Welcome to another update of Holt District!
Today's update may not be as flashy as the previous 2, but there is a reason for that. Today we are venturing to one of the coastal municipalities in Holt District, Old Port. The town has a long, and at times troublesome, history. The City was one of the first areas settled in what is now Holt District. It is often joked that there is a pyromaniac and their famioly residing in Old Port, as it has burned to the ground not once, not twice, but three times since it was settled in the early 1700s. The latest burning, in 1907, levelled the town completely.
So Old Port was constructed for the fourth time. And this time, it was bustling. It had a booming downtown area and, despite its name, did not have a port. But things went fishy when Old Port was folded into Holt District upon the regions formation in 1970. What was a small, beautiful town became dysfunctional. Development was haphazard, with a mega-sized office buiding being constructed in the middle of a residential area. History downtown buildings were destroyed for the parking lot of a new supermarket. Offices continued to be built, and residents suffered greatly.
One day, election day in the mid-1990s, residents had had enough, and booted the mayor and all 3 councillors out of office. The newly elected mayor promished to clean up politics in Old Port, and has been attempting (key word: attempting) to since then. But things weren't all rosey.
As the rest of Holt District expanded, Old Port contracted. Its population declined from 11 000 to the approximate 7000 it is today. Many vacant neighbourhoods were demolished, and streets torn-up and grassed-over to hide the cities troubled past.
But the new mayors plan to stop all development led to a backlash from developers who has started to eye the area, and infuriated residents. Elected on the promise of better planned development, development was eliminated all-together. Why not vote the mayor out? He has sucessfully has Old Port designated a no development zone in the region. So no mayor would be able to approve developments until the regional plan was re-opened. A consequence of this development freeze was the reconstruction of the town's only school, Port Public & Secondary School. The mayor had sucesfully killed new development, but also killed the school reconstruction by accident.
Which brings us to today, where Old Port has remained the same for nearly 2 decades. While restrictions have been loosened to allow individual building reconstruction, development is still off limits.
The Town of Old Port - Depressed & Stuck in the Past
3.1 | Downtown Old Port has faced its challenges over the years. As mentioned in the introduction, the town has burned to the ground 3 separate times. Even after that, those buildings constructed in the early 1900s faced several attacks from developers in the 70s-80s. One historic building was demolished and replaced with an "ugly", modernized version of what previously stood there (left of the photo.)
3.2 | Several more historic buildings were demolished for the parking lot of this supermarket. This was the first in a long string of mis-steps which caused the previous mayor his job. Outrage was so high over the approval of this grocery store and demolition of historic buildings that the mayor requested body guards to follow him and protect his house. An empty box was left at his office, but was not meant as a threat. It was meant to symbolize the perception that the mayor didn't have a brain for allowing this development. No charges were laid.
3.3 | The final development approved under the mayor's tenure was this office development. Outcry far surpassed the supermarket development, so much the region was said to be days away from ousting the mayor from office. He resigned only hours before the region would have made the announcement. Although this development provides employment for the area, it was criticized for being in the middle of a residential area, the expropriation of land for its development, and the design. Residents critiqued the design saying it looked exactly like the offices found in Manatee or Sherkston.
3.4 | As mentioned in the introduction, the current mayor's (Alber Fonzworth) freezing of all development project lead to the cancellation of a badly-needed school redevelopment. Housing students in kindergarten to Grade 12, this school served the entire municipality. Due to the development laws, only the repairs necessary to keep the school from collapsing have been made. The safety of the building is a constant question of residents.
3.5 | The biggest disappointment facing residents of Old Port is the mayors unwillingness to allow re-landscaping to occur at Port Park. Long a source of pride of the town, the park has declined in recent years as a series of storms and high-winds have downed trees, and droughts have killed off the majority on non-tree vegetation. Despite cries from residents, council has repeatedly declined to remodel the park. To add insult to injury, the council approved a cell phone tower to be placed in the upper corner of the park.
3.6 | Despite all these problems, residential neighbourhoods like this one are still highly sought after. Waterfront property is waterfront property in many buyers eyes.
3.7 | Vegetation remains very strong in this area, along the canals. This area is considered the most beautiful area in Old Port by the majority of residents, evident by the shimmy soccer games on weekends and various picnics.
2.8 | While Old Port can still be considered "depressed" in terms of development, things are beginning to improve. The "absolutely no development" provisions were lifted by the region much to the outcry of Old Port council, and the delight of residents. The first house to be (re)coinstructed in nearly 2 decades is making progress.
There is feeling that in the next municipal election, sweeping changed will be had in Old Port...
Not all coastal cities in Holt District are suffering, however. On the contrary, some are experiencing record building booms, and have been growing steadily for years. This is the latest in a string of condominium developments in a municipality south of Old Port, where we will find ourselves in update 4...
That is it for today's update on Old Port. With development reaching a white-hot pace in Holt District, and demand (and prices) skyrocketing, Old Port like many other municipalities will never be the same...
Done in the comments section of each update.
I would like to thank everyone for the continuing overwheling response to Holt District - a lot of time has gone into this and it is just awesome to see everyone's response! Thanks everyone!!