€1.3bn city quarter ‘must factor in Moore St traders’, says Councillor

by Sylvia Pownall

The stalled regeneration of the north inner city is finally set to get under way after a team of architects was appointed to the scheme fronting O’Connell St and Moore St.

A new €1bn ‘city quarter’ is being designed for the old Carlton site, which covers six acres, by UK property group Hammerson.

The developer has appointed three Irish firms to join London-based Acme Architects to draw up plans for the iconic site, parts of which have lain derelict for 40 years.

Hammerson last year decided to scrap the existing 2010 planning permission for an enclosed shopping complex on the site which stretches from O’Connell Street and Moore Street, to Henry Street and Parnell Street.

Instead it will seek permission for an “open” scheme restoring the historic street pattern, with a new east-west pedestrian link between O’Connell Street and Moore Street, two new civic squares, shops, offices, apartments, a hotel and an underground metro station.

It also proposes a “historical trail” to commemorate 1916 Rising events and locations through the site.

Two years ago, the Court of Appeal overturned a declaration that buildings on and around Moore Street, part of the Hammerson site, constituted a national monument following a case taken by the State.

State-owned buildings at 14-17 Moore Street remain national monuments and are due to be developed separately as a 1916 Rising Commemorative Centre.

Cllr Nial Ring, whose grandfather and four granduncles were part of the GPO garrison in 1916, welcomed the progress but urged sensitivity in developing the site.

He said: “This is significant progress in what has been a long drawn out process and the six-acre site is undoubtedly the city’s most ambitious regeneration project.”

He added that the biggest challenge would be to address the involvement of Moore St traders “whose future in the street must be of paramount importance”.

Cllr Ring concluded: “The project, Dublin Central, is a very real opportunity to regenerate this long neglected part of town.”

The concept design includes the use of a canopy of tall lily-pad-like structures to shelter the new pedestrian street, leading from O’Connell Street, from the elements. Plans are due to be lodged early in 2021.

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