They should approve the parking, if they want business to relocate to downtown they will need this. Hopefully a parking structure is done in a nice fashion that fits the neighbourhood.
I agree with the surprise of no residential other than the townhomes they could do something pretty cool with the surrounding areas
The main thing that site B was earmarked for was parking. That was right from the get go. Because its a conversion project, they couldnt really have undeground parking, so parking would be limited. So once you factor in the parking structure, the only place for high density residential would be on Oak st, and that wouldn't really fit at all.
As for converting the site B buildings into residential, they're not really that nice. They're only one or two storeys. I personally don't think there's any value in them. If you were going to do residential there, I don't think those buildings would be the starting point. You're right loft conversions are very popular, but these would not be popular.
The value to Candan is that they can sell their development to companies stating that they now have more parking, some of which will be public parking.
When the members of the committee brought up designing the structure to fit in with the neighborhood, the architects were not only very responsive to that, but said that was the plan from the get go, for the structure to fit in with the neighborhood and the Tannery project as a whole.
I like that the plan is to fit the parking structure into their surroundings. Yeah I know the buildings are not great, but you never know what a little imagination can do sometimes, but still obviously it is very important for downtown and specifically the Tannery to offer parking to their tenants, to provide that extra incentive to get more job creation in the downtown core. I wish I would have known more about this meeting I would have liked to attend.
Ya, and sometimes I lack that creativity to look at something like those structures and see potential in them.
Heritage Kitchener meets at the start of every month. Here's a run down of what was talked about today: http://www.kitchener.ca/calendar/cal...eb%202,%202010
This is how the Tannery looks today Feb 3, 2010 pictures taken by me. Lots of pictures if I need to take some out let me know.
Lots of pictures is a good thing! Things are starting to progress at the Artisan's building end of things. Looks like lots of new windows and doors. Does anyone know what the plan is for the brick? Restore the original look by getting rid of the paint?
Also great to see they're beginning to frame in the glass atrium.
Leaffan, what'd you think of the buildings on site B having now seen them? (I'm interested as to what everyone thinks too for that matter)
Well I think they have some potential but it doesn't really matter since it looks like a parking garage will be sitting where they are in the future. Is there any time frame on when they will start the parking structure?
Historic Kitchener smokestack to be preserved
February 03, 2010
By Terry Pender, Record staff
KITCHENER — The brick chimney off Joseph Street will be preserved as a reminder to this city’s industrial past, as the old buildings around it are demolished to make way for a parking lot.
The parking is needed to support the ambitious $30 million redevelopment of the historic Lang Tannery building, which contains 330,000-square-feet of leasable space. About half is already occupied and the developer, Toronto-based Cadan Inc., needs additional parking to support what it calls The Tannery District.
“We are very heritage conscious and heritage aware,” Lana Sherman of Cadan Inc. said Tuesday.
Sherman made her comments following a presentation to Heritage Kitchener on Tuesday. The old tannery building was not designated under the Ontario Heritage Act, but Cadan Inc. has redeveloped the property while preserving the historic features of the old industrial complex.
The company has briefed Heritage Kitchener on every aspect of the redevelopment ahead of time.
“The smoke stack is a very unique structure that needs to be preserved,” Zyg Janecki of Heritage Kitchener, said.
The tannery is bounded by Charles, Victoria, Joseph and Francis streets. A digital media centre is expected to move into the ground floor of the building, taking 36,000-square-feet of space. While an agreement has not been signed yet, an announcement is expected soon.
Across Joseph Street are five, small buildings and the smokestack that are about 93 years old and formed part of the tannery complex. This block is bounded by Linden, Joseph, Victoria and Oak streets.
Once the buildings are down, Cadan plans to build a gravel parking lot for 172 cars, “as soon as we can get permission,” Sherman said.
In the long term, a five-storey parking garage will be built on the site and a row of townhouses will run along Oak Street. The garage will provide 640 spaces.
“The demand for parking is driven by the market, it is driven by the office users,” Roland Rom Colthoff, the architect for the tannery’s redevelopment, told members of Heritage Kitchener.
Colthoff, one of the founders of the Toronto-based firm called raw design, said the Tannery District may require up to 900 parking spaces when completely occupied. But that could be reduced if public transit in the core improves, Colthoff said.
“You are competing in a market place where people can go to the suburbs and get a lot of parking,” Colthoff said.
More than one prospective tenant has wanted to locate in the Tannery District, but not before more parking was available nearby, Colthoff said.
The parking lot and future parking garage are the best way to guarantee the future preservation and re-use of the historic tannery building, says a Heritage Impact Assessment.
“The smokestack is the most significant element/building on the site,” says the assessment. “It is one of the last remaining original smokestacks within the downtown that is representative of Kitchener’s industrial heritage.”
John Ariens, a member Heritage Kitchener, urged the developer to locate some industrial artifacts in the court yards and amenity areas of the Tannery District.
“I think there has to be some thought go into it,” Ariens said.
Ariens said the old smoke stack, one of the last in the city, should be protected under the Ontario Heritage Act as soon as the buildings around it are demolished.
The redevelopment of the Tannery District is one of the biggest private-sector investments in the downtown in years. It was sparked by the City of Kitchener’s move to provide $30 million and land to the University of Waterloo for the establishment of a school of pharmacy and a satellite medical school nearby on Victoria Street.
Desire2Learn Announces Planned Move to The Tannery District
Relocation to latest redeveloped historic property in the city reflects company's culture, growth and expanding space requirements
Kitchener-Waterloo, ON | Feb 3, 2010 | http://www.desire2learn.com/news/newsdetails_156.asp
Desire2Learn Incorporated (Desire2Learn), a leading provider of mission-critical enterprise eLearning solutions, today announced an exciting new initiative that will see the company move into The Tannery in the third quarter of 2010.
The company is prosperous and growing with more than 40 positions currently available and dozens more planned. Desire2Learn continues to expand not only its base of operations in Kitchener-Waterloo but also its global team to serve an expanding set of clients across North America and around the world.
The move to the renovated and repurposed space, located between Victoria, Francis, Charles and Joseph Streets in Kitchener, Ontario, will provide Desire2Learn and its employees with the necessary space and environment required to incorporate the current and planned hiring. The space will also be the home for the new Communitech Hub: Digital Media and Mobile Accelerator.
"This region presents an incredible environment in which technology companies can thrive," states John Baker, Founder, President & CEO, Desire2Learn. "The vast talent that can be drawn from local universities and colleges, the training opportunities, supportive government bodies, and organizations, such as Communitech and Canada's Technology Triangle, offer tremendous resources as we actively participate in our local and global communities."
With continuing expansion into new markets, both within Canada and abroad, the move to The Tannery District will enable the four-time Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ winner to continue its focus on business growth and partnership with clients to improve human potential globally by providing the most innovative technology for teaching and learning.
"As we are about to start our eleventh year of business, we are thrilled to be preparing for this move," says Baker. "Excellent synergy will be possible through collaboration and association with other technology tenants in the new facility. It will be an exciting year for Desire2Learn as we focus on our continuing growth plans in an environment conducive to creativity and teamwork."
The rapidly growing client list, now exceeding five million learners worldwide, is drawn from
- Individual schools as well as provincial/state-wide implementations
- Post-secondary educational markets consisting of educational consortiums, research universities and two and four-year institutions
- Corporations and
About Desire2Learn Incorporated
Desire2Learn Incorporated is a world-leading provider of enterprise eLearning solutions that enable institutions and other organizations to create teaching and learning environments that reflect their vision, values, goals, pedagogical approaches and branding. Desire2Learn and its subsidiaries support more than five million learners worldwide and clients include higher education, K-12, as well as associations, government and other leading organizations. Founded in 1999, Desire2Learn is headquartered in Kitchener, ON, Canada with personnel located in North America, the U.K. and Australia. For more information, visit: www.Desire2Learn.com, call 1.519.772.0325 or toll-free 1.888.772.0325 (within North America), 0808.234.6744 (U.K.) and +61 412 067 308 (Australia).
Desire2Learn moving to Tannery building
February 3, 2010 | BY CHUCK HOWITT, RECORD STAFF
KITCHENER — Desire2learn Inc., one of the brightest stars in the local technology sector, has announced it is moving to new larger offices in downtown Kitchener.
The online education company is moving from its present headquarters in the McPherson Centre at King and Water Streets into The Tannery, the renovated and refurbished former Lang Tannery bounded by Victoria, Francis, Charles and Joseph streets.
The move will take place in the third quarter of 2010, the company said in a news release today.
Desire2Learn, which recently settled a bruising patent lawsuit with its chief competitor, also announced that it is “prosperous and growing with more than 40 positions available and dozens more planned.”
“As we are about to start our 11th year of business, we are thrilled to be preparing for this move,” said John Baker, founder, president and chief executive officer of Desire2Learn. “Excellent synergy will be possible through collaboration and association with other technology tenants in the new facility.”
The Tannery will also be home to the new Digital Media Convergence Centre, a $100 million public-private venture led by Communitech, an association of information technology companies in the region.
The 330,000-square-foot Tannery building is being redeveloped by Cadan Inc. of Toronto.
Based in Kitchener, Desire2Learn has a workforce of about 150 employees, including personnel elsewhere in North America, the U.K. and Australia. The company develops software that allows teachers to create websites and run classes over the internet. It is one of the world’s largest players in course management software.
Its client list now exceeds five million learners worldwide, drawn from individual schools, provincial and state-wide programs, post-secondary institutions, governments, healthcare organizations, private corporations and associations, the release said.
Recently, the company got a huge monkey off its back when it settled a three-year-old lawsuit launched by Blackboard Inc. of Washington, D.C., a much larger competitor in the field.
Company officials were not available for comment on the move.
Baker, 33, launched Desire2Learn while still a systems design engineering student at the University of Waterloo. His first contract was designing web pages for professors that students could access to find information about classes.
His first major contract was designing a distance-learning program for the University of Guelph.
Great news we're starting to hear about tenants. Im quite anxious to know who will fill the retail and restaurant spaces. As of know, a Balzac's Coffee, maybe a Firkin pub?
Trash Talk: Reuse in Kitchener on a very large scale
February 6, 2010
Ellen Moorhouse - SPECIAL TO THE STAR
Kitchener's Tannery District is being revitalized. Buildings are being renovated but in a way that retains their historic character.
I love old buildings.
I hate to see them torn down, and I hate to think of all the materials, often irreplaceable in terms of quality, that go to the dump. And I hate to think of the intangible losses, the stories, history and memory that vanish with buildings.
So, it was fascinating to be taken on a tour by Toronto architect Roland Rom Colthoff of The Tannery District, a two-block 2.2-hectare former industrial site in downtown Kitchener that's being given new life and will, in turn, give new life to the city.
Here's where the Lang family tanned hides and produced leather for about a century. During the world wars, the company was the largest supplier of sole leather in the British Empire, according to a heritage study by E.R.A. Architects, helping to put boots on soldiers, saddles on horses and, during World War II, leather fuel tank linings in aircraft.
The project is big. It has a price tag of about $30 million and exceeds 300,000 square feet of space, including retail (Balzac's, the popular coffee shop in Toronto's Distillery District and Liberty Village is opening), new offices and studios within a cluster of buildings. (Originally, there were more than 30 buildings, but small sheds and connecting structures have been removed.)
Some artisans and small businesses with low rent accommodation before the redevelopment have relocated in a refurbished but minimally renovated "Artisan Building" in the Tannery. Other sections are getting a more extensive overhaul, with a glassed atrium entrance and mechanical upgrades, a digital innovation centre and multi-media theatre.
Care is being taken not to overdo the renovation; the aim is to retain the patina of age and reveal the historic industrial architecture. The developer, Toronto-based Cadan Inc., however, is making sure to put in features a young, digitally savvy workforce will want.
As Cadan's managing director Lana Sherman enthusiastically explains: "This is the kind of place that feels like home, it has this really great, positive energy when you walk through it, and everything we're doing in it, all the systems we're putting in, cater to that clientele." That means showers on all floors, indoor bicycle storage, wireless throughout and retail that will support the creative classes hard at work on some cutting-edge inspiration.
Rom Colthoff, the project's lead architect through his firm raw design, points out how the Tannery embodies and facilitates Kitchener's transition from an industrial past to knowledge-based activities, "from boots to brains."
One reason the project is so gratifying, according to Sherman, has been Kitchener's support, a marked contrast to the company's Toronto experiences. The city's mayor cut short a vacation to attend Cadan's first meeting with the city's planning and zoning department, and as Sherman says, "If you have a guy at the top who's sensitive and that involved and that interested in what happens in his community, you know that all the staff is going to be extremely engaged in wanting to see positive change. And it's not just lip service."
Rod Regier, executive director of the city's economic development department, says Cadan's approach was just what the city wanted.
"It's very neat to see a group with their creative energy and their optimism, and their vision for an historic building."
Regier continues: "We're quite committed to the idea of taking heritage resources and working with them. Sometimes it doesn't work. Sometimes the buildings are not in structural shape to do that work, but the Tannery is a fortress."
The project fits with other redevelopments in the area, including University of Waterloo's nearby health sciences centre and its School of Pharmacy, praised by the Star's architecture critic Christopher Hume as an act of civic regeneration and an urban icon.
The city has provided support for the Tannery project through tax increment financing (TIF), which allows a developer to recoup brownfield remediation costs through a tax holiday on the increases in property tax payable once the improved property has been reassessed.
What has a heritage project in Kitchener got to do with trash? It's such a wonderful example of reuse rather than demolition, which was for so many years the preferred and profligate approach. Demolition and construction are big generators of garbage, representing an estimated 30 per cent of the waste stream.
Toronto architect and environmental champion Martin Liefhebber, principal of Breathe Architects, looked at Bridgepoint Health's proposed demolition of the Riverdale Hospital "half-round" building, constructed in the 1960s. Pulling the poured concrete structure down would take six months, he estimates, a dirty task, and the 27,000 tons of waste has to be hauled away. The natural capital, represented by water, aggregate and greenhouse gas-producing energy that went into manufacturing its components, is squandered, just when we're trying to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Why not reuse the 316,000-square-foot building, which is of architectural interest, as seniors' housing, he asks. Why not indeed.
good article. The King/Victoria are will be booming soon. I am excited to see the final product.
All they need now is to get the old Collins and Aikman plant started in a similar revitalize and hopefully demo that chinese place and put a transit hub for go/lrt, etc...
Once those happen it will do wonders for the downtown.
March 1, 2010
Digital hub to set up shop in Tannery building
March 02, 2010
BY ROSE SIMONE, RECORD STAFF
KITCHENER – It’s official. The new centre that is being created to foster the development of the digital media economy in Waterloo Region will make its home in the redeveloped historic Lang Tannery building in downtown Kitchener.
After months of speculation the centre would be a tenant in the Tannery building, it was officially announced today that The Communitech Hub: Digital Media and Mobile Accelerator, more commonly known as The Hub, will lease 30,000 square feet of space in the building at Victoria and Joseph streets.
The building, owned by Toronto-based developer Candan, has been undergoing a massive $30-million redevelopment. The digital hub is expected to move in this summer.
The centre will partly be an incubator to grow early stage companies that are developing new digital media products, said Kevin Tuer, vice-president of digital media for Communitech, a technology association in Waterloo Region.
In addition to the 5,700 square feet of space devoted to the new enterprises, the centre will also have 3,000 square feet of “partner lab space” for large established technology companies, such as Christie Digital, Open Text, Agfa Healthcare and Research in Motion, Tuer said. They will use the space to showcase technologies and foster potential partnerships with the startups.
“It is all about spurring innovation,” said Tuer, also director of the Canadian Digital Medial Network. “The larger, established companies might give them a platform from which they can build out and roll out their products.”
“There is a lot of excitement building around the creation of an environment where some of these relationships can take hold,” he said. “We are already getting interest in terms of companies willing to move in.”
Digital media is being broadly defined to include not just computer games and social media, but also digital tools that can help health care, finance, mineral exploration and other sectors collect, organize and visualize data.
The centre will also be used for events. There will be space for speakers and meetings, state-of-the-art videoconferencing capabilities and experts on hand to help the new businesses grow.
The digital media centre will open sometime this summer, Tuer said.
It will operate using a similar model as the Accelerator Centre in the University of Waterloo Research and Development Park, Tuer said.
The centre in Kitchener is part of a larger digital media hub that includes the University of Waterloo Stratford Institute in Stratford, which will graduate students who will work in digital media.
The centre in Kitchener represents an investment of more than $100 million, Tuer said, with money and in-kind donations being pledged over the next five years by the Ontario and federal governments, the City of Kitchener and industry partners.
Businesses will also pay a fee to have a space in the hub, Tuer said. “Our intent is to have it be self-sustaining.”
With the global digital media market expected to grow into a $2.2 trillion industry, the various levels of government are keen to have Canada and Ontario primed to grab part of that market. “I think this is the next step in our evolution,” Tuer said.
This is excellent news, great to see "the Hub" as a confirmed Tannery tenant, I really hope this is the start to something big.
Ya great news indeed. And especially because they're taking one of the larger (or largest) units. That's usually one of the harder ones to sell. Having a tenant like this is great, and will be very steady and reliable.
Imagine if Rim, instead of building cheap and ugly buildings in suburbia took over 3 or 4 of these old warehouses, and moved their R&D, marketing etc staff into such structures! It would suddenly give a massive boost to downtown Kitchener, much like you see in Griffintown, Montreal.
Ya that would have been amazing. But surprisingly, there might not be enough old warehouses haha. Now if they built a 25 floor office complex, that should do it.