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Thread: A transforming Downtown

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    Default A transforming Downtown

    Edmonton’s downtown a study in transformation
    Don Wilcox | Property Biz Canada

    The move to rejuvenate downtown cores is evident in many cities, but few could boast as much activity, for their relative size, as Edmonton.

    Home to just under a million people, the city is awash in both cranes and surveyors these days. If you wanted to study a downtown in transition, this might not be a bad place to start.

    “There’s a downtown boom going on pretty much across the continent and I think Edmonton is doing better than many,” said Simon O’Byrne, a vice-president of Stantec engineers, during the recent Edmonton Real Estate Forum. “It’s really a kind of back-to-the-city movement happening everywhere.”

    https://renx.ca/edmontons-downtown-s...ransformation/
    www.decl.org

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    But downtown is being ignored by the city and businesses! It's so unfair!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    But downtown is being ignored by the city and businesses! It's so unfair!
    give it a rest... we get that your opinions will never change, circumstances and facts be damned.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    But downtown is being ignored by the city and businesses! It's so unfair!
    give it a rest... we get that your opinions will never change, circumstances and facts be damned.
    I have to admit it made me laugh. Where's your sense of humor?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gwill211 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    But downtown is being ignored by the city and businesses! It's so unfair!
    give it a rest... we get that your opinions will never change, circumstances and facts be damned.
    I have to admit it made me laugh. Where's your sense of humor?
    on one hand, i think it may have been beaten out of me this week so it's a good thing it's friday already...

    on the other hand, i'm not as convinced as you are that it was actually meant to be a humorous post and not one made in earnest.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

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    Quote Originally Posted by IanO View Post
    Edmonton’s downtown a study in transformation
    Don Wilcox | Property Biz Canada

    The move to rejuvenate downtown cores is evident in many cities, but few could boast as much activity, for their relative size, as Edmonton.

    Home to just under a million people, the city is awash in both cranes and surveyors these days. If you wanted to study a downtown in transition, this might not be a bad place to start.

    “There’s a downtown boom going on pretty much across the continent and I think Edmonton is doing better than many,” said Simon O’Byrne, a vice-president of Stantec engineers, during the recent Edmonton Real Estate Forum. “It’s really a kind of back-to-the-city movement happening everywhere.”

    https://renx.ca/edmontons-downtown-s...ransformation/
    Thanks for this article Ian.

    It is true - regardless of the catalyst - that downtown is changing rapidly. I still remember a RatHole, an ugly bridge over an uglier rail yard, the CN tower forlorn outside the CBD, a DT without a ManuLife, etc. We've had building booms before, and this one is pretty nice to see. While I am not a subscriber of Downtown Uber Alles, I am a subscriber to the reality that a healthy business core is needed for a healthy city.

    It is time to either incubate the businesses that will grow here and want a central/urban footprint - for that is the only way the coming glut in space will get absorbed. There were some good thoughts in Don's speech yesterday - but they need to be put into action.

    I do like the line about Edmonton being a good case study for a downtown in transition. I'd like to see several papers/researched thoughts on where we are, and our chances to continue...
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by gwill211 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    But downtown is being ignored by the city and businesses! It's so unfair!
    give it a rest... we get that your opinions will never change, circumstances and facts be damned.
    I have to admit it made me laugh. Where's your sense of humor?
    on one hand, i think it may have been beaten out of me this week so it's a good thing it's friday already...

    on the other hand, i'm not as convinced as you are that it was actually meant to be a humorous post and not one made in earnest.
    The best humor always includes an element of truth. Not saying that it's exactly like that but at times it sure does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS
    It is time to either incubate the businesses that will grow here and want a central/urban footprint - for that is the only way the coming glut in space will get absorbed. There were some good thoughts in Don's speech yesterday - but they need to be put into action.

    ..
    You are correct. Outside investors or prospective migrant workers are not interested in your plans they want to know what you are doing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by gwill211 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    But downtown is being ignored by the city and businesses! It's so unfair!
    give it a rest... we get that your opinions will never change, circumstances and facts be damned.
    I have to admit it made me laugh. Where's your sense of humor?
    on one hand, i think it may have been beaten out of me this week so it's a good thing it's friday already...

    on the other hand, i'm not as convinced as you are that it was actually meant to be a humorous post and not one made in earnest.
    The best humor always includes an element of truth. Not saying that it's exactly like that but at times it sure does.
    Isn’t that more often than not predatory, victimizing humour?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenco View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS
    It is time to either incubate the businesses that will grow here and want a central/urban footprint - for that is the only way the coming glut in space will get absorbed. There were some good thoughts in Don's speech yesterday - but they need to be put into action.

    ..
    You are correct. Outside investors or prospective migrant workers are not interested in your plans they want to know what you are doing.
    i’m going to disagree with you both on this one. there might have been some good thoughts but they missed the mark... we don’t need to facilitate the doubling or tripling of the number of startup businesses in tech edmonton from 65 to get where he talked about our going.

    there are more than 36,000 businesses in edmonton already and just about every one of them uses tech in one form of another. if we want to create a culture of tech and innovation and creativity and nimbleness we need to nurture the entire ecosystem, not just a tiny slice of the week regardless of how important the slices are individually. from northern construction to education to research to the financial sector to canada’s health city etc.etc.etc., every one of them was going to be the next greatest slice of bread since we started to slice bread and was going to be the future foundation of our city.

    in the meantime we have a local business that takes more than 8 weeks to get a development permit for its existing cafe only to find out it didn’t include the existing patio and that will likely require as much as another 8 weeks during which he can’t use the patio he previously had..

    if we fix the red tape for businesses like that, we fix it for the startups too. several of our vc investors were called out along with everyone else in the room for not doing more while their core businesses struggle with the same red tape day after day - the same core businesses needed to generate those vc dollars - as that cafe owner.

    we don’t need to city to take over that vc role, we need the city to better enable an overall environment and an ecosystem that will nurture that role and not strangle it. what we have doesn’t exist in isolation and what needs to fixed can’t be fixed in segments or slices - they’re all tied together and they all overlap.

    our new non-stop to san francisco was talked about as a life line. some of us knew about the importance of those life lines a long time ago and fought for the city centre airport closure to enable them as much as to enable more height and more liveable streets in our core. hopefully this one will last longer than dallas/fort worth and london but if it does it will need more paid bums in seats than another set of startups can buy every day every one of those flights needs passengers.
    Last edited by kcantor; 26-05-2018 at 07:45 AM.
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    What justifies an 8 week process for development permits? Common sense would say that if you want growth and development, that that would be the logical first place to look for better efficiencies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevey_G View Post
    What justifies an 8 week process for development permits? Common sense would say that if you want growth and development, that that would be the logical first place to look for better efficiencies.
    that’s for an existing space for an existing business...

    development permit timing for new projects is measured in months and where rezoning and arp amendments are necessary it can easily stretch to years. while most sophisticated developers can manage that, it is still an expensive part of the process for the end users who ultimately pay the bill and delays their ability to occupy the space they need.

    it’s the end users, the operating businesses, that need to have shorter, cleaner, faster runways than developers per se. and, to be fair, not all businesses need a new development permit to operate in all spaces. it is still, however, a good indication of the underlying cultural changes which need to be made.
    Last edited by kcantor; 26-05-2018 at 03:25 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevey_G View Post
    What justifies an 8 week process for development permits? Common sense would say that if you want growth and development, that that would be the logical first place to look for better efficiencies.
    that’s for an existing space for an existing business...

    development permit timing for new projects is measured in months and where rezoning and arp amendments are necessary it can easily stretch to years. while most sophisticated developers can manage that, it is still an expensive part of the process for the end users who ultimately pay the bill and delays their ability to occupy the space they need.

    it’s the end users, the operating businesses, that need to have shorter, cleaner, faster runways than developers per se. and, to be fair, not all businesses need a new development to operate in all spaces. it is still, however, a good indication of the underlying cultural changes which need to be made.
    Ahh I misread on my cell phone gotcha. Could the city ever outsource logistics matters like these? Give set standards by which permits are approved and hand off to a company to review and oversee approval? I'm sure you'd have a great deal of businesses which excel at administrative processes eyeballing a contract like that.
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    I agree that the downtown is finally transforming and it is looking really good. With the new buildings going up and with the attractive renovations and repurposing's of other buildings, more and more activity and life is coming and staying in the core.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

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    @kcantor -

    I won't argue at all about how the current bureaucratic quagmire that plagues us is a serious delimiter to growth. ...nor was I saying startup after startup is needed. We've had some successes, and I will admit I may have misused the term incubate, but I tire of seeing home grown business have to leave. ...for all the reasons you mention and more... I may be optimistic, but I hope that with the recent revelations that the City Corp is sufficiently embarrassed...

    What I am trying to unsuccessfully say is that VC's, people, potential workers, etc. have the same attitude as anyone else...what's in it for me?...and what have you done for me lately?
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
    @kcantor -

    I won't argue at all about how the current bureaucratic quagmire that plagues us is a serious delimiter to growth. ...nor was I saying startup after startup is needed. We've had some successes, and I will admit I may have misused the term incubate, but I tire of seeing home grown business have to leave. ...for all the reasons you mention and more... I may be optimistic, but I hope that with the recent revelations that the City Corp is sufficiently embarrassed...

    What I am trying to unsuccessfully say is that VC's, people, potential workers, etc. have the same attitude as anyone else...what's in it for me?...and what have you done for me lately?
    @RichardS, so far anyway it looks like a pretty agreeable day as i won’t argue with your point either. in fact, i agree that your global reference to a bureaucratic quagmire is more accurate than than the examples i noted because it isn’t just development permits - it’s a culture that encompasses transportation and taxation and public consultation and policies and procedures and accounting and accountability. and it’s rarely the individuals who are almost without question dedicated and trying to do their best.

    if i was going to question anything however, it might be the premise that everyone is questioning what’s in it for them or what the city has done for them lately. i think most people want the city to “enable and get out of the way”, not to “do”.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

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    Let's be realistic here: the problem is not that it takes 8 weeks to get a development permit. That is probably shorter than the majority of Canadian cities.

    The problem is a lack of critical mass of population to support these enterprises and the absence of supporting clusters.

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    ^more or less.
    www.decl.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by AAAAE View Post
    Let's be realistic here: the problem is not that it takes 8 weeks to get a development permit. That is probably shorter than the majority of Canadian cities.

    The problem is a lack of critical mass of population to support these enterprises and the absence of supporting clusters.
    I won't give you a Comme ci, comme ça, or a 6 in one hand, half dozen in the other, because that is exactly the problem. Wishy washy need not apply.

    You're correct, a key issue is critical mass. However, the issues I cite feed into that global concern...and that is there are impediments to getting that critical mass here that the people now asking for VC's et al to step it up...well...frankly need to simultaneously take care of their back yard.

    Investors are fairly simple. They go where they can make money. The market speaks...sometimes not to our social engineering liking...but it speaks loudly.

    I won't dare say that a development permit issue is the key to end this concern. It is just a symptom of a much larger problem...and a symptom of a small city on the cusp of stepping to the next level. It actually is the source of most of my critiques since starting C2E...we've got to stop being a big small town. That puts us on a global competition footing...so as I said before, it is a conversation of what's in it for me...and that is ROI.
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    (...) i think most people want the city to “enable and get out of the way”, not to “do”.

    ...enable and get out of the way...is doing. AKA doing their part...
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

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