Limerick's Colbert Station set for major redevelopment

Up to 3,000 housing units will cater for 10,000 people, with build costs estimated at €1bn-€2bn
Limerick's Colbert Station set for major redevelopment

Artist impression of the proposed Colbert Station Quarter Development in Limerick. The Land Development Agency (LDA) working with Limerick City and County Council, commissioned the RIAI, to undertake a Design Review for the Colbert Station area of Limerick, to identify high level design ideas and concepts that could be considered for the future development of a new urban quarter. Picture: Piotr Mach, eml architects

Limerick will get a look at five visions for the future of Colbert Station Quarter, with a series of new plans set to be unveiled.

The development could become home to up to 10,000 people, with the proposals suggesting between 2,000 and 3,000 housing units.

Previously, it has been suggested the build could cost somewhere between €1bn and €2bn. 

The development, which could potentially span 50 hectares, will be located around Limerick’s main public transport centre, Colbert Station.

The Land Development Agency (LDA), alongside Limerick City and County Council, commissioned the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland to undertake a design review. This saw five concepts, from leading architects and urban designers, submitted, which will now be the subject of a public-consultation process over the coming month. 

The Sean O’Laoire and Mola Architects vision for Colbert Station Quarter.
The Sean O’Laoire and Mola Architects vision for Colbert Station Quarter.

The development, 80% of which will be residential, will have an “emphasis on providing a mix of accommodation for people of all ages, incomes, and all walks of life". The other 20% is to be made available for commercial, employment, and other uses.

Affordable housing will be at the heart of the development, with LDA chairman John Moran stating that “public consultations called for a community for all, in terms of all types of backgrounds and tenures, and it is something the architects were mindful of in their high-level plans".

He said: “This new development can serve both existing and new communities, creating significant new housing delivery, and acting as a magnet for new public and private investment.

“The design-review process has confirmed our belief that Colbert Station and the surrounding lands fit neatly into our vision for a polycentric development of Limerick to accommodate very significant population growth,” said Mr Moran.

This is the way to minimise the risk of the city centre or other overdeveloped areas becoming unaffordable to all who want to live or work there and to keep commuting times down and develop walkable 15-minute neighbourhoods all across the city footprint.

“The designs of the architects, to whom we are very grateful for their work, show the pathway to transform under-utilised brownfield areas into such vibrant, affordable compact, mixed-use urban quarters.” 

An artist impression of the proposed Colbert Station Quarter Development in Limerick. Picture: Grafton Architects
An artist impression of the proposed Colbert Station Quarter Development in Limerick. Picture: Grafton Architects

The architects and urban designers whose work is included in the review are Grafton Architects, Sean O’Laoire and Mola Architects, Anne Kiernan, Merritt Bucholz, and Piotr Mach.

Kathryn Meghen, chief executive of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, explained that it was delighted to be asked to lead the process.

“The design review introduces architectural expertise and innovation from the start of the project. Based on the initial consultations with the community, five leading architects have applied their skills to create an initial vision for an exciting development for the city and its people,” said Ms Meghen.

“All of the architects believe that Colbert Station Quarter can be an exemplary urban development, with a strong emphasis on affordable houses, built-in attractive urban spaces, with leisure, education, and employment opportunities in close proximity."

Members of the public can access the design-review documents on www.lda.ie. A copy of the document will also be available in Limerick City and County Council office at Merchants Quay.

Colbert Station in Limerick City as it looks now. 
Colbert Station in Limerick City as it looks now. 

Colbert Station: What to expect

  • It will consist of 2,000 to 3,000 units;
  • The total site could span 50 hectares;
  • The development is estimated to cost between €1bn and €2bn;
  • It will be located near Colbert Station in Limerick’s city centre;
  • It is believed this landbank is the largest that the LDA has available for development in the county;
  • 80% of the development will be residential;
  • 20% will be made available for commercial, employment, and other uses;
  • Architects will present five different visions for the development.

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