First blocks laid on ‘transformative’ project for Limerick

A birds-eye view of the Opera Square development site.

A LANDMARK Limerick development hit an important milestone this week, reaching the halfway point in the overall development.

The first blocks have been laid on One Opera Square building, a pillar component of the long awaited Opera Square development, with the overall project now having reached the halfway point.

Large demolition works have been ongoing on the site since ground was broken in 2020, with works on the buildings basements being largely complete.

The laying of the blocks marks a major milestone in the One Opera Square building, a six storey development on the corner of Michael Street and Ellen Street in Limerick City.

When completed, One Opera Square will offer five storeys of office space to cater for up to 1,000 employees, as well as restaurant and retail space.

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Works on the 3.7-acre site are the largest city centre works ever to take place in Ireland outside Dublin, and have seen 16 Georgian buildings retained as part of the development.

The project is due for completion in 2026 and has so far created 100 jobs on site.

Works on the basements of each building began last year, with 7,200 cubic meters of concrete already delivered to the site, equating to over 900 truck loads.

Reacting to the milestone progress on the site, Limerick Mayor Gerald Mitchell said that the project represents an “incredible opportunity” for the city.

“It is exciting to witness the progress here at the Opera site. With the demolition works done and so much of the basement works completed, what strikes you first is the vastness of the project and the incredible opportunity it represents for Limerick.”

“We’re three years into the programme and so much of what has been done so far has been preparatory but essential. We are now beginning to see the project come out of the ground and that’s such a positive stage to be at.

“Limerick has very much become a national exemplar in how to regenerate a city by being innovative and resourceful.”

Minister of State for Local Government and Planning Kieran O’Donnell paid a visit to the site and said that the development will transform the city.

“When I look at the progress being made in Limerick now and over the next number of years, it will be a transformed city and Opera Square will be a heartbeat for our city.

“It will be a city with an incredible renaissance story, a success story founded on courage and innovation, with a real can-do attitude and vision,” he said.

The Opera Square project is being delivered by the newly-established Treaty Stone Partnership, which sees Limerick Twenty Thirty and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), part of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), work together to deliver it.

The One Opera Square building is expected to cost in the region of €80million and is the largest commitment by the ISIF as part of its Regional Cities Programme.

The entire Opera Square site will come at a cost of €200million, and when finished will have the capacity for over 3,000 employees, an aparthotel, apartments, retail units, a new library, and bars and restaurants.