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What is your vision based on? It's nothing more than "I want Columbia to look like a big city so let's build new freeways through downtown." There's no actual data or professional assessments that dem

Traffic on Assembly is hugely different depending on which segment we are talking about. Excluding game days, when Assembly turns into a parking lot south of Gervais, daytime traffic between Gervais a

Growingup15, this is one of the worst ideas EVER and it would kill downtown.

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I'd definitely prefer an apartment like the ones on Canal Side than an inner suburb house! Even if it's close to downtown, it's still suburbia. Wouldn't dream of it. My ideal is to have a place way out in the boonies AND a pied-a-terre (funky loft space preferably) smack in an urban environment. I wish there were more apartments for sale, not only all these rentals. Also, I wish it would be easier to find a raw loft space I could put my imprint on in stead of those so-called lofts that are all carved up into suburban-home-style extra bedrooms, walk-in closets and multiple bathrooms.

Wouldn't it be interesting for the developers to tap into the demographic of baby boomers and others who now have a large suburban home, say in the north east, who'd like to replace their MacMansion with two places like I described above? This way they'd cut down their daily commuting time, be in the center of things but still have some green and serenity and quiet (and cooler summer temperatures) and go back and forth once or twice a week depending on the season and the distance?

Advantages beyond getting more people downtown: Suburban sprawl would slow, there'd be less traffic, and some poor rural areas would have an influx of people rehabbing old farm houses.

Maybe you could get some unrenovated 2nd and 3rd floor space over Main Street or Vista retail for your loft?

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That's a pretty good idea sojay, but I'm not sure how well such a project might do in Columbia at this stage of the "condomization" of downtown. It would definitely have to start off on a small scale--maybe 10 units or so--to gauge how well it would be received. I know there's a project like that here in Charlotte, but it's in an established neighborhood. I'm not sure how the units are selling, but it's not that big of a project.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Attached is the second letter to the editor of the The State that I've read decrying the aesthetics of Canalside. While I see redeeming qualities of the development so far, I'll have to admit I see why there have been complaints such as this one. I don' t think it looks like a prison, as stated in the first letter I read (referred to in attached letter), but driving in from West Columbia especially the aesthetics leave much to be desired. I hope the next phase will include attractive buildings facing the canal so that the ends of the new buildings will be blocked from view from the west. My partner says they look like modern Europe. I have to keep reminding myself that it must be attractive architecture; after all, a Charleston company is building them.

http://www.thestate.com/letters/story/464380.html

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Attached is the second letter to the editor of the The State that I've read decrying the aesthetics of Canalside. While I see redeeming qualities of the development so far, I'll have to admit I see why there have been complaints such as this one. I don' t think it looks like a prison, as stated in the first letter I read (referred to in attached letter), but driving in from West Columbia especially the aesthetics leave much to be desired. I hope the next phase will include attractive buildings facing the canal so that the ends of the new buildings will be blocked from view from the west. My partner says they look like modern Europe. I have to keep reminding myself that it must be attractive architecture; after all, a Charleston company is building them.

http://www.thestate.com/letters/story/464380.html

You guys know I'm a huge fan of modern architecture, so the boxiness of them doesn't bother me at all. I do think the execution is somewhat lacking, however... they just look really bland.

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I took another good look at them on my way home this afternoon. My partner insists these types of apartment buildings are all over Europe now. His main beef with them is that the dryer vents are aluminum and stick out. Driving in from West Columbia, the sun reflects off of them and there are no windows.

If I think in the Euro-modern-industrial vein and challenge myself I can see it. I'd like to hear responses to the critiques from the architects and the Charleston-based Beach Company.

If this type of architecture is representative of new Europe, maybe the people who live in them over there are the ones my good buddy from Washington, DC, recently referred to as Euro-trash, the Europeans moving to NYC in droves because the dollar is so weak. I don't condone his use of that terminology, but I can see where European apartments that look like the Canalside apartments might house people that some elitist Europeans would refer to as trash.

One thing we do need to remember is that the masterplan calls for grand trees all over the place. They'll go a long way toward buffering the blah-ness.

Edited by CorgiMatt
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Again, I love modern architecture... this isn't great design though. It needs more clean lines. Part of the problem is that they're mixing styles... and not especially well. It's probably an attempt to be edgy and yet remain true to the historical building forms and materials (the red brick) used in the Vista. My question is: Are they going to leave the panels that beige color?? It's blandtastic.

Edited by emerging.me
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I don't have a problem with the architecture there, except the ones with all that beige look incredibly bland and cheap. I think the rest fits into the Vista just fine. I would have expected a lot worse, with some fake imitation of a historic style.

What I DO have a problem with is that they didn't bury the power lines. It should be imperative that any new development, or any time the sidewalks are dug up for new construction, that the lines got buried. Look at all the money that was put into wheat street's streetscaping. Looks great except for the powerlines. And I'm beginning to doubt that the Innovista building at Main and Blossom across from Adesso will be even visible for all those lines. They are putting down the sidewalks there now and the wires are still up. Weren't they supposed to be buried? I know this is not the innovista forum and somewhat off topic, but Canalside should definitely get those underground before paving. Does anyone have the scoop on powerlines and policies? Or is that an exclusive for Main and 5 points and Gervais? If you've lived here for a long time I guess you might not notice them so much, but I can't help but associate ugly utility lines with places that can't pull themselves out of the 50s. In rural areas on smaller roads they seem to crisscross the roads for every single pole like somebody was trying on purpose to make it as ugly and illogic as possible. The other day while driving I was just thinking I should start at photo series of the ugliest views of powerlines around Columbia, but the scope of such a thing would be too grand and aggravating... I can't see the city for the utility lines. I can't seem to tune them out. Maybe venting about it here will help...;-) Sorry.

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Maybe I just need to see it in person, but I don't see the problem with it. The project looks like its rendering more or less... sometimes you need to wait until the trees have time to fill out and the area to get the "new" off of it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It IS pretty ugly. I hope after the landscaping is done, it'll look better, but the view of it on either direction on Jarvis Klapman is horrible.

Yes, it really is ugly. After waiting for such a long time, and having such high hopes for this area, it is really disappointing. Don't the builders and planners realize that they are creating something that is supposed to last for decades, or even centuries - why can't they build something that we can be proud of, and something that future generations will look at and say "they did it well". Right now I can't wait until they tear it down and build something better in its place...

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mr.chips, I'd bet those buildings will be gone 50 years from now. I purposefully drove by there once a week during construction, and was none too impressed. I have to say, that that is more of a widespread problem than just Canalside. I have the same feelings about the McMansions off Alexander Road on the River in WestCo.

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mr.chips, I'd bet those buildings will be gone 50 years from now. I purposefully drove by there once a week during construction, and was none too impressed. I have to say, that that is more of a widespread problem than just Canalside. I have the same feelings about the McMansions off Alexander Road on the River in WestCo.

Yes, maybe. But why can't we get it right the first time - in other words: now! Why not build it really well, with good design and aesthetic appeal. Then 50 years from now they can add to it or renovate it, rather than tearing it down. Besides, who knows what the "historic preservation" guidelines will be 50 years from now. Maybe they won't be able to tear it down then, thinking that they want to hold on to the "best" from the early 21st century. Look at the firehouse on Senate Street - that is not a "beautiful" or even a "historic" building, but rather than tear it down they are renovating it. (not that I am opposed to doing so, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to start with something truly beautiful - like many old buildings in Europe, or in Charleston).

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^But I'm willing to bet that the old fire station HQ's is more structurally sound than the CanalSide buildings.

The only thing I can say here is that the city needs to start demanding quality architecture and eliminate the "well, it's better than nothing" attitude.

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Yes, maybe. But why can't we get it right the first time - in other words: now! Why not build it really well, with good design and aesthetic appeal. Then 50 years from now they can add to it or renovate it, rather than tearing it down. Besides, who knows what the "historic preservation" guidelines will be 50 years from now. Maybe they won't be able to tear it down then, thinking that they want to hold on to the "best" from the early 21st century. Look at the firehouse on Senate Street - that is not a "beautiful" or even a "historic" building, but rather than tear it down they are renovating it. (not that I am opposed to doing so, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to start with something truly beautiful - like many old buildings in Europe, or in Charleston).

I agree completely about how exceptionally bland CanalSide is so far. I guess one explanation on its fast tracking by the city's design review committee is that they didn't want to delay the project any longer, especially when they finally had a willing developer in Beach Co. That's too bad. Columbia deserves better, and that vast acreage could have been thoroughly modern.

The rendering of those condos in Raleigh--now THAT'S what I'm talking about! Sigh . . . guess we'll have to learn to love milquetoast . . .

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I've noticed that renderings have a tendency to look better than the final product... they are usually done before they value engineer everything our of the buildings.

Well, that and they add things to make it more visually appealing.

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