Limerick city and county council has launched a property development company in a first-of-its-kind plan to attract UK and US investors following Britain’s exit from the European Union.
The Limerick Twenty Thirty company has been tasked to deliver over €500m in inward investment and create 5,000 jobs over the next five years.
Former head of the Kerry Group, Denis Brosnan, was announced as the chairman of the development company.
The €500 plus plan designed to accelerate an economic recovery in the Treaty City is the “biggest single Irish commercial property development programme undertaken outside the capital”, according to Limerick Twenty Thirty.
The company was also described as a “first entity of its kind to be created by a local authority”.
The firm is to “prioritise the redevelopment of 1.4m sq ft of prime real estate” across “four strategic sites into state-of-the-art office, retail, residential, education, and enterprise space”.
The four development sites - some purchased by the council from NAMA - are the 112,000 sq ft Hanging Gardens site on Henry Street; the 115,000 sq ft Opera Site at Rutland Street; the former Cleeves toffee factory site at Fernhill comprising 100,000 sq ft of existing space and eight acres of surrounding lands; and the 340,000 sq ft Troy Studios film hub in Castletroy, where an €8m film production house fit out is nearing completion.
Mr Brosnan said he hoped the four sites would attract large corporates from Britain in the wake of Brexit, as well as US foreign direct investors.
“We are sending a message far and wide, and not least in the window of opportunity for FDI post-Brexit investment, that we are open for business and capable of competing with the best for it,” he said.
“I am determined that this company will take up on the brilliant work and huge gains achieved and deliver the type of assets required to attract further transformational inward investment,” he added.
Chief executive of Limerick city and county council, Conn Murray, said the Limerick Twenty Thirty company plans to create “world-class commercial, retail, enterprise, and education facilities, as well as residential space”.
“We have created a really attractive investment ecosystem here that is already reaping massive dividends and with Limerick Twenty Thirty we will create state of the art commercial, enterprise, education, retail and residential space that will accelerate the already rapid pace of inward investment,” he said.
“Given the opportunity of the post-Brexit space, we will offer a world class, highly competitive English-speaking environment for global companies seeking European locations,” Mr Murray said.
Since the launch of ‘Limerick 2030: An Economic and Spatial Plan for Limerick’ in 2013, 7,800 jobs have been created in Limerick and over €1.3bn invested.
Close to 5,400 of these posts are full-time posts across various sectors including financial services, retail, med-tech, IT, while the remainder have been filled by construction jobs.
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan said: “It will take Limerick to new heights. The fact it is plan-led, as distinct from developer-led, will mean the city and county are planned strategically.
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