Sunday, July 06, 2008

Publicity, and the high cost of free parking

It's tough to think on your feet, and though my thoughts on the stadium have since developed, and dancing at Much Music Video Dance Parties to "Groove is in the Heart", "All that she wants", and "November Rain" were obviously the best thing about growing up in the '90s (not getting smokes, which I didn't even do), I do appreciate that I didn't sound like too much of an idiot in the interview I did with Bartley Kives at the Free Press.

We asked...Rob Galston - WFP

Another work from reporter Bartley Kives this weekend was a column that keenly pointed out the failed legacy of downtown megaprojects, and more importantly, the City's apparent disinterest in learning from these failures. Amazingly, after decades of mistakes, the same wishful thinking persists: that if only the funding is politically agreeable and the vision is great, then nothing--not even the design, context, or use(s) of the project--matter.
Downtown needs residents, not visitors - WFP

In Point Douglas, the residents, their homes, and any other semblance of a useable neighborhood are the greatest assets there, and the only foundation that true renewal can be built upon.

And it appears that any process of land assembly that involves uprooting the people of this little neighborhood will be a tricky thing, as Adrian over at confirms, one resident of the south Point has indeed put up his house up for sale for the sum of $749,000.

One has to wonder, since governments were cool to the idea of giving Mr. Asper millions to build in the valuable Polo Park shopping area, why are they talking of giving millions more to renew a neighborhood where a house is (rightfully) selling at $750,000 ?

Meanwhile, someone is apparently indifferent to standing right where a conceptual rendering says a hotel parking lot will be, since at some time in the last week, they have undertaken the task of adding a new trendy-colored coat of paint to their charming interwar house on Grace Street.

For more pictures of Grace and Curtis Streets in south Point Douglas, see the excellent photographic work of Adrian at


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Rob,

I'm a little confused about your position after reading your posts and op-ed on the subject. Are you for the proposed stadium but think that it will not help with downtown redevelopment?

If you think that it could be beneficial, could you flesh out a few more details about what would need to happen (or not happen) in order for this project to be worthwhile for the downtown?

5:28 PM  
Anonymous R & S said...

Hi Mike, at the time when I submitted an editorial to the WFP, and when I was interviewed by Bartley Kives over a week ago, one thing I completely ignored, that I have since found impossible to ignore, is the unavoidable giganticism of a stadium. Even before parking facilities come into play, a stadium would be too large for Point Douglas, or any other urban setting. Much of what else David Asper had talked about to Point Douglas residents at the meeting I attended were exciting prospects: new development on vacant sites, re-use of historical warehouses, and the retention of the small collections of houses. While I am increasingly skeptical that any of this could become a reality under the Asper plan, it still sounds like good ideas to me.

What does not sound good, and what I should have remembered throughout this, is the stadium itself. I do not believe that a stadium is capable of raising land values and desirability enough to spur mixed-use development. In fact, it could impede not only this kind of development, but the small-scale development that is occuring now (Ie- renovations on Grace Street).

6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel the same way. I love the river front redevelopmet, the water park, the warehouse development, the condos, etc. But it is the stadium that feels out of place.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a stadium is a stadium. Even if planned properly you are still left with large surface parking lots and many big roads dissecting the community, and many days of not much anything else going one.

Sorry Rob. Your sounding like a politician not a community advocate.

At least with Dallas he never gave an inch. You are turning already.

10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Sorry Rob. Your sounding like a politician not a community advocate.

At least with Dallas he never gave an inch. You are turning already."

Nor did he get an inch. There is room in discussions for compromise, consideration, and grey areas. Rob is certainly an advocate for the area, but maintains an open mind to creative ideas.

I don't support the stadium in that location but welcome the room that Rob has created for open discussion.

1:43 AM  
Blogger David Watson said...

If the rumours on New Winnipeg today are true the eyes of Sam Katz and David Asper may already be on yet another stadium site. (Can Mayor Sam endorse three sites with MOUs at the same time?) The site of the stadium will soon be yesterdays's Upper Fort Garry. Hopefully this added publicity for Rob and his blog will raise the profile and level of all Winnipeg blogging. Skyscraper members have incredible skill sets and New Winnipeg posters have incredible enthusiasm to get to the heart of the matter, but neither forums are as accessible to the public as the blogosphere. Robert Galston is indeed "the man", but not in the way that the WFP alludes, so of course I am giving Rob a bouquet, not a beef.(In joke for us older Winnipegers.)

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frankly, they should build three stadia and three water parks! No developper left un-turned! Endorse everything!

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Dallas said...

Hey Moreau, I got more (column) inches than you'll ever get, so STFU and think before you type. What are you doing besides writing some nerdy-ass blog that maybe like 5 people read?

Thousands of listeners on CBC Radio and Kick FM learned about the Wilson subway yesterday, and our website is on course to receive 3000+ unique visitors this month. We've printed 1100 pamphlets and more are on the way.

There's no room for compromise when it comes to issues like mowing down (what remains of) South Point Douglas to build a damn minor league football stadium—this plan ought not to go ahead in any form. And while Rob G. might've had a momentary lapse of reasoning, he's come around to recognize the absurdity and the danger of Asper's idea.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you conducted any polls lately?

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dallas: Your true colours shine through. Thank you for demonstrating zero political asumen! Alienating others at no gain to yourself is certainly the best way to build a political coalition. Best of luck with that!

And if I only get 5 visitors a day, then I am thankful for all 5 of them. I don't tend to measure myself worth in inches but in experiences, wisdom, and treating others with respect.

(Apologies if this is a repeat. The computer cut out while posting another similar comment)

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

acumen, not asumen.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Dallas said...

As a phenomenon, blogs are a rich source of bemusement to actual writers—sort of what YouTube is to film-making. Am jobs like Moreau can come online and shoot their textual big mouths off at us professional blowhards. But since you brought up the subject of character flaws, you're an annoying nerd that dresses badly with a third-rate education and a sleepy prose style. As for my political acumen—I'm not a politician. Nor am I "building a political coaltion"—I'm just writing about the city, and since the consensus seems to be that a subway will never happen anyway why shouldn't I say what I think—especially when you go out of your way to malign my accomplishments?

3:09 PM  

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