This week’s posts are dedicated to Broad Street Crossing – a development I have been thinking about for quite awhile. Today I will share some background information on this project, and in a few days I will focus on one aspect of it (the “Green Wall of Shame”) and present a few ideas on how to improve it – a hypothetical before and after.
For those unfamiliar with this development, here is a little bit of context: The corner or 11th avenue and Broad Street in Regina used to be home to a large Army and Navy store (built sometime around the 1920-30s).
While I personally think it was a cool building and loved shopping there as a child, over time it lost popularity and was not making much of a profit. The Army and Navy store closed in the early 2000s, and in the mid-late 2000s the building was slated for demolition, along with, the Army, Navy, and Airforce Hall just north of it on Broad Street (unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of this).
The developments that subsequently replaced these two buildings were 1) Wingate hotel to the North and 2) Broad Street Crossing to the South. Broad Street Crossing’s claim to fame was that it would house the largest Tim Horton’s in Canada… which… I suppose is great, if that is what you are into.
A contributor to this blog remembers this space being the topic for a university geography class project. Groups of students had to come up with proposals for what this corner could look like. His recollection was that most designs included higher density developments and were pedestrian friendly, some even included a small greenspace as part of the plan. Anthony Marquart, one of the developers of the proposed development was present at these presentations and seemed interested in the student’s perspectives. However, this was just a class project and in the end, this is what the developers proposed for the space.
Unfortunately, this corner has not become the “pedestrian hub” that was hoped for, and realistically it has a long way to go if it will ever get there. Perhaps to try and make up for this attack on the pedestrian realm, the developers hired a local artist to paint a mural on the parking garage… and whether the result was the idea of the owner or painter, what we have now is affectionatley referred to by some Reginans as the “Green Wall of Shame”.
In a few days, I will take a closer look at the “Green Wall of Shame”, and propose a few ways to improve it!