In Pictures: Proposed O'Connell Street revamp to start 'bright new era'
BUSINESS leaders believe plans for a new shopping and cultural quarter for Dublin's O’Connell and Moore Street have the potential to mark the start of a “bright new era”.
The scheme to rejuvenate the north side of the city centre has come from UK property group Hammerson.
Designed by German architect Friedrich Ludewig, it portrays a vision to restore historic streets, including the creation of a 1916 trail to commemorate the Easter Rising.
And a new 2,000sqm residential area has been proposed, with 23,500sqm of shopping space, 31,500sqm of office space and a 4,700sqm hotel.
Dublin Chamber’s head of communications Graeme McQueen said: “The north of O’Connell Street has been lying idle for far too long.”
He said O’Connell Street should be the jewel in the crown of Dublin.
“The plan from Hammerson to redevelop the entire area is very welcome and has the potential to be the start of a bright new era for both O’Connell Street and the wider north city centre area.
“This project, in combination with the redevelopment of the Clery’s building and other developments, will breathe new life into an area of Dublin that has underwhelmed for too long.
“These moves are hugely exciting for Dublin and for Dubliners,” he said.
Architect Ludewig, of the firm Acme, has designed a new pedestrian area running from O’Connell to Moore Street, to include a large square at the centre and a smaller square at the junction of Moore Lane and Henry Place.
Mr Ludewig has previously worked on award-winning city schemes, including Victoria Gate in Leeds, Westquay South in Southampton, Highcross in Leicester and Melbourne’s shopping district Eastland.
It is also understood that the Carlton Cinema, closed in 1994, will have its facade restored.
But the iconic movie theatre will not be returned to its former use –the proposals instead see it as a venue for retail outlets.
“We continue to engage with a wide range of stakeholders on an ongoing basis regarding the future development of the Moore Street area, ahead of wider public consultation,” a spokesperson for Hammerson said.
“Hammerson seeks to protect and enhance the Moore Street area’s unique heritage, including its market and connections with 1916, while at the same time delivering clear economic benefits and employment opportunities locally,” they said.
“We have appointed Acme to look at options for the entire site, which stretches from Upper O’Connell Street to Parnell Street to Moore Street and Henry Street.
“The proposals will reinvigorate this part of Dublin’s north inner city.”
The company also revealed how it had used local knowledge in making its plans.
“Acme has been working with the DIT School of Architecture, commissioned by the Moore St Advisory Group,to develop a historically sensitive vision for the area acceptable to stakeholders.”