Re: Re: Carlton Cinema Development
The images and drawings I’ve seen – which aren’t reproducable – show a plaza on O’Connell Street itself and then a short street leading into what I assume is currently the Royal Dublin Hotel, another street back to Moore Street and a larger, wider street down to Henry St with a minor square there. The building images I’ve seen are about six storeys, very boring. But they were prepared at least two years ago so I’m sure it’s been improved.
There was some details a couple of days ago in The Sunday Business Post:
Developer Joe O’Reilly wrote to the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) criticising the decision to reduce the number of Metro North stops in Dublin city centre. O’Reilly said that the decision to reduce the number of stations from three to two “is a weak compromise”. In a letter written in October 2006, and released to The Sunday Business Post under the Freedom of Information Act, he said that the southern part of the city centre will “yet again be strengthened by the current proposal which dedicates one station (St Stephen’s Green) to the south, while the second station is shared; the northside has no station. Furthermore the positioning of a station on O’Connell Bridge will serve to create greater division between north and south Dublin.”
The RPA has said it will consider a third city centre stop at Parnell Square East, after a request from Dublin City Council. That station would be close to a number of properties owned by O’Reilly, including the former Carlton cinema site and adjoining land on O’Connell Street and a 50 per cent stake in the Ilac Centre to the rear of that site.
“It is true that a metro exit at Abbey Street would be within 300 metres of our development but we are not looking to just create a successful shopping district quarter,” O’Reilly continued. “We see our development as an engine for regeneration – simply put, we want a successful development in a vibrant, prosperous part of the town. Together with the metro we can rejuvenate Parnell Square/Dominick Street and the surrounding areas, making them as attractive as St Stephen’s Green on the south side.”
O’Reilly said that if the decision is made to stick to two stations they should be equitably positioned with one on the southside and one on the northside. He said the proposed station under O’Connell Bridge was in an area already congested with pedestrians and would be a disaster. “It just does not make sense to put all the commuters and tourists through streets crowded with shoppers to get to the metro,” he wrote. “By positioning the second station at north O’Connell Street/Parnell Square east we will put passengers away from the areas of congestion.”
O’Reilly continued that the new public square planned for part of the Carlton cinema site would be able to accommodate a metro exit and contrasted that situation with Oxford Circus tube station in London which has to close regularly at peak time because of passenger congestion. “There is only one chance to get this right and the decisions made now will impact on generations to come,” he concluded.
An earlier submission, drawn up by TJ O’Connor & Associates on behalf of O’Reilly’s Chartered Land, said that if one “enters the Ilac from Henry Street and exits on Parnell Street is is like going into a time-maching, regressing about 15 years to pre-Celtic Tiger days”. Other documents show Chartered’s redevelopment of the Carlton site will involve constructing a 92,900 square metre development.
RPA chairman Padraic White responded that following talks with stakeholders in the O’Connell Street area it became clear that a stop there would have had significant drawbacks in terms of the likely impact on businesses and traffic. The station under the Liffey was then chosen because there would be less construction impact and because it offered better connections to the Luas red line.
He said he did not agree with O’Reilly’s view that the stop under the Liffey would create additional congestion problems because the station’s location would reduce the number of people using O’Connell Bridge. Up to six entrances in total will be used to allow passengers disperse from the station and the footways on O’Connell Bridge will be widened.