An impression of the original plans for the 14-storey structure, now reduced to seven storeys
A PLANNING application is to be lodged in the coming days for a multi-million euro new office complex in the heart of the city.
The Limerick Leader can this week reveal fresh plans for a high-spec riverside development by Kirkland Investments, which it’s hoped will facilitate hundreds of office jobs.
The development, it’s anticipated, will bring seven storeys of high-spec, state-of-the-art office space to Bishop’s Quay.
Sources close to the developer say, it will “set the standard” for building developments in Limerick, and deliver 100 construction jobs, and, in time, hundreds of permanent office positions.
However, unlike the last development, which received planning permission in late 2016, it will rise just seven storeys instead of 14.
Apartments will remain in the development, with the planning application set to show 44 "luxury living spaces".
To facilitate the 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, with the adjoining coach house tastefully renovated.
Ninety underground car parking spaces would be provided, while the existing car park in Henry Street will be replaced with a public plaza.
Sources close to the multi-million euro development have told this newspaper that they would hope to have “cranes in the sky” as soon as February next, saying: “They want to press the button immediately.”
“They want to get the amendment in, get the cranes in the sky and start building in February. They are moving at 100 miles per hour here,” the source added, pointing out it’s likely to be the first major private development in the city in more than a decade.
The proposal will be broadly the same as the one accepted by planners in 2016 – only that it will be half the size.
The reduction comes after Kirkland went to the market, and deemed it too risky to build 14-stories.
“They’ve met with a number of clients who were interested in office space and unfortunately, some of these approaches have fallen through,” the source said, “There were businesses, one which wanted to move 300 people in immediately. But they wanted to move in straight away. The strongest point in the market are those who move quickly and need space straight away.”
“The developer realises they need to build first and then pass it on. They feel the business model wouldn’t work on 14-floors. It would leave them exposed in terms of risk,” the source said.
The development plan has been warmly welcomed by Limerick Chamber chief executive Dee Ryan.
She said: “It speaks to the work being done over the last number of years by all the city’s stakeholders to improve the offering for FDI and indigenous companies in the region.”