Public urged to sing up for Limerick's Project Opera development

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Thousands of new jobs could be created in the Project Opera development on Patrick Street

Thousands of new jobs could be created in the Project Opera development on Patrick Street

WITH the deadline for submissions on Limerick’s €150m Project Opera development fast approaching, a public meeting this Wednesday will encourage the public to have their say.

From 6.30pm this Wednesday in Chez le Fab cafe at Arthur’s Quay, plans for the former Opera Centre site are being put on display by Solidarity councillor Cian Prendiville.

As revealed by the Limerick Leader last month, the Limerick Twenty Thirty DAC has formally applied for permission to develop at the Patrick Street site.

Three tall office buildings are planned, with the highest towering up to 14-storeys in a move which it’s hoped will create thousands of jobs.

But Cllr Prendiville is hugely concerned at the fact no living spaces are planned for the area.

“It is very good to finally see some progress in terms of this vacant site, six years after the council bought it," he explained.

"The council are proposing to spend €150m building four multi-storey office blocks on this site, and redeveloping four existing buildings, again as offices, with not a single apartment on the site. This is in the middle of a housing crisis, with almost no affordable, quality apartments available in the city centre, and rents already going through the rough.

"While not everyone wants to live in the city centre, more and more young people in particular are looking for that option,” he said.

Cllr Prendiville says if Project Opera proceeds as is planned, Limerick could be facing a “dead zone” after 6pm and at weekends.

“As the Liveable Limerick campaign has highlighted, we have the potential for a truly vibrant city centre, but to do that we need to invest in providing quality, affordable and social housing in the city centre for people to rent or buy. The old Georgian buildings in particular could be turned into ideal apartments for young people and families who want to live in the city centre,” he said.

People can make their views known on Project Opera by August 25. It will then be up to metropolitan district councillors on how the plans then proceed.

Original plans for the Opera Centre site would have seen the area become home to a new shopping centre, described by the then developer Suneil Sharma as “Limerick’s shopping mecca”. ​

Meanwhile, entry to the event is free, but people are encouraged to buy drinks and snacks should they wish.

For more information on the meeting, call 086-8064801.