I am not sure how long its been out there but I thought it would be a good idea to release it from its .pdf confines and discuss its merits.
If you want to read t in full you can find it on limerick.ie .Its called "TheFile,6697,en.pdf".
Below are its contents with relation to the subject matter in question.
It Is recognised that the city centre lacks a vibrant retail heart. Presently there is no particular focus of retail and pedestrian activity. The recently pedestrianised areas of Thomas Street and Bedford Row provide important linkages to the revitalised waterfront, and a greatly improved enviroment for shopping and leisure activities, while the proposed pedestrianisation of O’Connell Street (between William Street and Roche’s Street) will significantly reinforce the pedestrian emphasis of the central core area.
The opportunity now exists to capitalise on these investments in the public realm by re-examining the role of the Arthur’s Quay area in the continued re-development of the city centre.
Following publication of the City Centre Strategy Issues Paper, a comprehensive submission was recieved from landownder’s adjoining Arthurs Quay Park. The submission identified a potential development area incorporating the existing Arthur’s Quay Shopping Centre, The Roche’s Stores block at Sarsfield Bridge, The Arthurs Quay Park and Sarsfield House. This general area was also identified as a key strategic site in other submissions.
The City Council acknowledges the considerable potential of this area, and supports the principal of redevelopment for helping to achieve the broader strategic aims for a vibrant retail, walkable and livable central core area. Accordingly, Nicholas de jonq was retained by the council to prepare a preliminary urban design framework as an integral part of the City Centre Strategy.
The main intention of the proposal is to achieve comprehensive redevelopment in a way that compliments and enhances the distinctive urban fabric and riverside Setting of the area. All existing buildings would be demolished, including Sarsfield House, and replaced by a robust framework of multi-purpose blocks arranged around a number of axis lines, visually linking the new development to king’s island (with the tower of St.Mary’s Cathedral as a key focal point) and the River Shannon(With views across to the existing amenity bund on Clancy Strand). A new public square close to the junction of Patrcick Street and Sarsfield/William Street forms the major focus to the development, as well as the new heart of the central core area, from which radiate the two principal axis lines.
The proposed block patern reflects the grain of adjoining streets (Denmark Street, Ellen Street and Henry Street), and includes buildings of different heights according to location and possible uses. Two tall signature buildings are positioned at each end of the development reinforcing the entry to the city core from Rutland Street and Sarsfield bridge from Patrick Street, the building blocks increase in height incrementally towards the river.
Ground floor uses would be predominantly retail, together with cafes, resteraunts and bars, to ensure vibrancy throughout the area. Although specific end-users are not prescribed at this stage, it is envisaged that at least two major retailers could be accomidated within the block structure. Provision for smaller retailers would also be essential, particularly along Patrick Street and around the waterfront. Smaller retail units could also be considered at first floor level where these can be conveniently linked to the main pedestrian circulation pattern in the vicinity of the waterfront, the upper floors would be predominantly residential, providing high quality apartments for a variety of different users (including families) with spectacular views of the River Shannon and King’s Island. The remaining inner Blocks could include a mix of office and residential uses on the upper floors.
Vehicle access would be limited to the new orbital route, curving through the development at grade between Henry Street and Ruthland Street, and including a bus/taxi lane, access to underground parking areas and with the provision of at least two major controlled pedestrian crossings. The remainder of the public realm would be pedestrian and 24-hour accessible.
In addition to the new public square close to the Sarsfield/William Street junction a substantial promenade would extend around the waterfront and linking sarsfield Sarsfield Bridge to a second pedestrian plaza located at the end of the principal axis. The new high quality waterfront spaces would be over-looked by active retail and cade/resteraunt frontages at the ground level, and by residential uses above.
The open space pattern would extend to the rear of the Hunt Museum and across to the Potato Market by way of an Elegant contemporary pedestrian bridge. A major civic space would be created outside the Court House, further defined by a possible new civic building (Library, Museum, Performance Space, or similar) occupying the eastern end of the existing Potato Market, and including a panoramic viewing area at the confluence of the Shannon and Abbey rivers.
So here are some things I am concerned about.
#1 Parking - currently none of the buildings they want to knock are residential and one provides substantial parking for the City Centre.
Opera will rely on it and if a cinema is ever going to be built in the City Centre there needs to be enough parking spaces as Fordmount have stated themselves.
The fact that the upper portions of these buildings will be residential seems kind of stupid to me, they want to take away parking and create a situation where the demand for parking increases while the actual spaces available decreases.
#2 traffic - After reading this proposal I am not entirely clear as to what is to be pedestrianized and what is not.
I read in the Limerick Leader some time ago that there was a competing proposal which would have cars go underground leaving the street level pedestrianized.
I like this idea and would add to it the proposal of having underground car parks accessible from this short tunnel.
The tunnel idea was the only thing I liked from the competing proposal, the other aspects they argued was that instead of mixed use create a civic building.
I don't think a civic building would be the best use of that space.
So thats it for now, I am eager to hear your ideas on this space and what could be done.