Demolition and enabling works begin for €200m Limerick project

Monday 30 November 2020: John Sisk & Son is delighted to be part of the biggest single commercial property programme investment in Limerick and largest ever outside the capital that got underway today at the Opera site. 

Having achieved planning in February 2020, the demolition and enabling works programme were commenced today by Sisk at the 1.62 hectare site that will, when fully developed, have the capacity for up to 3,000 employees across a 450,000 sq ft campus accommodation. The programme will take up to six years to complete, with up to 500 people involved in construction at peak on the site and at an estimated cost of €200m.

Among the key elements of the project will be a 14-storey landmark office space building; a five-storey aparthotel with 13 separate apartments and retail on ground and basement levels; a 4-6-storey over-basement building with office space, retail and restaurant/café; a new state-of-the-art library plus significant public realm.

The site is being developed by Limerick Twenty Thirty DAC (LTT), a special purpose vehicle established by Limerick City and County Council in 2016 to stimulate economic and social development by building out and promoting strategic disused sites in Limerick.

LTT has already completed the award-winning and fully let Gardens International project on Henry Street, a 112,000 sq. ft development completed at a cost of €17.6m. Also included in its portfolio is Troy Studios, Castletroy, which is fully completed and let; the 10 acre Cleeves Riverside Project also in the city centre, which is currently at master-planning stage; and the 60 acre Mungret Park residential site on the grounds of the former Mungret College where a 200 unit first phase will go to planning in Q1 2021.

The Opera Site is fully funded thanks to finance from the European Investment Bank, the Council of Europe Development Bank, with specific funding also through the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. The Opera Site will be developed to best practice sustainability standards under the LEED Gold and Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) standards.

The extensive site demolition and enabling works will take up to 12 months to complete as will the demolition of all 20th century buildings and later additions, the adaptive re-use of the Protected Structures and other structures of heritage value. Three major site developments will take place in addition to the extensive enabling and demolition works over the first three years of the programme, including the new city library; aparthotel, retail and apartments and the Revenue Building & Granary developments.

Welcoming the commencement, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Michael Collins said: “This is a very exciting day for Limerick City and County Council, for Limerick Twenty Thirty but, most of all, for Limerick and the wider Mid-West region. This development is going to be crucial in helping Limerick springboard out of the economic challenges that pretty much everywhere is facing now.”

Frank Quirk, Managing Director, Ireland South, North & West, John Sisk & Son, said: “John Sisk & Son is delighted to be part of this exciting project for Limerick that has been in the pipeline for a long time. We are at the initial stage of the project, starting with the enabling and demolition works. Over the course of the project Limerick City Centre will be transformed. Sisk has been associated with many of Ireland’s iconic landmark buildings and we look forward to helping this regeneration project have a major positive impact on the city and the region.”

David Conway, CEO of Limerick Twenty Thirty, said: “The Opera Site will be the single, largest commercial development undertaken in Limerick and the largest outside of the capital. Up to 3,000 people will be employed here across a 450,000 sq ft campus so that’s going to be a huge long-term benefit to Limerick and the region. Separately, there’s going to be very significant employment and an economic spin-off for the region in the six-year build programme. We have been mandated to develop sites that would accelerate the ongoing transformation of Limerick City and today as we begin works here is a great moment in that journey.”

The Opera Site comprises:

A 14-storey landmark building at Bank Place comprising c. 13,264 sq m office floorspace

  • A 4-6-storey over-basement building, with 12,654 sq m of office space, 960 sq m retail and 430 sq m restaurant/café use at ground level
  • A 5-storey building on the corner of Patrick St. and Ellen St. comprising an apart-hotel (c.5,150.6 sq m), 13 apartments and c.1,013.8 sq m of retail at ground and basement levels
  • A refurbished 4-storey over-basement building on Rutland Street providing c. 444.2 sq m of ground and basement retail use, with three residential dwellings above
  • Refurbishment of 9 Ellen Street (Quinn’s) to provide a c. 1,260.3 sq m bar and restaurant
  • The renovation and adaption of the former Town Hall, including the construction of 6-storey over-basement extension, to provide a new public library of c.4,515.8 sq m, office floor space of 2,981 sq, retail of 196.4 sq m and 445.9 sq m of café/restaurant floorspace in the basement
  • The Bruce House Doorway will be relocated at the internal gable of number 8 Rutland Street within the new library building atrium
  • The refurbishment and adaptive re-use of the Granary Building on Michael Street
  • The construction of a basement car park at Opera Square comprising car parking spaces, car charging stations, secure cycle parking spaces, together with shower and changing facilities; additional secure cycle parking spaces at ground level

About Limerick Twenty Thirty

Limerick Twenty Thirty Strategic Development DAC (Designated Activity Company) is a property development company playing a pivotal role in the rapid transformation of Limerick into a leading destination for indigenous and international investment. Established in 2016 as a special purpose vehicle of Limerick City and County Council, Limerick Twenty Thirty is developing strategic sites in Limerick City and County into anchors for enterprise, investment and residential development.

In doing so it will – in keeping with the city and county’s strategic blueprint, ‘Limerick 2030 – An Economic and Spatial Plan for Limerick’ – help drive the economic renaissance in Limerick and deliver very significant social dividends for the city and its residents.