IT was a bittersweet moment for an inner-city community as they watched their beloved Charlemont Street flats come down.
The State has yet to finalise a deal with buyers on a renovation plan for the public-private partnership, but that did not stop demolition works from beginning yesterday.
The regeneration of the complex, on the south side of the city, has been in the pipeline for nearly 20 years.
Dublin County Council has been unable to reach an agreement on what will replace the flats.
The plan is to build a multi-purpose complex which will include shops, restaurants, a cinema, offices and 257 apartments. Alcove Properties was given permission to redevelop the five-acre site in May 2011, but its request to build five separate blocks was rejected by An Bord Pleanala.
The developer also wanted to build 260 apartments, but that too was denied.
The developer sent a second application, but it too was rejected, and the parties have since been unable to agree.
Local independent councillor Mannix Flynn slammed the project, saying it would take 10 years to complete.
"They're taking down blocks that would facilitate those on our streets," he said.