SOBO is here

Imagine your hometown being given a new name overnight.

Well if you are living within the four corners of Macken St, Lombard St, Cardiff Lane and Sir John Rogerson’s Quay you just have. The new name for this almost perfect square is SOBO (South of Beckett and O Casey Bridges.) The name was conceived by property developers Hibernia Reit who acquired land inside the four corners last year which include the one acre 1 Windmill Lane site and 1 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay. They also have buildings in between in their portfolio. SOBO has its own website, which is managed by the real estate companies Jones Lang LaSalle and Cushman and Wakefield. They regard the ‘SOBO’ area as ‘where the docklands meet and the modern city begins.’

They also describe the area as having a ‘daylong buzz’ but surely this is about the vibrations coming from the mass construction in the area and not anything to do with feelings of excitement amongst its inhabitants? The area is the home of Liffey Pearse FC and has the showrooms of businesses which include Mattress Mick and JP Motorcycles, with local public houses being the Windjammer and the Lombard. NewsFour inquired with developers Hibernia Reit on exactly what motivated the concept of SOBO.

“It gives definition to the area and is something that local businesses, residents and landlords are using to help build public interest in coming to work, live or play. With excellent access to public transport facilities, and some of the most exciting new developments in the city under construction, we think that over time SOBO will become an area people identify with as one of the most vibrant areas in the city,” said a spokesperson from Hibernia Reit.

With all this construction in process we asked the developers if they are considering the inhabitants in their plans, “We have supported local initiatives such as refurbishment of the home economics lab in CBS Westland Row school; installation of traffic calming measures and a pedestrian crossing on Hanover Street East/Creighton Street and sponsorship of local youth projects including local sports teams.” confirmed the same spokesperson. One of the major construction projects under their control at present, that is already attracting attention with its structure, is No.1 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay.

“1-6 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay (to be known as 1 SJRQ) is the location for a new 115,000 square feet office development by Hibernia Reit that is expected to be completed by late summer 2018. 1SJRQ’s striking building façade combines a restored Dublin tramway entrance and two industrial era buildings with a stunning six storey Grade A purpose built office development. The building has been designed by award winning architects Henry J Lyons to incorporate the charm of the period buildings with modern office space. 1SJRQ will form part of a quadrant of four offices owned by Hibernia Reit comprising: 1 Windmill Lane, 1 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, The Observatory, and Hanover Building (to be renamed 2 Windmill Lane.) “This area will be known as the Windmill Quarter.” With all these offices and no sign of any relaxation or recreation facilities and with Dubliners’ penchant for nicknaming, the name SOBO may come to mean So-Boring and I’m sure the residents might have something to say about that. Who knows? In 100 years time the ‘Sobolese’ might be asking for their own independence.

By Paul Carton