Belfast Telegraph

Belfast council opposes bid to name £500m project after New York's Tribeca

By Allan Preston

Belfast City Council has agreed to oppose plans to give a £500m development a New York-themed name.

The 'Tribeca' regeneration project by Castlebrooke Investments is set to transform a large part of the Cathedral Quarter in the city centre. At a meeting of Belfast City Council last night, local representatives repeated their claim of "we're not New York, we're Belfast".

Tribeca is short for 'Triangle Beside the Cathedral,' a reference to a fashionable part of Manhattan.

DUP councillor Lee Reynolds brought the motion before the council, and said the Tribeca name was not a good fit for Belfast.

"There is no authenticity or connection in calling this area of Belfast Tribeca. It is someone trying to shoehorn something to fit that doesn't work," he said.

He called on Castlebrooke Investments to make an "honest admission" they had made a mistake with their branding.

Ulster Unionist councillor Jeffrey Dudgeon, however, said it would be "unwise" to annoy people willing to spend hundreds of millions of pounds in Belfast.

Sinn Fein's Geraldine McAteer said it was right for the council to safeguard the heritage of Belfast and give advice to developers.

"As a city we should be proud of ourselves and our diverse history," she said.

Earlier, campaigners told the council the name was nothing but a "transatlantic gimmick".

Conor Shields from the Save Cathedral Quarter group read a poem to make his point.

His concluding line said: "We are not Tribeca, that name will not last.

"We are 'C.Q,' the Cathedral Quarter, the historic heart of Belfast."

Dr Agustina Martire, an architecture lecturer at Queen's University, is vice chair of the voluntary group.

"The announcement of the Tribeca Belfast rebrand is a superficial naming exercise, a new way of window-dressing a development that is profoundly lacking in empathy with this authentic place," she said.

"There is nothing local or authentic about the Tribeca Belfast proposal or its brand - but the name is not the problem.

"The problem is the 21 historic buildings that will be completely or partially demolished... and the two listed buildings that will only be partially retained."

Castlebrooke Investments has previously said changing the name "risked sending out a very negative message to investors".

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