Reply To: Down With An Taisce!!!

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Originally posted by lexington
I’m sorry Diaspora, and I’m not trying to specifically pinch you the whole time, but can you not acknowledge a contradiction in your arguments?

No I am on record as being supportive of many projects mostly ones that have been completed in Dublin.

Originally posted by lexington
-> The Cork Docklands should emerge as quality urban quarter – but yet, almost every docklands site earmarked has been opposed to by An Taisce. I appreciate the idea of refurbishment, my own interests have assessed this potential, but only a slight handful of existing structures are capable of limited conversion – as assessed by Arup, SDA O’Flynn and CCC City Engineers Office. This is a huge limit on ability to create any sort of urban quarter, let alone a quality one.

Thats depends on you target rate of return, the key to all sucessful development is to unlock latent value. Many suitable sites contain building land generally to the rear and side of existing buildings.

Originally posted by lexington
-> Much of the land is already available, for example, the Odlums Building on Kennedy Quay (1.2 hectares), 3 sites on Centre Park Road between 1.2 and 6.4 acres, Custom House Quay, Horgan’s Quay and Water Street. ALL facing opposition from An Taisce (though I can’t say that confidently for one site on CPR).

How are we to develop when An Taisce in the majority, object to everything we do? It’s like trying to drive down a grit road to a lavish palace but with a load of people linking arms across the road, refusing to let you by.

Design better buildings most of the proposals I have seen are not particularly strong from an urban design viewpoint. They are often quite bulky and the cladding materials are difficult to assess.

Where Water St is different is that it represents a quality piece of architecture, although it would certainly have faced an easier ride if it were on a cleared site.

Originally posted by lexington
-> As for capital investment, believe you me, the first thing ANY investor looks at when deciding upon location is ‘What can I get out of it? And how much?’ – not education. In no way is it subservient. Education becomes a factor after the investor assesses his first 2 questions and then tries to find ways to utilise the location to maximise profitability.

I disagree contemporary employers are primarily looking for highly skilled staff to implement existing work practices from other branches of the corporation. Buildings are about the last thing that major corporates look at. Although the Built environment is an important factor in attracting well educated foreign workers. In my opinion a lot of the proposals in question are mundane examples of ‘anywhere architecture’ and numerous examples are vacant in places like Sandyford and Bangalore.

Originally posted by lexington
For example, if a developer wants to construct an office building, he first looks at the market – if the market or projected market environment is favourable, the developer then assesses the likelihood of his proposal being carried through – if it is low, he will move location to the next best alternative. Then and only then, may he assess factors like education – such as UCC – if the office building does get through, occupiers may seek employees of a particular standard, the developer always has an angle then pitching the quality of available education to make the location and development more attractive. If there is no education facilities, but market demand is still strong, the developer will still invest and import education skills required.

You have descibed the thinking behind property development quite well, if I were developing myself that is exactly the way I would think.

But I would be concious of three further things

1. No one is owed a living, development is a risky business, one sees the key players drift in and out of the market.

2. Heritage is an important aspect of culture it is protected at all levels from UN, EU, National and local. The development plans are very clear as to what you can and cannot do.

3. An Taisce and the IGS are here to stay they will continue to observe the Built Environment and their arguments are well known and often heeded.

The only way to get anything built is to be realistic in your expectations and use the highest design standards possible, only in booming market are ‘Boring Buildings’ easily rentable

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