U2 Tower shelved as credit crisis spooks

DUBLIN Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:56pm GMT

U2 lead singer Bono gestures during a news conference at the Media Centre in Kuehlungsborn near the G8 venue in Heligendamm in this file photo from June 8, 2007. REUTERS/Morris Mac Matzen

U2 lead singer Bono gestures during a news conference at the Media Centre in Kuehlungsborn near the G8 venue in Heligendamm in this file photo from June 8, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Morris Mac Matzen

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DUBLIN (Reuters) - A dramatic 120-metre tower planned for Dublin's docklands to house U2's rock studio has become the latest Irish casualty of the global financial crisis.

The Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) said on Friday it had suspended negotiations over the tower for up to 12 months due to uncertainty in the property and financial markets.

A consortium including architect Norman Foster and the U2 band was selected a year ago to build the tower at the mouth of Dublin's River Liffey, with a U2 recording studio to be suspended at the top in an egg-shaped pod.

The development -- which would have been Ireland's tallest building -- was also meant to include a public viewing platform at 100 metres, a hotel, retail and residential accommodation.

"The objective is to see this landmark project completed," the DDDA said in a statement. "However, given the current unfavourable economic environment, more time is needed at this juncture."

After a decade-long property boom when prices quadrupled, a sharp construction downturn at time of global financial meltdown made Ireland the first euro zone country to enter recession this year.

(Reporting by Andras Gergely; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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