Guinness unveils new urban quarter with 500 homes

A plan for a new urban quarter, that could deliver 500 homes, has been unveiled for the iconic Guinness St James’ Gate site.

Computer-generated images of Brewhouse 2 towards Robert and Rainsford St, and Market St looking west towards the Guinness Storehouse.

Diageo published its tender for the mixed-use quarter yesterday which will cover 12.6 acres of their 50-acre site in the Liberties area of Dublin.

The plan will use old buildings as well as developing new ones and deliver residential, office and commercial space and will be called the St James’ Gate Quarter.

According to Diageo, the ambitious plan could deliver 63,000 sq m of office space, 5,000 sq m of retail space and 22,000 sq m towards hotel and leisure while the site could “deliver 500 new homes with a 48,000 sq m of residential opportunity”.

It is estimated the tendering process could take 18 months before a preferred bidder for the project is selected.

Computer-generated visualisation of a view of the St James’ Gate Quarter site from the River Liffey.

In the lead-up to the likely developments, consultations will be held at the Open Gate Brewery.

Some of the structures which will be retained by Diageo include the iconic gate as well as Arthur Guinness’ residence.

According to the brewery’s plan, the vision is to transform “centuries-old vat houses, brew houses and cooperages into incredible spaces that will house and inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs, residents, visitors, dreamers and doers”.

The proposal has been designed in accordance with the Dublin City Development Plan and the Liberties Local Area Plan.

It also aims to contribute to the wider regeneration of the Liberties area.

The plan follows Diageo’s earlier announcement this year of a €16m expansion of the Guinness Storehouse, which is Ireland’s number one tourist attraction and the development of a new whiskey distillery.

Oliver Loomes, Diageo Ireland country director, and Colin O’Brien, beer and packaging director, with the plans. Picture: Naoise Culhane

Oliver Loomes, country director for Diageo Ireland, said the company is committed to the sustainable future of the historic area.

“We are committed to a long-term sustainable future at St James’ Gate and are delighted to be opening streets, creating spaces, and generating opportunity,” he said.

Colin O’Brien, beer and packaging director at Diageo, said the urban quarter is a “catalyst” for regeneration.“We have, in this site, a unique opportunity to open up the gates, creating a quarter that will form part of the fabric of the city for generations to come.

“It will act as a catalyst for the continued regeneration of the Liberties. While this will be a long-term project, and we are at the very early stages, this is something that we’re all very excited about and we are committed to doing it right,” Mr O’Brien said.

Dublin Chamber commended the proposal for the new urban quarter for its “foresight”, especially in relation to housing.

“Making better use of key land within the M50 is central to meeting Dublin’s current and future housing and accommodation needs. I commend Diageo for their foresight in seeking to bring this proposal to life,” said Mary Rose Burke, CEO of Dublin Chamber.

“This project should serve as an example of the type of thinking that is required in Dublin to ensure that dis-used locations are brought back life to meet the needs of today,” she added.

Dublin Chamber said the St James’ Gate site — which is located just 2km from O’Connell Bridge — will allow for the type of city centre living that is now in such high demand.

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