Author Topic: Holt District  (Read 619 times)

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Re: Holt District
« on: August 15, 2012, 01:20:17 pm »

Welcome to another update of Holt District!

In today's update we are still in The City of Manatee, this time looking at its downtown core and the surrounding area. Its downtown is a mix of both new and old buildings, and a mix of high-rises, mid-rise and low-rise buildings. The downtown core starts at the edge of the Shorecrest Shopping Centre to the north, working its way down to one of the major throughfares in the city. The are surrounding downtown is a mix of suburban housing, retail, parkland, office space and government buildings.

Before I get to today's update, I would also like to mention that the Holt District street map is up, but only uses the default in-game look at present. It will be upgraded and updated as time goes on. And voting has closed on the "NORECREST" subdivision... details in a few updates. :)
Okay, now we can go on to the second update...

The Downtown Core + Cultural Park

2.1 | Manatee is not just a suburban sprawl nightmare. It does, in fact, have a large and bustling downtown core for a city of 120,000. The downtown core is where the majority of jobs in Manatee are located, though there are other concentrations of offices. In this photo we see the "core" of the core, the 4 largest buildings in the city. The empty strip of land of the top of the picture is rumoured to soon be for sale... for $10 million.

2.2 | Just south is another area downtown - Historic Manatee. As you can see, the area is made up of several mid-rise and low-rise buildings which range from very new to protected architecture-age. The city enacted legislation several years ago that protected this area from large-scale redevelopments. In addition to offices, this area houses several residences and as such the height-limit is lower in this portion of the city. While the legislation itself is solid, redevelopment does still occur. A history housing block was torn down, and 2 new, large-scale condominium buildings are being built in its place. Estimates show that between 4000 and 6000 people with live in the new towers.

2.3 | This is another view of "Historic Manatee." Here you can see more construction which is considered outside the downtown barrier. Since it is outside the downtown "subdivision" according to city planning guides, it is not subject to the same stringent development laws. The closest construction lot is schedules to be a complex of office buildings while the one just visible is more condominiums. The city is currently experiencing a building boom in this area, as there is easy access to everything. You can also see the Manatee Performing Arts Complex, a city-owned stage venue. Various National and local productions are put on here. Rumour has it the city is considering selling the land the parking lot sits on...

2.4 | In this closer look of Historic Manatee, we can see some of the finer details on the older office buildings in this section of Manatee. These buildings house several web-based media companies and other various electronics companies, including games developers Lugnut Gaming. (It occupies the blue, glass building on the bottom right corner of the intersection.)

2.5 | Of course, no downtown would be complete without construction. Here we can see a closer look and Denten Condominiums, developed by Viscal Properties, Ltd. There was strong opposistion to this proposal, since Viscal has been known for creating bland, repetitive developments. The city worked with the developed on the style of building, and eventually approved the project. Reisdents still point to the Viscal development in neighbouring city Sherkston as a reason it should not have been approved. Even with the changes made to the original proposal, some residents still complain it looks un-original and unfitting to the downtown area.

2.6 | One of the reasons the downtown has been growing steadily is easy access - this station (Cultural Park Terminus) provides access to a portion of the northern area of Manatee, and fast access to various parts of Sherkston.

2.7 | These are the three main office buildings in Manatee - Samsung Orchidsen HQ, MNC Tower and Rebran Tower. These towers occupy the site of the former city hall and grounds, which burnt down due to an electrical fire in the 1970's. City hall has since relocated for a second time to its current location, next to the Cultural Square Terminus Station (seen on the bottom right of the above photo.)

2.8 | Moving away from the job and skyscraper side of downtown, we have the recently completed Cultural Square. Consisting of 2 buildings, this building is the Manatee-Centurion Concert Hall. Various orchestras play here, and is also known for hosting more intimate concerts. A group of residents to this day resent that the naming rights were sold and the facility be commercially branded. City hall's response? "If you come up with the million dollars a year they pay the city and the cancellation fee, we'll drop the name." The resident's group folded quickly after this comment.

2.9 | The other portion of this venue is the art gallery. The city has put a strong emphasis on local art in this facility, with artists of all ages getting their artwork in this facility. Touring art exhibits also join the museum. Admission is generally free, but the travelling exhibits usually have a fee for entry, typically $5 to $10.

2.10| And no story attatched to this image.  This is a night view of Downtown Manatee.

That is it for today's update on Downtown Manatee. I hope you enjoyed this update and liked some of the history of the area and resident unhappiness. :P

Next Update: We will be venturing outside of Manatee to one of the coastal municipalities...

1 update, over 1000 views. Thanks everyone!