SoHo – AllGo or NoNo

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    • #708573
      Rory W

      Original name no? But SoHe doesn’t really work does it

      From today’s Irish Times
      €2.6bn plan for cultural ‘SoHo’ quarter in Liberties
      Dublin City Council has unveiled plans for a new €2.6 billion cultural and commercial quarter based around the Liberties and the Coombe in the south inner city. The redevelopment scheme, to which some €2 billion in private funds have already been committed, is to be known as SoHo. Tim O’Brien reports.

      The SoHo plan is aimed at consolidating the more traditional Liberties community with about 25,000 new residents, in “family-friendly” accommodation with up to 8,000 new jobs. SoHo was inspired by the rejuvenated industrial and residential area “South of Houston Street” in New York City.

      In Dublin, SoHo will attempt to recreate a similar quarter and will refer to an area “South of Heuston Station”. Unlike Dublin’s Temple Bar regeneration which evolved a reputation for nightlife, the SoHo plan is to concentrate on family-centred accommodation, schools and public parks with a mix of employment opportunities, from construction of the new buildings to creative opportunities in the Digital Hub and other technologically driven services.

      Included in its boundaries are a diverse range of employers from older industries like the Guinness Brewery, St James’s and the Coombe hospitals, to more creative services such as de Blacam and Meagher Architects and a new regional laboratory for water services.

      The rejuvenation of Cook Street, Thomas Street, Bridgefoot Street and School Street has already begun through public and private investment in housing and commercial development. The development of the new Eircom headquarters at Heuston Station is already under way.

      The programme also includes the restoration of St Catherine’s church, new parks and community spaces at Cork Street and the rear of St Catherine’s, a new community centre at Donore Avenue and a new civic urban space at Cornmarket.

      Some of the larger public redevelopment projects will be at the Coombe and St James’s hospitals and at FatimaMansions. Significantly the master plan demands both public and private residential units be of a larger scale than has been seen in much of Dublin’s apartment boom of the last decade.

      Typically units will have in excess of 80sq m, providing significantly more spacious apartments suitable for parents with children. City manager John Fitzgerald said 350,000 people had come to live in Dublin. The council was “determined to achieve high quality family and job friendly development in this area”.

      Mr Fitzgerald said €2 billion was committed from the private sector, while the city council would put forward €100 million to fund publicprivate partnerships which would in turn raise a further €500 million.

    • #776609

      I would dearly love to see the actual boundaries on this before I make up my mind on whether this is a brave new dawn or a false one a la the Digital Hub which was an absolute farce.

      Thankfully DCC and not a quango are overseeing this and I hope that the Urban Splash experience is looked at from Portsmouth, Liverpool and Manchester in terms of architectural quality and investment ripple effect.

    • #776610

      Saw that on the paper too this morning Rory. It sounds great. This area of the city has been overlooked for years. It has oodles of history which could be exploited more fully. Anyone should take a stroll down Meath Street on a Saturday morning and ye get a sense of what it may have been like in medieval times. It’s a mavellous part of the city with loads of potential.
      But I kinda have reservations however about the redevelopment of the vandalized buildings beside Vicar Street. The proposal for this leaves the botched facade of the old building with the newer construction visibly behind as shown in the illustration. Kinda trendy and cool, but will look dated I’d say in years to come.

    • #776611
      Shane Clarke

      All – Reading the article on-line in London – great idea although I thought that the area had been invisaged as a ‘digital-hub’. What’s happened to this? Also, it would seem utter maddness to have NCAD move out to Belfield given these proposals – surely DCC / John Fitzgerald should intervene and tie these two issues together. Any indicative plans? Does Guinesses have much spare space? Shane

    • #776612

      I’m not sure that SoHo has the same coherence as previous council attempts to rejunvenate parts of the city – such as Temple Bar, the Harp project, etc. The areas to be regenerated are quite far-flung, and the entire district is quite wide. I get the feeling that this is a handy council tag to slap on a number of different projects happening in the south inner city.
      Still, good to see someone cares. The redevelopment of Cork Street, almost 50% rebuilt in the space of two years, has seemed a bit higgedly piggedly

    • #776613

      does Soho says family to you?

    • #776614

      It is based on SoHo New York and not the London version which in recent years has more in common with Temple Bar than the seedy strip of old. I was very pleasantly surprised on my last visit there with the mix of design and fringe fashion shops that have opened in recent years given its reputation in decades prior.

      Re: NCAD a move would signifiacntly undermine this plan and the Digital Hub project has been watered down from a coherent master plan to two site disposals which will completely ignore the original framework.

    • #776615

      @Sue wrote:

      The redevelopment of Cork Street, almost 50% rebuilt in the space of two years, has seemed a bit higgedly piggedly

      walked through Cork street last night – It looks a complete mess
      It’s the Naas road with apartment blocks

    • #776616

      @lostexpectation wrote:

      does Soho says family to you?

      It says Village Quarter to me, that area around Harcourt Street etc that was launched with grand fanfare and never stuck. Its Still a great area – particularly the Camden Street and Wexford St part – but just never took off as a Quarter as such. I wonder what the private investment in SoHo is made up of, sounds to me like it’s just apartment and office developments

    • #776617

      I’d say so-so to the so-and-so until I see see.So easily so see-saw.

    • #776618

      It seems to me a repackaging of already announced stuff ala Transport 21. Only in the loosest possible geographical terms is this area “south of Heuston” obviously not a lot of proper work to be done for that area planning/development comm.-it-teee . Tis indeed a naff rebranding exercise along the lines of the “Village Quarter” concept. Having said all that I hope some good comes of it…

    • #776619
      paul h

      SoHo ? ORIGINAL

      but if it leads to good developments then batter on amigos
      development = good

    • #776620

      This is all extremely aspirational. The whole area can be summed up by 2 words at the moment: traffic and junkies.

      It’s fine to list off the positives of the area – like Vicar Street, NCAD’s fashion show, the Storehouse, Francis St antiques etc. – but there’s the feeling that any day now it’s all just going to disappear under the chronic traffic oppression that the area suffers from. For example the little laneway where Mother Redcap’s pub is is supposed to be a pedestrian zone from 11am to 6pm on weekdays, but stand out there for 2 minutes and several cars will have pissed down it for a shortcut from Patrick St. to High St., such is the pressure on the big roads.

      The whole area is just a drive-thru for people on their way to or from the sprawl of Dublin. The main roads in the area are choked and hostile all day. The back streets suffer from constant rat-running and nuisance traffic.

      To a bigger extent than anywhere else in the city, the area is living with the legacy of the Inner Tangent. Why, they were still finishing bits of it only 2 years ago!! (Cork Street) – making more space so that dirty, aggressive traffic has the run of the place. And now they come along and want to make a “cultural quarter”. It’s a bit rich!!

      Development wise, huge new apartment blocks are being thrown up beside busy roads – sure that’s never going to create anything other than a transient population – certainly not ‘final destination’ homes. Watch out for the junkies too.

      And the often inappropriate scale of development is not helping. In my experience the area planner Kieran Rose passes pretty much anything that is put up to him, regardless of how it integrates into its surroundings – those schemes that are sent on to An Bord Pleanala inevitably get taken down a floor or two.

      There’s no mention of it anywhere in that piece but the first thing they have to do if they want to think about making any kind of improvements to the area is brutally suppress the traffic, otherwise it’s just a load of aspirational toss.

    • #776621

      Would it not have been possible to come up with a new name. As if it’s not bad enough, there are – as already stated – two Sohos to compete with. And as also pointed out, Soho in London with its almost legal prostitution and sex shops may be a tourist attraction of sort but it’s hardly family oriented.
      What about something like Heus-Town? I know that’s crap but anything would be better than SoHo. If this continues, we could end up with TriBeRoCa, the Triangle Beneath the Royal Canal and NoHo, north of Heuston. Perhaps we can also start referring to the North and South Quays as the Right and Left Bank.

    • #776622

      why the need for a pretentious name. ‘the coombe’ or ‘the liberties’ works fine. A little more substance is whats needed, not fancy rebranding.

    • #776623

      I think that while the aspiration behind the whole plan should be applauded it does seem to smack a bit of a “hastily put together / not fully thought out/ already announced schemes” plan. I also dont like the branding- whats wrong with The Liberties? An ancient and unique city quarter. Certainly more distinctive than SoHo. Changing the name seems such an easy way of covering over the less savory aspects of an area rather than actually dealing with them. There are also very few actually particulars on how the CC will address some of the larger issues facing the quarter, such as traffic and built form (as you rightly mention Devin, although these are surely citywide problems). At least there is a recognition that more family-friendly design is required to keep families in the city (all ties in nicely with a Frank McD piece about the same and Vancover

    • #776624

      @StephenC wrote:

      Changing the name seems such an easy way of covering over the less savory aspects of an area rather than actually dealing with them.

      Ever noticed the way areas that are brutalised by traffic have more than their fair share of institutions for the disadvantaged? The two seem to go hand in hand. So in the immediate vicinity of Christchurch you have the Back Lane Homeless Shelter, the Castle Street methadone & traveller’s welfare centre, the Lord Edward Street medical card office and the Merchant’s Quay drug treatment centre. Grafton Street wouldn’t want them anyway!

      I am in the area most days and I don’t actually mind the junkies and the winos – they have a humanising effect on the area (the opposite effect to the traffic). The junkies are quite a benign sort – not likely to mug you. But obviously it’s not an ideal way for anybody to be, and it doesn’t look good in front of the tourists.

      But I think that the social problems in the area are nothing compared to the traffic problems.

    • #776625

      S ingle
      O ccupant
      H ome &
      O ffice

      It sure doesn’t spell family. . . .:D ( I think that’s the abbreviation of the new name for “condominium. Toronto has one SoHo district finished and 3 in various stages of construction. )

      It’s a divisive issue. It makes great use of the old manufacturing districts that were chased out of urban areas.

    • #776626

      Liberties / Coombe Plans aim to Provide Social and Cultural Mix
      City Manager John Fitzgerald announced what promises to be one of the most exciting chapters in Dublin’s transformation recently when he outlined plans for the redevelopment of the Liberties/Coombe area of the City. The plans were presented to the media as “SoHo” (South of Heuston Station) as they envisage a similar commercial and cultural transformation to the one so impressively achieved with the SoHo project (South of Houston Street) in New York.

      ‘SoHo’ is an umbrella term that encapsulates several Framework Plans like the Digital Hub, Dolphin’s Barn and Cork St. The great thing about it, according to Senior Planner Kieran Rose, “is that it captures the public’s imagination and attention in a way that Framework Plans don’t”. Kieran also points out that the Liberties/Coombe area of the City has to some extent been bypassed by the kinds of development that have transformed places like Temple Bar, O’Connell St. and communities like Ballymun.

      The plans are also important as they allow the City Council to plan for the fact that an additional 25,000 people are expected to move into the area in the next decade. This will see it’s population double and successfully integrating them represents a challenge to planners. According to Kieran these will be made up of young people coming from other parts of Ireland, migrants from other countries and older people who sell their house in the suburbs and move to more manageable properties in the City Centre.

      Kieran says that one aspect of creating a community that is sustainable in the long-run entails providing in apartment living, everything that you would expect to find in a house. Things like balconies that accomodate dining tables will become standard, storage space will increase and a more creative approach to green spaces and open areas will be required.

      He points out that people need things like safety, cleanliness, parks, schools. The City Council is determined to achieve high quality family and job friendly development in the area and according to the City Manager “the fact that the regeneration of the area is happening now means that Dublin City Council can bring its experience of all the other regeneration projects we have undertaken to bear in our plans.”

      The redevelopment also envisages the creation of a ‘creative corridor’ incorporating the National College of Art & Design (NCAD) and the galleries and studios along Thomas St. & Francis St. This June will see the inaugural ‘Thomas St. is Happening’ Festival coincide with NCAD’s open week from June 9th-18th. A planning application will soon be lodged to redevelop the historic Iveagh Market along the lines of Cork’s famous English Market. The Digital Hub will also be the subject of a planning application.

    • #776627

      I don’t doubt the Council’s good intentions for the area in terms of achieving residential quality of life, as expressed in that release. And I know the planners have made great efforts to persuade developers to build larger apartment sizes.

      But imo the residential standard they refer to is a while away yet. If you put up large apartment blocks fronting busy roads – as for example on Cork Street – you are in effect saying ‘Let’s create a transient population’. The noise and pollution of the traffic will ensure that residents say ‘Well this is OK for this year … and maybe next year, but where are we going to live on a longer-term basis? – not here anyway’.

      There are other sites in the area, such as Clancy Barracks, which if got right could produce this elusive ‘family-friendly’ quality of high-density residential life.

      The Council’s approval of the Clancy Barracks plan is under appeal at the moment. They were trying to squeeze way too much onto the site … some really terrible juxtapositions of new and old buildings.

    • #776628

      as a student of NCAD i can confirm that the students are all delighted at the recent decision to not move to Belfield.
      this will hopefully mean thomas street campus redevelopment as soon as the board of education cough up the 80 million needed.
      that should be soon:rolleyes:

    • #776629
      a boyle

      @tomredwest wrote:

      as a student of NCAD i can confirm that the students are all delighted at the recent decision to not move to Belfield.

      that is great. i wish they council would comision you students to do more displays for the street. I would like to see an dozen small podiums along the sides of the road which the college could use in any way it liked.

    • #776630

      @tomredwest wrote:

      as a student of NCAD i can confirm that the students are all delighted at the recent decision to not move to Belfield.
      this will hopefully mean thomas street campus redevelopment as soon as the board of education cough up the 80 million needed.
      that should be soon:rolleyes:

      good news how many million did the gov waste on bribes for MIT/HUB DublIn? Is the Thomas expansion plan online somewhere?

    • #776631

      nothing is certain

      all i know is that the belfield move is no longer being considered

      what our college really needs is a gallery space and if the old firestation was redeveloped it might have that

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