Re: Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?
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This is my first post on this most interesting site where conflicting opinions are generally accepted graciously unlike some others that I contribute to.
In my opinion the proposed Opera Centre is a wonderful development which on completion will greatly boost Limerick City’s commercial and social life. Inevitably, all such developments have limitations and the Opera Centre is more introverted than one would like. It would be preferrable to see greater access to the proposed centre from Rutland, Patrick and Ellen Streets and a retention of the niche shops that were present a few years ago. The plan to keep nos 4 and 4 Rutland Street as a distinct unit is welcome. Currently, only the Celtic Bookshop remains while Ladakh Jewellers, Munster Rugby, Glynn Buthchers, the Post Office etc etc are all closed and boarded up and the area virually ‘dead.’
The developers hope to attract an annual footfall of circa 150,000 peope per week, 7,500,000 per year. This would entail landing a development as large as the Dundrum Shopping Centre right in the middle of the city. These shoppers will benefit greatly not just the occupants of shops in the centre but the entire city.
At the moment many people in the outlying catchment area of Limerick City do not shop there. I am very familiar with mid-Clare, a well populated and generally affluent area which should be a natural part of Limerick’s catchment.
Currently, the vast majority of these people visit either Galway, Cork or Dublin cities, when shopping for ‘significant’ and expensive occasions such as First Communion, Confirmations and Weddings. For Limerick City to compete it must allow large city developments such a sthe Opera Centre develop. The city cannot wait much longer or alternative developments elsewhere will mean that centres such as the Opera Centre will be no longer necessary or viable. Limerick City must become involved in a competitive trading environment with Galway and Cork. As one of the regular Clare visitors to Glaway I read the local Galwegian papers. Invariably, when they discuss proposed large retail developments they outline how they will attract cutomers and tenants to Galway at the expense of Limerick City.
I admit that I am not an expert on arhitecture but would ask those calling for the retention of all the Georgian buildings in the affected area to take a walk along Ellen Street and look up at the upper stories of these buildings. From a casual observation some with extensive vegetaion growth appear as if they are could collapse and without this deveopment soon will.
While, the proposed plans demand serious consideration, I think that overall, they offer Limerick City a unique opportunity of taking a huge leap forward, and deserves strong local support.