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My concern is the addition of more retail space in a city that already has 17/18% vacant retail already. If they were to add any retail, I 'd prefer to see 50 micro units for independent retailers or restoration of North Street Arcade.
 

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That's because the new Listed Building Consent has not been approved yet. Can't do anything until it's approved.
If that's true, what the hell are the council doing. The Bank Buildings LBC flew through the approval process, which is fair enough given the nature of the problem but the Garfield buildings are currently a shell with no roof. They need to get a move on and allow work to start asap.
 

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Could have sworn listed building consent was given for the Garfield Buildings last year and also the demolition of the buildings on the corner of Royal Avenue.

As far as I know Castlebrooke haven't even issued construction tenders for any of this.
 

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Discussion Starter #46

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Shocking how run down and miserable Royal Avenue has become recently. Hoping we can see some progress on Phase 1a and then get streets ahead going.
 

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Shocking how run down and miserable Royal Avenue has become recently. Hoping we can see some progress on Phase 1a and then get streets ahead going.
The Tribeca Twitter page tweeted on the 1st February that they have commenced refurbishment to the heritage building at Garfield and North. Hopefully we can see some nice progress on it over the next while.
 

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Came across this article, and it mentions that Castlebrooke have appointed a new scheme architect, Squire & Partners, to take a fresh approach for the next phase of the project.

https://www.cathedralquarterbelfast.com/next-steps-for-castlebrooke-developments/

'Destination CQ BID attended an informal meeting with Castlebrooke Investments Ltd last week to discuss their recent public announcements around the commencement of the first phase of their scheme, and the further development planning for ‘Tribeca Belfast’.

The BID reiterated the support for the Phase 1 proposals and the public announcement of a contractor appointment as real commitment to investment in Royal Avenue and Lower Garfield Street.

Castlebrooke clarified that they have recently appointed a new scheme architect to take a fresh approach to the next phase of the project; Squire & Partners a London based practice have now been appointed to engage on the remaining elements of the scheme. A current example working alongside significant heritage assets can be found here. Local Heritage specialists Consarc remain within the development team.

CHANGE IN DIRECTION ?
Previous iterations with the original planning consent were shaped around ‘big box’ retail within the curtilage of the former North Street Arcade. Given the very dynamic and volatile nature of the High Street this is no longer a consideration. At present commercial aspirations are around the Grade A office market, residential and smaller independent led retail opportunities.

At present the architectural team are reviewing scheme basics, such as scale and massing, two significant concerns of the original outline proposals. Conversations also revolved around the underground parking; heritage and cultural assets, and public space. All are currently under review as part of the planning process.

NEXT STEPS
The DCQ BID is keen to seek assurances and encourage significant and meaningful engagement with local businesses, organisations and locals residents in the BID area. The BID wants to ensure this is not a box ticking exercise and a clear understanding of the scheme is presented.

DCQ BID Manager Gareth Neill remains concerned around issues adjacent to the development sites in and around Cathedral Quarter.

“With the exciting pipeline of projects; The Sixth (former Bel Tel building); proposals for Smithfield & Union; the new Ulster University campus expansion and surrounding residential developments public sector commitments remain in abeyance. Streets Ahead 3 public realm proposals will dramatically improve the attractiveness of the space between buildings whilst dealing with critical issues around sewer infrastructure. Commitment to the proposed (and much needed) £32m investment in the Belfast Central library has remained off the table whilst an executive is not in place either”.

DCQ BID and stakeholders continue the to lobby Civil Service and urge Belfast City Council to consider these longstanding projects as critical to the wider City Recovery programme.'
 

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Shocking how run down and miserable Royal Avenue has become recently. Hoping we can see some progress on Phase 1a and then get streets ahead going.
It's a shame they never progressed with Streets Ahead or refurbishing some of the nice old buildings, e.g., former JJB store, the building on Royal Ave/North St, the bank of Ireland, etc.

Also, I see the 'broken windows theory' is literally occurring on Donegall Street at the 4 Corners/Premier Inn. They don't seem to care much about the appearance of their hotel - graffiti and signs falling off the front and now the broken window - great first impression for guests arriving!
 

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Discussion Starter #52
It's a shame they never progressed with Streets Ahead or refurbishing some of the nice old buildings, e.g., former JJB store, the building on Royal Ave/North St, the bank of Ireland, etc.
The JJB store isn't actually old, was built in 1994.

Also, I see the 'broken windows theory' is literally occurring on Donegall Street at the 4 Corners/Premier Inn. They don't seem to care much about the appearance of their hotel - graffiti and signs falling off the front and now the broken window - great first impression for guests arriving!
In fairness, those are large bespoke windows, they can't be pulled off the shelf so to speak. I'm sure they're not going to leave it as a shattered mess, it's a health and safety issue.
 

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I was referring to the buildings along the bottom of Royal Avenue in general, a lot of them are vacant and especially above the ground floor; they could be put to better use.

Also, the Premier Inn has had the graffiti and broken signs for several months. The broken window is just the latest damage.
 

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Discussion Starter #55

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Still zero progress. Absolute joke of a situation now..

...and with PlaceNI losing their funding and The Berliner shutting down, there's going to be literally nothing left on Garfield St. Might aswell just fence it off now...

Honestly starting to wish Castlebrooke would just **** off and then the likes of Woolsey could come in and buy the Northern Bank Building, convert it into a nice hotel and then a few other local developers could snap up properties and convert them into bars and restaurants. Maybe a developer could get Lottery Grants to get the Arcade restored to its former glory.

Castlebrookes masterplan IMO has been doomed since Day 1 - was never going to be the retail demand for it and can't see the situation improving.
 

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Discussion Starter #57
Listed Building Consent was only approved in January and the contractor was appointed in early February.

Colliers have been ramping up their marketing efforts for Garfield and North so I expect we'll start to see demolition and resumed site works within the coming weeks.

Castlebrooke are revising their plans for future phases as well and pivoting away from a retail-heavy scheme.
 

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Anybody know if the temporary shipping container park (boxpark replica) is still going ahead, or is it still awaiting approval? Can't find anything online about it.

Shame the Garfield Buildings are taking soooo long. Would have been nice to have got Garfield St done so new businesses could have opened, but with the Berliner gone, PlaceNI on the verge of going, there's literally going to be nothing there now
 

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Amended plan announced today seems to effectively retain North Street Arcade. The new arcade will follow the route of the old one and be for independent units.



What was the back of the department store near St Annes has been redesigned too.


st annes
by hypnotoad24, on Flickr

Further information here

http://www.castlebrookeinv.co.uk/images/uploads/developments/June_19_Press_Release.pdf

Other points:

  • The former tower is reduced to 10 stories.
  • More green spaces
  • More retention of historic streetscapes
  • New Square to be created- Assembly Square- at the Four Corners building
  • New lead architect appointed
 
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