Re: Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?
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Two conflicting reports here on the exact nature of the works to be carried out on the opera centre site in the near future. Both however confirm what many of us had thought for quite a while, ie. that the developers have bought up a number of adjacent properties that had not formed part of the initial application. The most interesting inclusion is that of the old City hall, strangely only the facade of the building is listed on the record of protected structures!:confused:
Other properties likely to form part of the revised development are No.s 1,2,3 Patrick Street, immediately adjacent to the Catherine Hayes house and also the former fat zoe’s restaurant beside the town hall. It remains to be seen how these will be integrated into the shopping complex. I wonder is Pat Keogh being a tad optimistic in hoping for no further delays given the history of the project so far?
â‚¬250m development boost for city centre
By Jimmy Woulfe, Mid-West Correspondent
LIMERICK city centre has received another boost with confirmation yesterday that work on the massive Opera Centre development is to get underway in the new year.
Belfast businessman Suneil Sharma is behind the â‚¬250 million project.
The news came a day after it was announced that a â‚¬40m development is being planned for another location in the heart of the city.
The Opera Centre will cover a massive 400,000 square feet with frontage onto five streets which will include Rutland St, Patrick St, Ellen St, Michael St and Bank Place.
Pat Kearney, who heads Rooney Auctioneers, spent more than four years negotiating the purchase of properties with up to 40 landlords, owners and tenants.
Mr Kearney said: â€œThis will be fantastic for the city and it will give Limerick a new national shopping focus.â€
The Opera Centre development will take more than two years to complete and will feature spectacular elevated walkways encased in glass, linking various shopping locations within its parameters.
More than 1,200 people will be employed full-time in the centre.
It has been named after a famous Limerick opera singer, Catherine Hayes, who was born in Patrick Street and who sang for Queen Victoria in Buckingham Palace.
It is planned to preserve her old home at No 4 Patrick Street as a museum in her honour.
Mr Keogh, of Regeneration Developments, who is overseeing the huge development, said it was now all systems go with all planning requirements satisfied.
These include surveys and conservation reports on houses in Patrick Street.
Demolition work to clear the main site will commence in January.
Mr Keogh said: â€œSome adjustments will likely be made to the original state of the art plans, because additional properties have come into the scheme. Some plans will be amended and we hope that this will not cause any delays. This will be a huge boost to the regeneration of the heart of the city.â€
A report on the revitalisation of the city centre published last week warned that the city centre was in urgent need of massive development of its retail sector.
The report, co-authored by the former president of the University of Limerick Dr Ed Walsh, stated that the city centre retail sector had, to an unprecedented scale, fallen behind the suburban shopping areas.
It called for an iconic development of the Arthurâ€™s Quay Park area which is adjacent to where the Opera Centre stands.
Marks & Spencer considering move to â‚¬250m centre in Limerick
Marks & Spencer could be moving to more than one location in Limerick in two years time.
Rooney Auctioneers on O’Connell Street, Limerick, are currently in discussions with the British chain regarding acquiring an outlet in the â‚¬250m Opera Centre.
Auctioneer Pat Kearney said: “I think they may want a presence in both locations. They could have clothing in one store and food in the other.”
Jenny Mulholland, head of property planning for Ireland with Marks & Spencer, has confirmed their intentions to have a second outlet in Limerick and said having an outlet in the city centre “is definitely on our strategy”.
“We have always been very interested in having a centre in Limerick city, even if it is just a food outlet. The city is very vibrant and we are keen to be a part of the retail environment there as well. We’re looking at a number of locations in the city,” said Ms Mulholland.
Marks & Spencer have already confirmed their intentions to open a major outlet at the Crescent Shopping Centre in Raheen, Limerick, pending planning permission from Limerick County Council.
The flagship store in Raheen, which will be the biggest in the west of the country, will include a wide range of fashion, home and furniture products, a food hall, cafÃ© and a deli bar.
Mr Kearney confirmed that Brown Thomas have also been approached about moving from their store on O’Connell Street to the Opera Centre, but said “nothing positive has happened on that front yet”.
Despite a number of media reports stating that work is to begin on the massive retail centre in January, Pat Keogh, who is involved in the development of the Opera Centre, has dismissed these suggestions.
Rather, conservation work will be carried out on four Georgian buildings on Rutland Street, which An Bord PleanÃ¡la ruled to conserve.
Mr Keogh said as a number of other buildings have come into their possession since the application was granted, they will be going back to City Hall with further amendments to their application.
One such building is the offices of the Limerick Post, which is a protected structure.
Mr Keogh said the full plans for the future of the Opera Centre will be tied down in the New Year, and said plans to include The Granary building on Michael Street into their development is “not certain and not conclusive”.
Dick Tobin, senior planner with Limerick City Council, said they have received compliances in relation to the planning permission that was granted by An Bord PleanÃ¡la earlier this year.
However, he said he has not been made aware of any new plans to alter the application, to include The Granary, which houses the nightclub, Trinity Rooms, the City Library and City Enterprise Board, among other offices.
“I haven’t heard anything formally yet. As tenants we would have to be informed even before the planners would be informed,” said Mr Tobin.
When built, the Opera Centre will be the largest commercial development in the Mid-West and is expected to create in excess of 1,000 jobs.
Belfast businessman Suneil Sharma sold on his interests in the Opera Centre to a consortium of investors this May for an undisclosed sum.
Kerry property tycoon Jerry O’Reilly has been confirmed as one of the three new investors.
Mr O’Reilly also owns The Granary building in Limerick, which is a protected structure.
Old City Hall Rutland Street Limerick