Shopfront race to the bottom

Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby a boyle » Thu Jun 22, 2006 1:10 pm

markpb wrote:I think it's been there a while but I only noticed the garish sign last night so I'm guessing it's new. I'll send a letter to planning enforcement later and see what they say.


i would add that they seem to be very very busy . as it took a good month or two to get a letter back from the council.

I am assuming that eurocycles have done nothing .. Does anybody know what the is next thing to do ?
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby GrahamH » Thu Jun 22, 2006 7:59 pm

Don't worry yet a boyle. It's a long process - ranging from notices being issued, to enforcement proceedings being enacted or the subject property entering into negotiations with the authority as to a timeframe for remedial works, without official enforcement being necessary.
And especially with DCC being as stretched as they are, I'd give them a while.
Have you been to the shop lately?
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby crestfield » Thu Jun 22, 2006 11:05 pm

Not all Spar signs are that bad, just look at the sign on the Spar within the Irish Bar complex on Church St. Although I must admit that Spar in particular is the worst offender over all in comparison to other chains. Some chains claim that due to strict rules of the franchise they must have a particular signage with set colours, this is rubbish as adaption to a particular area is no way prevented, its just cheaper to use a generic standard signs
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby markpb » Fri Jun 23, 2006 11:52 am

I emailed planning enforment yesterday, guess I'll have to wait and see what they say but from what you said (a boyle), I won't be expecting a reply anytime soon. Here are some (low quality camera phone) photos of the place.

Pic1
Pic2
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby PVC King » Fri Jun 23, 2006 11:58 am

That sign is an affront to plastic signage
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby a boyle » Fri Jun 23, 2006 2:47 pm

that is pretty ugly.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby StephenC » Fri Jun 23, 2006 3:10 pm

as opposed to "a front of plastic signage"

Is this that amusement dump on Eden Quay?
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby markpb » Fri Jun 23, 2006 3:18 pm

It's under the Clifton Court hotel and beside the new building, Aston/Ashton court.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby jdivision » Fri Jun 23, 2006 3:59 pm

markpb wrote:It's under the Clifton Court hotel and beside the new building, Aston/Ashton court.

It used to be Spi pub, was briefly "trendy" and was owned by Hugh O'Regan. He sold it on a good few years ago to a couple of guys who own a gay bar on the quays - don't know the name of it - and it was then partly turned into a lap dancing club. Obviously that didnt work so they're moving onto the next "craze"
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby ctesiphon » Fri Jun 23, 2006 4:05 pm

jdivision wrote:it was then partly turned into a lap dancing club. Obviously that didnt work so they're moving onto the next "craze"

What? You mean the lap-dancing craze is over? Oh for shame. And just as I was about to jump on the bandwagon...;)
Still, here's my chance to get in on the ground floor of the Texas Hold'em craze. You heard it here first, folks!!
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby altotude » Fri Jun 23, 2006 4:06 pm

maggie wrote:As an aside, the nice contemporary pub front to Tom's Bar in Mountrath (Ithink it got an AAI special mention a few years ago) is being replaced with another pastiche traditional surround. It looks a mess, the windows to first floor level and the doors at ground floor seem to be staying. It must have changed ownership recently. Pity.


I drive past there every now and then going down to Limerick. Recently I noticed this and thought: "Hold on a second, wasn't that pub quite a pleasant contemporary place, showing some signs of 20th century life in the village?"

It's interesting that people often accuse others of snobbery in criticising developments, etc. on grounds of taste. Each to their own, of course, but I really would like to see all the faux Georgian/Victorian/Palladian/Irish Traditional etc. styles stamped out. Irish people are very conservative, on many levels, and particularly when it comes to design. If they had a bit more interesting design foisted on them perhaps they might change and start to opt for contemporary approaches.

On an anecdotal level I remember, as a student in UCC when the Glucksman Gallery was first proposed, that there were howls of derision from many quarters at the artists' impressions of the finished building. When it was finished I don't think there was a whole lot of local interest. Now that it's an award winning building of international repute it's like the Jewel in the Crown down there.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby Devin » Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:19 am

Well we seem to have got a result here regarding the unauthorised works at Centra on Wellington Quay, as documented earlier in the thread: http://www.archiseek.com/content/showpost.php?p=49550&postcount=20

The shopfront has been repainted in the last few days. However the colour is not exactly the same - it's slightly lighter (for spite, or what?). And the shiny fascia and lettering are still in place, but I'm presuming they're coming off in the next few days.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby ctesiphon » Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:35 pm

Nice work, sir.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby a boyle » Wed Jul 12, 2006 1:51 pm

a planning enforcement has gone out a few weeks ago on eurocycles (south william street). obviously nothing has happened . is there something else i need to do ?
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby PVC King » Wed Jul 12, 2006 2:15 pm

Wait

This is one I very much doubt they will let go

Enforcement takes time particularly when the damage has already been done. This was spotted too late to injunct the owner/occupier but if it were a case of an unlawful demolition then immediate action would be required. In this case I have little doubt the sign will come down but like all legal matters the respondent has the benefit of timescales to provide justification which I imagine are being exhausted one by one
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby a boyle » Wed Jul 12, 2006 2:18 pm

ok .
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby StephenC » Thu Aug 03, 2006 1:21 pm

It would seem the cat is finally starting to use her claws.....

Full Development Description

Retention permission is sought by Emcaol Ltd for retention of existing external shop front signage to existing retail unit at Centra Gresham House, corner of Cathal Brugha St and Marlborough St, Dublin 1.

REFUSE PERMISSION
1. The proposed development by reason of the materials, colour and extent of the signage, together with the application of corporate imaging would be contrary to the implementation of good shop front design, as provided for within the Dublin City Council 'Shop Front Design Guide' (2001) and the 'Shop Front Design Guidelines for the O'Connell Street Area' (2003). The proposed signage would be visually intrusive, would detract from the character of area, which is located adjacent to the O'Connell Street Architectural Conservation Area and would set an undesirable precedent for further similar developments in the vicinity. Thus, the proposed development would be contrary to the policies and objectives of the Dublin City Development Plan 2005-2011 and would be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area


And

Planning Permission sought by Ashglen Property Company Limited for provision of off-licence (18 sqm) subsidiary to the main retail use at Spar, Retail Unit 4, 35-41 Parnell Street, Dublin 1.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
1. The existing shopfront signage appears to be unauthorised. There are a proliferation of corporate colours and signs on the premises, including one no. projecting sign and a large number of stickers on the windows/doors. The applicant is requested to provide details of the grant of planning permission for the existing shopfront signage, including projecting sign to the premises. The applicants are advised to contact the Planning Authority, in this regard, prior to the submission of the Additional Information.


Its seems DCC are making a conscious effort to rein in the convenience stores. I have notticed an increasing number of Planning Applications being refered to the Good Shopfront Design Guidelines.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby ChrisNugent » Thu Aug 03, 2006 2:33 pm

Has anyone seen The Crazy Carrot on Dame St? It used to be Balance for Health. It's an abomination!
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby cobalt » Sun Sep 24, 2006 3:05 pm

Sunday Times - 24th September 2006
An Taisce in war on lurid shopfronts
Colin Coyle

THEY style themselves as shops “designed for the way we live today” but An Taisce, the National Trust for Ireland, has claimed that the “increasingly brash and lurid” shopfronts of convenience stores are destroying the fabric of Dublin.
The planning watchdog has filed documents with the city council claiming that Spar, Centra and Londis “are showing an increasing contempt and disregard for planning laws and requirements”, and that their obtrusive, gaudy facades are ruining the capital’s historic streetscapes.

Kevin Duff, a spokesman for An Taisce, says Centra and Spar are the chief offenders. “These shops are openly flouting planning regulations and there is now a significant level of unauthorised development and non-compliance with planning authority decisions in Dublin, where a new convenience store seemingly opens on a weekly basis,” he said.

“We’ve identified at least 20 examples of these stores disregarding planning regulations. The city council is reluctant to get tough with them and doesn’t want to get involved in messy legal battles, but the situation is getting out of hand. It’s only a matter of time before it spreads to other urban areas.”

The city council has issued enforcement orders against a number of convenience stores in recent months and admits that there have been a growing number of complaints from the public about the visual impact of such shops.

“We have taken action against several shops recently, forcing them to remove unauthorised signs,” said Rory O’Byrne, an enforcement officer. “We’re not actively targeting convenience stores, but we do investigate any reports of unauthorised development.”

An Taisce claims that when convenience stores open, they sometimes use cheap plastic signage emblazoned with their logos and claim that it is a temporary arrangement.

Duff said: “There is a Londis on O’Connell Street, right in the heart of an area with its own special planning controls, that has had a temporary sign outside it for almost 18 months. The policy appears to be to establish themselves visually with a big, bold sign and leave it in place for as long as possible.”

Londis admitted that erecting a permanent sign on its O’Connell Street store was taking longer than expected.

Spar has also been known to erect bold plastic “temporary” shopfronts, Duff claims. “The Spar on Patrick Street had ‘temporary’ signage for eight months. It has finally been removed and replaced with a stainless steel sign, but it’s completely different to what was agreed with the city council.”

Spar, Duff said, has opened several shops without securing planning permission for their facades first.

“Over the past year a significant proportion of their stores in the city centre have been fitted with an internally illuminated protruding plastic box fascia. These boxes have a cheap downmarket appearance and fly in the face of basic shopfront design principles,” he said.

Spar claims that it has a strong tradition of working closely with local authorities in all large European cities and is happy with its relationship with Dublin city council. “Spar takes it responsibilities in relation to planning very seriously,” it said.

“We are in continuous dialogue with the city council through our architects in relation to store frontage and signage.”

Centra claims that although its stores are individually owned by independent retailers, “store fronts have to conform to an agreed brand identity and quality standard as well as conforming to the planning requirements of the relevant local authority”.

Duff cites a Spar on Mayor Street and a Centra on Capel Street as two models of restraint in shopfront design. “Both of those stores have discreet, simple designs, but these constitute a minority,” he said.
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby PVC King » Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:23 pm

A balanced article that wasn't particularly unfair to any of the parties involved;

the question is will Devin see a widespread use of the Guillotene for the most strident examples?
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby markpb » Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:55 pm

markpb wrote:I emailed planning enforment yesterday, guess I'll have to wait and see what they say but from what you said (a boyle), I won't be expecting a reply anytime soon. Here are some (low quality camera phone) photos of the place.

Pic1
Pic2


I finally got a letter from DCC Planning Enforcement about this. They issued an enforcement order against them on the 16h. I wonder if it'll make any difference.

Have Eurocycles changed their front yet?
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby wearnicehats » Wed Nov 22, 2006 2:28 am

markpb wrote:I finally got a letter from DCC Planning Enforcement about this. They issued an enforcement order against them on the 16h. I wonder if it'll make any difference.

Have Eurocycles changed their front yet?


nope
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby Rory W » Wed Nov 22, 2006 3:07 pm

Well Eurocycles/Eurobaby are a little bit braindead in my opinion - must be the only baby store in the world that is UPSTAIRS and HAS NO LIFT to bring a pram/buggy up.

I'm sure those going in to buy a bike are fit enough to climb the stairs!!!
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby archipimp » Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:41 pm

hey if eurocycles dont take that sign down i say we take it down for them if you know what i mean...maybe even start a campaign of terror against these offenders!!!

im not sure if this is relevant but does anyone else think the massive yellow advertising on the front of the new ilac centre completly ruins the building?
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Re: Shopfront race to the bottom

Postby kite » Sun Nov 26, 2006 5:42 pm

:o From the Sunday Independent 26-11-06

Classy facades overshadowed by tat



Sunday November 26th 2006


IT'S still elegant, but like that glitzy cocktail dress that has been out on the tiles too many times, Grafton Street is looking a little shabby, careworn and missing a few sequins.

In these final days of November, Ireland's premier shopping street should be at its best, adorned in festive finery and thronged with happy shoppers buying the first of their Christmas gifts.

The decorations are up, but the short stroll from Stephen's Green to Westmoreland Street reveals that the most valuable real estate in the country has become bleak and a little tatty.

It's not helped by a litter bin at the Stephen's Green end so brimmed with free sheets, coffee cups and other detritus of the streets that a passing drunk had no option but to leave the empty bottle of cheap vodka beside, but not in, the black bin.

It is at this end of Grafton Street that the problems identified by the city council are most clearly evident. There are too many telephone shops, too many convenience stores and low-end souvenir shops.

In quick succession the street that should be heaven has the garish procession of ugly retail units - the nightclub blue O2 telephone store, the Londis supermarket with its free-standing street displays of dated postcards, and the Vodafone shop painted in-your-face Manchester United red. On the opposite side of the street, the Camera Centre advertises its wares in a Texan-sized font. Understated it is not.

It's a depressing start, but there is a little relief further on. Zerep, Richard Allen and Sisley are coolly contemporary and pleasing to the eye, though the Laura Ashley shop - with its magnolia facade - is grubby.

Dunnes Stores on Grafton Street is admittedly a very small outlet of this wealthy supermarket giant in terms of square feet of retail space, but it is surprising that Margaret Heffernan would allow one of her stores to look so shabby.

It looks as though the painters were in, completed the undercoat and were called away to another job - never to return.

The litter bins in the rest of Grafton Street have all been emptied and the ochre paving is clean and litter-free.

There are other shops which deserve their spot on Grafton Street. Jigsaw, Miss Selfridge, Champion Sports - and even Burger King - with low-key signage, pass muster.

Monsoon is a mid-market fashion shop, but its rich gold and mulberry makeover looks classy and the window dressers have done an outstanding job with their festive display. But Monsoon abuts the hideous HMV store dressed in a pink livery not seen in nature. It's all rather depressing.

What is strange is that the financial services stores that dot the street are the worst. The Permanent TSB building at the junction of Harry Street is a concrete bunker of unrelenting squalor.

About 80,000 people walk up Grafton Street every day. It is shocking that some of the wealthiest institutions in the country don't put their best foot forward.

There are four nice shops in a row: Boodles, Karen Millen, Rocks and Peter Marks. All combine elegance with a contemporary feel. The old stonework of the block is showcased to good effect.

Opposite, there is yet another phone shop. The Carphone Warehouse store looks as though it should be stuck in the backlands of an industrial estate off the Naas Road. It isn't particularly ugly, just inappropriate in the middle of this pedestrian boulevard.

When it first opened, designer label shrine BT2 had a certain urban chic - but it has dated badly. It looks half-finished rather than cutting edge these days.

Bewley's is still beautiful, but the great old lady of Grafton Street looks out on yet another phone shop - this time Meteor.

Ernest Jones is a new jewellery outlet on Grafton Street, specialising in diamonds and watches. It has an elegant, stylish but very British shopfront which does not sit well on the street. The large coat of arms adornment 'Bewley's is still beautiful, but the great old lady of Grafton Street looks out on yet another phone shop - this time Meteor'

might be more appropriate on Winchester High Street rather than the heart of ould Dublin.

The dark green Body Shop store, like the brand itself, has relaxed into comfortable middle age. It's reminiscent of looking through old albums at a car boot sale and finding an LP cover which, by its typeface alone, immediately catapults one back to house party in the early Seventies.

Marks & Spencer is a fine store, elegant clean and inviting, but just along the street there is, yes that's right, yet another phone shop - O2 Experience.

Brown Thomas is a beacon of classy elegance, with a rather arty but beautiful window display on a carnival/circus theme, but on the opposite side of the street the Grafton Arcade is shuttered up and could definitely do with being power-hosed.

The street peters out with a row of inoffensive but uninspiring shops. An exception is River Island. This is a fine shop front with a monochrome theme that is spare and bright.

The worst by far is the AIB Service Centre - it's dirty looking and does the financial services giant no favours. There is one more phone store - Vodafone again - and the final shop as you exit Grafton Street is the Mortgage Store. This is another financial services provider reluctant to speculate some of its profits on dressing up its real estate on the best pitch in Dublin. It's bewildering, and sad.

Jerome Reilly


© Irish Independent
http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/ & http://www.unison.ie/
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