Re: Re: Carlton Cinema Development

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There are three reasons why this area would never be Temple Bar; firstly Temple Bar is organic in that it had a lot of great built heritage to plant modern buildings into; some of Dublin’s best pubs and restaurants survived a very grim 15 years between the late 1970’s and early 1990’s; you got respect those that made it work against a very backward planning backdrop that made a central bus station the primary goal.

Secondly unlike Paris where really good office schemes are fronted by period facades and pavement cafes and other leisure Dublin is a far less mixed use City; offices were put in the docks and Dublin 2; turn the clock back to 1996, draw up a master plan and I would say it would have worked; sadly offices are oversupplied.

Thirdly bid rent; with a site that linked Henry Street the Ilac Centre and OCS no other use could possibly have competed with Retail at this location; there have been a number of proposals for this location over the past 15 years they have all been predicated on unlocking the backlands between OCS and Moore Street; why I think Chartered Land have a better proposal is that they can also work the Ilac Centre into the equation; retail is about scale; if an agent approaches a major retailer without a presence in that City region and says I have a shop the retailer looks at the City thinks about supply chain difficulties and 90% of the time says no; if the same agent says we are developing a scheme and these 5 flavour of the month retailers are already on board the chances are they will push the boat out; that is exactly how H & M were attracted to Ireland and to a lesser extent Zara who were offered a box they couldn’t refuse,

If the use is to be a shopping centre there is no-one better placed than Chartered Land to deliver it; they have the reputation with the retailers on the back of Dudrum, they promised it would would work commercially, it was top of many retailers performance tables whilst plastic was expanding and still holds upper quartile at what appears to be the bottom of the consumer cycle; I agree that architecturally Shopping Centres are never going to win a Sterling Prize but as shopping centres go Dundrum can hold its own with anything done in Europe over the past 15 years; Dublin unfortunately is not Singapore.

What needs to happen next is that pre-lets get done, the gaps in OCS get filled in, the government collect the taxes it will deliver and in the interim the vitally important heritage assets such as 42 OCS are wrapped up in cotton wool pending a restoration to rival that done on the Shelbourne. An area that needs to be thought out far more for a more experimental quarter is North Wall Quay and the unwinding of the really backward designs Liam Carroll planned; back office function offices, weak…..

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