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It Starts with Community — The Positive Influence of The Hotel McGibbon on Georgetown
Development isn’t just about a building. It’s about how a building can enhance and improve a whole community, and the lives of those who live there. The Residences of the Hotel McGibbon is grounded in three simple tenets. One, protect and honor the history and culture of the site and downtown core more broadly. Two, create a new and exciting living option that doesn’t exist today. Finally, stimulate the local economy and ensure the long term vibrancy of the main street.
As a mid-rise development, the building densifies the area in a balanced way. Mid-rise buildings are great for a number of reasons. They fit well into the character of a neighbourhood, and the setbacks allow for large terraces, connecting people with the outdoors, while making the building appear smaller. The McGibbon will help animate the streetscape, creating a sense of excitement and vibrancy. Shopping at the ground level also supports local economies, and is proven to stimulate large increases in local spending. People shop where they live, after all.
The Residences of the Hotel McGibbon also creates more parking than currently exists, relieving pressure on the downtown. It deters traffic from entering the neighbourhood by car as residents take an elevator and walk, rather than drive. The building supports and encourages biking and walking, making it easier on the neighbourhood, and even has physiological benefits – that of connecting people to people, not cars. Imagine the impact of taking 125 families off the road would have to any neighbourhood. With walking, biking, and Zipcar rental car slots, it encourages residents to change their multi-car habit, swapping it for single cars and other options. This is good for the community and the planet.
Density also reduces the amount of services and maintenance a town has to expend to house people safely. By comparison, the area needed to build the equivalent of 125 single detached homes is 12.5 acres, versus 0.6 acres. That is a lot of streets that don’t need to be maintained, and infrastructure that is reduced. This is also good for reducing the tax burden to all residents. If your tax bill doesn’t rise faster than other towns, thank intensification.
In the end, the building is not as important as what it can achieve. Here you have clean, smart architecture that enhances a streetscape, combined with highly efficient construction that lowers energy and water demands, protecting the environment. It all starts with having a community in mind.
Photo Credit: Lucien Delean