the suburban municipalities, where tax breaks can fly under the radar a lot more easily. Downtown Markham seems like an obvious candidate if RER and BRT is enough for Amazon's standards - lots of vacant land and a long history of giving tax breaks to companies in exchange for employment growth.
Agree. 905 will be undercutting here and have been fairly successful with big companies recently. Toronto should do something around SCC, give a nice tax break. There is land for now, transit, and highway access and they can claim to be located in Toronto. No indication yet the City is interested in making its suburbs to be competitive with the 905, this would be an opportunity. Id like to see it go somewhere in the City at least
 

TheTigerMaster

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If it comes down to a tax & transit issue, I feel like it's a lot less likely to be built in Toronto than in one of the suburban municipalities, where tax breaks can fly under the radar a lot more easily. Downtown Markham seems like an obvious candidate if RER and BRT is enough for Amazon's standards - lots of vacant land and a long history of giving tax breaks to companies in exchange for employment growth.
Agree. 905 will be undercutting here and have been fairly successful with big companies recently. Toronto should do something around SCC, give a nice tax break. There is land for now, transit, and highway access and they can claim to be located in Toronto. No indication yet the City is interested in making its suburbs to be competitive with the 905, this would be an opportunity. Id like to see it go somewhere in the City at least
Amazon is looking to have their headquarters located in urban areas.
 

jje1000

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Hmm, I don't think they'll pick us without the incentives- diversity is a fairly weak argument (you could essentially argue that Boston and New York have similarly diverse tech workforces, larger workpools, and with better schools to boot):

To win, the city plans to emphasize its recent tech boom, access to thousands of well-educated university graduates and, in the age of Trump, the benefits of Canada's immigration system. It's also likely Drake will get name-dropped.

However, the mayor says there's no guarantee Toronto will come out on top when Amazon makes its decision in 2018, especially given the potential tax breaks rival cities and states may lavish on Amazon.
Hopes city won't have to offer major incentives

Toronto Global, a newly-formed organization focused on bringing big business to the GTA, will be working on the bid. Mark Cohon, the organization's chair and former commissioner of the CFL, told CBC Toronto it plans on taking its best shot.

"This is the Olympics of the corporate world," he said.

Cohon (the first to reference Drake and Toronto's music scene) says he'll be working with nearby municipalities over the next month to find potential sites for Amazon, and does believe there's room. The biggest selling point, he says, will be Toronto's workforce.

"Tax breaks won't create talent," he said, taking a swipe at potential rivals.

"People want the access to our diverse talent base."
 
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AlvinofDiaspar

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It should be judiciously applied - tax breaks alone won't be sufficient for the bid - and overreliance on it is for those who overplays their hands.

Boston and New York is also more expensive to set up shop - that's something Toronto can play up. Why pay full New York price when you can get a quasi-New York for half?

AoD
 

44 North

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Toronto should do something around SCC, give a nice tax break. There is land for now, transit, and highway access and they can claim to be located in Toronto. No indication yet the City is interested in making its suburbs to be competitive with the 905, this would be an opportunity. Id like to see it go somewhere in the City at least
I'm sure in Toronto's bid the Centres will be listed, though wonder how that could work with an area like East Harbour since it's not listed as part of our main CBD (nor its own Centre for that matter). But yeah SCC could no doubt be a contender. A solution for Sheppard would probably sweeten that deal more. Just outside Scarb an area that often gets overlooked is Consumers Rd area. Nexus of three expwys (free ones that don't cost your first born to use), seemingly ample space for more offices, andwould only require a single station extension of Line 4 (which theoretically could be interlined with whatever Don Mills rt solution is chosen).
 

OneCity

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I'm sure in Toronto's bid the Centres will be listed, though wonder how that could work with an area like East Harbour since it's not listed as part of our main CBD (nor its own Centre for that matter). But yeah SCC could no doubt be a contender. A solution for Sheppard would probably sweeten that deal more. Just outside Scarb an area that often gets overlooked is Consumers Rd area. Nexus of three expwys (free ones that don't cost your first born to use), seemingly ample space for more offices, andwould only require a single station extension of Line 4 (which theoretically could be interlined with whatever Don Mills rt solution is chosen).
Consumers is a great fit. It was a previously overlooked area, but seems to be getting alot of traction and attention in the last 5 years or so with some condos near Sheppard and a new AUDI and PORSCHE office/dealership which I saw pop up recently. Also the City s finalizing a strategic vision link here so hard to know if most major space has been allocated for already or what can still be acquired. I think the 401 or 404 frontage would also be a requirement if they were to choose either location.
 

OneCity

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Amazon is looking to have their headquarters located in urban areas.
Well that leaves a lot of room for interpretation, but if you are meaning they want to be right near the heart of the City, than the Portlands would be an attractive location to acquire the land. But transit is a bit questionable. I imagine its needs to be as visible as possible land acquisition will also be a major part.

I doubt Amazon cares about whether there is an Audi or Porsche office next door. The firm doesn't strike me as an 80s tech company wanting to locate their HQ out in the burbs (just look at their Seattle footprint).

AoD
The point was im not even sure how much prime land was available should Amazon choose the area anyway and that the area itself was seeing some recent business success and the new plans being drawn up by the City. If anything they would want to be the show piece on that corner which these two have already taken that real estate. The location itself is very good should they be looking for this type of multiple transit modes and marketing. But if they want the downtown "core", I assume they would still want a highly visible location.
 
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AlvinofDiaspar

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Well that leaves a lot of room, but if you are meaning they want to be right near the heart of the City, than the Portlands would be an attractive location. I imagine its needs to be as visible as possible land acquisition will also be a part.

The point was im not even sure how much prime land was available should Amazon choose the area anyway and that its was seeing some success. Nothing to do with Amazon. The location itself is very good should they be looking for this type of location. But if they want the "core", I assume they want a highly visible location.
I don't think anything can match - outside the core proper - the future East Harbour. It's a carte blanche, and the connectivity to the transit network and urban fabric will be second to none. It also has that post-industrial vibe that maybe popular with the new tech firms. Plus proximity to the creative cluster/film studio given their interest in branching out into entertainment.

To me the main question is site ownership and the timeframe for transit and flood proofing works.

AoD
 

OneCity

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I don't think anything can match - outside the core proper - the future East Harbour. It's a carte blanche, and the connectivity to the transit network and urban fabric will be second to none. It also has that post-industrial vibe that maybe popular with the new tech firms. Plus proximity to the creative cluster/film studio given their interest in branching out into entertainment.

To me the main question is site ownership and the timeframe for transit and flood proofing works.

AoD
I agree East Harbour has to be a top choice. Not sure the film industry proximity matters as its Amazon were talking about and they also have a large interest to branch out in every market. Including the car market. Both driverless and buying and selling is a mandate as well. But I really don't dispute the East Habour location in any way,they would have an opportunity to paint their own landmark near downtown. Makes a lot of sense.
 

TheTigerMaster

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So Amazon need's 50,000 square feet of office space by 2019, and this space needs to be expandable up to 8,000,000 square feet. Where in Toronto can accommodate that? East Harbour is often suggested, but that can't be ready by 2019, and even if it could be ready by then, those offices would be in an isolated and desolate part of the city for several years.
 

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