StephenC wrote:Im quite surprised at how aggressively Tesco are expanding given the current retail market. Thomas Street, Fairview, Fleet Street and now Smithfield. And all in competition with Centras or Spars and the like. I suppose it is welcome to see someone take the unit and its was always to be expected that a retailer like Tesco would turn up on Smithfield Sq - surely the whole point of all those retail units. Its strange about The Complex. I thought it would develop into something more permanent but it appears to be one of those informal cultural/arts hubs that are springing up about the city but without any sense of longevity or long term purpose. Still there is LOTS of space among the units of Smithfield Market, so they can surely change to a less high profile spot.
Still given all the problems with retail in the city centre its a big leap of faith by Tesco.
Whatever peoples views about Tesco , its good that at least somebody is filling up at least some of the ample empty space. Most of the units opening onto the Square are empty and if you take a walk around the corner all of the units in the complex that open onto side streets are completely vacant.
I have to say, I don't really share your surprise regarding the failure of Smithfield as a regeneration effort. That area of town has basically been derelict since the 60s/70s when alot of the industries there either relocated or closed. Furthermore, it was never that salubrious to start off with. Perhaps the docks, especially on the Southside had a degree of success because of their proximity to the core D2 Business District and also to upmarket areas like D4.
For 4 years I traveled through Smithfield by Luas each day. Despite the Luas line and its effect on land values, and, the biggest property boom we are ever likely to see, very little redevelopment actually occured between Capel Street and Heuston. That which did either took ages to build or wasn't completed before the crash. Furthermore, due to the urban landscape of the area, I have heard site aquisition could be fairly difficult, resulting in several large sites being left as wastelands because individuals owning tiny slivers of land refused to sell or lodged objections. This is particularly noticable at the huge empty fenced off chasm between the Four Courts and Phoenix House.
Also, and this will sound awful, whislt the Jameson Distillery development and Smithfield Market are finished off very well, they were always basically islands of affluence surrounded by ghettos. I know thats harsh, and many of the original inhabitants of the area are really decent upstanding people but there are also alot of "scumbags", for want of a better term. Just look at all the behavior outside the childrens court...not to mention the horse fair!! That is not going to attract anybody.
Furthermore, judging by that fact that its mostly foreigners who alight at Smithfield, I would say most of the apartment owners are investors who literally don't care about the area because they don't live there!