Monday, 11 January 2016


A counter-argument from S McManus, CEO of the property developments & investments compamy S McManus Developments *** ( @seymour_McManus )

This country has long suffered from a lack of construction workers, and the Northside Regeneration scheme will create 1000's of permanent, highly skilled jabs which would definitely never have existed otherwise.
This is a fact.
It will allow our builders to practise endangered skills such as laying concrete and fitting insulation foam.
Some of you might have heard of the multiplier effect: once benevolent organisations like the Unite Group PLC recoup their initial investment, the long term economic capital will circulate freely around the local economy and benefit struggling local businesses in the services sector like Deanes, The Merchant Hotel or the Fitzwiliam.
 It’s basic trickle down economics, stupid!

Economics: Easy!
Blocking demolition would set a dangerous precedent. If the Sunflower, Metropole or Opheus were to be retained, then where does this leave other so-called “historic” buildings in the city? Would we have to protect them too? What’s to stop these laws speeding further afield?
Think of all them old farmhouses, cottages and mills littering the countryside. This plague wouldn’t stop until we’re all living on the set of the Quiet Man, killing the tourism industry along with it!
Restoration: When will the madness end?
My contemporaries over in England have to contend with draconian conservation laws in places like Bath or York, and they’re forever telling me, “Seymour, you don’t know how lucky you have it over there in the wild west. You’re practically PAID to delist and demolish!”.
Conversions: How many sensible apartments have we lost thanks to the heritage Commies?!!

Belfast is a great place to be a developer. Fortunately the men on the hill at Stormont have the good sense to allow us to do what’s in the best interests of the city. It doesn’t hurt either that our MLAs are “flexible”, and a bit of wining and dining can make most problems go away.
Cheaper still if you don’t even have to pay for drinks - cheers baiys!
 It’s no secret that Belfast is facing a new type of ticking time-bomb. A lack of high-rise modern apartment blocks has led to many of our Queens students having to migrate to places like Palestine and Jerusalem JUST TO FIND SOMEWHERE TO LIVE.
 If we care about the next generation we should be doing our bit to provide them with a roof over their heads. As you can clearly see from the link below, there is a worrying lack of proposals for residential or student accommodation in Belfast: 
Of course, once resettled, all these students will need somewhere to park their cars.                                                                            
That’s where S.McManus Developments Ltd come in! :-) .
We have set ourselves the ambitious goal to convert 85% of Belfast’s brownfield sites into car parking space by 2020.
A typical S McManus Developments' car park complex
Let’s face it, when it comes to urban aesthetics, the general public will choose the Titanic Quarter over the Cathedral Quarter, every single time.
 Have you ever heard of anyone going to London to admire its history? Me neither!
People want Gherkins, Walkie Talkies and Shards.
The Belfast skyline would be unrecognisable without landmarks like the Obel. Internet communists will moan about the loss of built heritage. Well let me tell you this - it’s nearly 100 years since Victorian and Art Deco architectural styles were last fashionable.
Get with the times!

Art Deco: Stupid

 This is the 21st century, and Belfast has long since moved on from the days of people walking around in bowler hats.           

We need to build higher, steeler and glasser. It is exactly this approach which attracted the Game of Thrones producers over here in the first place, and they've described Belfast as “...the most cosmopolitan of cities”.
Unfortunately, Northern Ireland is still burdened with the legacy of its imperial past.
Old hazardous buildings in Belfast (North Street Arcade, Crumlin Road Courthouse) and elsewhere in the country (Lisdalgan House, Favour Royal, Mount Panther) have all burst into flames at some point without any warning.                      

North St Arcade: Burst itself into flames nearly a dozen times in ONE single night! How irresponsible!
    It would be irresponsible to allow these things to continue to stand when we are well aware of their threat to spontaneously combust. I was walking past that Art Deco Bank of Ireland recently and noticed that the windows were broken, beyond repair. I would hate to imagine the consequences if that broken glass were to fall on a passer-by.
Northside is full of such deathtraps, and if the experts at the University of Ulster, one of the world's leading academic powerhouses, say that they should go, then they should go.
 I’d like to think that they know a thing or two about architecture!
Two words: Shoreditch.
What would happen if Belfast started refurbishing its warehouses and historical buildings? Gentrification, that’s what. Before long we’d all be paying £3.50 just for a bowl of cereal!
A friend of mine was over in East London there and was telling me that apparently you couldn’t move for artists, musicians, craft breweries and micro-distilleries. Whatever next, Irish whisky?
Our local business scene is saturated as it is with new start-ups, and we shouldn’t be encouraging them.

We are being fleeced by independent coffee shops who are abusing our low overheads, and the problem won’t go away unless we significantly increase our rates.
Real growth comes from bringing in the big boys of the high street.
 Sports Direct and Tesco have had a tough time lately, and need all the help we can give them to establish new Belfast stores (the Metro premises on Royal Avenue requires urgent regeneration). Cities which made the mistake of clinging on to their historical past are now paying the price.

Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Prague, Cracow, Ljlubljana: All paying the price for their backwardness!
The Lanes area in Brighton is now awash with deviants and graffiti (see below). Belfast has enough social problems of its own thankyouverymuch. Sure look what happened just down the road in Dublin.
When people go to a place called Temple Bar, it’s for one reason only, and it sure ain’t the temple!
*** No he's not, before any lawyers start flooding us with emails... #Satire

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