The €3 million redevelopment of Dublin’s Victorian fruit and vegetable market as a continental-style food market has been approved by Dublin city councillors.
The 1892 wholesale market building between Capel Street and the Four Courts in the north inner city will be refurbished and converted into a retail and wholesale market.
The council aims to attract a range of food producers including butchers, bakers, cheesemongers, fishmongers and greengrocers, serving goods to take home as well as to eat at the market, while retaining the wholesale businesses in the western half of the market hall.
However, existing wholesale traders said their businesses would not survive plans to redevelop the building for retail. Their objections largely related to loading and parking facilities for wholesale trade and the lack of consultation over the new development.
Sinn Féin councillor
last night told the council that following a meeting with the traders, two amendments had been agreed to the plan. The amendments allow a review to ensure existing loading and unloading facilities in St Michan’s Street would be retained and possibly extended, and that design options would be explored to ensure the segregation of the market did not compromise food safety.
The construction work needed to split the market will not get under way until next year, assistant council chief executive Jim Keogan said. This is more than a year behind schedule.
The council drew up plans for the new market in February last year and had hoped to have 80 pitches, a combination of indoor and outdoor permanent and temporary stalls, available to retailers and traders from this September.
The project ran into difficulties following last year’s local elections, with new councillors insisting that sports and leisure facilities be included in the redevelopment plans.
Under the revised plan, a “multi-use games area” will be incorporated into the neighbouring former fishmarket site, at a cost of €150,000. The fishmarket was demolished 10 years ago, and the remaining space on that site will be used for parking.
Once completed, the retail half of the market will have 40 permanent stalls known as “cages”, commonly seen at continental markets, which have a display and service counter but allow the individual retailers to shut their shop when other parts of the hall are still operating.
There will be a similar number of “umbrella” stalls, which allow for more short-term or flexible uses and these would be located within the hall and in an outdoor, semi-covered courtyard at the Chancery Street entrance to the market. This entrance will be substantially remodelled with two glass canopies and a glass wall and will provide a new entrance to the market.