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Who loves shopping
Victoria Square (Belfast)
Member Name: SaveMeTheMoney
Victoria Square (Belfast)
Advantages: Lots of new shops
Disadvantages: Some shops are expensive
Victoria Square in Belfast opened with much pomp and ceremony on 6 March 2008. It is a massive commercial, residential and leisure complex right in the city centre of Belfasts. It has transformed the city centre of Belfast, reinvigorated it and brought much needed new shops to Northern Ireland.
The main anchor store is House of Fraser and is the largest store they have opened. It was also the most profitable store on opening. There is over 800,000 square feet of retail space in the centre. In total 39 of the shops were new retailers to Northern Ireland, including House of Fraser, LK Bennett, Geox, Fossil and Build-a-bear Workshop to name but a few (I am not going to fill my article by naming every shop). It was exciting times for Belfast and Northern ireland when the centre opened.
Unfortunately the global economic downturn has had an effect on the centre,a as Hardy Amies and The Pier have gone into administration and the Faith store is also closing. Hopefully the worst is now over, but only time will tell.
There are also a large number of restaurants in the centre, again a large number coming to Northern Ireland for the first time. T.G.I. Fridays , Chili's, Dante and Maggianos are some of the chains that are now resident in the Centre and they seem to be very popular especially at the weekends.
There are also 106 apartments built into the Centre which range in price and also in size. They look very nice, but again, the housing market slump has not helped the sales of these apartments.
The design of the Centre has tried to fuse the modern with the historical. A key element in the development is two covered, multi-level streets linked to the massive glass dome measuring 35 m in diameter. The dome lights up at night and is a focal point in the city's skyline. A public square covered entirely by the glass dome serves as the hub of the entire area and it is always busy during the day with people milling around. The ornate Jaffe Fountain, constructed in the 1870s by former Lord Mayor Otto Jaffe in memory of his father, has been restored to its original location in Victoria Square from it's temporary home in Botanic Gardens, where it was kind of dumped unceremoniously, or so it appeared.
There is also an 8 screen Odeon cnema up beside the restaurants which is handy I am sure for keeping children occupied!
Overall the centre is in my opinion great for Belfast. Some of the shops are a little pricey granted, but it is better to have more shopping options available. - and it gives you more places to go to treat yourself every once in a while!
I am only giving it 4 stars at the moment, to wait and see how many units are occupied at the end of the recession, but I may come back and edit the review and hopefully soon!
Summary: Fantastic redevelopment of Belfast
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