Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Builder beware

It seems that my post on Green Seed's nine-month wait for permits for the Youcube condo development on Waterfront Drive was noticed in certain offices around town, and served as grease for the wheels a little. And so it may be possible that Green Seed may actually get the go-ahead with a few months of the 2009 construction season to spare.

There is something not right when Centre Venture needs to spend their time encouraging PP&D (and one of their structural reviewers it particular, it seems) to do their jobs in a timely and competent fashion for (unconnected) developers. Whatever gets the job done, I guess. And in this environment, the job of getting market housing developments approved downtown does not occur often. I wonder why.

Anyway, here is an annotated (and abridged) chronology of the Gong Show:

09.09.08 Architect Applies for foundation permit

05.01.09 Permit Tracker confirms Permit has Been Awarded
Architect calls the City to check the progress of the permit. They are informed that the permit has been awarded. Architect informs Client. 1 hour later the City calls back to inform the Architect that they were mistaken.

27.03.09 Architect Resubmits full Architectural and Structural Drawing Set in Response to Phone Conversations
Full Permit Architectural Drawings are resubmitted to provide a current coordinated drawing set for reference purposes only, as specifically requested by the structural examiner. Structural examiner ensures architect that the project will be a high priority.

09.04.09 Architect Follows up with the structural examiner to discover a full, new sealed drawing set is now required, ‘not for reference only’, as previously requested. Architect is also informed that further review will take additional 3-4 weeks from the date of the new submittal.

15.04.09 Architect Resubmits full Sealed Architectural Set in Response to Phone Conversations
Current, sealed Architectural drawings reflecting both phases of the building are submitted at the insistence of the Structural Plan Examiner.

21.04.09 Phone Conversation Regarding Fire Protection Issues
As sealed Architectural drawings now reflect both phases of the development, fire protection issues that were to be ignored until phase 2 are being looked at again contrary to previous letters + agreement between the City and the Architect.

27.04.-06.05 Architect Over 10 working days Architect leaves three phone messages with the structural reviewer.

06.05.09 structural reviewer responds via e-mail simply stating that the review process is still underway, there is no indication if the current drawings will be acceptable.

15.05.09 Architect Calls the city repeatedly, requesting information on the status of the application.
Upon architect insisting, permit coordinator arranges for a conference call with the head of Plan Examination Department, Structural Examiner and Architect to try to provide a solution to the drawn out process, and try to find how to move the project forward. Architect finally receives a letter stating that full pile calculations must be provided by the structural examiner. [4 weeks after submission]

19.05.09 Engineer Submits full design load calculations to the city once again.


***
It is worth pointing out that this is residential development occuring not in some industrial-zoned corner of South Point Douglas. It does not contravene Plan Winnipeg (for what that is worth). It is not a 50-storey tower, or a stucco garage-fronted detached house (though maybe GS would have better luck if they did that...) It is multi-family infill on Waterfront Drive, which one will recall was built some years ago by the City to serve as a catalyst for exactly this type of development. It should be easier than this.

3 Comments:

Blogger Spenny said...

I'm trying really hard to act surprised about this.

11:18 PM  
Blogger average city said...

Architect reports on their web page that Phase 1 foundation permit has been GRANTED.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Dallas said...

The only problem I see is that those You Cube things are hideous and shouldn't be approved for construction. It should NOT be that easy to defile the downtown streetscape.

10:34 AM  

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