Barack Obama-style plaza for Limerick with 50 full-time jobs seeks planning

Multi-million euro plans to build massive facility seeks planning

Nick Rabbitts


Nick Rabbitts

Barack Obama-style plaza for Limerick with 50 full-time jobs seeks planning

An architect’s impression of how a new plaza planned for the edge of the city may appear - and below, the proposed site

MULTI-million euro plans to build a massive ‘Barack Obama Plaza’ style service area in the city are this week revealed by the Limerick Leader.

Up to 50 full-time jobs and 100 construction roles could be created if the proposals to build the facility on the northside get the go-ahead from council planners.

It comes in a week where Limerick has been boosted by 400 new jobs at Northern Trust, and further good news on the retail front with the opening of Golden Discs in Cruises Street, and the creation of at least eight new positions.

Developers are seeking to construct a service station forecourt and a 650-square metre two-storey restaurant building with a drive-thru facility and children's play area.

The plans – which are currently before City and County Council – are earmarked for a vast site adjacent to the Coonagh roundabout, and the Clondrinagh Business Park.

Pat O’Neill, the man behind the multi-million euro scheme, says it would represent “a landmark development at a gateway site into the city”.

“There is a huge need for this in Clondrinagh. It is the first site you see when you come over the Lansdowne Bridge. What we’re hoping is the development will enhance the whole area. This is unutilised land we are trying to develop,” Mr O’Neill told the Limerick Leader.

The service station, if it goes ahead, would operate on a 24/7 basis, with the restaurant open from 6am to 10pm, documents show.

Asked if the site would be comparable to the Barack Obama Plaza at Moneygall, Co Offaly, Mr O’Neill said: “Pro-rata it would be something similar, yes”.

“It’s an exciting project, and one which will hopefully complement the whole area, and the entrance to our beautiful city,” he said, adding he has been in contact with some of the firms located at the neighbouring business park.

“If this development goes ahead, it will bring people to the general area. The businesses in Clondrinagh are in need of an injection,” said Mr O’Neill.

“I’ve approached many businesses in Clondrinagh and they’ve given me their blessing,” he added.

If the plaza gets the go-ahead, it will join three other forecourts in the area.

Petrogas Group, which operates the Applegreen service area a short distance away, is one of three parties which have objected to the proposals.

An agent for the firm stated: “The proposed development, by reason of its use and built form does not represent an appropriate landmark building for this gateway entrance to the city.”

The firm also claimed the City Development Plan would not allow fast-food take-away facilities in petrol stations – as well as noting concerns over the parking of heavy goods vehicles.

Council planners will decide on the proposals by July 5 next.