Re: Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?
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Opera Centre goes back to the drawing board
Art studentsâ€™ creativity sought.
DEVELOPERS behind the proposed Opera Centre have said that they will be approaching the local art college to improve the look of the boarded up buildings along Rutland Street and Patrick Street.
Opera Centre project manager, Pat Keogh, told the Limerick Post that he would bring the issue of the unattractive hoardings up with the developers of the proposed shopping mall, following complaints from a local councillor.
Joe Leddin has labelled the boarded buildings, which face onto Patrick Street and Rutland Street, as “a complete eyesore,â€ and called on the hoardings to be removed immediately.
“It is a complete eyesore for those walking or driving past these streets. I have received a number of complaints from people that the image of the city is being tarnished with all these premises boarded up,â€ Cllr Leddin said.
“Visitors and tourists to our city who visit places like the magnificent Hunt Museum must surely be wondering is the whole city closing down when they look across the road,â€ he continued.
Cllr Leddin said that developers and local auctioneers needed to be more conscious of the image of the city when they go about erecting signs and hoardings.
He further suggested that the developers approach the Limerick School of Art and Design to find a more attractive alternative to the hoardings.
“I am sure students would be only too willing to be involved in designing a more appropriate method of securing these buildings,â€ Cllr Leddin told the Post.
When contacted by the Limerick Post on the issue, Pat Keogh embraced Cllr Leddinâ€™s proposals.
Mr Keogh conceded that the hoardings were unattractive, adding that he would approach the Limerick School of Art and Design with a view to design something more appealing.
“We certainly donâ€™t want the area to appear derelict,â€ he continued.
He said that the hoardings were erected due to continuous break-ins at the vacant premises, which stretch from Rutland Street to Patrick Street.
“We have no choice about this as we donâ€™t know how long itâ€™s going to take before we get planning permission. If we get planning soon, weâ€™ll be able to start but we donâ€™t know long thatâ€™s going to take,â€ he said.
Mr Keogh also defended the development from recent comments, which suggested that the city was losing out on commercial rates while the buildings remain unoccupied.
He claimed that 50 per cent of the rates were being paid even while the buildings were unused, and noted that rates for the Opera Centre would be much higher than those which were being charged once the development goes ahead.
When contacted by the Limerick Post, the director of the Limerick School of Art and Design, Richard Ruth, said that the art college would be more than happy to design something fitting for the building, as they have done in the past.
“We have done it before in the city, in particular on Bedford Row while building work was going on in the Marriot Hotel. Our sculpture department designed a facade which depicted images of people who were born in the Bedford Row maternity hospital,â€ Mr Ruth said, adding that this project had been particularly popular with the people of Limerick city.
He’s actually talking a lot of sense here, is Cllr Leddin. The City Council have been making lots of noises recently about improving the visual quality of the city centre, particularly the aesthetics of buildings and shopfronts. Why then have they not batted an eyelid at this recent development?
For those who havent seen them, large, white security screens have been attached to the buildings forming part of the opera centre site, enhancing the feeling of a ghost town on this high profile approach to the city centre.:(