Oliver Crossing | 21m | 7s

_urbanite

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Who cares about design, architecture or raising the bar! Insulated box from Yellowknife it is!

What did you really expect to get built here considering the location (next to a university), their target market (students), what our market is demanding (rentals), and the economic climate they started building this in (Covid, supply constraints)?
 

David A

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Not everything can be fabulous. I understand the market for modest student housing they are focused on, given their proximity to MacEwan University. Maybe it will work out for everyone.

My biggest criticism is they they tore down some wonderful old character buildings to build a mediocre project. This sort of backsliding seems to be a common theme in Edmonton.
 

Gronk!

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My biggest criticism is they they tore down some wonderful old character buildings to build a mediocre project. This sort of backsliding seems to be a common theme in Edmonton.

I question how wonderful those old buildings were. Every time I was at Overtime during the summer, there was a noticeable lack of air conditioning - it's like they only built it for the winter but ignored summer. Not to mention that the huge parking lot out front made them no different from the other countless strip malls in this city.
 

EtoV

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Just because they weren't in great shape when they were demolished, doesn't mean they couldn't have been renovated to be better. That also applies to the parking lot, which could have been used in a lot of different ways. Patios, pop up retail, new permanent mixed use buidings etc. We just need more imagination in this City. Beljan has show that these old buildings can be turned into something new and exciting, even if they aren't that at the moment.
 

David A

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Which specific buildings are you talking about?

The homeless/vagrants issue is something all downtowns are experiencing right now and that's because 80% of the daytime population is WFH. Things will get back to normal over the coming months (I am thinking more September).

Another 'uninspiring City Council', too premature to say that at this moment.

Garbage and dirt, we deal with this every year around this time. I really do hope the City gears up their streetcleaning.

Anyways, I am proud of the types of developments we're doing to make this a better City - The Strathcona Hotel, Substation 600, Station Park, Scona Garage, Oliver Exchange 2. Richards Block renovation, with more coming that I would love share. We're doing this because we love this City and believe in its future. Reality is that we could be doing this anywhere, but we remain committed doing it here. It's easy to get 'distracted' with what pisses you off and complaining is easy. Actually wanting to make a difference and influence change takes hard work, perseverance and patience.
You are right there are some good things happening too. I went by the Scona Garage recently, not sure if anything is happening, but hopefully that is progressing. Overall Strathcona and West Oliver are doing ok.

The big problem is in other visible areas and I will mention a few - central downtown (Horne and Pitfield buiding), the empty lot across from City Centre that used to be a wonderful old building, this site and around a dozenf older houses torn down on 98 Ave (between 103 and 105 St and 99 Ave (around old General Hospital) all are empty lots now. I think the Douglas Block in Strathcona is iffy and of course the Arlington and a similar building to the Douglas Block downtown (on 113 St I think) are gone.

So, I would say it is at best 50/50. We don't have a lot of historic buildings left and between fires, being left to fall apart and commercial development there are a number threatened or that have been lost.
 

Greenspace

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Looks like a remand centre or mining camp. The choice of colours is terrible, lack of articulation. Hopefully the balconies add something but holy f this is bad. Especially for such a prominent location, like IanO said, could have looked like Stadium Yards. Exact same kind of product. I've used these prefab cement panels before and it didn't have to look like this.
 

buildings

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^it was never going to look good. imagine the city letting two interesting heritage buildings get torn down for this. I realize that it is targeted as student housing, but hf
 

Greenspace

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For sure I can wait, as mentioned perhaps the balconies will help. But as a designer myself I can already see what the finished product will look like, I've worked with those panels, and it's gonna look like a giant concrete mining camp or soviet bunker.
 

northlands

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494C275C-DC02-4FF9-A52C-E24315665F3D.jpeg


Balconies going on
 

positive1

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For sure I can wait, as mentioned perhaps the balconies will help. But as a designer myself I can already see what the finished product will look like, I've worked with those panels, and it's gonna look like a giant concrete mining camp or soviet bunker.
It's probably going to more resemble an apartment block for students, which is what it is.
 

EtoV

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It's probably going to more resemble an apartment block for students, which is what it is.
Just because it's student housing doesn't mean it has to look like cheap student housing. The londonderry social housing project looks much better than this. Should thet have made a point to make it look worse just because it was social housing?

I'm tired for this apologetics for cheap design. "It's just for students" isn't a good excuse for lazy/cheap buildings. Almost every other city in Canada has figured out how to make their student housing look good, and this building will likely still command the same price point as anywhere else downtown. I'll reserve my judgment as well like everyone else, prefab/tilt up buildings can look good if done right and given additional desing treatment, but a lot would have to done make this look good, like introducing materials and design elements that weren't shown in the renders.
 
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