Opera Site Planning Application Lodged with An Bord Pleanála - Construction Network Ireland - Construction Network Ireland

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Published in Construction on 23/03/2019

Opera Site Planning Application Lodged with An Bord Pleanála

CNI Editor reports

Limerick City and County Council has lodged a planning application to An Bord Pleanála for the Opera site – the largest inner-city commercial development outside of the capital.

The iconic site will be developed by Limerick Twenty Thirty DAC – a special purpose vehicle created by Limerick City and County Council in 2016 to transform a number of disused iconic sites in the city and county into catalysts for economic development and job creation.

The entity has been active over the last two and half years developing the world class Gardens International, which opened this week, advancing the mammoth Opera site project to planning, master-planning the 250 unit first phase of the Mungret Park housing development as well as the 10 acre Cleeves Riverside campus.

The 1.62hectare Opera Site, however, is the largest project in the programme and will be developed over a six year period at a total cost of around €180 m.  It is fully funded thanks to commitments from the European Investment Bank and the Council of Europe Development Bank.

The site was acquired by the then Limerick City Council in 2011 after a previous plan to develop it collapsed during the crash.

A transformational project for Limerick, Opera will be capable of employing up to 3,000 people across a 450,000 sq ft development. The project will be developed to LEED Gold and Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) standards and is expected to take six years.

Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr James Collins said: “With regard to the wider regeneration of Limerick, this is the project that we’ve been waiting for more than any.  After stalling before while in private ownership, it has finally arrived, I’m delighted to say, at this key stage.”

“We had the opening of Gardens International this week and that set a new standard in terms of office space for Limerick.  Opera is six times the size and will be the single most transformational project this decade in any city in Ireland.”

Planning application summary:

The application, in in accordance with Section 175 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, includes the demolition of all Twentieth Century buildings and later additions, the adaptive re-use of the Protected Structures and other structures of heritage value, and, the construction of c. 45,170sq m mixed-use scheme comprising:

  • The construction of a part-11 part-14 storey landmark building at Bank Place comprising c. 13,264 sq m office floorspace
  • The redevelopment of the existing car park on Michael St. with the erection of a 4- 6 storey over basement building providing c. 12,654 sq m office use, with c.960 sq m retail, and, c.430 sq m restaurant/café use at ground level
  • The erection of a part-3 part-5 Storey building on the corner of Patrick St. and Ellen St. comprising a 57 No. room apart-hotel (c.5,150.6 sq m), 13 no. apartments and c.1,013.8 sq m of retail at ground and basement levels
  • The refurbishment of an existing 4 storey over basement building on Rutland Street providing c. 444.2 sq m of ground and basement retail use, with 3 No. residential dwellings above
  • The refurbishment of no. 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 (a Protected Structure, RPS Ref. No. 014), including the construction of 6 storey over-basement extension, to provide a new public library of c.4,515.8 sq m, c.2,981 sq m of office floorspace, and, c.196.4 sq m of retail and c.445.9 sq m of café/restaurant floorspace in the basement. The Bruce House Doorway (a Protected Structure, RPS Ref. No. 317) 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 (a Protected Structure, RPS Ref. No. 272), including the replacement of the modern extension to the rear with a new glazed vertical circulation space. (Jessie to provide further wording for works to the protected structure.
  • The construction of a basement car park at Opera Square comprising 155 no. car parking spaces and 311 no. secure cycle parking spaces, together with shower and changing facilities. An additional 40 no. secure cycle parking spaces will be provided at ground level. 120 no. public cycle spaces, and, the provision for a 24-space cycle hire scheme will be provided at ground level within the public realm.

The development also includes improvement works to the adjacent public streets, hard and soft landscaping changes, signage and flagpoles, lighting, change in levels, substations, diversion of underground services, set-down areas, and all related site development and excavation works above and below ground. In addition, 3 no. new public squares/plazas will be created comprising; The Central Plaza c. 3,700 sq m; the Granary Courtyard’ c. 785sq m; and, Bank Place c. 1,775sq m.