Shopfront race to the bottom

Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby urbanisto » Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:22 am

Interesting to see that the two LED signs on Capel Street referred to above have now been removed.

Elsewhere, on O'Connell Street, here is an interesting outcome with that perennial problem causer in the city Spar. Spar just cant seem to get its look and branding right so that it effectively reflects its businesses while also being respectful of the buildings and streetscapes within which its businesses sit.

In this instance, the Spar at 63-64 O'Connell Street has applied for an now been granted permission for new signage. Its worth reading through the planners report and the submission by An Taisce which has itself made much of poor quality signage in the city centre. I thought this point in the Planners Report was interesting:

In addition to the above, the various attachments to the building (projecting signs etc) do not have the benefit of permission and these should be removed. Finally, it is noted that the
coffee shop company ‘Insomnia’ operates from the shop. The applicant should be asked to
clarify if this has permission.


This business of installing a franchise within an existing shop has been going for quite some time. It has allowed Subway for example to circumvent the policy of limiting further fast-food units within the ACA and ASPC. It seems to have happened with impunity so its curious that it has been referred to now. From the thread of correspondence it appears that the applicant suggested that the coffee shop use did not require planning permission as it was a subsidiary use. The planner has countered this however and required a formal grant of permission. The matter has also been referred to the Planning Enforcement Section (I cant imagine that will have them quaking in their boots).

http://www.dublincity.ie/swiftlg/apas/r ... ts%3C/a%3E
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby urbanisto » Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:25 am

lauder wrote:More tackiness for Westmoreland Street. I dispair!

Fexco Currency Exchange had put in for PP for new signage. Ignoring the fact they already illegally installed a protruding sign recently.

Dwgs: http://www.dublincity.ie/AnitePublicDocs/00367902.pdf

App No: WEB1062/12

I hope someone has the energy to object?

Image


Refused.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby davidarthurs » Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:14 pm

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/let ... 61522.html

Sir, – One of the shared virtues of the shops featured in the “Best Shops in Ireland” feature (Magazine, August 25th), other than excellent customer service and distinctive produce, is the almost universal high quality of their shopfronts. Whether the delightful Victorian frontage of Lilliput Stores, or the immaculately presented Hickey’s Bakery in Clonmel, most fronts exhibit the basic rules of good shopfront design and presentation, based on restraint in signage, sophisticated use of colour, and a complete harmony with the upper floor facades of their buildings. It is remarkable how simple interventions displayed by these businesses have contributed so much to their respective towns and streets.

The art of good shopfront design across Ireland was made almost extinct during the boom years, with retailers clamouring over each other to shout loudest on the streetscape with over-scaled fascias, garish colours and signage plastered across upper-floor facades. Similarly, the scourge of ignorantly detailed reproduction frontages did a disservice to the design intuition of genuine historic shopfronts, while many contemporary models failed to accommodate signage adequately or relate to their wider host building.

The simple, classically informed vernacular architecture of most Irish towns demands a greater understanding by shop owners and a guiding hand on the part of planning authorities to maximise the potential of our commercial streets, especially in these recessionary times when supporting local trade is so important. This is also true of Dublin, where the main streets of the city, some of which have been experiencing a marked decline in quality presentation, could benefit enormously from greater shopfront design guidance as part of a city-wide initiative to improve the public face of the capital. – Yours, etc,

GRAHAM HICKEY,
Dublin Civic Trust,
Castle Street,
Dublin 2.


Hard to keep up with the nosedive Dublin Shopfronts are taking lately.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby urbanisto » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:33 am

Speaking of Dublin Civic Trust its 2 years since this report was welcomed by City Council and businesses in the area http://issuu.com/dctrust/docs/capel_str ... vised_2011

Mary Street, yesterday

Image

Image
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby Morlan » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:09 pm

Hah, brilliant photoshop, Stephen! :-(

That's it, I'm going to head into town with a high-vis jacket and a lump hammer, and do a job on a few shops around the city. I'm then going to pay a visit to Civic Offices and deliver a barrow-load of illegal signs like severed heads to the Planning Department.

*sigh*
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby davidarthurs » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:19 pm

The idea that 'oh its the recession' doesn't hold water if the streets and surrounding streets are dragged down as so clearly has happened in O'Connell Street and surrounding streets like Westmoreland Street and is being allowed to spread out as a general policy.

Perhaps a group should get together to report illegal banners to avoid the problems of reports coming from an individual.

I'd be generally interested in what the Councils reply is to as to why they aren't enforcing things, and allowing banners to run amock across the city.
Saw a big banner in Rathgar covering Superquinn only yesterday.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby damcw » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:44 am

davidarthurs wrote:The idea that 'oh its the recession' doesn't hold water if the streets and surrounding streets are dragged down as so clearly has happened in O'Connell Street and surrounding streets like Westmoreland Street and is being allowed to spread out as a general policy.

Perhaps a group should get together to report illegal banners to avoid the problems of reports coming from an individual.

I'd be generally interested in what the Councils reply is to as to why they aren't enforcing things, and allowing banners to run amock across the city.
Saw a big banner in Rathgar covering Superquinn only yesterday.


That's a good idea. We could start a blog to catalog (with pictures, much like has been done here) each offending shopfront on O'Connell Street and Westmoreland St, update each post with a copy of all correspondence with DCC, and then do quarterly updates on what exactly has improved/disimproved/stayed the same. It could even be fun.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby GrahamH » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:58 pm

I see the trend of non-existent shop front regulation continues with the announcement that Dubarry, the upmarket Irish shoe retailer, is to open a flagship store at 35 College Green in October. Nothing too serious there, and a very welcome boost for this prominent building, only for the fact that its application to Dublin City Council for moving into one of the most prominent Protected Structures in the State - the former Bank of Scotland premises slap bang in the middle of College Green facing the Bank of Ireland - has been granted exempted development!

Yes, yet again, as with Starbucks and TGI Friday's on Westmoreland Street and Fleet Street - as well as a number of other recent cases across the city - Dublin City Council are deliberately adopting not so much a 'light touch', as a 'don't touch with a ten foot pole' policy in relation to new businesses setting up in the city centre, in a typically provincial 'sure isn't it good for d'town' stance.

It is simply breathtaking how the erection of new signage, replacement of entrance doors, repainting, and no doubt other attendant works to the shop front and platform here, can be considered exempted development under any circumstances, never mind on a Protected Structure overlooking the premier space in the city.

This case is far from isolated, and marks a very serious departure from accepted planning practice, highlighting just how disturbingly out of control the management of the city centre's physical environment is becoming.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby urbanisto » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:01 am

What are we to make of Dublin City Council one wonders...

The planning process in the city is in tatters. Most changes such as the one about dont even make it to the desk of a city planner, they just proceed regardless. Planning Enforcement is non-exsitent or is probably non-exsitent...a cursory glance at the latest Annual Report will tell you nothing of the Council's performance in this area.

Public consultations are now pointless exercised...witness the Mountjoy ACA Variation (all submissions ignored), Grafton Street Part VIII works (all submissions ignored and no Planner's Report published), the Public Realm Strategy (not even a record of the submission made).

The Public Realm Strategy is in place but its not apparent that public realm works are being coordinated through the "team" or undertaken in the spirit of the strategy. The Thomas Street QBC (granted Part VIII permission in 2010) will proceed with a 4 lane carriageway through the historic heart of the city, repeating the mistakes of High Street and Patrick Street. Needy street such as Parnell Street East are left to rot while its western section get repaved without even so much as a mention from the City Council. The City Council Roads Department cracks happily away with paving schemes on Talbot Street and Parnell Street West (bit of a budget there?) while College Green remains a jumbled mess with its half completed lighting scheme. The Markets are continues to rot while the Capel Street ACA seems doomed to lie half completed until the funds appear in the distant future. The flagship O'Connell Street scheme...images of which litter City Council publications...already looks a bit tired and uncared for. Trees are missing, uplighting no longer works, the street furniture keeps being adding to, the area around the Spire looks barren and unfinished.

What a city....
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby urbanisto » Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:04 am

From the Irish Times:

Spar for corner of Dame/George's St

THE SPREAD of convenience stores in Dublin city centre continues. Spar has just agreed rental terms on the former Phillips shop at the corner of Dame Street and South Great George’s Street where the floor area is 111sq m (1,200sq ft). The new tenant will be paying a rent of €120,000 for the premises which adjoins Spar’s other shop on Dame Street. Ben Pearson of Bogle estate agents handled the letting and Declan Bagnall acted for the tenant.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:11 pm

Seriously - how many convenience stores does a city need? One for ever inhabitant? Is that the convenience? your own store?
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby urbanisto » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:22 pm

I think it will really add to the great mix of pubs, takeaways and convenience stores on Dame Street!
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby GrahamH » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:33 pm

What a farce. I presume they will want to link through to the existing store next door (also within the Burton building) to create another mini supermarket concept, as per Merrion Row et al. Alternatively, if permission is not granted, they will just switch premises, while also leaving their unauthorised signage mess behind them, which was never followed up on - as usual.

Dame Street badly needs ACA and Special Planning Control designations to control uses such as this, but as usual, the mechanisims will be begrudgingly slapped on (if it even gets that far) after the horse has bolted.

(As an aside, the stable door has been swinging for the best part of a decade, but then who actually cares about one of the principal thoroughfares of the city?).
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby urbanisto » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:41 pm

But Spar are innovators! They have cheap trans-fat-alicious noodles, and...coffee... and juice bars! And they have glizzy gold lettering for use in 'sensitive locations' where nasty people like conservationists lurk.

I'm not sure why you feel they need to apply for permission to break through Graham? Sure nothing needs permission in the new Dublin.

(sarcasm done for the day)
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby Smithfield Resi » Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:52 pm

davidarthurs wrote:Perhaps a group should get together to report illegal banners to avoid the problems of reports coming from an individual.


I have a ton of letters from DCC regarding illegal banners. Having emigrated I'd love to pass the torch. I can also put you in touch with some like-minded people.

I have also found calling Marketing Managers directly claiming to represent groups has worked in getting them removed. A lot of major brand name marketing teams are under the bizarre and plainly wrong illusion that fabric banners do not need permission as they are "temporary".

The new advertising strategy document does not spell this out nearly clearly enough.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby urbanisto » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:03 pm

Heavens forbid that a DCC policy would spell something out clearly and be enforced.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby urbanisto » Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:05 pm

Posted this on College Green thread but the issue is referred to above.


Image
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby thebig C » Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:55 pm

I was on College Green the other day and had a quick peek at Abercrombie and Fitch....I know I am damning them to faint praise but compared to most other outlets in historic buildings, they actually seem to have done quite a good job on the facade....its actually tasteful.

Likewise, Kapp and Petersons new premises on Nassau street is restrained outside and a delight inside.

As for Dubarry....I've seen alot worse but the colour of the shopfront reminds me of the false tan I seen some girls sporting these days.

C
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby urbanisto » Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:09 pm

Okay so not strictly about the design of shops/shopfronts (DCC guidelines cannot be found on website and most of the hard copies were dumped last year to 'make space' and besides they all related to O'Connell Street which was confusing for everyone else in the city), but...

http://www.pivotdublin.com/index.php/bl ... _map_guide
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby urbanisto » Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:26 pm

Image
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:39 pm

Wow - wonder what it is?
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby urbanisto » Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:54 pm

FEXCO on Westmoreland Street have gone in for planning for a much more appropriate shopfront sign http://www.dublincity.ie/AnitePublicDocs/00387282.pdf

Full application here: http://www.dublincity.ie/swiftlg/apas/r ... ts%3C/a%3E
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby GrahamH » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:45 am

The signage is still too big - surely 400mm is recommended, not 450mm? Also, if we're serious about setting any sort of standard for the O'Connell Street ACA (in which this is sited) then a bronzed or brushed steel finish should be applied to the lettering rather than corporate red:

"Interests should note that the use of a corporate image including advertising and signage will not necessarily be favourably considered - and that the street scene will be considered more important than uniformity between branches of one company."

I see Supermac's have gone to town in further signage additions to their shopfront a few doors down over the Christmas period, including the addition of a hideous 'Papa John's' 1970's style back-lit sign, as per the multiple units they also erected at least three years ago on their O'Connell Street outlet, which are still in situ on their elegant 1910s shopfront along with a host of unauthorised posters and adhesives plastering all the windows, with zero enforcement action taken as ever. So much for the farce of the SAPC 'review'.

Shopfronts have gone completely to pot in Dublin, with recent shocking interventions in Capel Street, Dame Street, Grafton Street, the quays and even poor Gardiner Street - in the latter's case a relatively sophisticated, boom-period flamed limestone shopfront adjacent to Mountjoy Square has just been completely clad out from top to bottom in trashy laundry signage, destroying literally half the streetscape. A crack-team unit in DCC is now urgently required.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby urbanisto » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:14 am

A crack DCC unit?
Quite. But would you trust them?
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby urbanisto » Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:28 pm

Remember this?

Image

Well its now this...

Image

Image

Image

Its a piss-poor paint job that unfortunately doesnt do any justice to the lovely detailing on this frontage. However at least the epileptic fits have stopped along this part of the quays.
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