The Opera Centre

Re: The Opera Centre

Postby Griff » Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:15 am

Dan Sullivan wrote:I've heard talk, vague to say the least, about redeveloping Arthur's Quay and integrating this development with the Opera Centre site. If Mr. Tiernan hasn't, unlike the other players around town, over extended himself he could develop the Opera centre and move his existing tenants into it and then re-do Arthur's Quay as prime city centre office space.

I wonder to what degree we could end up with more land/site swaps happening around the city. I think the Parkway for example could take the half completed Liam Carroll site out the Dublin road and level the existing Parkway complex and revamp it as office/residential making much better use of the site with an integrated train station (wishful thinking) and bus link to the Plassey campus.


Interesting point Dan,Arthurs Quay looks over the park and river and so you would imagine that it would make an attractive location for an office and/or apartment development.With regard to the Parkway site , this area needs serious consideration by the council from the point of view of traffic management.For many people travelling into town from the Dublin road this area is a major bottleneck that puts people off going into the city centre.
In Cork they built the Blackpool bypass ( Im sure anyone who travelled into Cork city in the old days remembers crawling along through Blackpool). The final result is a road littered with traffic lights but at least there is a reasonable flow and you are brought driectly into the city centre opposite the Opera house and a choice of 3 multi-story car parks to aim for.Similarly on the south of Cork city they built the south city link road - on the site of the old railway line I believe.This provides quick access to the city centre and a route to the train station. All the above is off topic - but for the Opera centre to be successful and indeed for the rest of the city centre to get an increase in footfall, the city needs to still pander to the lazy approach -- hop in your car and get out in a parking lot..multi-story... with free parking! ( How about free parking all day everyday for anyone with 30euro+ receipts from city centre shops... I know , I know...cloud cookoo land.)
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Re: The Opera Centre

Postby Tuborg » Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:16 pm

Griff, I honestly don't think that access to the city centre is a huge problem, certainly not during trading hours anyhow! Fair enough it's gets a bit tricky at rush hour etc but that's to be expected!

The main reason's that shopper's are deserting the city centre are a combination of laziness, well documented issues such as beggar's on the streets, lack of a visible garda presence etc, and of course a now inferior retail offering compared to the likes of the Crescent sc!

Dan Sullivan wrote:I've heard talk, vague to say the least, about redeveloping Arthur's Quay and integrating this development with the Opera Centre site. If Mr. Tiernan hasn't, unlike the other players around town, over extended himself he could develop the Opera centre and move his existing tenants into it and then re-do Arthur's Quay as prime city centre office space.


I heard something broadly similar Dan, but it didn't make a whole pile of sense to me. Maybe I just picked it up wrong!

It's probably just an acknowledgement that there just isn't the demand for another large scale retail complex as was proposed in the Arthur's Quay Materplan! Of the two, the Opera Centre is the more viable retail project. Whereas Aurthur's Quay offers more potential as a mixed use commercial/residential & possibly cultural project.

As it stands the Arthur's Quay centre is mostly home to small, independent retailers. Hypothetically Tesco would be the only one large enough to take a unit in the Opera Centre. I think the operators would be setting their sights a bit higher than that but maybe this might all have to change now. Although hopefully we won't have to settle for Arthur's Quay mark II. :(
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Re: The Opera Centre

Postby CologneMike » Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:32 pm

Limerick City Council seeks judgment over non-payment of rates at vast Opera Centre site (Limerick Leader)

By Anne Sheridan

LIMERICK City Council is seeking a judgment mortgage in the High Court against the Opera Centre development site over the alleged non-payment of commercial rates.
It is understood that in the region of €350,000 is owed to City Hall by the developers of the vacant shopping centre site in the Patrick Street area.

Rates for the site amount to €350,000 per annum and, it is alleged, have not been paid for two years. Even if commercial properties are not trading, the Council can still apply rates at 50 per cent.

Once described as "Limerick's shopping mecca", the project backed by Dublin-based Regeneration Developments has been in the pipeline for five years but councillors have predicted the project is now destined for the National Asset Management Agency.

Councillors said this week that they were "led up the garden path" with the €350 million development which was expected to revitalise the city centre and curb out-of-town shopping.

"It was a development in the heart of the city that promised so much during the boom years and now we've been left with nothing," said Labour councillor Joe Leddin.

Existing businesses vacated the site after being bought out and planning permission was granted twice by An Bord Pleanala.

Cllr Leddin had raised concerns during a meeting this Tuesday about whether the Council is collecting any rates from this site or other "eyesore" developments.

"The Opera Centre is the single biggest derelict site, probably in the country. When are we going to get something in there? We can't adopt a laissez-faire attitude in the hope that things will turn round. We can't curl up in a ball and wait for the economic clouds to pass over," said Cllr Leddin.

Cllr Leddin said he doubted the company was paying anything in rates but officials at the meeting made no response to this.

One spokesperson for City Hall told the Leader that ratepayers have a right to confidentiality over their affairs but the Council generally seeksto havejudgment mortgages registered against premises if rates aren't paid.

A special meeting in committee - where the public and media are prevented from attending - has been called to examine all the vacant commercial sites in the city and determine if tenants can be found while developers'financial affairs are being teased out at a national level.

Two years ago, councillors had complained that over €500,000 in rates would be lost by the Council over the course of three years if dozens of retail units on Bank Place, Rutland Street, Patrick Street and Ellen Street were left vacant.

But at that time a spokesperson for the company reassured the Limerick Leaderthat once the retail centre was fully operational, the City Council would regain this loss of rates within one year of business.

"Once the Opera Centre is open, the City Council will receive at least five times more than what they're receiving now – it will be in the region of €1 million per year. This development is going to generate lots of income and lots of footfall in the city – it's all positive," said a spokesperson.

Cllr Leddin urged the Council to be more proactive in attracting tenants for the mounting numbers of vacant buildings in the city. "We need to have plans for the sites, even if the finance isn't there," he said.

Independent councillor Pat Kennedy said he was "very doubtful about the grandiose notions" for that site.

"We were led up the garden path to be honest about it. After several years the whole situation is an absolute disgrace," said Cllr Kennedy.
Addressing these issues, city manager Tom Mackey said it was previously the case that "the Council had the sites and developers had the finance".

"Now most developers are finding it very difficult to get finance and come to us," said Mr Mackey, adding that "national issues are impacting on us".

The company behind the development have invested at least €92 million to date on the project and owe creditors €117 million.

It had been reported that Anglo Irish Bank had a 50 per cent share in the development. Just three directors now remain on the board of the company - David Courtney, 49, Rathmines; Jerry O'Reilly, 64, Ranelagh and Terence Sweeney, 28, Dublin 2.
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Re: The Opera Centre

Postby daire english » Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:39 pm

Any idea if retailers are moving back into the patrick street area since the Opera Centre project has fallen through the roof?
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Re: The Opera Centre

Postby pigtown » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:56 pm

I think that a huge shopping centre like the Opera Centre is the wrong fit for Limerick. The city has so many dead streets with great potential. While the shops in the centre would certainly draw people into the city, only a small part of the city would be rejuvinated.
If a scheme like the proposed Arthurs Quay redevelopment (not that design though, see below) or the Liverpool 1 development went ahead, the shops that would be hidden in a shopping centre would all have street frontage. Thus the same amount of new stores can transfer a larger part of the city.

Arthurs Quay.png

Red: Site outline
Black: Traffic
Yellow: Pedestrian only streets, squares, promenades
Purple: Entrance/exit of traffic tunnel.
Green: Public square

The tunnel would allow the area to be largely car free and would also give access to the underground carpark that would span the whole site.
Moving the park would finally give the city a defined centre and the wide prominade along the quays would mean that the riverfront would become a living area of the city again. Playgrounds and the like would encourage families to live in the apartments that would take up a substantial part of the floor area above the ground/first floor retail units. This in turn would bring life back into the city.
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Re: The Opera Centre

Postby daire english » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:32 pm

I agree that a park in that area would do alot for the city but why would you incorporate a park in limericks main street when the old dunnes stores is rotting on sarsfield street
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Re: The Opera Centre

Postby Griff » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:42 am

I don't agree that the Opera centre was too big a development - in fact the proposal to refurbish and incorporate neglected Georgian buildings into the scheme was one of its selling points imho.... Sadly we are unlikely ever to see this development proceed. The only bright light I can see is once the amalgamation of the 2 councils happens there may be more money to spend on the city... maybe.. There has been some good work done on the 2 strands and Thomas st/Bedford row.. Jury is still out on Sarsfield st/William st.. I think there should be a scheme to help finance the refurbishment of existing buildings on these streets also..
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Re: The Opera Centre

Postby pigtown » Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:45 pm

daire english wrote:I agree that a park in that area would do alot for the city but why would you incorporate a park in limericks main street when the old dunnes stores is rotting on sarsfield street


I was thinking more of a square like Eyre Square with buildings fronting onto it rather than a park in the Pery Sq sense of the word. The old Dunnes wouldn't suit my idea of a park as you would have to cross a busy road to get to it from all sides, and as it stands none of the three streets that would front on to it are exactly busy. I think it would become a dead park like Arthurs Quay park is now.

Griff wrote:I don't agree that the Opera centre was too big a development


Maybe I didn't phrase it right but I dont think it's too big, just not the right type of development. As I said, a shopping centre hides away all of the shops from the rest of the city but if they were all stand-alone units fronting onto streets they make it seem much busier (in my opinion).

Griff wrote:the proposal to refurbish and incorporate neglected Georgian buildings into the scheme was one of its selling points imho


Ya I think the refurbishment would have been a major plus for the character of the city but I was never sure if they were going to just preserve the exterior ( not such a bad idea) or the entire building ( not very suited to modern retail needs).
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Re: The Opera Centre

Postby zulutango » Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:33 am

I don't agree that Arthur's Quay Park is a dead Park. I go through there quite a lot and it's well used.

There is a big problem in that the road acts as a major barrier to it. The tunnel solution is interesting, but no doubt very, very costly.

Your proposed re-location of the park is a good idea, but if there is to be building on the site of the existing park there should be a wide promenade for walkers to walk along by the river.

Given that it's very unlikely that anything will happen in this area for a while, perhaps pressure should be brought to bear on the owners of the various disused buildings to do something with them. The old Dunnes Stores is particularly ghastly.

The knocking of Sarsfield House would be very welcome. If only it was riddled with asbestos, there might be some hope of that.
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Re: The Opera Centre

Postby Goofy » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:23 am

The council has already looked into this idea back in 2008. Look at page 54 of this pdf http://limerickcity.ie/Publications/Thefile,8018,en.pdf
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Re: The Opera Centre

Postby pigtown » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:53 pm

zulutango wrote:I don't agree that Arthur's Quay Park is a dead Park. I go through there quite a lot and it's well used.


Ok maybe I'm exaggerating but I don't think it's as busy as it should be as the most central public space in the city. I put it down to its location and the fact that it seems to be more concrete than grass.

zulutango wrote:There is a big problem in that the road acts as a major barrier to it. The tunnel solution is interesting, but no doubt very, very costly.


The tunnel would be just below the existing road level and would be more of a road through a big basement carpark than a stand alone structure. Basements are standard procedure in new commercial builds so it wouldn't be terribly expensive.

zulutango wrote:Given that it's very unlikely that anything will happen in this area for a while, perhaps pressure should be brought to bear on the owners of the various disused buildings to do something with them. The old Dunnes Stores is particularly ghastly.


Of course it should be brought to bear but the chances of that happening are slim to none. Just look at Liddy St. as your guide.

Goofy wrote:The council has already looked into this idea back in 2008. Look at page 54 of this pdf http://limerickcity.ie/Publications/Thefile,8018,en.pdf


Ya my suggestion is a modification of that proposal. I dont think the little square they propose at the O'Connell St. junction is big enough to justify building on Arthurs Quay. Also the orbital route would cut through it, making the riverside area less attractive (in the sense of attracting people across a busy street, as opposed to how it looks), hence the tunnel.
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Re: The Opera Centre

Postby Griff » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:03 pm

zulutango wrote:There is a big problem in that the road acts as a major barrier to it. The tunnel solution is interesting, but no doubt very, very costly.


The tunnel would be just below the existing road level and would be more of a road through a big basement carpark than a stand alone structure. Basements are standard procedure in new commercial builds so it wouldn't be terribly expensive.

........ Is a tunnel needed ?... how busy is this road really... why not as an experiment reduce it to one lane in front of Arthurs quay with a small filter for the car park entrance perhaps. Leave Francis st as 3 lanes to buffer traffic waiting at a red light at Patrick/Rutland st.
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Re: The Opera Centre

Postby daire english » Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:16 pm

By Alan Owens
Published on Friday 19 August 2011 13:30

A FIRE at the site of the proposed Opera Centre has sparked further concerns over the continuing dereliction of the area.

THREE units of Limerick Fire Service and local gardai attended the scene of the fire at a derelict building on Rutland Street. The building forms part of the stalled ‘Opera Centre’ development and is located next to the Trinity Rooms nightclub, which has remained closed since July as a result of problems associated with the neighbouring site, which has lain dormant for several years.

Gardai from Henry Street also attended the scene, but told the Limerick Leader that they were not aware of any suspicious behaviour or reports of anti-social behaviour at the scene.

A source close to Trinity Rooms management told the Leader that the fire “just highlights the overall problem that is there, and the dangers that exist on all sides”.

“It is an ongoing problem and it is nearly a year since the disrepair those buildings are in was highlighted and that we could have a situation similar to Cork where they collapsed.” They added that the nightclub would remain closed indefinitely for “health and safety and legal reasons and duty of care to customers and staff”, while the issues with the Opera Centre remained unresolved.

While moves are taking place behind the scenes to encourage some kind of development in the site, traders and business owners in the area around the Opera Centre are growing increasingly nervous as to the derelict nature of the site.

The site has been in limbo for some four years since it was first mooted as a flagship development for the city centre, encompassing more than 40 individual properties, which have now largely all fallen into disrepair.
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Re: The Opera Centre

Postby pigtown » Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:00 pm

Griff wrote:........ Is a tunnel needed ?... how busy is this road really...


I don't know what the traffic is like now but when the orbital route is completed I would imagine that it would get as busy as Henry Street is currently. I would also imagine that too many pedestrian crossings on the orbital route would slow down traffic quite a bit.
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Re: The Opera Centre

Postby Griff » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:32 am

Yes but you just know that a tunnel isnt going to be built under the park.. as good an idea it might be, the funding just isnt there to build it.. I think some form of pedestrian priority system in front of Arthurs quay would make the park more accessible without costing millions..
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Re: The Opera Centre

Postby pigtown » Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:10 pm

You're right on both counts there Griff. I just like imagining how Limerick could be more of a destination in the country, rather than the also ran compared to Dublin/Cork/Galway.
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Re: The Opera Centre

Postby Tuborg » Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:13 pm

I see Savills have erected new banners advertising the sale of the opera centre site.

The Irish Times are reporting that €12.5 million is the guide price.

Despite murmurings of a number of parties showing an interest. You'd have to wonder who could possibly be in a position to get hold of the finance to take on this massive project?

Of course any potential bidders could well have other plans for the site aswell.

€110m development site back on market at €12.5m

JACK FAGAN

A DEVELOPMENT SITE for the proposed Opera shopping centre in Limerick city centre, sold at the peak of the property boom for €110 million, is back on the market at a mere €12.5 million. The collapse in value underlines how much even prime retail sites have fallen in cities as well as towns. It also reflects the difficulties in securing funding for large-scale shopping facilities.

The 2005 sale of the rundown, vacant buildings off Patrick Street in Limerick is frequently cited among the great excesses of the property boom along with the €417 million purchase of the Irish Glass Bottle site in Ringsend and the €315 million acquisition of the Millennium Park in Naas.

Estate agents Savills are to launch a marketing campaign today to find a buyer for the 3.2-acre site which has planning permission for a multi-storey shopping centre with 38,541sq m (414,855 sq ft) of retail space and an underground car park. The sale has been called by developers Gerry O’Reilly, Terry Sweeney and David Courtney of Regeneration Developments, whose loans have been transferred to Nama.

The move to sell the site for the proposed €300 million Opera Centre comes only weeks after the Danish bank NIB reached agreement with an Indian-born developer, Suneil Sharama, for him to take control of a partially built shopping centre along the Dublin Road on the outskirts of Limerick city. Liam Carroll’s Zoe Group abandoned the 15-acre site for the Parkway Valley shopping centre about four years ago when its business collapsed. Local planners are now expected to allow an extension of time on the planning permission for the 39,650sq m (426,792sq ft) retail complex.

Coincidentally, the new promoter for that scheme, Mr Sharma, who is based in the North, is more familiar with the site for the Opera centre than anyone else – having quietly assembled the inner-city quarter along with another investor, Sam Morrison, over a number of years before selling it for an astronomical price to Regeneration Developments.

Limerick city planners granted planning approval for the Opera Centre in the hope that it might help to shift the balance back in favour of the city, which has been in serious decline for many years following the indiscriminate development of more than half a dozen shopping centres in the county-council areas adjoining the city boundary.

Footfall in the city centre has dropped dramatically in recent years as big-name overseas traders opted for out-of-town locations, leaving only three high-profile stores (Penney’s, Brown Thomas and Debenhams) with a broad appeal to city shoppers.

Many of the city’s once-thriving retail streets, including Patrick Street, William Street and the modern Cruises Street, have lost both traders and shoppers. Limerick is the only city in Ireland where rents in out-of-town shopping centres are almost twice as high as those in the city.

Much of the decline in city-centre trading is due to the way the county planners allowed the Crescent shopping centre to grow like Topsy. That trend was finally scuppered last year when An Bord Pleanála overruled the county planners and refused the Dublin-based owners (the Kenny family) permission for yet another major store with a floor area of 9,754 sq m (105,000 sq ft) for Marks Spencer.

The new Government’s recent decision to amalgamate the two local authorities is set to change future planning in the city and county. With Marks Spencer still to decide where to open its first Limerick store, Parkway Valley and whoever acquires the Opera site will both be pitching for the UK multiple as an anchor.

One developer who may take another look at the Opera site is Michael Tiernan, whose Arthur’s Quay shopping centre on the opposite side of Patrick Street has become quite dated. However, if linked up with the proposed new shopping complex it has the potential to turn around the city’s fortunes.


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Re: The Opera Centre

Postby CologneMike » Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:14 pm

Tuborg wrote:You'd have to wonder who could possibly be in a position to get hold of the finance to take on this massive project?

Of course any potential bidders could well have other plans for the site aswell.


It looks like as if the Opera Shopping Centre project is now dead.

The City Council will now start looking at other options for this block as part of the Regeneration projects.

Opera Centre site bought by Limerick City Council

http://www.limerickleader.ie/news/busin ... _1_3262927

By Anne Sheridan

THE Limerick Leader can confirm that Limerick City Council have bought the Opera Centre site with funds made available from the Department of the Environment’s Regeneration budget.

The announcement has been confirmed by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan this Friday afternoon, who said he hopes “it will get life back into the centre of the city.”

“Regeneration means more than regenerating the suburbs with social problems,” the Minister told this newspaper. “The biggest regeneration challenge in Limerick is to regenerate the city centre. We were afraid the Opera site would go to a developer who would sit on it for 20 or 30 years and we’d be left with all this dereliction, with no possibility of developing it,” he said.

Minister Noonan said the department had funds left over from its Regeneration budget this year, which they allocated to Limerick City Council to purchase the site from the National Assets Management Agency (NAMA).
He said an urban development plan will be drawn up for the site in three months, which is expected to become “a commercial, cultural and social hub.”

“Obviously we’ve only ideas yet, but we want to get the professionals in, and plan the whole area from the docklands right across.”

It is understood the council have been in discussions with the University of Limerick and Limerick Institute of Technology regarding having student residencies in the massive complex.

The sale was concluded this evening.

Peter O’Meara, the agent in Cork with Savills, said he was “delighted” the sale had gone through, which he said is “great for Limerick.”

While the cost of buying the site has not been revealed, it had been reduced in price to €12.5m, after its value plummeted from over €100m a number of years ago.

A statement is expected shortly from the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan.
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Re: The Opera Centre

Postby Tuborg » Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:37 pm

Game over it would seem.

Six years on from the first planning application and the site remains untouched and significantly worse for wear.

On the one hand it's somewhat encouraging to finally see some movement on this. Afterall it is over two years since An Bord Pleanala handed down their final verdict. However I find it difficult to muster up any enthusiasm at the prospect of the State overseeing the regeneration of this area. We'll probably end up with more social housing units being developed. :crazy:

The existing plans are not without their flaws of course. But I reckon the shopping complex would have been the safest bet in terms of kick starting the process of injecting some life back into the city centre. A city centre that urgently needs to improve it's dwindling retail offering.

The spin off effects from this development could have been a catalyst for the renewal of other under utilised sites in the surrounding area. The so called market quarter for instance has huge potential and we should be encouraging more cafes. restaurants, bars etc to set up there.

Overall Limerick City Council have as usual been extremely slow off the mark and blew a golden opportunity over the last decade or so to market this area for investment. You could argue aswell that had they adopted a more proactive approach during the planning stages of the opera centre. The complex could well have been up and running by now.
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Re: The Opera Centre

Postby lukejr » Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:22 am

I really would have preferred a private investor to come develop the Opera site. Instead we have tax payers money being used to buy the site from NAMA, and a plan being developed over the coming months after the purchase. Do Limerick City Council have the money to do anything with the site?

I think we would have been better to offer the site and a €12.5m grant for any international retail/mall developer to come in and build the Opera centre. It would have brought external money into Limerick during development and greatly improved the retail offering of the city centre.

Will wait and see the plan for the site, hopefully it'll work out, but really, the plan should have been in place before the tax payer paid for the site.
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Re: The Opera Centre

Postby CologneMike » Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:36 pm

Cáit Ní Cheallacháin, who fought a heritage battle with the various developers of the Opera Centre site during the planning stages, has written an interesting letter in this week’s Limerick Leader. See attachment.
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Re: The Opera Centre

Postby teak » Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:03 pm

Right on, Cáit.

My proposal is not a "mixed development" -- or any other such stupid self-aborting proposal.

I want it to be a real opera centre, plain and simple.
Christ, don't we all need a decent arena for concerts, big plays and maybe even the odd opera.

By day it would be a training base and "home ground" for two dance academies, classical (ballet) and modern (e.g. for musicals).
On no account are these dance academies to be appropriated into the greedy arms of UL.
The Academy of Classical & Modern Dance must have their own separate distinct cachet.
ALL staff to be foreigners of high accomplishment.
ALL subsequent appointments to be "new blood" -- i.e. no past graduates taking over the place à la UL post-Ed Walsh.
Compulsory international exchange tours in summer season.
Season ticket options for locals.
All-in heritage venue card rate for tourists.

"Freshman Dancers College" for enthusiastic paying locals / keep-fit people.
Injury recovery exercise tutoring for sports- and lay-people.
Poise and footwork classes for soccer and boxing enthusiasts.


Why can't we dream for a change and stop pretending that we need more "housing" in the centre of the city and in
a totally inappropriate building ? :angel:
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Re: The Opera Centre

Postby pigtown » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:13 pm

You know I had thought of something similar. If the UCH could be persuaded to be transferred to a new Opera House on the site it would bring a lot of life to the city. And wouldn't the old city hall be a lovely opera house entrance?
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Re: The Opera Centre

Postby rumpelstiltskin » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:32 am

pigtown wrote:You know I had thought of something similar. If the UCH could be persuaded to be transferred to a new Opera House on the site it would bring a lot of life to the city. And wouldn't the old city hall be a lovely opera house entrance?


In an ideal world, I wouldn't like to see this site become a concert venue. I think the buildings in the area should be refurbished and be reopened to retailers. I thought the Opera Centre proposal was the right idea, although the whole aesthetic is a little too plasticky and the kind of thing that will become outdated pretty fast. Some attempt to incorporate the historic nature of the area alongside new retailers, like the Powerscourt Centre in Dublin, would be perfect.

In terms of an concert venue, I think a new landmark building near the river, perhaps on the Dunnes site, would be ideal for that - something weird and wacky that adds to the riverfront in a modern way.

This is all fantasy in the current climate though!
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Re: The Opera Centre

Postby teak » Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:57 pm

In terms of an concert venue, I think a new landmark building near the river, perhaps on the Dunnes site, would be ideal for that - something weird and wacky that adds to the riverfront in a modern way.

A lot of buildings compete for Shannon river frontage, not least the UL Architecture's proposed new City Library -- a very worthy case for a new building -- down in the corner of the old potato market.

Sure, a concert hall entrance from the Charlotte Quay won't generate as many adoring photo backdrops.
But the site is big, fully developable and I think a good public works architect could readily blend the new part of the building with the old Granary stonework façades.


This is all fantasy in the current climate though!

But Fantasy exercises the Soul . . .
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