The main reason for developing a shopping centre/mall on the Carlton site, indeed the reason it was originally proposed, is to draw people to the northern end of the Street. O' Connell Street is being used simply as a route to get to Henry Street, people do not go any further, to the detriment of businesses on the other side/northern end of the Street, as stated in the Area Plan, and is an obvious fact.
Wheras developing the Abbey on the Carlton site is a charming and obvious idea, it simply would not act as a draw to this hugely neglected area, least of all during the day. Even an accociated cultural centre would only draw a couple of tourists during the summer, certainly not Dubliners at any time of the year, again to the detriment of the rejuvination of this area. Aside from the Spire and the repaving, the major issue in the Area Plan is to show there is life beyond Henry Street, and nothing but a retail, restaurant and service providing development is going to do this.
Here's the ill-fated, well designed proposed facade, mentioned before, and contrasted with the current site.
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