Re: Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?
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Hi iomaniacht. I agree that it is vital that Limerick develop and embrace retail. However I have two objections to the proposed development. First of all, I think we should be very very careful before sacraficing historic stock. Check out the “Old Illustrations of LImerick” thread that Tuborg links to; it should give anyone pause for thought before recommending the destruction of more of Limerick’s historic stock. Patrick St./Rutland St. should be one of the most important thoroughfares in the city acting as a link between the new (relatively speaking – 200 years old) with the old city. The Georgian grain and uniformity is truely impressive. (I’ve grabbed and attached some images from maps.live.com to show what will be lost.) By the way some superficial neglect is inevitable when a developer land banks and evicts tennant retailers and businesses but I don’t believe that the structure of these buildings has been compromised.
My second objection is on the basis of the frankly old-fashioned nature of the development which I assume is driven by the desire to keep costs down. This is a bit of fantasy I guess but ideally, I’d love to see the whole of Rutland and Patrick Streets restored sensitively with small boutique street facing units. I’d like two new intersecting pedestrian streets permeating the block – these would be lined with fronts to ultra-modern larger unit as are required by many retailers these days. Some underground parking should be provided of course but by facing and integrating into the grain of the city, such a development would provide synergy with all the surrounding streets promoting redevelopment all around.
On the other hand what is proposed is is a large monolithic block which will face the existing streets with curtain walling and more than likely will suck life and vitality out of the surrounding streets and blocks. This effect is visible around the other developments in the city which follow this model notwithstanding the differences as pointed out by CologneMike.
I also recognise that there is a dillema here; investment and development is very badly needed in the city so it does not feel right to be so negative. However, I feel that a development of this type will – after an initial period of excitement – be very detrimental in the long term to this part of the city. From what I saw the last time I was in Limerick; I think the Henry St/Bedford row area is one example of the type of regeneration the city should be aiming for; pedestrianised streets and the integration of the existing street pattern and as much historic stock as possible.