“This is a new start for us”. “A brilliant Christmas present.” “I couldn’t be happier.”
These were just some of the reactions of people as they were shown around their new homes in the Lord Edward Street housing development in Limerick for the first time.
The €18 million project is part of the Limerick Regeneration programme and one of the biggest social housing projects in the country.
81 units have been built on a brownfield site close to Limerick city centre comprising of 57 units for elderly residents and 24 family homes. The development, which will include retail outlets and a community centre, is also linked to the adjoining primary health care centre.
Ger and Christina Doran, who are both in their thirties, were among the first wave of new tenant families who were shown around their new homes.
“We were nervous coming down, anxious as we didn’t know what to expect but this is amazing, so well laid out, Absolutely amazing, overwhelmed to be honest, It’s modern day living, unbelievable,” Ger said.
“We’re very happy, we’ve been living in O’Malley Park in Southill for more than ten years. We had planned to buy a house but I lost my job in the recession so things didn’t work out for us. So this is a new start for us, absolutely fantastic, amazing. It’s great to have the opportunity to come down here and look at where we are going to be living. It’s a great Christmas present,” he explained.
Two of the homes facing the street are already occupied, while the remaining 79 units will be ready to be occupied by council tenants early in the new year.
Mary Kelly will be one of the Doran’s neighbours. She is moving from Ballinacurra Weston to her new home.
“I’m amazed, ecstatic, I couldn’t be happier. I’m delighted. I’m in my house now for 14 years and on the transfer list for the past seven years,” she said as she looked out at the restored Limerick Clothing Factory building, which will serve as the local community centre.
“I’m staying close to where I’m from, and the kids know the area. I think my new house is amazing, especially for my daughter as she will have her own room. It’s so well done, I couldn’t be happier.”
Wishing all the new tenants the very best in their new homes, Mayor Stephen Keary said that the site has some fascinating history attached to it.
“Lord Edward Street has been one of the flagship social housing developments not only in Limerick but the whole country. We are very conscious of the need to provide our citizens with good quality housing, and Lord Edward Street certainly delivers on this.”
Social Development Director Carmel Kirby said that the local authority wanted to build and sustain communities and they believed they could do that in Lord Edward Street.
“The 79 new units will be occupied early in the new year, and will bring renewed life into an area which had lain idle for years.”
“The development is also close to all amenities. There is a health care centre, shops and schools nearby and the People’s Park is a few minutes walk down the road.”
Council architect Seamus Hanrahan said that the Limerick Clothing Factory which operated from the site was reputed to be the largest clothing factory in the world at one point.”
“The new development incorporates the existing structures on the site and this was an important decision early in the design process as it has resulted in a development which is firmly rooted in the area and respects its history,” he explained.
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