I just wanted to get some opinions on whether the North Inner City and in particular period houses such as the below now represent value given their high potential yields and the possibility of gentrification in years to come.
Having lived in London and reading about the gentrification of city centres and the revival of city centre living amongst young professionals and families, I wonder is it likely that Dublin will have a similar trend. I live quite near Stoke Newington in London and have seen how areas with good housing stock which is cheaper than other overpriced areas can quickly become transformed. Similiar in New York parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn have been completely revived. Does anyone think this could happen in Dublin.
I personally think it could because it seems only a matter of time before people start realising they could own mansions in the North Inner City for the price of a 2 bedroom apartment in similar areas in the South Inner City. Furthermore lots of young people now go to university in the North Inner City with the growth of DCU, DIT and Pats which could lead to students who have grown used to living on the North side staying there to live after they qualify.
I would be generally sceptical that the whole inner city will be regenerated over any time frame. That said I hope there are mini-gentrifications of borderline areas where some OOs will replace the slumlords and wannabe slumlords.
FWIW, I am reasonably familiar with the North Inner City, and Parnell St, Gardiner St et al aren’t so bad…as you go east things start to get a bit hairier, IMO.
The attempted gentrification of Smithfield square would make an interesting anthropological case-study. I observed that all the way through from start to finish. One particular episode made me laugh was when a new swish shop opened, and one day I saw around thirty kids hanging around outside with an old horse, with another fifteen of their mates inside, robbing the place blind. Dublin one is a slightly different proposition. More hard drugs around there. Last I was swept up in the street life there I found out that speedballs were all the rage - cocaine and heroin mixed and injected. There has been some attempt at gentrification there, notably in the form of the apartments at the Docklands. But, notice they are like gated communities. The locals do indeed pay a visit now and then. I have to say, there cause no real trouble. Usually on a hot day, it’s a big gang of lads, and they climb up a few floors of the apartment blocks to jump off into the water below. Now, that was during the boom. I guess during the bust, the gentrification project will no doubt be progressing at a great rate.
Some great pubs in the North inner city, but gentrification won’t happen, it’s a whole different ball game on the Northside as opposed to the southside, first place I lived in Dublin was on Clonliffe road, never had taxi money, and any money I did have was going to be spent on beer, the one thing about that side of town there is no safe way to walk home at night, as soon as you hit O’connell street, you sobered up quite quickly and the sense of danger was immediate.
I had great times on that side of town summer of 95 so it was roasting, however it wasn’t until I moved to Ranelagh in 96 that I realised just how different both sides of the city are, they are in effect like two different cities. There is relatively little danger on the Southside in comparison to the Northside, what we would identify inner city living areas on the Northside encompasses the entire North side until you hit Clontarf.
On the southside it’s really only from Dolphins Barn and west, I’m sure there’s other smaller areas but nothing in comparison to the Northside.
In short I don’t think Gentrification will happen there’s too many other factors that would have to fall into place for it to occur!
‘Gentrification’ of down at heel areas with older housing stock has not really happened in Dublin - just never had enough wannabe gentlefolk and we’re unlikely to get a population spike of them now!
Dublin is still a very small place relative to London and the population of settled family stage- persons who want to actually live in the city centre is tiny - the 'burbs and their call of convenient 'burban living are not too far away.
The odd brave effort to reclaim individual houses in Dublin does not seem to act as a catalyst for a mass of others to clump around; as a resident you’ll normally be stuck with local skobes or student tenants (or both) as neighbours plus a passing’n’pissing trade of all of the above bellowing and brawling outside your door every weekend night!
Ha, not really, I’ve lived in areas across the city, Clontarf was probably the nicest place I’ve lived, it was also the only place I live that someone went at the car with a screwdriver and broke in, it was also the only place I lived where someone was shot dead in their car outside the house.
My heart just sinks when I see houses of that caliber in such a state - if I’m not mistaken a neighbouring house no.20 has the most amazing stucco work, work of Irish craftsmen who’s house was his shop window. I wonder did he do this house too?
In any case, gentrification may happen, but not in our lifetime. A place needs money and will to do something like that, and given its post-Celtic-Tiger state, I’d suggest if it didn’t happen then, it’s unlikely to happen any time soon. I’ve lived in that part of the city (in the 90s), and it seems to me the area has an imprint, a historical memory of deprivation that will be hard to shake…
It’s not just the social issues, there is also the cost of (appropriately) restoring Georgian buildings, which is massive. The Corpo were willing to more or less give away incredible houses on Henrietta Street some time ago, if the person taking it on was able to commit to a proper restoration of the building (which would run into millions).
Gentrification has begun despite what others are saying above. If you’re familiar with the process as it’s happened throughout the world, the first step is not yuppies moving in wholesale but students, artists, immigrants and younger workers taking advantage of lower rents and creating a bohemian cosmopolitan ambience. This has been happening for many years now and the area is infinitely better than it was 20 years ago. The other day I met an Italian girl in her 20s who is sharing a house on Killarney St with her friends-obviously the first thing I asked was whether she found it dangerous but she’d had no trouble in 6 months. I’m not saying it’s 100% safe but it’s certainly no longer a no-go zone.
Some parts will always be uninhabitable shitholes like deep Summerhill and Ballybough but IMO the area around the Mater has the potential to be the Ranelagh of the northside if you’re willing to wait 20 years.
I don’t think this or the social problems mentioned in other posts preclude the possibility of these areas becoming gentrified as I’m relatively sure that the tougher areas in London and New York had similar levels of deprivation, poverty and drug abuse before becoming trendy and sought after. I think if gentrification wont happen, the reasons are probably as highlighted below.
I’m not sure if the type of gentrification and rebirth of city centre living I referred to in my first post has occurred in cities of comparable size to Dublin rather than world capitals like Paris New York or London. Does anyone have any insight into whether it has occurred in smaller cities?
By the way Im wondering about this over a 20-30 year period as opposed to the next 10 years.
When I said ‘not in our lifetime’, I mean at least 1 generation away i.e. at least 20 year from now.
Those capital cities you speak of are capitals of empires, and as such would experience an accelerated ebb and flow of populations, unlike Dublin, where things tend to be more static, areas tend to keep their reputation for longer, for better or worse.
Dublin Northside is a bit rough in parts, but only in the context of Dublin being a pretty benign city all-told. When you look at crime statistics irishtimes.com/topics/crime- … table.html , and filter for “attempts/threats to murder, assaults, harassment”, the station with the most reported incidents for 2011 is in fact Pearse St. with Store Street nearly 20% lower in second place.
I have regularly walked the route up O’Connell Street, down Dorset Street, and onwards home over the course of 15 years or so, and while I’d say you should have your wits about you the same would go for various areas on the South Side. What is probably more obvious on the North Side are the various derelict characters and hopeless cases shambling around at that hour, but they’re generally not dangerous even though they may seem rather “other” and unsettling. That said, there are areas on both sides of the city that I wouldn’t dream of walking into after dark, and mainly because I’ve heard something negative and don’t want to put that reputation to the test for the first time in the dark when I don’t know my way and may have had a few drinks!
On main topic, definitely there’s room for gentrification on North Side. Agree with others that this needs to start as a Bohemian type thing. Not sure what street/area would form best hub for that… I always thought up near Blessington Basin was under-appreciated, though that might already be a bit too far out for relevance? I wonder does planning need to feed into this, allowing small businesses/bars/cafes/ateliers to pop-up? Also alterations to building internals?
Possibly. Regarding Killarney Street, that is a very different proposition now to what it was before they undertook the extensive work on St. Josephs’s mansions. Those flats got a make-over far and away ahead of many of the other flat complexes in the area. It made a big difference to the area that hasn’t been emulated in others. Granted, it was pretty bad at Joseph’s mansions in the late eighties, early nineties. That said, I used to visit the area fairly regularly back then, and even with my south-side demeanour, apart from a few scares, my experiences were pretty positive. Nice people by far in the majority. It was just the young kids that were crazy. They still are.
Living in the city is something that I would definitely consider, all things being equal. I know that Dublin Corporation had a plan to sell plots on Dominick Street suitable for independently built, multi-family buildings, but I’m not sure if it even got off the ground. I’ve been to US cities similar in size to Dublin with areas that have gentrified: Portland has a population of 600,000 and I remember a vibrant renaissance certainly in part of it. Even Detroit - a place that I’d love to go and am slightly obsessed with - is trying to do the same thing, but on an almost citywide basis, reinventing itself as a centre of internet development:
I had high hopes that the Hub around Thomas Street, set up ten years or so ago to encourage small start-up internet companies into the area, had the best chance to kickstart an inner city rejuvenation. It’s a good area: close to town; NCAD and a lively student atmosphere already in place… And in common with much of the American and UK gentrification, it was an industrial area that had the old Guinness buildings ripe for conversion into apartments. Many of the houses on Francis Street could be wonderful live/work units, but instead the big internet companies relocated to shiny new builds Grand Canal Dock instead of into refurbished Guinness warehouses.
If only we had promoted business and young urban living around Thomas Street, and used the docklands to build new communities of family homes close to the city centre. But hey, what do i know?