7 September 2015
Charlotte Wain, City Planning Office
Dear Ms Wain,
The DRA Land Use Committee along with representative owners from 601 Herald recently met twice with the developer and architect of Kunju, 613 Herald. We had a full and cordial discussion of all the points that the DRA and 601 had objected to. At the conclusion of the second meeting all the DRA LUC members who attended supported the revised version as it seemed to address all our objections.
In particular, the DRA concerns about quality of materials, vehicle access, and impact on 601 Herald were dealt with very well. As to the issue of materials, the developer and architect committed to using full brick, to high quality coated paneling, and to a finished side wall. The narrower vehicle entrance improves the liveliness at the street, and the revised massing at the rear of the building has much less impact on 601.
Although the DRA generally is wary of taller buildings in Chinatown and Old Town, in this case we accept the addition of the sixth floor. We strongly endorse the courtyard, the green wall, and the revised configuration at the rear of the building. The sixth floor seems necessary to arrive at a good solution at this particular site, and the revised design as presented to us at the last meeting both fits in well with the surrounding existing buildings and follows the City’s design parameters for Chinatown.
We hope that these improvements will receive a positive reaction from the City, and look forward to evaluating the next iteration of the project.
Robert Florida for DRA LUC
Cc: DRA LUC, Conrad Nyren, Charlayne Thorton-Joe