Union Park | 303m | 58s | Oxford Properties | Pelli Clarke Pelli

Amare

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I can see that more though. CIBC is just a big set of towers. The retail isn't existant and the park is like 6 stories up.
More than half of those residents dont know what's really going on behind the scenes with CIBC Square. I'd wager you that you ask them, all they know is that it will an office tower that will be the headquarters for CIBC. They dont know that there is a second phase, nor do they know that the Union Station Bus terminal will be relocating there (despite all the signs), or that there will be a park, retail component, etc, etc... I can go on and on about how little they really know about the development.

Union Park will suffer from the same issue of people being so oblivious, but probably to a bigger extent.
 

SonyPayStation

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More than half of those residents dont know what's really going on behind the scenes with CIBC Square. I'd wager you that you ask them, all they know is that it will an office tower that will be the headquarters for CIBC. They dont know that there is a second phase, nor do they know that the Union Station Bus terminal will be relocating there (despite all the signs), or that there will be a park, retail component, etc, etc... I can go on and on about how little they really know about the development.

Union Park will suffer from the same issue of people being so oblivious, but probably to a bigger extent.
I am not really concerned about Union Park. You can argue the architecture is better or worse, but it has way clearer public benefit: park is 3x and at-grade, retail is like 5x and isn't just a food hall, there is a massive PATH connection, there is a pretty big daycare, there is a bunch of rental.

I guess the point is, however, now that I'm typing it, is that UP can provide all this and people still would just see the towers .... which I guess is what you're saying.
 

SonyPayStation

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Some notes from the Union Park meeting on Monday night.

First of all, and perhaps most meaningful from a general perspective, is that turnout was very light - maybe 20 to 30 at most people other than those from the City and the proponent. This was after the City sent out 7,000 notices of the meeting by mail to area residents and businesses. Notice of the meeting was also sent out by e-mail to those who had signed in with the e-mail address at the first information meeting (which is how I found out about it, as we live outside the immediate catchment area for the project).

While there were several individual concerns raised by individuals who were present, there was obviously no community groundswell of opposition that some development proposals have generated. No heated questions, no abuse directed at any of the proponent's representatives. If it were just up to community reaction, the Union Park proposal should have no problems sailing through the approval process.

Additional detail on the Front Street frontage of the building and preliminary concept plans for the overpark area were presented. Minor changes have been made to the podium, particularly along Front Street to soften up the streetwall appearance, and additional access point to the park, from the Rogers Stadium side is to be provided.

Some of the questions which came up included:
  • impact on the community during the construction process - a construction management plan is to be developed, but that will be later in the development application process, and it is too early to have any details
  • potential impact on the view of and from the CN Tower
  • increase in vehicle traffic - the four new buildings in the complex will have a total of approximately 600 parking spots in the garage for both the office and residential and office areas. The two existing buildings at 315 / 325 Front (formerly the Royal Bank buildings )have about the same number of existing parking spots, so there will not be any material increase in vehicles on the site.
  • Shadow impacts - shadow studies are available, but the shadowing impacts are relatively minor. The recently approved 400 Front Street project will have a much larger impact on Clarence Square, and any impacts from Union Park will fall within shadowing that either already exists or has been approved.
  • Overall Density - one question on density, the total and breakdowns of residential, office, and commercial were presented - no follow up questions or pushback
  • Is there potential for the residential units to be sold off as condominiums - a firm comment from Oxford - it is owned by OMERS, the entire intent is to create a long term income flow to fund OMERS pension obligations, so absolutely no consideration of selling the residential units as condominiums.
  • Construction timeframe is estimated to be three to three and a half years, starting in 2023 at the earliest.
  • traffic management, deliveries, loading dock arrangements for move-ins/move-outs, garbage, supplies deliveries for the offices, commercial areas - restaurants and retail - Taxi, Uber and Lyft pick-up and drop-off. There will be no vehicle access from Front Street - there will be continuous sidewalk with no curb cuts or vehicle crossing. Two vehicle access points from Blue Jays Way are planned. The entry to the parking garage and loading dock areas will be down a ramp to a lower level - loading docks will not be visible from the street. There will a special area for smaller delivery trucks with easy access to the lobby areas for package deliveries. There will also be a grade level driveway / layby area for people to be dropped off / picked up without the vehicles (friends / family / Uber / Lyft / Taxi) to wait, load and unload their passengers without blocking a lane on Blue Jays Way. Given the traffic on Blue Jays Way, consideration is being given to having right turns only during rush hours - entering and exiting the site during rush hours would only be allowed from north-bound Blue Jays Way, turning right to go into the site when entering, and turning right toward Front Street when exiting. Left turns into and out of the the site from / to southbound Blue Jays Way would be allowed outside of rush hour traffic conditions - have to see how that would work.
Construction timeline is at least 6 years ... must have misspoken at the event. All of their other comms are 2029.
 

AHK

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Construction timeline is at least 6 years ... must have misspoken at the event. All of their other comms are 2029.
I had not seen any other communications regarding the project, and was just summarizing what was said at the meeting - however a six year construction timeframe would be a lot more reasonable. The 2023 anticipated start date would be the start of demolition of the existing two buildings at 315 and 325 Front Street - my guess is that would take up much of the first year, followed by any shoring and excavation required below what exists now for the two former Royal Bank buildings - before actual construction can begin. I thought that the three and a half years was, to put it mildly, extremely developer optimistic - possibly triggered by the construction disruption concerns raised by a couple of nearby residents at the meeting.
 

SonyPayStation

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I had not seen any other communications regarding the project, and was just summarizing what was said at the meeting - however a six year construction timeframe would be a lot more reasonable. The 2023 anticipated start date would be the start of demolition of the existing two buildings at 315 and 325 Front Street - my guess is that would take up much of the first year, followed by any shoring and excavation required below what exists now for the two former Royal Bank buildings - before actual construction can begin. I thought that the three and a half years was, to put it mildly, extremely developer optimistic - possibly triggered by the construction disruption concerns raised by a couple of nearby residents at the meeting.
I hear you. I agree.

1 year demo (12 months)
12 weeks for each below grade level (so 12 months)
4 weeks for each podium level (6 months)
3 weeks for each typical office level (42 months)
 

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