cork docklands

Re: cork docklands

Postby theblimp » Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:29 pm

"How many big shows even in London sell 10,000+ seats ?"

mmm .... pretty much all of them! (02 Arena / Wembley Arena / etc.). Likewise with Birmingham, Manchester and a whole lot more.

In any case that's not the point I was making - Belfast has, and Dublin will soon have, 10,000+ seating capacity venues. Here in Cork we have a similar catchment (draw an arc 1.5-2hrs from Cork), although 10,000 may be a little too large so 8,000 would (in my opinion) be an ideal max (although it needs to scaleback without looking like a half-empty barn)

Jaysus, don't misunderstand me ... I'm not against one being built...that's why we submitted a proposal for a suitably sized one. My concern is over the entire process that selected HH as the 'preferred' choice. This concern was then compounded by the manner in which last night's proceedings were conducted.

You can agree with me, or disagree with me ... that's fine, but I can assure you that there's a lot more to come into the mix over the coming weeks and months which will shine some clearer light on how these things have been skewed.

"In the U.S. we would build these things and if its a good design and in demand by the community they were the people who determined its ultimate success."
True, but only in so far as they would probably be built to suit an actual requirement. WHO has determined that the 4,000 seats is the right amount for Cork - similarly who knows if our belief that 8,000 seats is correct? The 'proper' way would have been to bring in experienced professionals to create a full and detailed brief (i.e.- you need 7,000 seats, mixed capacity of 10,000, supporting 350-bed hotel, etc. etc.) and then use this as the basis for all submissions. This wasn't done. The councillors, to be fair to them, don't know how these facilities work so had little choice than to accept the recommendations of a committee who had little knowledge/experience of what the city actually needs. 'We need an events centre. We've got an events centre. Now, on to the next problem' ..... and we end up with a facility that nobody knows is suitable or not. I believe it isn't... but only time will tell.
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Re: cork docklands

Postby Spinal Tap » Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:33 pm

[quote="theblimp

You can agree with me, or disagree with me ... that's fine, but I can assure you that there's a lot more to come into the mix over the coming weeks and months which will shine some clearer light on how these things have been skewed.[/QUOTE"]


Sounds like a whole load of sour grapes to me ?
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Re: cork docklands

Postby theblimp » Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:41 pm

Sorry Spinal Tap, if it came across as bitter in any way then it read different to what was meant.

Hand on heart, if the deal was that we could build it but I could never make a cent out of it, I wouldn't be bothered. Over five years of thorough research has given me an insight into this sector and I genuinely believe that mistakes were made in this process. Ones that will, very sadly, mean that we have all missed an opportunity.

I'm neither bitter, nor angry .... just sad and frustrated.
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Re: cork docklands

Postby Pug » Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:06 pm

i'm with theblimp on this one, i dont think its sour grapes on blimps behalf, i too am more than delighted that there will be an events centre, there should have been a concert venue years ago since the time someone had the guts to bring in michael jackson and the likes of oasis/prodigy at their height.

I would question the process of its choosing also and remain sceptical that 8 million of the public purse is spent by councillors, most of whom have no experience in these matters and therefore as was pointed out feel obliged to take the recommendations of a committee that may also not have any experience in these matters . An event centre should have been proposed and a public ocnsultation (e.g. hand out survey at the Marquee gigs) should have been conducted.

You wouldnt have had to use all of pairc ui chaoimh for a concert, surely an area could have been cordoned off or one end been designed to hold 6-10,000 person venue.

Doesnt matter now anyway!
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Re: cork docklands

Postby who_me » Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:28 pm

Spinal Tap wrote:In the U.S. we would build these things and if its a good design and in demand by the community they were the people who determined its ultimate success.

Cork needs dynamism and developments like this must be welcome.

See any of the previous proposals for the Clarion Lapps Quay Site an dyou will be glad that Howards got involved.

They may not be perfect but they get things done.


In the US, they'd relish the idea of competition, and would thoroughly look at all proposals.

In the US, they'd be far, far more wary of investing public money in a private project.

In the US, there would be blue murder if the media were ejected from the discussion of public funding.

I honestly think it's the best site for the centre, and the size, while not the largest, isn't too small. But why oh why do we have to have this idiotic veil of secrecy. These public-private ventures sound risky enough as is, but without any openness and transparency how on Earth are we to trust those holding the public purse strings?
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Re: cork docklands

Postby Spinal Tap » Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:45 pm

theblimp wrote:Sorry Spinal Tap, if it came across as bitter in any way then it read different to what was meant.

Hand on heart, if the deal was that we could build it but I could never make a cent out of it, I wouldn't be bothered. Over five years of thorough research has given me an insight into this sector and I genuinely believe that mistakes were made in this process. Ones that will, very sadly, mean that we have all missed an opportunity.

I'm neither bitter, nor angry .... just sad and frustrated.



Agreed.

As a Dub native living in Cork I continuously find it sad and frustrating the ammount of times locals have to head to Killarney or Dublin for decent events on a large scale not catered for by The Everyman,Opera House,Triskel etc ( Cork has probably the best Arts infrastructure outside Dublin B.T.W.)
The Marquee is probably a good barometer of the potential capacity for touring acts with most gigs being sold out and the 3,500 people at some of the more obcure acts still comfortable.

Cork City is a far more attractive place to live and work and an environment that only tthose trapped in traffic in Dublin or London can only dream about.

It is the beauty,potential and independance of the place that makes it a great place to live but (theres always a but) Cork need to think big, ambition seems to be stamped on by quango's elected and unelected always providing reasons NOT to proceed due to some parcohial fears.
The neglect of the river is being addressed apart from the old stone warhouses behind the custom house and Horgans Quay.An architectural competion for a maritime museum and aquarium,art galleries etc is required as tourists have very little to do in this great city apart from the usual English Market/Shandon/St.Finbarrs etc.
6,000+ people coming to visit for gigs conferences etc will help.

I would personally much rather a 8,000 - 10,000 venue for Cork but Cork has lacked this venue for so long we just have to get behind this proposal as this small City loses so much business to Dublin & Killarney.

The way the City is growing an Odyssey type Arena may be feasable in 10+ years.
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Re: cork docklands

Postby Spinal Tap » Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:58 pm

who_me wrote:In the US, they'd relish the idea of competition, and would thoroughly look at all proposals.

In the US, they'd be far, far more wary of investing public money in a private project.

In the US, there would be blue murder if the media were ejected from the discussion of public funding.

I honestly think it's the best site for the centre, and the size, while not the largest, isn't too small. But why oh why do we have to have this idiotic veil of secrecy. These public-private ventures sound risky enough as is, but without any openness and transparency how on Earth are we to trust those holding the public purse strings?



And like in the U.S. if the other consortia think that their proposals are all that sustainable they would go and build it on their own.You have massive arenas - stadia sitting all over cities there competing for events - does the public care - No - they benifit from having a choice yes a choice of events centres.

Some colleges there have better facilities than entire cities here.

Screw the media - Do they really care ? Any thing proposed for planning in Cork City 0ve 2/3 stories appears in the Echo "MANHATTAN FOR BLACKPOOL" etc.

It will all come out in the wash anyway - Cork needs this facility 10 years ago and anything that the City Council can do to make it happen must be welcomed.

The public money will be paid back tenfold in rates,taxes,contributions.

Does anybody on earth trust those who hold the public purse strings ?
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Re: cork docklands

Postby who_me » Tue Jul 24, 2007 3:23 pm

Spinal Tap wrote:And like in the U.S. if the other consortia think that their proposals are all that sustainable they would go and build it on their own.You have massive arenas - stadia sitting all over cities there competing for events - does the public care - No - they benifit from having a choice yes a choice of events centres.

Some colleges there have better facilities than entire cities here.

Screw the media - Do they really care ? Any thing proposed for planning in Cork City 0ve 2/3 stories appears in the Echo "MANHATTAN FOR BLACKPOOL" etc.

It will all come out in the wash anyway - Cork needs this facility 10 years ago and anything that the City Council can do to make it happen must be welcomed.

The public money will be paid back tenfold in rates,taxes,contributions.

Does anybody on earth trust those who hold the public purse strings ?


Yes, but in the US the other consortia don't have to compete with private ventures with significant public funding. The US tends to have better facilities because they have an open and level playing field. It's easier to raise the venture capital because it's simply easier to build a venue and profit from it. I think it's safe to say you won't see another venue open in Cork now, now that this one has such a leg-up.

I don't care about the media per se, but they are the only way the majority of the public would ever hear about these developments prior to building; and that's crucial.

This wasn't the only choice before the council, not does it seem to have been the cheapest (from the public's point of view) - so why was it chosen? I think that's a simple question to which we're entitled an answer - given we're all contributing to it without any say in the matter.
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Re: cork docklands

Postby Pug » Tue Jul 24, 2007 4:52 pm

very pertinent questions which you are entitled to send to your local councillors to ask them? why not email or write or phone them? they serve us the public after all.I will also be asking why the gallery was reputedly cleared.
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Re: cork docklands

Postby Spinal Tap » Tue Jul 24, 2007 5:08 pm

who_me wrote:Yes, but in the US the other consortia don't have to compete with private ventures with significant public funding. The US tends to have better facilities because they have an open and level playing field. It's easier to raise the venture capital because it's simply easier to build a venue and profit from it. I think it's safe to say you won't see another venue open in Cork now, now that this one has such a leg-up.

Still nothing stopping a private developer submitting an alternatve application next week is they think that their plans are sustainable

1 decent sustainable venue /conference centre will suit a city the size of Cork for the foreseeable future

I don't care about the media per se, but they are the only way the majority of the public would ever hear about these developments prior to building]A clear and open planning process is a matter of public record where any nember of the public can make an observation[/B]

This wasn't the only choice before the council, not does it seem to have been the cheapest (from the public's point of view) - so why was it chosen? I think that's a simple question to which we're entitled an answer - given we're all contributing to it without any say in the matter.


Its 8 million to whoever builds it

It will be part of the massive docklands project,new modern public transport and architecture rather than putting it out the Black Ash wasteland car and public transport dependant.
You could walk there in 15 - 20 minutes and even srroll down there 10 minutes from Blackrock etc.
It has only cleared the first hurdle and this location is very convenient to the city centre without disrupting existing established communities or the Mary Leland landed gentry "it was once all sheep grazing around here and a clear uninterrupted view of St.Finbarrs"
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Re: cork docklands

Postby who_me » Tue Jul 24, 2007 5:27 pm

Well, which is it? It's great to have a choice of venues, or one is all Cork needs?;)

Honestly, I think one may be enough for the forseeable future, but I'd rather leave it open and let the market decide what Cork can sustain. It will now be more difficult for a second consortium to come forward with a second proposal, as they'd be competing for events against a (effectively) subsidised competitor; regardless of the merits of their design or location.

The point remains - why was the HH selected, and why the secrecy over the selection process? Those questions are anything but indicative of a clear and open process.

I'm very happy with the choice of location; but I'm concerned about the 8m invested; and angry about the secrecy over the selection.
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Re: cork docklands

Postby who_me » Tue Jul 24, 2007 5:28 pm

Pug wrote:very pertinent questions which you are entitled to send to your local councillors to ask them? why not email or write or phone them? they serve us the public after all.I will also be asking why the gallery was reputedly cleared.


Cheers Pug, I'll do that.
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Re: cork docklands

Postby Radioactiveman » Wed Jul 25, 2007 9:33 am

theblimp wrote:Not quite as wonderful as all that, I believe. I was connected to one of the other submissions and we raised BIG concerns about the manner in which the process was managed - e.g.: sent initial letter to City Management (CM) on 1st June looking for clarification on criteria under which submissions should be lodged. Many follow-up phonecalls and THREE weeks later we received a reply. This reply came on a Thursday and the submission had to be in for the following Monday (4 days, including a weekend). A request for an extension was denied.


You seem to be suggesting to us that between the date you submitted a letter to city management and the date they replied, you did no work on your submission, because you didn't know what 'criteria' you should lodge it under!!
Its this sort of lazy attitude which has meant the showground site has remained next to useless for decades. Maybe if the Munster Agricultural Society had got off their backsides and proposed something like this for their site BEFORE they were scared into it by CCC, then it wouldn't have been neccessary to compulsarily purchase the site to open it up to public access.
It takes a private backer to do this, because clearly voluntatary bodies couldn't muster up the cop on to do so. Even the GAA, who are to be commended on their work with Croke Park have been slow to redevelop Pairc Ui Chaoimh. But then, I seem to recall the Munster Ag Society having something to do with that delay too!!!
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Re: cork docklands

Postby theblimp » Wed Jul 25, 2007 12:07 pm

radioactiveman - I hope I didn't give the impression that I was connected in any way to the Munster Agricutural Society, because neither I nor our submitting group are. Therefore I can't really comment on the prior actions, or inactions, of same. We identified the Showgrounds site as the optimum one for our proposal and suggested (in our submission) that instead of seeking the monetary investment from City Hall, we investigate some mechanism whereby we gained a lease to the land once the CPO was completed. It was, and remains, our position that the City would be far better served with our plans for that site, than the stated plans for a public park.

Yes, we did wait the three weeks for one very real reason - we expected that there would be a substantial brief forthcoming and we would have to tailor any submission accordingly. We already had our design and our research done, but the submission itself would have to suit the brief criteria. To be honest the actual criteria were amazingly vague (this being part of the reason why I'm now concerned about the entire process). I don't really think that was laziness on our part, more 'prudence' I would have thought
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Re: cork docklands

Postby theblimp » Wed Jul 25, 2007 12:22 pm

Just one final quick matter, and it's by way of illustrating the consequences of not having 'experience' dictate the brief and manage the submissions (and not a dig at the HH proposal)

Those that have today's (Wed.) Examiner - have a look at the site plan for the HH proposal. Many concerts and shows can have in excess of 12 artic trucks requiring back-stage parking. Where do they go on this sitemap? Furthermore imagine a large exhibition being held there tomorrow. You could have in excess of 100 stands at this show and each one has a crew in at least one van looking to park alongside the centre so that they can 'load-in' and 'build' their stands. How easy would it be in that site? (again, I'm just asking the questions so don't flame me for it :o )

On a very final, related, matter - the chosen operator for the HH centre is 'Live Nation' (formerly Clear Channel). I personally have a few problems with this - namely:
1. Live Nation are primarily a concert promoter/concert venue company - they don't have strengths in Conference and Exhibition activity. While the concerts grab the headlines, it's the conferences and exhibitions that make the 'bread and butter' which keeps such a centre viable
2. Live Nation tend to prefer to move concert activity outdoors during the Summer to maximise returns - this could leave Cork with a pretty poor range of activity from May to Sept each year
3. Live Nation are heavily involved with the redevelopment of the Point in Dublin. Some could argue that by holding the only other major venue in the country they've created something of a monopoly, or a 'blocking' move.

Again, just my thoughts. To any one who still thinks it's envy, sour grapes or anything similar can I offer that if I really felt this way I'd be running to the papers, not archiseek. I'm putting the points here because I feel I'm talking to people who have a genuine interest in development matters in Cork. I'm not going to change anything about the result, but I might be able to provide some others with a better insight into things.
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Re: cork docklands

Postby Radioactiveman » Wed Jul 25, 2007 3:03 pm

Blimp, can we see some details and images of the proposal you were involved in? So we can compare and judge for ourselves.

I still think the three week gap you left in your preperations was pretty shoddy, but I don't have experience in submitting such proposals. I wouldn't do it in my own line of work though!
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Re: cork docklands

Postby theblimp » Wed Jul 25, 2007 3:57 pm

Radioactiveman - There should be 3 brief attachments. Hope they explain things a little better
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Re: cork docklands

Postby THE_Chris » Wed Jul 25, 2007 4:00 pm

Looks good. The Waterpark will be a winner too.
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Re: cork docklands

Postby Radioactiveman » Wed Jul 25, 2007 4:29 pm

Wasn't that the same plan that was mentioned during the recent An Bord Pleanala hearings regarding the compulsary purchase order of the Showgrounds? As far as I was aware, it was put forward as a reason not to allow the CPO to go through. Although i cant remember a waterpark in that plan.


**Edit**

From 'Developments in Cork' Thread (16th March 2007):
<img src="http://www.archiseek.com/content/attachment.php?attachmentid=4407&stc=1&d=1174026460">


And a reply from theblimp, when asked who was behind the venture (16th March 2007):
"No, not HH - it was a new grouping that were going to do it by way of some kind of arrangement with MAS - hence the inclusion of a MAS structure on site. Perhaps the fact that it wasn't one of the 'established few' worked against them? I do know, however, that a LOT of work had been done on it. Architects were london-based and there were/are proprietary rights over the roof design which gave it significant advantages over traditional methods"

So, while not having any direct relationship with MAS, it would have clearly been to this groups advantage had Showgrounds stayed in MAS control rather than reverting back to CCC. With MAS' track record, can you blame CCC for being weary of thiese plans at the ABP hearings?
And then to see a warmed up version, without the MAS arena, but including a waterpark being proposed, must have raised a few eyebrows. How much research had been done on the need/demand for a waterpark in the City?
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Re: cork docklands

Postby Leesider » Wed Jul 25, 2007 4:43 pm

looks good but seriously the GAA, Frank Murphy and municipal stadium do not go together!!:eek:

I am afraid to say we would be waiting a long long time for any plan with the municipal stadium to go through
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Re: cork docklands

Postby who_me » Wed Jul 25, 2007 4:54 pm

Leesider wrote:I am afraid to say we would be waiting a long long time for any plan with the municipal stadium to go through


Which is a crying shame, since it's the one key ambition that most of us have for the docklands. A modern, municipal stadium which could be used by Cork GAA, Cork City and Munster (for big ties which won't fit even in the new Thomond) could use.

I find it a tad ironic that the council object to the showgrounds being so under-used and underdeveloped; while Pairc Ui Chaoimh is an sadly under-used eyesore yet they're going to great lengths to accommodate them. But, if the stadium remains GAA only, it will continue to be under-used surely?
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Re: cork docklands

Postby theblimp » Wed Jul 25, 2007 5:02 pm

Radioactiveman - probably very similar, we've been working on this for quite a while now. We kept our heads down during the CPO as we didn't wish to be involved in the process, but it is possible that an early version of our plans for the site were utilised by the Munster Agricultural Society to show that there was in fact some movement on the site.

Agree with both points about the Cork County Board - yes it would be great / yes, it's highly unlikely. What we had hoped for was the opening of a discussion on same. Pairc Ui Chaoimh has a long history of major assistance from the city and the Munster Ag. - we feel that it's only fair for a discussion on municipal useage to entered into in advance of more assistance from public funds.
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Re: cork docklands

Postby Radioactiveman » Wed Jul 25, 2007 5:11 pm

theblimp wrote:Radioactiveman - probably very similar, we've been working on this for quite a while now. We kept our heads down during the CPO as we didn't wish to be involved in the process, but it is possible that an early version of our plans for the site were utilised by the Munster Agricultural Society to show that there was in fact some movement on the site.

Thanks for the images and clarification blimp.

In the same vein, at the time of the ABP hearings,
(a) had any formal agreement (or indeed negotiations) been entered into between MAS and this new grouping?
(b) had the grouping given permission for MAS to use this plan during the hearings?
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Re: cork docklands

Postby theblimp » Thu Jul 26, 2007 7:56 am

radioactiveman - matters between Munster Ag. and CCC are still ongoing with the 'compensation' element to be addressed in a few weeks time. As such I think it's only right that I not comment publicly on the questions you raised - at least not until such time as the above matter is completed.
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Re: cork docklands

Postby browser » Thu Jul 26, 2007 1:54 pm

Just to add my tuppence worth. theBlimp's plan looks great but given they don't own the land and given Frank Murphy's continued presence on this earth you can't blame the Council for having doubts about short term deliverability. I think the Howard plan is good enough and hopefully the other components of the theBlimp's plan will follow in time.

I couldn't agree more with the posts about Pairc Ui Caoimh. It is every bit as underused (and every bit as much an eyesore) as the Showgrounds. Council should buy it off the GAA and make it a municipal venue. Alternatively facilitate the GAA expansion if they propose a proper upgrade / rebuild but STRICTLY on the basis that they open it up a la Croke Park (ie. for good rent). Me doubts any of this will happen in Franky Baby's time but then again if Ian Paisley and Martin McGuiness.............

Finally, whatever about the merits of the Howard plan, Monday night was a PR disaster. As a lawyer it offends my sense of due process. I must admit though that every now and again someone taking the bull by the horns to deliver something quickly is needed. Jury is out on Joe Gavin but at least he is not doing a Jack Higgins on it and talking as he did on his retirement about how someone should do something to revive the docklands...er...em.. that would have been your job Jack, wouldn't it? In fairness to Joe, after the Dublin job passed him by he has really knuckled down instead of mopping into his beer. Pity he does all of this from his home in Galway mind!
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