O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby AndrewP » Mon Jun 23, 2003 12:46 pm

I don't know if the plans address the mix of uses of the street (ie burger bars, sex shops, discount tat stores, off-licences, bookies, gaming arcades etc.)
This seems to be the main problem with the street, and it just seems to get worse and worse.
Does the council have any powers on the kind of business that sets up in a given area?
Also, no matter what you do with the street itself, you're still a stone's throw away from some of the dodgiest residential areas in the city. I lived off O'Connell Street until recently and without a doubt things deteriorated in the last year.
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Postby doozer » Mon Jun 23, 2003 12:51 pm

You can't out right ban certain buisnesses but you can use the carrot and stick approach. Introduce facade guidlines and building upkeep that would make the area less attractive to the lower end of the market.
Get a couple of flagship high-end shops into the area through grants and subsidies and it will begin to regenerate itself. That's the tactic being used in alot inner city area's on the continent.
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Postby StephenC » Mon Jun 23, 2003 1:24 pm

There were comments about the fact that while the DCC is committed to attracting a higher class of business to the street, the strength of their commitment is in question. The former Bank of Ireland building was the case in point. While the IAP specified a high profile use, what we got (or are getting) is a bookies!
I think you should be able to ban certain types of business from areas. For example a limit on the number of Centra/ Spars would be welcome. There is a glut of these tacky shops on the street. Ditto the fastfood emporiums.
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Postby notjim » Mon Jun 23, 2003 1:55 pm

well nothing could be done about paddy powers: changing a bank into a bookies doesn't count as a change of use. actually, i am quite pro having a bookies on o'connell street but that's a different story.
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Postby doozer » Mon Jun 23, 2003 3:23 pm

Yeah perhaps a quota system could work for the fast food dives but I reckon that once a couple of sought after buisnesses are there and a reasonable framework for upkeep , regeneration will happen organically.
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Postby GrahamH » Tue Jun 24, 2003 8:23 pm

The unit sizes on O' Connell St are generally too small to accomodate large stores, which could of course be adressed by the amalgamation of properties, which take time to aquire.
Have you ever been inside the new schuh store, it's the smallest shop in the world!
Burger King has a wonderful premises for a quality store with that fantastic picture window upstairs providing wonderful views of the Street.
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Postby J. Seerski » Wed Jun 25, 2003 4:24 pm

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Postby redeoin » Thu Jun 26, 2003 11:27 am

It will take time for the City Centre to clinmb through the Divisions. It is Division three at the moment, but is bidding for a place in Division Two. The DDDA in their Draft Strategy for the Docklands talk about 'raising the level of disposable income' which is a euphemism for wealthy people spending lots of money. Until that demand is on O'Connell St that type of wealthy bourgeois glow won't happen.

It is also not the fault of the inner city communities that they have suffered from being rundown and poor in the past, though it is much improved now. If the City Council can put in decent infrastructure and services, at least we can start saying that O'Connell St is clean and tidy, and has 'character' (notwithstanding all the dodgy euro shops on Talbot St). It is also up to the Council to make sure crime damage is repaired, and that civic pride is encouraged.

The Ramblas in Barcelona is lauded as one of the great streets in the world, but it is not that impressive really. Some of the buildings are very fine, but once you go below Carrer Portaferrisa it becomes really seedy, and the look of some of the tramps and heroin addicts there would really depress you. The Plaza Reial there is a gorgeous square but has to be one of Europe's worst and most self congratulatory tourist traps.

But back to the main point: once we reach Division Two, we can gather fresh resources together in five year times, and have a crack at climbing towards the First Division.
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Postby GregF » Thu Jun 26, 2003 11:47 am

....after that, the Premiereship and the Champions League ........which are a long way off at the mo.
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Postby redeoin » Thu Jun 26, 2003 3:07 pm

To be honest I was thinking the first Division will be the extent of our achievement in my lifetime! To even dream of the Premiership is to move Ireland South as far as Jersey, to get some regular sunshine, and French haute cuisine...
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Postby GrahamH » Thu Jun 26, 2003 8:04 pm

Whats happening with the Carlton at the moment, did the CC compulsorily purchase it a few months ago?
I can't keep up with all the feckin around on this site with Treasury Holdings & everyone else.
Assuming it has been aquired, which plan is going ahead? The one which eats up Dr Quirkeys & the derilict site and replacing them with Art Deco facades, or the other by A&D Wejchert with the inclusion of Fingal & the derilict site?
The Art Deco was so much better.
And the Moore Mall which was to begin before last Christmas 'at the latest'?
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Postby GrahamH » Mon Jun 30, 2003 9:22 pm

We know pretty much nothing about whats going on on O' Cll St.

Yet its explicity stated in the IAP that the highest level of public consultation will be mantained throughout the project to 'capture our imaginations' & to offer updates etc

Even all here on this site with a general interest in built surroudings, let alone architecture, hav'nt the faintest idea for the most part whats going on, the type of paving, types of trees, the stalls proposed for the central median, lighting etc etc.

I had to give a presentation to about 100 Dublin people (adults) the other day about the Street, and the proposed changes.
NOBODY knew ANYTHING, even about the plaza outside the GPO, let alone about the tree layouts, tax incentives or the Carlton or Luas etc

Indeed the only reason people know about the idea of new trees on the st is because of the 'actions' of the Greens and all of the media hype surrounding it.

Ironically, of the 2 boards on the st providing exceptionally vague info of its redevelopment, 1 has been removed to build the plaza!

Why arn't there comprehensive information boards on the st, providing info as to the proposed physical elements of the st, and the timeframes & phases of development.
People love to read these things, not least if they are dealing with as grand a project as this.
We deserve them, not least as an explanation for why the street looks like a bomb site at the moment.

We see new hoardings and cranes coming in & going up every week now, but with absolutely no details given to the public.
No wonder people have little faith in in the St, esp added to by the Spire fiasco - in which also no information was offered, even with people standing around peering into the site the whole time around its construction, & the public asking the site contractors questions.
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Postby redeoin » Tue Jul 01, 2003 12:51 pm

It is appalling behaviour - absolutely appalling. How much effort would it take to have a new onstreet noticeboard. No effort whatsoever.

If this much pride is taken in developing the street, I don't expect much. And if any of the PR people are called into RTE to explain their vision, I will be the first to barrack them.

How dare they treat the citizens of this city with such arrogance.
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Postby GrahamH » Wed Jul 02, 2003 7:21 pm

Not that I don't support what the CC are doing.

The way they stuck steadfastly to their plans for removing the trees in favour of the new was great, as is the actual layout of the proposed trees.

The plaza for public celebration is wonderful, as it also addresses/emphasises the importance of the GPO on the Street.

The only thing I hate about the plans , (I don't even know if its going ahead at this stage) is the ludicrous proposal to mirror the columns of the GPO by erecting six sculptural lighting yokes, the same height as the columns, on the opposite side of the st outside Ann Summers.

Otherwise, Let The Building Commence!
(even though its already underway!)
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Postby StephenC » Thu Jul 03, 2003 10:22 am

I think the CC are failing miserably to galvanise public support for a better street but that has always been the way DCC have operated. You only have to look at the city motto to know why. The CC manage the city as they see fit for the citizens of the city and we should be thankful for that.... they know best.

As for the sculptural lighting on the plaza... what will they look like. What will any of the street furniture look like. Its very hard to make a considered judgement without knowing what the end result will be. Have you seen them Graham?

I think flag poles would be better myself...stainless steel of course.
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Postby redeoin » Thu Jul 03, 2003 10:27 am

I still find the lack of information tiresome. They don't seem to realise that people are curious about what is happening.

Mind you they may well be keeping quiet deliberately to avoid the attentions of the two-bit environmentalists that want to save a handful of trees etc, never mind the fact that 200 new ones scheduled are for planting. Anyone who has seen north king st will know how surprisingly mature these nursery trees can look.
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Postby StephenC » Thu Jul 03, 2003 11:10 am

I think they are keeping mum because they're plans are on hold due to funding difficulties...
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Postby d_d_dallas » Thu Jul 03, 2003 3:37 pm

Money is a big issue - Cork CC went looking for govt funding for Patrick St rejeuvenation, and got a miserly €1m... hence the slow progress on that projetct. So there'll be war if DCC got carte blanche to do what they like for as much as they like.
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Postby kefu » Thu Jul 03, 2003 5:58 pm

There was a story in the Independent around a month and a half ago saying the O'Connell Street regeneration funding was in jeopardy. It wasn't. At the last city council meeting, the city manager was at pains to say that the money for O'C Street has been ringfenced. He said that at times it was difficult to spend the money, because everything requires lengthy consultation and so on. The money is there - I don't think there are any questions about that.
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Postby GrahamH » Fri Jul 04, 2003 1:09 am

The images I have seen for the 6 yokes on the plaza are about 6 years old at this stage, and appear to be made of some material that glows from within after dark, (some thing along the lines of the perspex columns on the set of Graham Norton - to draw a bizarre comparison! - although somewhat more refined)

I've seen rough ideas for the stalls, benchsetc, but nothing set in stone.

As far as I'm aware, there is to be a light placed beneath each of the 250 or so trees on the st, to illuminate from below after dark, and LEDs are being considered for longevity.

The paving for the plaza is to be set in alternate strips of stone and/or colouring, whilst the standard pavements at each side of the street may have a cobble edging of a foot or so in width, finished off with wide granite kerbstones.

There is to be lighting at the edge of the side pavements lighting the 2 lane roadways on both sides of the st, lighting of a more intimate pedesrian level to light the central median, and the same again I think to light the side pavements.

The side pavements are to be widened, eating up part of the existing third lane on both sides of the st, the other parts to be consumed with the widening of the central median.

Stalls to sell newspapers coffee (at 3.50 a cup) are planned for the central median, as well as various sculptures etc.

The central median should definitly be reserved in my opinion for statues commemorating people, including modern of course, to be added in the future, rather than having abstract art, the idea of a 'hall of fame' as it were,down the St I find appealing, a great feature for the throughfare.
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Postby StephenC » Mon Jul 07, 2003 10:21 am

Aaah they (the light yokes as you so eloquently call them Graham!) are probably along the lines of those on Temple Bar Square. You know the ones that have been well maintained by TBP and are in perfect working order and don't look an absolute state!

I have seen an artists impression of the proposed stalls on O'CSt. They look quite good. There are even pictures of them up in the street for passers-by to view... well done the Corpo.
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Postby GrahamH » Mon Jul 07, 2003 7:20 pm

At last!
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Postby GrahamH » Mon Jul 07, 2003 7:50 pm

Was anyone there this morning or has all of the novelty factor of the Spire worn off at this stage?

Anne Graham, the Streets manager says the section from Abbey St to Henry will take a year, roughly from today, with the remaining section(s) another year.

Also it is increasingly likely that the trees at the top end are going to be retained as part of the plans, this is crazy.
One of the best part of the plans is that the new trees, planted at regular intervals down the thoughfare will unify the whole st, north middle & south, this scheme will be utterly lost with the retention of the mighty specimens dominating the place at the moment.

These must be removed, whereas I don't want to appear flippant about these wonderful trees, God knows they've seved us well as the grand old ladys of the st blocking the Gresham's view of the derilict site & Fingal Offices across the road, they have to go to enable the full effect of the new trees to be appriciated, ie continuity.

They were planted I think in 1903, with most of the others on/left on the st in the 60s, 70s & 80s.
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Postby Rory W » Tue Jul 08, 2003 9:27 am

The words "an Irish solution" leap to mind...
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Postby GregF » Tue Jul 08, 2003 9:34 am

We are getting a half arsed plan as always .....thanks to the Green Party, Ciaran Cuffe & Co for inanely stirring all this trouble up. I really don't care about all this any more.....The optimism and hope is gone.
Maybe we ge what we deserve.
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