Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Belfast On The Rise

Last year I wrote about the Titanic Quarter which was overlaid with typical Norn Iron pessemism as to whether it could deliver. In recent weeks, further developments have been pushed to the fore and I thought it would be a good idea to have a closer look at what they are and what these developments will accomplish.

The most obvious new development is to be the Aurora Building and is to be located on Great Victoria Street which promises to be Northern Irelands tallest building at 37 storeys, overtaking Windsor House on Bedford Street which standing at 23 storeys tall.
It is to accomodate 300 apartments which will certainly be interesting as to how much they will go for judging by the vast rise in housing prices over the last few years.

Another development is the restoration of Crumlin Road prison to its original 1845 appearance. The jail has been derelict since its closure in 1996, with the last 30 years being used as a remand centre for suspected terrorist and paramilitary prisoners awaiting trial.
The benefit of this project over the Aurora Building is that it will be directly targeted at tourists and therefore generate income for the local community whereas the Aurora Building is targeted at high income earners.

Another building which has caused controversy and debate is the plans for a new Northern Ireland stadium to host international sporting events. However, judging by recent events at Windsor Park, this may not be a bad idea to get this idea up and running. Windsor Park is over 100 years old, a fire-risk and can only hold 14,000 people whereas the stadium planned at the old Maze prison would hold 40,000. This would certainly be of benefit to the local economy as we could finally hold international sporting events akin to those in the UK and Ireland.


Blogger Skry said...

I can see why they're wanting to get the new football pitch up and running as quickly as possible. I knew that Windsor Park wasn't that safe, but I never realised it was over 100 years old or that it fell foul of IFA rules right now (although I suspected that it would start to do so in the near future).

I'm more surprised at the 40k capacity at the new football ground though. Considering I saw Iron Maiden sell out The Point two days running with a capacity of 8500, it's obvious that we could do with somewhere to host major sports and entertainment roles.

If Robbie Williams could have over 300k people in Dublin at his shows (held over 3 days) it would take weeks to do the same in the North. It's about time we caught up and built somewhere with a descent capacity!

12:11 am  

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