Belfast Telegraph

Firm behind Belfast's £500m Cathedral Quarter project slams council after Tribeca name rejected

New York’s famous district of Tribeca
New York’s famous district of Tribeca

By Michelle Devane and Margaret Canning

The company behind a £500m redevelopment of the Catheral Quarter has said it is "disappointed" that Belfast City Council has rejected the choice of the name Tribeca for the site.

Castlebrooke Investments last year announced it would call the development of apartments and workspace Tribeca - an homage to a hip district in New York.

But councillors and campaigners have said the name does not recognise the unique qualities of Belfast and in particular, its historic Cathedral Quarter.

Belfast City Council voted on Monday calling upon Castlebrooke Investments to drop the Tribeca branding for their city.

But Neil Young, chief executive of Castlebrooke Investments, said: "While we appreciate that a development of this size and scale in such an important location in Belfast will always attract a lot of debate, particularly when a new name is attributed to it, we are hugely disappointed that Belfast City Council chose to debate the Tribeca Belfast brand rather than focusing on the positive impact the regeneration will offer the city."

Campaigners have said there is nothing authentic about the rebranding. The Save CQ (Cathedral Quarter) campaign is also calling for the property company behind Tribeca to change its plans for the city centre.

Vice-chairwoman of the voluntary group, Dr Agustina Martire, said: "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."

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

The Queen's University architecture lecturer said eight art venues and organisations would be displaced by the plans in their current format. She added that the developer was focusing on providing additional retail units at a time when the city had a retail vacancy rate of 17%.

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