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Queen's Arcade

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Ash

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Queen's Arcade

PostTue Jul 20, 2021 7:03 am

Radical plan unveiled to demolish Cardiff shopping centre to make way for new street with hotel and retail space

New plans have been revealed to knock down one of Cardiff's largest shopping centres to make way for a new development.

Queens Arcade in the city centre could be demolished and replaced with a modern development according to new plans released this week.

The existing shopping centre, which was built in 1994, would be replaced with a new open street linking Working Street, Queen Street and St David’s Shopping Centre under the new plans.


https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/radical-plan-unveiled-demolish-cardiff-21093585

As always, the devil will be in the detail but the basic idea of replacing a pretty moribund shopping mall with a twenty four hour mixed use street is a good one.
Last edited by Ash on Tue Jul 20, 2021 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DaiB

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Re: Queen's Arcade

PostTue Jul 20, 2021 8:04 am

Right direction, but replacing a shopping centre with a shopping street is hardly radical.
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DavidH71

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Re: Queen's Arcade

PostTue Jul 20, 2021 9:19 am

As Ash says, we don't yet have much detail but this could be a huge improvement and potentially a very busy new street. The current arcade seems to occupy a lot of space and yet contains relatively few shops. And I can never understand how, on a site that is flat, they managed to build an arcade that forces you into using stairs, ramps or an escalator every time you walk through it. The whole layout seems wilfully awkward!
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Peiriannydd

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Re: Queen's Arcade

PostTue Jul 20, 2021 10:23 am

I've seen quite a few schemes proposed for this site. I even worked on one a few years ago that never came to fruition. The site is pretty much dead and retail is struggling.

To be honest, it makes a lot of sense. Providing they keep access open and a ground floor level of retail/commercial, then I think it would be a big improvement. Could have the same feel as recent retail developments in Bristol.

Not sure where people in these flats would be parking their cars. At least there is provisions in the St David's 2 development.
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Simon_SW17

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Re: Queen's Arcade

PostTue Jul 20, 2021 10:38 am

It's a good way to unlock value as I'm sure their rent income is pitiful at present. The apartments will most likely be bike parking only as there isn't great vehicular access to the site anyway. A mixed scheme will provide a good return on their investment. Hopefully the buildings are of better quality than in the sketch through.

Looking forward to seeing this develop, especially the Queen Street Chambers building which has loads of potential to be something far more interesting than Kingdom of Sweets :D
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AWarmerBeer

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Re: Queen's Arcade

PostTue Jul 20, 2021 5:08 pm

With the developments around Central Square / Quay and the proposed Canal Quarter, it's good to see this end of Queen St seeing a bit of rejuvenation. Would be good to see a few smaller restaurants opening up rather than big retail.
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MattW

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Re: Queen's Arcade

PostWed Jul 21, 2021 8:50 am

I'm all for it, think it would be a great idea. It would add a nice feature to the city centre instead of a huge and not massively well used shopping centre.
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AlwaysBeBlue

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Re: Queen's Arcade

PostWed Jul 21, 2021 9:06 am

The only problem here is that retail is dying a death, because of online shopping.
We need a few less shops if anything. Great with the apartments and if we add some decent restaurants with maybe our first 500ft building with a revolving restaurant at the top would be an attraction. Ok .maybe 800ft ?
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Ash

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Re: Queen's Arcade

PostWed Jul 21, 2021 9:43 am

AlwaysBeBlue wrote:The only problem here is that retail is dying a death, because of online shopping.
We need a few less shops if anything. Great with the apartments and if we add some decent restaurants with maybe our first 500ft building with a revolving restaurant at the top would be an attraction. Ok .maybe 800ft ?


From the way I read it the new development would have retail at ground level only. That would be a reduction of around 50% compared to the current mall. Even so, I think they would struggle to fill large units so it would probably make sense to go for smaller units suitable for hospitality and specialist retail.
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RandomComment

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Re: Queen's Arcade

PostWed Jul 21, 2021 10:52 am

This took me rather by surprise - when I first saw the headline I thought it was a plan for the Capitol centre site (news on which has gone completely quiet - I guess COVID-19 put paid to any short-term demand for more restaurant and leisure space!).

Physical retail is not dead - but it is shrinking and changing. Major city centres (and small local towns) are likely to occupancy hold up better than mid-size towns, as they can draw in enough people and support enough outlets to still be "destinations", especially when combined with hospitality and leisure offerings. Landlords will probably have to get used to lower rents in all but the very best pitches though (by that I mean places like Bond Street, Regent St, and perhaps a few very touristy places).

So I'd see this as part of the evolution of retail in Cardiff. It still has a place - albeit a smaller one. The economics now not only favour but probably require non-retail space (residential, small office suites, hotels) to make things viable.

A few things will be important to get right with the new streets. First is what will become a new external entrance to St Davids - it needs to be prominent enough that this development doesn't harm the viability of the old part of St Davids, but not completely dominate the new streetscape. Second is the centre of this new development, where the street turns. I think it should be quite angular, and a mini "square" would be nice, perhaps with a glass roof. Third is the building materials. The buildings on either side of the two entrances are in such different styles it will be hard to get anything approaching a consistent style. So I think it will look best to actually go for something that looks a bit of a hotch-potch - which can be hard to do well and avoid looking like a pastiche of "fake" organic development.
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