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Provincial Super Lab - South Campus

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  • This discussion brings back memories.

    DynaLIFE has been in a holding pattern for a lot longer than it has wanted to be. The space they are in has been totally inadequate for their purposes. And they can't just decide to lease some floors in the type of office towers that are built downtown. They need an isolated space that can be directly serviced by loading docks to bring samples, supplies and new equipment in and out. They were looking forward to getting out of their current digs into a space that they could design themselves that didn't involve the constraints that being downtown imposes.

    Previously, when I was arguing my points about the level of employment that DynaLIFE supports I was sneered at by the urbanistas here because, at the time, what was on the table was a brand spanking new office tower of glorious design and people wanted DynaLIFE gone. People, rightly or wrongly, want to replace this thing with an active streetscape. A lab cannot offer that because it has to be a closed environment. Not only do they deal with medical samples (many of which are hazardous materials) but their equipment is delicate and expensive. Everything is expensive. It cost them a fortune to move into the existing space. They want their next move to be expandable and designed correctly. I still am slightly agape at the poster, at the time, who suggested that a freight elevator was plenty adequate for their purposes.

    And before you get nostalgic about different governments ... the previous government was certainly not going to be building *their* version of the superlab downtown.

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    • This discussion reminds me of the Kingsway Business Association's stance in the municipal airport debate 5 years? ago...
      Edmonton first, everything else second.

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      • I would imagine that the DBA would be in contact with Amazon and be slagging any location in Edmonton that they're thinking of that is not downtown. Tell them that they're making a big mistake if Amazon is even considering a location outside of the DBA boundary. After all, if you can make the other locations look bad, you look good by comparison, right?

        Seriously, the current situation with Dynalife does basically nothing to add to street life. There's no interaction between what is basically a bunker and downtown. The people go in. Some of them emerge for lunch. They go home. The rest of the day, it might as well be a solid block of concrete.

        The DBA has until 2022 to find a replacement or replacements. Four years to fill nothing more than a podium, not even a tower.

        But go ahead, keep fighting for this vital streetscape. Look at those papered over windows. Look at all the people not going in and out. Much better than talking with AimCo and trying to find something more vital for that space.

        https://www.google.ca/maps/@53.54257...7i13312!8i6656

        And if not South Campus, where downtown would you suggest building a building large enough to handle everything this new lab is supposed to, including tests that are currently sent out of city, province and country due to lack of space and specialized equipment? Where are you going to get land as basically no charge since the province already owns the south campus location? And what are you going to do when the new building results in zero street integration like the current location does?

        Downtown should be offices and retail and cultural spaces. A huge, single purpose building that would add nothng except for a lunch rush isn't what downtown needs.
        Last edited by kkozoriz; 09-01-2018, 07:55 PM.

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        • Ian, just to try to walk a mile in your shoes (or moreappropriately being disabled, I’ll try and hobble 500 feet in your shoes) this would be my approach:

          A simple letter to Alberta’s Economic Development and Trade Minister, Deron Bilous…

          Dear Minister Bilous,

          Thank you for reading this letter.

          *Insert opening salutation here describing who you are*

          We are writing to express our concern of the loss of 750 high-paying headcount from Edmonton’s downtown core due to the recent Provincial announcement of the potential relocation of these the laboratory personnel to a new super lab to be built on the south side of the city. It is our organization's sincerest hope that we can retain the skilled professional workers in the downtown core; however, we respectfully abide by the decisions of the Province.

          Should it come to pass that the Province does decide that relocating to super lab versus expanding in situ is the proper course of action, we would like to have a seat at your table to discuss how we could assist you in diversifying Edmonton’s downtown economic opportunities. It is come to our understanding that you have made several trade missions over the past 24 months to various jurisdictions throughout the world. We are very interested in ensuring that not only Alberta prospers, but that downtown Edmonton can continue to enjoy its rise from the ashes. A healthy downtown is a healthy Edmonton.

          Of course, if there is a way we could also have a seat at the table on the relocation conversation of this super lab, we will respectfully accept that invitation and bring our points to the table.

          Thank you very much for your time.

          *Insert closing here *

          Just something I made up in the 5 minutes that my dinner is cooking. You’ll gain a lot more political capital with this approach than ever mentioning a new government. Just my $.02.

          You'll get an answer...you can then decide on a course of action afterward....
          President and CEO - Airshow.

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          • We have worked alongside Councillor McKeen on just that Rich.


            Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

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            • I'm just glad the Edmonton region did not lose those jobs. Everything goes in cycle, DT has lots of new shiny towers, RAM, bike lanes, funiculars and the like. South Campus is not 100 KM from DT, its relatively close. Just as the arena spurred additional construction and opportunities, the move to South Campus may spur other opportunities in the health/medical field around that area.

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              • Or those opportunities could happen Downtown, around the 'health/innovation district'. The Warehouse District has a lot of room to house medical/research/lab space.


                Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

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                • Originally posted by IanO View Post
                  Or those opportunities could happen Downtown, around the 'health/innovation district'. The Warehouse District has a lot of room to house medical/research/lab space.
                  All of which will cost the government more money to rent or acquire the land. At South Campus, the province already owns the land they want to build on.
                  “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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                  • The question then becomes, do we want single use buildings that have transit, but also significant parking facilities with little walkability or connectivity to other things around it, or a more integrated, thoughtful, connected urban centre.

                    Do you want more Whyte Aves, 124sts, 118aves or South Edmonton Commons, Currents, power centres?

                    We need to choose, design, plan and incorporate much more thoughtfully.
                    Last edited by IanO; 09-01-2018, 08:33 PM.


                    Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

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                    • Originally posted by IanO View Post
                      Reaching there.
                      Is it really reaching? You're suggesting that a $400 million investment into the healthcare system and efficiencies therein be curtailed under the guise of fiscal responsibility. I'm suggesting that a recent $600 million dollar investment of public money into a private, profitable, and otherwise self-sustainable business was worthy of the same level of scrutiny. I don't think that's reaching at all.

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                      • ^^ Do you want an LRT that has good ridership numbers? A higher priority for LRT expansion will be given if ridership numbers are high; plus, all LRT tracks go to downtown!
                        Edmonton first, everything else second.

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                        • Originally posted by IanO View Post
                          The question then becomes, do we want single use buildings that have transit, but also significant parking facilities with little walkability or connectivity to other things around it, or a more integrated, thoughtful, connected urban centre.

                          Do you want more Whyte Aves, 124sts, 118aves or South Edmonton Commons, Currents, power centres?

                          We need to choose, design, plan and incorporate much more thoughtfully.
                          Not every square peg can fit into the round hole of downtown. What's next, build a new hosptial inside a bunch of brownstone townhomes in West Rossdale? Perhaps Refinery Row could be squeezed into the old power plant? For that matter why don't we relocate the airport downtown?

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                          • I'm confused... You say...
                            Originally posted by IanO View Post
                            We have worked alongside Councillor McKeen on just that Rich.
                            ...in response to my quickly penned note which could be summed up as, "We get it that you've made a decision, so we would like you to help us replace this headcount. Got any ideas?" ...at best, the seat at the in situ table is a faint hail mary to see if there is a chance...but it is done...a lab needs its specific space for its very specific purpose...

                            to...
                            Originally posted by IanO View Post
                            The question then becomes, do we want single use buildings that have transit, but also significant parking facilities with little walkability or connectivity to other things around it, or a more integrated, thoughtful, connected urban centre.Do you want more Whyte Aves, 124sts, 118aves or South Edmonton Commons, Currents, power centres? We need to choose, design, plan and incorporate much more thoughtfully.
                            ...which in essence chastises the decision and goes back to calling this investment, in a sense, stupid and anti-urban. You go from quietly admitting that this is done, to suggesting absolutely insane locations like the Warehouse District which absolutely does NOT have the space. You cannot look for help and extend an olive branch...only to later whip people with it!

                            Again, you are trying to shoehorn this into a space it obviously does NOT want to be. It is NOT about contributing to "urbanity"...or whatever new buzzword is out now. This is absolutely the wrong institution to hang your hat on for the urbanity cause...especially in the Edmonton/Alberta context. Regardless of administration, GoA made up its mind a long time ago. I found that out the hard way, when the bureaucracy has made up its mind, the administrators don't count. The bureaucracy is the "B" team...they'll still BE here when the new administration takes over.

                            Take kcantor's advice in post #95, which in essence formed the basis of my theoretical letter to Minister Bilous. It really is the best approach. Leave "urbanity" out of this one. This isn't an architectural firm, a bank head office, a retail chain head office, law firm, or government cubicle farm....

                            Like I said before, I wish you all luck on this one. If you win, I will gladly say I was wrong. I just know I wouldn't expend my political capital on a decision that I personally know has been in the works for at least a decade...but then I guess you're a better person than I as you have the DBA job...
                            Last edited by RichardS; 09-01-2018, 09:11 PM. Reason: Fixed ending
                            President and CEO - Airshow.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by ThomasH View Post
                              ^^ Do you want an LRT that has good ridership numbers? A higher priority for LRT expansion will be given if ridership numbers are high; plus, all LRT tracks go to downtown!
                              Or use Bay/Central as is.


                              Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

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                              • The coliseum. .

                                Soon to have a new Yellowhead nearby.

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