Fox Towers | 107m | 33s | Langham Developments | KENNEDY

What do you think of this project?

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Hugh Jazz

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My personal opinion is that the tower portions of the Fox towers are terrible. They are totally unimaginative and look they they were built off of an unfinished concept. But whatever, design is subjective and I don't have to live there!

My real issue with the Fox is the podium, as I have to interact with that at a street level on a fairly regular basis. It seems like they put so little effort and thought into the podium. It's as if they did a bad quality copy/paste of the Revillon building's façade across the street and then said "yeah, let's turn up the bland on the materials too". Even this could be forgiven though if the street level interaction with the CRUs was good - but it's not. The dim, low, recessed entrances, and the black glass above is so totally uninviting. It may as well be a big blank wall at this point. There's zero provision for patios or any meaningful public/private interaction (Bundok's tiny sidewalk patio doesn't count). The corner at 102 ave and 104 street could've been such a great opportunity for a retail or restaurant if they'd designed it differently, but instead they decided to go for a 90 degree corner with zero street interaction. If all the bays were full with tenants perhaps it would be slightly less horrible, but unless they're willing to go WAY under market value on the leases, I don't see what businesses would ever be attracted to these terrible little spaces. It's just so low effort it's sad - the epitome of "good enough for Edmonton".
 

Daveography

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I don't share the hate for Fox podiums, I find them simple and complimentary without resorting to faux heritage. I'm sure there's some additional touches that could have elevated them a bit more, but to me they look fine.
 

KreationYEG

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I’m on the same side as Dave, sure the podium is not perfect. But I wouldn’t say it’s horrible either, yes it’s not as open as the Ultimas larger windows and CRUs as a whole. But, as the poster did touch on if all of the CRUs were leased it would help. Would I rather have two shiny glass towers out my windows sure. Though At the end of the day I’d rather have those two towers and the density they bring downtown then empty lot/parking lot. There’s only so many buyers for +500k downtown condos in Edmonton anyway, Sky Residences proved that,

For me, I understand the desire to maintain the Heritage zone aesthetic. But some variation on the red brick, like the Clancy renders have is needed. Still have the heritage appeal, but able to use different brick or stone to break up the sea of red brick, that is boring and over done in that area
 
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Hugh Jazz

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I definitely agree on the Clancey comment - I think the variation in the podium is welcome and while different, isn't out of place on 104 street.

Like I said, I could even ignore (what I think is) the overall ugliness of the Fox podium if the street level CRU interaction was better. The Clancey's street level retail interaction looks far more appropriate in terms of the size and scale of the street level windows and entrances. The Clancey takes much better advantage of the prime corner retail location on one of downtown's most important streets.

I just don't want to give the Fox towers a free pass on their podium. I know it's better than a parking lot and I know lots of other developers get away with worse, but I have such a problem with these terrible, empty retail bays on a key street like 104th. It's been 5 years since the fox 1 was completed and 3 years since fox 2 and maybe 20% of the CRUs are full? Lots of other similarly located retail spaces have found tenants downtown over that time period - it can't all be blamed on the economy. How long are we going to have to look at empty retail bays because the developer didn't put enough effort into making the retail space attractive?

Anyway, that's the end of my Fox Towers rant - enough negativity for the year. I try to be positive about most development but things like this that reek of low effort really irk me!
 

westcoastjos

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I definitely agree on the Clancey comment - I think the variation in the podium is welcome and while different, isn't out of place on 104 street.

Like I said, I could even ignore (what I think is) the overall ugliness of the Fox podium if the street level CRU interaction was better. The Clancey's street level retail interaction looks far more appropriate in terms of the size and scale of the street level windows and entrances. The Clancey takes much better advantage of the prime corner retail location on one of downtown's most important streets.

I just don't want to give the Fox towers a free pass on their podium. I know it's better than a parking lot and I know lots of other developers get away with worse, but I have such a problem with these terrible, empty retail bays on a key street like 104th. It's been 5 years since the fox 1 was completed and 3 years since fox 2 and maybe 20% of the CRUs are full? Lots of other similarly located retail spaces have found tenants downtown over that time period - it can't all be blamed on the economy. How long are we going to have to look at empty retail bays because the developer didn't put enough effort into making the retail space attractive?

Anyway, that's the end of my Fox Towers rant - enough negativity for the year. I try to be positive about most development but things like this that reek of low effort really irk me!
I think it is probably a combination of lease rates and lack of regular foot traffic. Sure, there is obviously residential here, but high density commercial in this area is lower than 100/101/102 Street. Downtown workers don't walk very far when there are other businesses on offer in most commercial properties downtown. I think it takes a very specific business to succeed in this area. While folks seemed to loathe the idea, a sports bar would have done quite well in this space. Cosmic Pizza seems to do well. I think the retail bays are pretty good in the Icons/Fox towers, but having previously lived on 104th Street for several years, I can see why it is tough to make it. Not having the farmers market every weekend has reduced business as well - Credo used to be absolutely packed all day on Saturday. To put that in perspective, there are businesses on Whyte Ave that made the majority of their annual income from the several festivals each year that are mightily struggling right now.

I think it is easy to look at a street that is struggling to fill commercial space and criticize the developer, but there are multiple levers that impact the feasibility of these spaces. I think you are going to see more struggles across the city over the next several months with some of the federal programs coming to an end - ones that support individuals AND ones that support businesses. The wage subsidy is propping up a lot of places right now.
 

IanO

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Reference ID:Job No 399904227-002Description:To install (1) Fascia On-Premises Sign(s) (NO SUGAR - NO PROBLEM)Location:10226C - 104 STREET NW
Condo Common Area (Plan 1621915,1523530,1721945)
Applicant:MAMA LEILA¿S KETO TREATS
Status:Intake ReviewCreate Date:6/17/2021 4:05:17 PMNeighbourhood:DOWNTOWN
 

KreationYEG

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DD15B2D4-2E89-4F5B-84CB-0BF60AB5F0D8.jpeg
 
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