Call for changes to Opera Centre plans

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Senator Kieran O'Donnell at the Opera Centre site.

A SENIOR Government politician is seeking changes to plans for the multi-million euro Opera Centre project including better integration with the rest of the city centre and the repositioning of residential units.

Limerick Fine Gael Senator Kieran O’Donnell welcomed the ambitious development plans for the Opera Centre Site from Limerick 2030 and told the Limerick Post that he sees a real opportunity to create an area of the city that is vibrant from 7am to midnight.

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However, after a detailed inspection of the plans, he made a submission to Limerick 2030 seeking some changes, which he believes would further enhance the overall project.

These include better linking-up of the Opera Centre Site with the rest of the city centre as well as changes to the residential element of the project.

“The Opera Centre is a landmark development that will shape the skyline of Limerick City for generations to come. We must ensure we get everything right with the project, he explained.

“The current proposed two main entrances to the Opera Centre Site are mid-way up on Patrick Street and Michael Street respectively. However, I believe that entrances to the plaza could be better positioned to integrate it more into the fabric and experience of the city centre. This would take advantage of the natural flow of pedestrian traffic coming from the city centre to the Opera Centre,” he said.

He also takes the view that if a pedestrian access point was on the junction of Patrick Street and Ellen Street, it would open the plaza up to the city centre. An example of this in action, he said, is the natural flow of pedestrians through the Arthurs Quay entrance closest to the city centre versus the other two entrances.

“Another entrance to the Opera site on the corner of Ellen Street and Michael Street would also capture the flow of people coming from Cruises Street and from the Milk Market.

“The positioning and quantity of residential units on the site might be further considered. In the proposed Opera Centre site plan, some of the best views in Limerick City will be given over exclusively to offices with only a 9am to 5pm usage.”

He also believes some residential offering should be incorporated into the higher floors of the buildings overlooking Bank Place on the riverside.

“We all wish to see the Opera Centre site developed as soon as possible, but, it must work. It will play a pivotal role in further enhancing Limerick City centre as a place to live, work, invest in and to visit into the future,” he concluded.