Development set to bring new life to Bridge Street
A LONG-DELAYED building project that finally got underway last week is set to transform Bridge Street in Dingle, where many of the existing houses have lain derelict for years.
Most of the houses on the street – between O’Flaherty’s pub and the Reel Fish takeaway – are to be demolished and replaced by a single building with 20 holiday rooms upstairs and food outlets on the ground floor. The new building is designed to replicate the existing streetscape, but with modern construction standards. According to developer Jerry O’Sullivan, the street will look exactly as it does now – down to the uneven heights of the existing houses and the style of plasterwork.
Work on the project was timed for the winter to avoid causing disruption during the food festival and the busy tourist season but, despite the late start, it is hoped to have the majority of the job complete by next May.
The holiday accommodation in the new building, which is to be called Cornmarket Quarter, will be themed around the town’s history. Individual rooms are designed to reflect various key aspects of life in Dingle so, for example, there will be a room with a wall-sized photograph of horsedrawn carts queuing up at the old creamery, accompanied by a brief history. Fishing boats at the quay and the town’s Wrens are other Dingle icons which will be included as themes.
On the ground floor there will be separate, but complementary, food outlets which will share an open space with seating on the southern side of the building, facing The Tracks.
Jerry said he has first began planning the Bridge Street redevelopment 17 years ago but in the meantime the economic crash happened and, with the country in the doldrums, everything had to be put on hold. With the project now back on track in a growing economy, he said “it’s nice to see a bit of development in Dingle for a change… something positive happening”.
Jerry said the development will give a new lease of life to an area that was historically a commercial hub in the town. “We’re putting back pretty much what was in the area,” he said of the project.
The familiar face of Bridge Street, Dingle, will soon be consigned to history as most of this row of houses is demolished to make way for a new development. INSET: Work getting underway last Wednesday.