ok, short and succinct, put your ideas here?
the main area - a restaurant
the old barclays - a bar
East wing - serviced offices
West Wing - high end apartments
North Side - media incubator
the basement - retail outlets
Okay heres my plan.
(whats the old barclays?) : bar
east wing : offices
west wing : good apartments
north side : more offices or apartments or small hotel
"basement"/lower ground : retail
main area : function and meeting facilities
To add to this I really really want to see the grand old bank between West Bute and Bute Street put back into use. This would make a fantastic bar and restaurant - "Bank"; nice and simple, but soundign quite classy to me, at least. Are the upstairs floors big enough for a small boutique hotel?
In time I'd like to see the MQ car park demolished and a thoroughfare leading to Mount Stuart Square/James St in it's place with shops, restaurants etc. It would really open up the older (more interesting) part of the Bay and perhaps give it a bit of a retail focus. Perhaps the car park near St Davids hotel (top tip - it's the cheapest in the Bay by some distance) could be extended or become multi storey (tastefully done of course).
Some of the buildings around there are being criminally wasted - the bank, the old Post Office etc. The problem is who can really see Merchant Quarter taking off in the next 5-10 years? With Capital Waterside and Roath Basin as the place for bright shiny HQ's/Grade A office space I think it would be difficult to justify an investment of many millions when the type of tenant Merchant Quarter is likely to attract (smaller outfits/media co's etc) are unlikely to be willing to pay more than say £12-15 per sq ft.
I'd rather see these buildings utilised as hotels, bars, restaurant etc (even if it's a chain) than see them waste away.
I'd like to see the main room be used for a range of functions that includes the type of live music that it always used to do before it closed for 'development'.
I don't think that is feasible if we want to have apartments or a hotel in the building - not without very very very good soundproofing. I'm not sure the kind of events that went on before made best use of what could be one of Cardiff's grandest and most historical buildings. Rock venues typically aren't that well-maintained and have a habit of getting damaged and I wouldn't want that.
Then I don’t want apartments or a hotel. There is no shortage of apartments in the Bay. And the type of events and music they used to do wasn’t just rock. They held all kinds of functions including weddings, conferences, rock/jazz/dance/world live music, award ceremonies etc. Being able to host loud and live music until midnight seems an entirely suitable purpose in an area intended to host bars and restaurants in the street. Provide reasons for people of all ages and incomes to use the hall space for a variety of purposes, not lock it away for conference types.
he venue currently has a license until 4am.
I think weddings, award ceremonies, conferences, charity balls, some jazz etc would be a suitable use for a restored and grand central hall. I think that these could be compatible with some apartment and/or hotel use if there was some soundproofing.
I just don't think the building should be used for live music "gigs" - particularly for rock music, but also dance music etc. If it were restored to its former glory it just would be too "nice" for the kinds of antics you get at such events (and yes, I have attended such events). Yeh you get misbehaviour at weddings etc but its not coincidence that wedding venues are normally nice, and rock and dance venues are normally more functional.
To me the most important thing is the building gets restored to its former glory. That is probably going to require some element of housing, and perhaps a hotel. They won't be compatible with very loud uses and very late nice uses. And these same uses would also not be very compatible with a fully-restored grand central-hall.
Perhaps there could be scope for a purpose built venue for such facilities somewhere in the bay (e.g. Dumballs Road) or someone can come up with the £50k or so to bring The Point up to scratch.
The point is up to scratch. It didnt close because it lacked sound proofing, but becuase it did the sound proofing work but then couldnt cover the debt.
Isn't the fact its not being used indicative of a lack of demand then - surely the new owners won't have to take on board the debts?
Seems like the redevelopment has secured its first tenant
If they are referring to the deal that I think they are then it is a pretty small letting.
The new tenants have taken 3 rooms (out of the 7 that I was going to sign up) to on the ground floor wing ....thereby scuppering my plans to relocate there. Grrr.
More importantly, the article speaks of 140,000 square feet of offices and makes no mention of apartments. If fully converted and let as offices, it would significantly add to the working population of the old Butetown area - provided it actually attracts new occupiers or expanding companies and not just relocations (or even worse, downsizers!).
I still hope to see a couple of shops, bars and cafes on the ground floor.
Is anything ever going to happen to the grand old bank building on west bute street as well? Its a travesty that its empty after all these years.
I didn't realise that 140,000 square feet of office space was possible in there. Shows what I know.
And for the record, I was going to be an "upsizer"
What is your line of business Wizard?
Not a business as such. A charity.
Not sure if this link wil work but came across this latest story on the Walesonline website: http://yourcardiff.walesonline.co.uk/2012/04/17/extra-time-needed-for-coal-exchange-revamp/
After reading that its quite clear the site is being left deralict, no improvement just an exploitation of it as a music venue. They should decline the application and issue a compulsary purchase order IMO.
And who is going to buy the building? Local Government is hardly awash with money at the moment.
As the planning offices note, planning consent allows development, it does not compel it. I'm not sure what rules there are on maintenance of listed buildings but they are probably hard to enforce if owners can argue they cannot afford full upkeep.
Extension is all they can do.
Well just look at the university building in Newport (the one with the dome), the council were forced to take over ownership of the property becuase the developer couldnt afford to even make it watertight. While its an unfinished development, at least it has windows, a roof and a good scrub down. Makes the area look a hell of a lot better. While the Ryder cup was an imputus to get it done, its these simple things that can improve the development potential of an area. I ams till under the impression that the Coal Exchange is a nationally significant building for Wales, and should be a museum chronicalling the history of Wales.
I actually quite like that idea Cardiff, about having a museum at the Coal Exchange. It would make a fantastic building (as we all know) and could really bring a bit more footfall ergo life to the otherwise underused area.
the first artefacts we could put in there would be our WG ministers, a hangover from a bygone age.
There is absolutely no way that I can see anything happening at the Coal Exchange for years to come.
Macob are renting out a few of the rooms as offices to make a contribution to the general bills (Jantra - the son is not even involved any longer so no-one is batting for the development upgrade (visibly at least)).
It's only the actual hall itself which is of any architectural value in any case. The rest of the building is all full of cheap wood chip wallpaper and flourescent light tubes (the refurbished bits!) or burnt out and damp(the non-refurbished bits). There is far less character in these areas than people commonly imagine - they are certainly no where near as opulent as I had imagined they would be before I saw them
Any update on activity here?
And what about 'Merchant Place'? Little seems to have been done to attract investment here? Probably the second best building in the Bay, well cluster of buildings.
And then there's the former bank building...
Imagine if regeneration could just trickle further up the street in Butetown...
Maybe if that new hotel had gone a little further, there may have been some difference?..
Had our christmas party in there last year, is quite a good venue if you have enough people.
More definitely needs to be made of it though, it's a nice building with some real history.
Is it true that the world's first ever £1 million cheque was signed there?
I believe it was the first £million deal - and the financial transaction was completed at the old National Westminster Bank around the corner ... not sure there was an actual 'cheque' though ...
It was the first million pound deal and it was struck in the coal exchange in the year 1907. Although i think it's the first million pound deal for energy or maybe more spacific. Coal.
The Rothschild family was doing larger deals 100 years prior to that i believe.
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