Belfast Telegraph

DUP man urges councillors to unite against 'Tribeca' naming plan for £500m Belfast development

An artist’s impression of Belfast’s Tribeca
An artist’s impression of Belfast’s Tribeca

A Belfast DUP representative has urged his fellow councillors to come together and oppose plans to name a new £500m city centre development 'Tribeca'.

DUP councillor Lee Reynolds said representatives from all parties should unite against the name in a vote planned for a full Belfast City Council meeting next Monday.

At the meeting councillors will be addressed by Conor Shields from the 'Save Cathedral Quarter' campaign.

Mr Reynolds will then propose a motion that council calls on Castlebrooke Investments to drop the naming plans.

“This Council, whilst welcoming investment and the regeneration of our City, calls upon Castlebrook Investments to drop the Tribeca branding for their City centre regeneration scheme,” the motion will read.

Councillor Reynolds said the name does not reflect the real Belfast.

"We have spent the last couple of years trying to develop a brand and an identity for Belfast and two important things, it has to be authentic and it has to be distinctly Belfast," he told BBC Radio Ulster.

"Taking a name from another city is neither authentic nor distinctly Belfast."

A Castlebrooke spokesperson said that Belfast City Council "risked sending out a very negative message to investors" if they voted against the naming plan.

In November 'Tribeca Belfast' was announced by Castlebrooke Investments as the name for its 12-acre retail and office regeneration project beside St Anne's Cathedral.

Councillor Lee Reynolds
Councillor Lee Reynolds

The scheme, which has already been given the green light for its first phase, will see the creation of 1,500,00 sq ft of residential space, office units as well as retail and hospitality elements.

The project formerly known as Royal Exchange is Belfast's single largest regeneration scheme. It borders Royal Avenue, Donegall Street, Lower Garfield Street and Rosemary Street.

TriBeCa is a trendy neighbourhood in Lower Manhattan, which is an abbreviation of 'triangle below the canal'. It is one of the most expensive places to live in Manhattan.

Outlining how they came up with the name Tribeca Belfast, Castlebrooke revealed it relates to the location being at the heart of the city site - the 'triangle beside the cathedral'.

Elaborating further they said Tribeca Belfast "reflects the geography of the site, and links our brand of 'International Heart, Belfast Soul'."

However Belfast Lord Mayor Deirdre Hargey was one of a number of high-profile people to criticise the New York link.

"I'm sorry but this is Belfast not New York. We are proud of our city, its people, its places names and its heritage, that's what gives Belfast it's soul!" she tweeted when the name was announced.

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