As picked up by the Gazette and the new excellent http://thanetpress.blogspot.com/2009/05/agreement-reached-on-eyesore.html an agreement has been arrived at between TDC and the owners of the prominent seafront eyesore of shame, The Arcadian. It's been an eyesore for many years and time will tell if this time, the building really will be brought back to former glory.
If The Arcadian and next door Fort Hotel were renovated and brought back into use, then by all accounts this would fit with requirement for centrally located, high quality hotel accommodation in the vicinity of the Turner Contemporary.
Which brings me to the article also in the Gazette on Friday about KCC plans to design their own hotel next door to the Turner Contemporary site. It seems ludicrous for a council to be designing its own landmark building next door to a key architect designed gallery. Why not encourage the development and revival of Margate and Cliftonville's fine boarding houses back to their former glory and returning them to the use that suits them best? Surely this would bring the most benefit to the streets and neighbourhoods in town rather than have them continue as HMOs and now the ever popular short sighted property developer staple of miniscule low quality flats that no one wants to live in. Isn't this what the Turner Contemporary is supposed to encourage? The revival and regeneration of the town?
And if a seafront hotel must be built (right in front of The Arcadian, The Fort Hotel and in view of The Nayland Rock) why would KCC design it themselves? What design credentials do they have for building a high quality building as opposed to a good architect?
My view is that if we need 100+ quality rooms throughout town and given the trend for people to want to stay in smaller, independent quality places, then Margate would have sufficient rooms available and these will be ready for the opening of the Turner. It would have the added bonus of regenerating streets and streets in the town and providing jobs and demand for services to support a revived tourist economy.
The article goes on to point out that there are funds available from the EU. This would give encouragement to owners of potential eyesores in town to bring them back into a viable use.