An architect's impression of Kirkland's €40m development at Bishop's Quay
LIMERICK city centre has received a huge boost after a €40m office-residential development was given the green light by An Bord Pleanala, the Limerick Leader can reveal.
The national appeals body has this Wednesday given the green-light to a towering 15-storey development at the Bishop’s Quay which will create 100 construction jobs, as well as up to 600 permanent jobs.
The proposal – spearheaded by developer Rudi Butler – will see some 150,000 square feet of office space, 45 luxury apartments and limited commercial space, including new cafes and a restaurant.
Speaking to the Limerick Leader, Mr Butler said: “A lot of work has gone into this by a lot of people from the design team to the planners. It will still take about six months before we get on site.”
Mr Butler – son of former city developer Robert Butler – said he had received tremendous gestures of support and goodwill from the general public and groups like the Limerick Chamber and IDA Ireland.
“It’s great news for Limerick and it will rejuvenate the city centre and get people back living in the city. It will bring life back into the heart of the city,” he said.
A number of high-profile companies have already expressed an interest in taking some of the office space in the complex, with rents here cheaper than Dublin or Cork.
To facilitate the overall 250,000 square feet development, the former ESB premises at Cecil Street will be demolished, as will the rear annex of the former Bord na gCon offices adjacent to Henry Street garda station.
The adjoining coach house will also be tastefully renovated.
Ninety underground parking spaces will be provided, with the existing car park in Henry Street replaced by a public plaza.
The luxury apartments will have at their head a roof garden and a gym pavilion, plus a landscaped courtyard.
An Bord Pleanala gave the development the go-ahead, subject to 23 conditions.
These include a stipulation that the proposed lift serving the Bishop’s Palace will be reduced in scale and footprint.
The appeals body has also ordered that any food outlet put on site will only be allowed for use as a sit down restaurant.
Ronan Branigan, managing director of the George and Savoy Hotels along with Hamptons restaurant, said the go-ahead for the development was the "best news Limerick has received in years".
"It is a real game changer for Limerick city. When you look at the location of the site and the fact that it will bring people back to live in the city and work here. It will make a huge difference."