Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Fantasy Odds and Ends

Photo shows an architect's impression of man in Godzilla suit smashing the Waterfront.

Fantasy Films

Last weekend I was reading reviews of all those creaky Doug Mclure films I used to watch at the Cinema in the 1970s - the Land that Time Forgot, At the Earth’s Core, Warlords of Atlantis - I love the reviews description of how the monsters were rendered - "the wonders of suitamation".

That is such a lovely way of describing a man in a monster suit! It's particularly true of the Doug McClure films, which usually had a rip-off from Edgar Rice Burroughs for a storyline, a scientist, and a man with fists who got the girl - that was Doug.

For lighter reading I was also enjoying some blog reviews of old films. I particularly liked this line from one: "Dracula Has Risen From the Grave is not an especially accurate title, though it does score points for being evocative. Dracula Has Been Defrosted From A Moat would not look nearly so good on the poster. "

Fantasy Books
I mostly read some autobiographies last weekend though dipping into some history books as well, and started re-reading Martin Gardner's wonderful "Annotated Alice". My copy had just about fallen to bits so it was nice to get a Kindle edition.

I finished Harry Secombe's Strawberries and Cheam, and it's such a joyful and funny book that I completely forgot he had in fact died some years ago. Farewell, Neddie Seagoon!

Fantasy Island
I saw this excellent question on Facebook:

“Will the JDC come clean and tell us how many square feet have been actually signed and sealed for in the new Finance District? Obviously, they will not reveal who yet (confidentiality etc) but do the public not have a right to know how much, if any, space has been allocated. Probably find out that the only people to move in to this white elephant will be States Departments.”

And Willy Nieuwburg had some excellent points to make in his comments, well worth repeating:

“The States have agreed that the JDC can start building ONLY when 200.000 sq ft has been firmly contracted at market rates ( no Liberty Wharf like give always ) If they don't they cannot lay one brick unless they go back to the Sates. This puts them in a bit of predicament as they might have only one tenant who only wants £150.000 sq ft. What then ? Dandara still has 50% room in their grade A office building. They're working 7 days a week to finish it.”

“JDC ( The States ) has no business in being a developer and risking hard earned tax payer's money in competition with private developers who have planning permission, know what they're doing and risk their own money. I would love to know how much Liberty Wharf has collected in rent since opening especially how much Sandpiper has paid since then. I believe it has cost between £50 - £70 million to build. Government should not get involved in building commercial offices and risk money which isn't theirs. Leave this to communist countries....”

And he makes this point – also worth noting:

“Has anyone noticed that the only people who are trumpeting the benefits of the Finance centre are the Chiefs of the various States quangos - all paid indirectly by the tax payer. Jersey Finance, JFSC, JDC etc. They have all lined up to be interviewed by local media and state how much demand there is for grade A office space and how wonderful it's going to be. In fact they sound like clones However the silence of Jersey's finance houses' CEO's ( the potential customers who really matter ) on the subject is deafening. I wonder why”

That’s very true – where are the lawyers, banks, trust companies etc who are crying out for this development? They are probably waiting in the wings to see if the JDC will discount the office space so that it becomes a better deal than Dandara or the proposed Le Masurier one.

Thirty Pieces of Property
Has anyone noticed, by the way, Simon Crowcroft’s sudden about turn on the Waterfront? Suddenly he is an enthusiast, indeed fanatically pushing for it to happen. Could it have anything to do with the fact that the States have agreed to pay rates on States building in St Helier?.

I don’t know if there are thirty States properties in St Helier to pay rates, but it would be an appropriate coincidence if there were!

And finally
St Helier has been identified as one of four priorities for the States of Jersey over the next three years. The States aims to raise the profile of the island's capital.

How will they do this? Obviously by going with Steve Luce and building very tall office blocks on the Waterfront. That will certainly raise St Helier's profile against the skyline.

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