Last week, Fortis Properties announced their $75 million-dollar plan to build a 15-storey office building in downtown St. John’s. If St. John’s approves, this would include a courtyard area, 235,000 square feet of new office space, and 382 new underground parking spaces.
It also involves removing a number of historical buildings, including my own office building facing the harbour. As you can imagine, there are some people who are outraged with this idea.
I have mixed feelings, and I’m obviously a little biased. On one hand, the downtown area is in dire need of more parking space and we could certainly bring more development to the area. Newfoundland is booming right now, our minimum wage will soon be on par with Ontario and we’re finally a “have” province. It’s important to keep our economy up.
On the other hand, I can’t believe they’re tearing down my building. In fact, I MOVED DOWNTOWN to be close to work, and now I’m told I have to uproot again? I can’t afford to relocate. I can’t afford a monthly bus pass. I don’t want to move, I love downtown, it’s the most amazing place in the world to live. Sure the building leaks, the elevator is haunted and the insulation sucks…but it’s a lighthouse. And the view? Incredible.
Never mind the fact that the building they’re planning to erect will pretty much entirely block out the view of The Narrows and Signal Hill from many viewpoints. And the proposed building? Devastatingly ugly. We are blocking out the greatest view in the city for THIS?
In my opinion, downtown St. John’s is what separates the city from any others. Our skyline is not filled with skyscrapers and towers and office buildings, but brick buildings and historical property and adorable little shops with colourful fronts. There is no intimidation. Our people don’t scurry along the sidewalks, barely looking at one another or walking with eyes downcast. We smile, peek into restaurants and pubs and stop to listen to fiddle music along the way.
And now we’re looking to transform. We’ll be all about business, like Stavanger and Kelsey Drive and those other ugly areas of town, seemingly banished to the outskirts due to their lack of eye candy.
This brings up the question I asked before: how long before we’re just like everywhere else?
Finally updated the “My Map” page at the top of this site. Just throwin’ down ideas, as I have the memory retention of a peanut.