Limerick council to 'take hit' on office rental rates

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Limerick council to 'take hit' on office rental rates

An impression of how the Hanging Gardens site may look. There is a dearth of office space in the city

LIMERICK City and County Council is “taking a hit” in terms of its rents in order to attract high quality employers into the urban area.

That’s according to Kieran Reeves, of the local authority’s economic arm, who said that rents in office accommodation in Limerick are at a “rock bottom” rental price of between €15 and €16 per square foot.

Speaking at an event on the Limerick 2030 plan organised by the Irish Planning Institute and the Royal Town Planning Institute, Mr Reeves said the rent any big employer in the city currently pays “does not represent the cost of the construction of the building”.

A lack of clean office space has been highlighted by a number of parties – notably the IDA – as an obstacle for Limerick to securing more employment.

To tackle this, Mr Reeves confirmed the local authority would take a financial risk in terms of the low rents as office space becomes available in the centre in order to bring jobs to the city.

“At the minute, the market rents in Limerick,  are reaching €15 to €16 per square foot for new office buildings, you cannot build an office building anywhere for this,” he explained, “If you want to attract good quality firms, you have to offer good quality accommodation. At the minute, this is what the council is proposing to do.

“We are going to build the accommodation, but to make them commercially viable, we have to attract a rent well in excess of that.”