Posts tagged ‘Construction’

Waterloo Region Says Rapid Transit Project Attractive to Builders

Regional officials say the $818-million rapid transit project is getting a lot of attention from potential bidders.

“Our project is actually looking very attractive right now,” Thomas Schmidt, commissioner of transportation, told regional council on Tuesday.

“We are anticipating that between six to eight firms are interested in the request for qualifications.”

In October, the region will invite potential bidders to have their qualifications to design, build, finance, maintain and operate rapid transit evaluated.

Companies interested in bidding on the contract will answer questions on such issues as partnering, financing, construction experience, maintenance and operating experience.

Three front-runners will be shortlisted and invited to bid on the project in the spring. Construction on bus rapid transit is slated to start next summer and rapid transit in 2014.

“It’s attractive in different ways to different teams,” said Mike Murray, chief administrative officer.

Schmidt said bidders would be attracted by the scope of the project — without any tunnelling or other complicated work — and because of its scale.

“There are not very many, if any, big projects like this moving forward at this time,” Schmidt said.

The region expects capital costs involved in building tracks and infrastructure to be about $600 million.

About 25 per cent of that will likely be held back from the winning team and paid over the life of a 30-year contract as part of the design, build, operate, finance and maintain model.

The cash serves partly as an incentive to the contractors to do a good job and keep them from walking away from the project.

Coun. Jean Haalboom, who originally voted against using the private partnership model, said she still wasn’t satisfied.

“I remain very concerned about this,” she said.

Taking point on rapid transit is Darshpreet Bhatti, who was named director of rapid transit Sept. 25.

Bhatti, 33, has been acting director since Nancy Button resigned in March to take a consultant position in Toronto.

The University of Toronto engineering graduate has worked provincially as a consultant on transit, road and highway projects. He started on the region’s rapid transit project four years ago.

“I feel confident and I look forward to the future,” he said. “The experience over the last four years has given me that broad spectrum of what to expect.”

He added, “We need to make sure that we go out, we inform as much as we possibly can, and work with the community to give them the best product and service.”

Bhatti was appointed after the region searched across Canada and the U.S. for a new director and interviewed candidates from both countries, Schmidt said.

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October 1, 2012 at 7:57 pm Leave a comment

House Construction Down In August

New residential construction in the Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo area decreased in August compared to the same month of 2011, according to preliminary data released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

Construction began on 93 homes, down from the 451 units started in August 2011.

Starts in August were at the lowest level for any month in more than three years. Builders started 71 single-detached homes in August, down from the 97 homes started a year ago. No apartments were started, compared to the 336 units started in August 2011. Townhouse starts increased to 22 units, from the 16.



October 1, 2012 at 7:01 pm Leave a comment

The Balsillie Campus Construction

The Balsillie Campus is the result of Jim Balsillie’s vision to build capacity in international affairs in Canada and to make The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) one of the most innovative think tanks in the world.

The Campus will house several graduate schools and programs, including the already established Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA). It will cultivate an interdisciplinary learning environment focused on developing knowledge of global issues.

The Campus will create Canadian-based, but internationally focused, capacity in international affairs. It will be a hub of partnership between CIGI, global research institutions and the academic and research community in Canada. As such, a unique “incubator” of ideas will result from the physical proximity of a global think tank, a reputable school of international affairs, academic communities, and other centres of research.

The Campus will be located next to CIGI, in Waterloo, Ontario, 45 minutes from Pearson International Airport and 15 minutes from the Region of Waterloo International Airport. It will also be within an hour’s drive of eight leading Ontario universities, and located in a region that is home to leading technology firms with strong international reputations for innovation and knowledge transfer, as well as a leading institute for theoretical physics.

The Campus will be the home of several distinct schools and programs, including the existing Balsillie School of International Affairs. The BSIA was founded in 2007, and is a collaborative partnership between CIGI, the University of Waterloo (UW) and Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU). The additional schools and programs that will be housed in the Balsillie Campus are to be determined in the coming months.

CIGI entered the building phase of The Balsillie Campus in August 2009. Toronto-based KPMB Architects were hired in May 2008 to design the new campus. The project manager, Gregory J. Bewick and Associates Limited, was hired in October 2008 and Cooper Construction Limited was hired in April 2009 as the contractor for the project to provide construction management services. This current phase of construction will include two buildings: the first building will house the Balsillie School of International Affairs and an auditorium; the second will house additional academic programs.

The land of the Balsillie Campus was leased to CIGI by the City of Waterloo for 99 years, with the option for another two 25-year renewal terms.


March 24, 2010 at 4:01 pm Leave a comment

New Skate Bowl soon to be Constructed

The new skate bowl is soon to be constructed in Cambridge’s Riverside Skateboard Park, which opened two years ago. Construction is scheduled to begin sometime in June. Council recently approved approved a $228,375 bid, which was $42,970 over budget – surprise, surprise! The additional money will come from reserve funds and fees paid by developers for new-home construction. Taxes will cover the rest apparently…


Now playing: Mikey Randall – Under Control
via FoxyTunes

May 14, 2009 at 4:13 pm Leave a comment

Wonderland & Southdale Power Center Grows

We try to dedicate this site to Good urban design, however it is hard to show good examples when so many bad developments are currently being constructed. The Southside Group “Empire” is growing once again this time on west side of Wonderland south of Southdale just south of the Home Depot in the big box power center uniquely called Westwood – there are no woods, hardly any trees, in fact, just huge stores (pushed as far back as they can go on the property) along with vast parking between Wonderland Rd and the stores. I must say this this development(both east and west sides of Wonderland south of Southdale) along with the Hyde Park development have to be the least pedestrian friendly commercial developments in the city! With side walks starting in random places (usually between rows of parked cars) going zig zag all over and then finishing in another random place. I believe this development lacks vision it seems just like someone is out to make a quick buck not giving a care in the world as to what it will look like and about the end user. Often I wonder why developers of these big box centers don’t give some character to their developments to differentiate them from the other bland big box centers all around town. For example why not place the front row of buildings (the ones along the west side of wonderland south of southdale) right up to the lot line – up to the sidewalk – and create a street wall leaving an openning every few stores to allow access to the parking lot. Maybe adding a central park space or a public square, which could have a splash pad in the summer and a skating rink in the winter- adding these type of amenities could attract more people which equals more business which could mean the developer makes a premium on this site because the activities bring a lot more people to the area who will stay longer and this means they could buy more in stores. 

Anyway, back to Westwood Power Center (Phase 2 of 3)- there is currently the steel frame of a giant building going up which will house 5 stores; given that none of these stores have backed out because of the state of the economy, they are –

Location MapWinners – I believe this is their 5 store in London 

HomeSense – From what I understand this store would be moving from its Wellington location 

Jysk – Second store in London

Dollarama – x number store in London (soo many popping up everywhere)

 and – This would be the second London location announced (the fist was in Hyde Park next to Sam’s Club- however it seems like this one will be built first)

All the store (if everything goes as planned) should be opened by July 2009-

Here are a few pictures of the on going construction:



March 21, 2009 at 8:11 am 1 comment

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