Plans for historic Dublin market to be lodged next month

Historic fruit and vegetable market to house continental-style food market in 2015

Plans for the redevelopment of Dublin’s Victorian fruit and vegetable market as a continental-style food market are to be lodged by the city council within weeks.

About 80 pitches, a combination of indoor and outdoor permanent and temporary stalls will be available to traders from September next year, following a €3 million construction project due to begin later this year.

The council has been renovating the historic market hall between Capel Street and the Four Courts in Dublin's north inner city since 2012. This work is now 85 per cent complete, said executive manager of the council's planning department Jim Keogan, and the council is ready to seek planning permission for the redevelopment scheme.

The building, built in 1892 and listed on the Record of Protected Structures, has 6,000sq m of internal space, devoted to wholesale. As part of the development, the wholesalers, who serve surrounding restaurants and shops with fruit and vegetables, will move to the western half of the building.

Stalls known as 'cages'
The remaining half of the hall will be devoted to a retail food market including butchers, bakers, cheesemongers, fishmongers, greengrocers and a range of other food producers, serving goods to take home as well as food to eat at the market. These businesses will work from

about 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, now an unattractive backyard to the market, faces the Luas line and will be substantially remodelled with two glass canopies and a glass wall and will provide a new entrance to the market. Further cafes will be found inside the market building.

The old Daisy Market immediately to the east of the main building, which narrowly escaped being turned into a waste depot by the council in 2010, will have space for an outside terrace for a cafe which will be entered from the main hall.

Public transport
The Daisy Market will also be used for trader parking and bin storage.

Customers will also be provided with parking, said Mr Keogan. “We hope most people will use public transport, particularly with the Luas right there. But all the research we have done has shown car parking is needed.”

There is an existing car park on the site of the old fish market just to the west of the current site and this will be resurfaced to provide an additional 30 car spaces and 13 van spaces.

Mr Keogan presented the plan yesterday at a Dublin City Business Association seminar. The association was central to reviving the project in 2010 after the collapse of a grandiose scheme during the property crash.

This scheme, drafted for the council in 2002, featured the refurbishment of the market as one element of a retail, apartment and office complex of up to six storeys in height with a new civic square and a leisure centre. A consortium was selected for what was then a €425 million project in 2007 but contracts were never signed .

Plans for the new scheme must go through the council’s planning process and be ratified by councillors. Mr Keogan expects permission will be secured by June and contractors appointed by September.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times