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Old April 19th, 2006, 01:28 PM   #1
rhinomatt
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time to go?

The Merrion Centre is too north of the main shopping aria to stay as it is there is lots and lots of wasted space and i bet half the people in leeds dont even know about the merrion market!

space for a huge and new shoping centre with a tower of flats above . this would help strengthen the aria for shops and give leeds lots more inner city flats.

your thoughts?
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Old April 19th, 2006, 02:31 PM   #2
di Livio
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There needs to be provision in the city centre for the lower end of the market, and the Merrion Centre is okay for that. I'd rather see the St. John's Centre bite the dust first. It's not aesthetically bling enough for a central site.
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Old April 19th, 2006, 03:32 PM   #3
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Yes get it down, i work in merrion house and it's such a crappy centre. Old and outdated. they should really just renovate the whole walkway. there are too many other buildings connected to knock the whole lot down. they could spend money improving it easily
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Old April 19th, 2006, 04:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by namsingh
Yes get it down, i work in merrion house and it's such a crappy centre. Old and outdated. they should really just renovate the whole walkway. there are too many other buildings connected to knock the whole lot down. they could spend money improving it easily
yes but think of the things they could do with the space!
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Old April 19th, 2006, 04:39 PM   #5
di Livio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by namsingh
Yes get it down, i work in merrion house and it's such a crappy centre. Old and outdated. they should really just renovate the whole walkway. there are too many other buildings connected to knock the whole lot down. they could spend money improving it easily
Merrion House and the Morrisons store/car park could go quite painlessly.
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Old April 19th, 2006, 04:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by di Livio
Merrion House and the Morrisons store/car park could go quite painlessly.
not really as they are heavily populated by council employees. There is Merrion House, Town Centre House, another smaller office block, merrion hotel at the back and a whole hoard of shops connected. I think it would be easier to do a full renovation on the main area. And openly connect the 6 or so entrances to the centre
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Old April 19th, 2006, 06:41 PM   #7
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I meant it wouldn't be missed.
It tells every student in Leeds they live in grey and grim city central.
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Old April 19th, 2006, 06:53 PM   #8
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Well one thing could surely do is to make the long empty Odeon Cinema (closed since 1977!) into a concert venue which would be popular as Leeds is lacking in these things. Also they should give a radical overhaul to the worse parts of the centre including a reclad of Merrion House, Morrisons and a complete replacement of the Merrion Market (former Merrion Superstore) which is a total white elephant. And although it is good to keep some of the budget shops here surely they could open a Starbucks or Caffe Nero as it is quite a walk to these from the top end of town.



Also what are peoples opinions of Wade House (the tall building on the left) that is within the Merrion Centre. I actually quite like this building because of the interesting pointyness of it and if taken in isolation could be seen as a good piece of 1960s architecture.
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Old April 19th, 2006, 09:32 PM   #9
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I'm a bit divided on this really. It DOES take up a helluva lotta space, and it IS ugly...

HOWEVER as diLivio states there does need to be somewhere for the lower end of the market. If they did redevelop entirely the rents would go up to pay for it and the cheap shops would move out...

They won't knock it down. Not for 20 years at least. They won't put a Starbucks in there either Val Verde lol - I've not seen one Merrion customer who would fit the Starbucks customer profile (except myself)... The Merrion Centre must be something of a 'cash cow' for TCS. Very little gets spent on it, yet they have constant streams of rent from the council offices, Woolies, Morrisons, AMF etc. The proposed refurb will last them 20 years (in their eyes), then it'll be another refurb or a proper redevelop.

My plan (dream) is they sell Morrisons to Morrisons who rebuild entire store and car park and top 'empty' corridoor'. Use the money for new tower for Merrion House to fit more office space and flats... That would go a long way to making things better.

In reality we all hate the Merrion - but admit it you still use it whether it be Oceana, Morrisons, bowling, car parking or even (sharp draw of breath) one of the shops inside.

I worry (constantly) that this building will one day get listed for being an example of 60's pioneering development/architecture. Then we ARE screwed...
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Old April 19th, 2006, 10:05 PM   #10
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like people are saying its good to have somewere for the lower end market shops but tbh there is only about 15 shops down there! the rest are closed!
SOME of the shops are good eg woolys and im shore morrisons would buy over the 'top half' and extend there shop, not needing to pay rent anymore and they would hopefully 'refront' the shop intop of the ugly outside!

merrion market could be sold to an invester and then from all this mon ey they could rebuld in the stile of the light. with an upstares and mabe an odion
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Old April 20th, 2006, 09:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by di Livio

I meant it wouldn't be missed.
It tells every student in Leeds they live in grey and grim city central.

I think this is a striking building the way it is angled. A really good reclad would be perfect. maybe something inline with the plaza construction over the road.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 10:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by namsingh
I think this is a striking building the way it is angled. A really good reclad would be perfect. maybe something inline with the plaza construction over the road.
Ahem..... Have you had a good look at The Plaza? I'm reserving judgement until the scaffolding comes down but unfortunately I fear the worst.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 10:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Oil
Ahem..... Have you had a good look at The Plaza? I'm reserving judgement until the scaffolding comes down but unfortunately I fear the worst.
yes, walk past it every day! i don't like the end facing the civic hall but the reddish cladding round the side seems nice, again we won't see it properly till all the scaffolding is off. I reckon it is gonna be nice underneath. we shall see

actually thinking about it now, what if merrion was given the same cladding as the K2 building. It would go with a sort of futuristic theme in the whole area. That would be really striking, maybe increase the height with a two spires to match?

Last edited by namsingh; April 20th, 2006 at 10:57 AM.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 12:26 PM   #14
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I cannot say that I like the Merrion Centre at all. It has had its time and served the area well in the past. I guess the owners are in a bit of a predicament as they will be fully aware of the shift in shopping areas. I can remember when i was a kid that my olds would park in Woodside carpark and would venture about as far as the main entrance to the Merrion Centre. The only thing that took my interest was that guy on the bike type clock thing.

The site has potential, but i would not like to imagine the type of money it will take to get people into the top end of the centre and the market area. I guess they have to do something, but a simple reclad will not do the trick. I wonder if they could maintain the bottom end that has Oceana and redevelop the back end with the offices. I am sure this must be possible and would be a happy comprimise.

As for Morrisons, they have an expansion plan at the moment and obviously with the trouble they are in at the moment, their capital will be focussed on areas that are causing them financial issues. They will have revenue targets for each store and i am sure that the Merrion store is more than meeting these. Until such time that there is competition or people simply stop using the store, they will only spend the minimum. I think that when local convenience stores such as Tesco or Sainsbury's open in the city centre, Morrisons will take a serious look at the store aqnd consider what they must do to maintain healthy footfall.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 01:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeedsLad
I've not seen one Merrion customer who would fit the Starbucks customer profile (except myself)...but admit it you still use it whether it be Oceana, Morrisons, bowling, car parking or even (sharp draw of breath) one of the shops inside.
LL I think you need to get out more. I mean WTF do you consider a "Starbucks customer profile" would look like? Personally, I do shop in there and the little watch place next to Mozzies was the only place in Leeds I could find that sold "Swatch Thins"! And quite frankly, whatever a "Starbuck customer profile" looks like, I would go out of my way to not fit it.

I mean Starbucks FFS is not some bellweather of good taste. It represents a kind of US franchised corporate greed that frankly, we could do without. Try the fair trade coffee place round the corner from the Hi-Fi club. Or support a local enterprise like Salts deli and have a coffee and pastry there.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 02:15 PM   #16
di Livio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Val Verde
Also what are peoples opinions of Wade House (the tall building on the left) that is within the Merrion Centre. I actually quite like this building because of the interesting pointyness of it and if taken in isolation could be seen as a good piece of 1960s architecture.
It looks very good when viewed from St. John's Gardens, less good from North Street where its 1960s bulk mingles horribly with Merrion House.

Quote:
I can remember when i was a kid that my olds would park in Woodside carpark and would venture about as far as the main entrance to the Merrion Centre.
My parents did the same. A simple way to traumatise your children for life with too much grey concrete. Man, that car park was harsh back in the eighties.

Let's be honest though, the shops in the Merrion Centre are generally decent - Superdrug, Woolworths, Holland & Barrett, cheap book/accessory stores, Morrisons. It's the exterior views I'm not keen on, particularly Merrrion House, which gives a bleak, colourless appearance to an important part of town. There are worse shopping complexes in the country, it's getting a re-clad and I'm quite happy with that, for now at least.


Some surreal images of the Merrion and St. Johns sites back in the day.





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Old April 20th, 2006, 02:40 PM   #17
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by di Livio
it's getting a re-clad and I'm quite happy with that, for now at least.
That's good news, got any links to pics?
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Old April 20th, 2006, 09:32 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicrealist
LL I think you need to get out more. I mean WTF do you consider a "Starbucks customer profile" would look like? Personally, I do shop in there and the little watch place next to Mozzies was the only place in Leeds I could find that sold "Swatch Thins"! And quite frankly, whatever a "Starbuck customer profile" looks like, I would go out of my way to not fit it.

I mean Starbucks FFS is not some bellweather of good taste. It represents a kind of US franchised corporate greed that frankly, we could do without. Try the fair trade coffee place round the corner from the Hi-Fi club. Or support a local enterprise like Salts deli and have a coffee and pastry there.
US franchised corporate greed is hardly the essence of the Merrion Centre, is all I mean - I can quite honestly say I have NEVER been in a Starbucks for that very reason... When you walk past Starbucks, there never seem to be many Merrion Centre-type shoppers.
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Old April 21st, 2006, 12:26 AM   #19
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I quite like Starbucks =/ and they have fairtrade... as do Costa. At least its not McDonalds. I often go to 'Wrapid' on Albion Place and Pret; Wagamama is opening too on Park Row. I like Wagamama I would go to Hard Rock Café but its expensive heh- Edwards in the Merrion has main meals from £2.95 or something. I forgot but I remember it was cheap somin like that.
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Old April 21st, 2006, 12:34 AM   #20
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Thai cottage, just down the road from millenium sqaure, is my choice for a cheap meal in town.

£4.50 for a thai green curry.

For real class, pizzamania does all you can eat for £3.50.
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