Re: Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?
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Limerick city centre needs to compete for retail but developments like this (and we’ve heard the hype before to justify them) destroy the one unique feature that the city centre can offer that no out-of-town centre can and that is a street/city scape and genuine historical building stock.
Jim, your words of warning on the Opera Shopping Centre proposal should be taken on board by all Limerick folk interested into how their city is developing. You see a negative repeat of Arthurâ€™s Quay in the Opera proposal on an even larger scale. I really hope your fears will be proved wrong for Limericks sake! Alas there is very little material about for people to judge it in detail. Mushroom treatment pure! Pity that local councillors donâ€™t force the availability of information into the public domain.
When comparing Dunnes Stores (Shopping Centre) and the Arthurâ€™s Quay Shopping Centre with the proposed Opera Shopping Centre, one would have to differentiate between the three of them.
Dunnes Stores built in the 1970â€™s, was never a shopping centre in its own right, nor was it a department store like (Roches, Toddâ€™s or Cannockâ€™s). They built their â€œout of townâ€ model on the fringe of the city centre, with groceries on the ground floor and textiles on the first floor. There were a few independent retailers operating there but that was it. It relied totally on the Arthurâ€™s Quay surface car park back then. That was one of itâ€™s downfalls for not having itâ€™s own underground car parking and for not having the ambition back then to build a representative 4 storey city department store.
Arthurâ€™s Quay Shopping Centre built in the 1980â€™s, in my opinion is firstly a multi-storey car block, with a supermarket (Quinsworth/Tesco) on the ground floor and a handful of independent retailers leading up to it. Its street faÃ§ade reflects the dominance of the parking house within.
Limerick city centre needs new vibrant Department stores, alas the minimalist approach by the likes of Roches Stores (Debenhams) and Brown Thomas who sit on key city blocks is most disappointing. The city centre has lacked in having large available central sites in the past to attract new department stores. Today even department store retailing is changing in where floor space is now being leased out to independent retail chains i.e. the department stores themselves are becoming more akin to shopping centres.
Limericks Georgian building stock and their practical commercial / retail use remains a dilemma!
With the Opera Shopping Centre proposal on the fringe of the city centre, one hopes for the best and fears for the worst.