Reply To: Look at de state of Cork, like!

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Speaking of Mark Kelleher’s large 92-unit development at Westend, Bishopstown – I availed of the opportunity provided to walk the development site with another gentleman. There is something eerie about the site – it resembles an accumulation of overgrown grass patches, briars, fencing, old sheds and hedges. It seems completely out of sync with the rest of the surrounding areas. I have seen the plans for the site, and personally I feel that the site and area could very much stand to benefit from the development. Many of the objections are exceptionally over-the-top, repetitive and quite frankly, stupid. Jerry Buttimer, local councillor, applauds the objectors for their use of ‘democracy’ by objecting, but there is nothing democratic about the same people lodging more than one objection under different guises – i.e. The Rise Residents Association, then a list of Rise Residents independently objecting, then different members of the same household objecting…that’s a little excessive, and to be honest, unfair. Although I do think the development is warranted – I completely agree with concerns relating to traffic management in the area. Yes, the area is heavily congested, the roads in the area handle in excess of 100,000 traffic movements per day and they are inadequately designed for such a volume. Some objectors have raised this point and it is completely valid – however, I would like to see the developer work with the residents and CCC on how best to combat this problem, perhaps by privately funding feeder road-upgrades as part of the development??? I also acknowledge that some areas of the development do mildly overlook 3 or 4 residencies, the developer could easily adjust this by ‘stepping’ the apartment block more carefully. I don’t have a problem with these valid points – it’s the stupid ones that bug me. Some objections are basically just saying, ‘I’m sick of high-rise’. I remind them, it’s 5-storeys, not 17.

😀 O’Callaghan Properties 10-year Retail Plan

-> Mahon Point SC (20m visitors p.a. expected – same as Liffey Valley)
-> Lodge Application for Academy Street mid-to-late 2005 (200,000sq ft of ‘fashion’ based retail – between 30 – 40 units over 6-storeys (+ basement) and with over 80 to 100 apartment units, 30,000sq ft of offices (?)) – OCP are promising something very special on this one. Let’s hope they deliver – early suggest, they MAY hit a high-note with a Danish design firm working with a Dublin-based practice – Project?
-> Begin construction (Bowen Construction again) on Academy Street late-2006.
-> Possible projects on the South Docklands?- We’ll just have to wait and see!
-> Development at Academy Street opens late-2007, early 2008.
-> Possible Mahon Point SC extension (further 150,000 to 200,000sq ft to the northern elevation).

The above is just a whimsical representation to some of OCP’s proposed plans, nothing in stone. Don’t take it too seriously. However, the time-frame for Academy Street has been laid out by OCP already, as well as the Mahon Point SC extension – which is already in pre-planning. Dirk Luow of Project Architects has already assessed this option. The centre was designed to accommodate such an extension.

-> OCP are to relocate to their new HQ at 21 Lavitts Quay come April/Summer 2005. They are currently based in temporary facilities (a series of interconnecting cabins) on the Mahon Point lands at Ballinure, Mahon. Once relocated, the land for a new Hilton Hotel and Leisure Centre will be freed up. Construction on the 200-bedroom hotel is planned to be complete by late 2006/early 2007?. The technology and business parks (once planned long ago for Horgan’s Quay) and up to 100,000sq ft of office space are due to be complete for 2008.

-> As for the 6,000-seat convention/event centre, though scepticism remains over this project, with a project development cost of 30m euro, I have been informed that, since mid-2004, a series of construction options have been discussed with between the design team, construction team and a number of Irish, UK and US consultants with regards reducing construction costs and availing of new strategies to provide a less expensive build, hopefully making the centre more viable. Though it is highly publicised, the logistics of the project still don’t add up, I suspect that the project may not be realised – although this latest information is curious.

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