Sunday 20 June 2010

Pavement makeover on way for Grafton St

Grafton Street will be getting a bright new look when the pedestrianised area is completely repaved.

The current red-brick paving was laid in 1988 as part of the Dublin millennium project and cost £500,000 at the time.

Dublin City Council and the Dublin City Business Association (DCBA) have now "agreed in principle" to the massive long-term scheme.

The repaving is expected to be carried out over three to four years to reduce the disturbance along the route.

The street, which dates back to the early 17th century, recently slipped to eighth place - from a top-five position - in the latest ranking of the world's most expensive retail streets in terms of rents. Prime rents on the street have fallen by 22.5pc in the property price crash.

At peak shopping times, as many as 30,000 people visit the street every hour.

The council outlined plans to rejuvenate the street in 2006. "It is an objective to carry out a co-ordinated street improvement scheme for Grafton Street that will upgrade the existing paving and street furniture," the council said.

"Paving work will be to a high design standard and of high quality paving materials and complementary in slab size, colour and texture with the architectural character of the street."

DCBA chief executive Tom Coffey said the move could be a massive boost for businesses as a means of attracting more tourists to the area. "There will be pain - but, if these kind of projects are completed for the centenary of the 1916 Rising, then we can boost tourism and have a truly modern city," he said.

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