Launch-of-the-Abbey-Quarter-Site-Kilkenny

 

€100m Investment Commences the Redevelopment to Former Home of Smithwick’s Brewery in the Heart of Kilkenny City

Abbey Quarter Launch

The Abbey Quarter, site of the former Smithwick's Brewery, is a strategic city centre site located on the banks of the River Nore and accessed off Irelands Medieval Mile, a unique discovery trail running through the heart of Kilkenny City. It is steeped in history - the story of the St. Francis Abbey, its monks and their life here in the City; the story of Kilkenny's great tradition in brewing - 300 years of Smithwicks, under the majestic 12th Century Kilkenny Castle and overlooked by St. Canice's Cathedral and it is protected by the City Wall.

Kilkenny County Council entered into a 50:50 partnership with Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) and established the Kilkenny Abbey Quarter Development Limited (KAQDL) to develop the building plots. KAQDL has responsibility for the commercial development of the plots, including the buildings on the Abbey Quarter. These buildings will include a mix of offices, residential, education and retail uses and will be delivered on a commercial basis. Kilkenny County Council is responsible for the delivery of the significant public realm, community and cultural infrastructure in the Abbey Quarter.

Launching the redevelopment works, An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar said "'over €6 million has been granted to Kilkenny County Council to help achieve the vision for the Abbey Quarter, with the 800-year-old Abbey as its stunning centrepiece, a new linear park running along the banks of the River Nore, and a new Public Realm works around the iconic Brewhouse and Mayfair buildings and the renovation of two 19th century teahouses.
The Government has a vision and it is to invest in more compact, sustainable and community-centred developments. We want homes, workplaces, schools and amenities to be built in sensible, sustainable ways that improve the quality of life for families, workers and local communities. We want new developments to be climate friendly. With Project Ireland 2040 our investment matches the quality of the plans. 
Indeed some 200 projects across the country have been granted funding of over €330 million under the four Project Ireland funds in their first year. As a result we are seeing better transport links, better health and environmental outcomes, and more housing. Projects promised for years are now underway or complete
."

Speaking at the launch, Minister Eoghan Murphy, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government said that "this project is the very essence of what the Urban Regeneration Development Fund (URDF) was established to deliver. It is a spend from the public purse levering private sector investment to deliver redevelopment of a city centre brownfield site for mixed use development. I am delighted that my Department was in a position to support the project to the tune of €6m".

An Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Peter Cleere said "that today is the culmination of many years of hard work and tough decisions. The result is a partnership that will deliver a new living/working quarter in the heart of Kilkenny City. The public realm works will be delivered by Kilkenny County Council with funding support from the URDF and the development of commercial offices in the Brewhouse will be delivered by the Abbey Quarter Development with funds borrowed from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF). This is Phase 1 of a much bigger project, but really important to see works commence on the site while plans progress to deliver many other projects within the overall Masterplan".

Chairperson of the Partnership, Billy Murphy (former Deputy Managing Director of Glanbia PLC) stated that "when complete the Brewhouse will comprise 4,500 square metres of high Grade A office space, divided into 12 units wrapped around a central atrium. Mythen Construction Ltd. has commenced works on the Brewhouse and the surrounding public realm in Horse Barrack Lane and Brewhouse Courtyard. The building will be ready for fit-out by the end of summer 2020, all within a few minutes walk of High Street in the centre of the city".

Senior Investment Director of the NTMA Mr. Donal Murphy outlined how "regional development is one of the five key themes of ISIF's investment strategy and our investment in the Kilkenny Abbey Quarter site is an excellent example of our commitment to high-quality, commercial investments in regional locations throughout Ireland". He further stated that "our partnership with Kilkenny County Council - the first of its kind with a local authority - demonstrates our appetite for investing in projects that deliver a commercial return while supporting economic activity and employment in Ireland. This project will deliver modern offices in the former Brewhouse that will enhance Kilkenny's attractiveness as a centre for employment." 

"This is an exceptional opportunity for Kilkenny," says Chief Executive, Colette Byrne. "The Brewhouse will be transformed and redeveloped to create a bespoke modern work space. The building is the only example of Bauhaus Construction in Kilkenny. It's retention and redevelopment are an important link to the former industrial and brewing history of the Abbey Quarter site and accords with the principle of sustainable re-use of existing buildings. The redesign will ensure a high level upgrade of modern standards whilst respecting the heritage of the building. The upgrade will keep the "industrial feel" of the building whilst delivering quality offices that meet the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design [LEED] standard with sustainability at the core of all design decisions for the building."

Contact for Further Details: Fiona Deegan, Head of Enterprise, Kilkenny County Council - fiona.deegan@leo.kilkennycoco.ie - 086 4114935

 

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