Well there’s Temple Bar, the IFSC, Silicon Docks, there’s even a Chinatown on the up, but now there’s a new district in Dublin, the creative hub of SOBO. Never heard of it? Neither have most Dubliners.
The name SOBO is an acronym for South of Beckett O’Casey, referring to the Samuel Becket and Sean O’Casey bridges across the River Liffey. According to real estate agent Sherry Fitzgerald, SOBO is the new creative and industrial quarter between the Grand Canal Dock and George’s Quay development zones.
On the district’s website – with contact details for both Sherry Fitzgerald and Jones Lang LaSalle – the area is described as “a place with a history of connecting people and inspiring creativity.”
The area stretches from the river to the Grand Canal Basin and the Pearse Street train station.
The website also says, “SOBO District is a place re-energized, animated by businesses and people that are going places. There is a positivity in the air, an excitement about the next wave of regeneration that is underway.”
The area certainly has a buzz about it and includes companies like BNY Mellon, Riot Games, Realex Payments, Three Ireland and Verizon. There has been some beautiful refurbishment work done on old buildings and impressive new constructions of office buildings and homes in the area such as the projects underway at Windmill Lane and Sir John Rogerson’s Quay and the refurbishment of The Campshire warehouses. The area has a feeling of something vibrant and growing, but does Dublin really need a new name for the area?
Vocal Editor of Lovin Dublin Niall Harbison has some choice words. He wrote, “I'm starting to worry that the last seven years of hardship and lost fortunes didn't teach us a thing.
“In fact, far from learning anything, the property developers, PR merchants and estate agents have their heads back above the parapet – and now, they're trying to 'rebrand' one of the most historic parts of the city to boost property values.”
The newly named district has its own website and Facebook page, with only 48 likes so far. On the page commenters have left messages such as “This does not exist” and “Good luck with that...” So what do you think? Can a real estate group simply conjure up a new district or will the name fail to launch?
The future of Dublin is an all-white, business-casual wearing utopia. #SoBo pic.twitter.com/dIfAkLxNx7— Geoffrey Keating (@geoffreykeating) November 12, 2015