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St. James Gate Urban Redevelopment

St. James Gate Urban Redevelopment

William Mc Kenna surmises the recent developments at Guinness’s Brewery 

Diageo, the parent company of Guinness, announced last year they are seeking to develop 12.6 acres of area around their St. James Gate brewery in the Liberties into a new urban quarter. Dubbed the St. James Quarter, the intent is a mixed-use development combining picaresque disused old vat houses and breweries with diverse modern accoutrements. This is to be a multi-purpose quarter including residential, office and commercial space, creating new public spaces and streets in the Liberties. Diageo will retain ownership of key buildings such as the titular gate and Arthur Guinness’ residence.

There is no set amount as to how the quarter will divide its different elements, but according to Oliver Loomes, the country director for Diageo Ireland, the intent is “it would be a third residential, a third commercial and a third leisure.” 500 new homes with 48,000 square miles is considered, with Loomes hoping for Iveagh Trust as the social housing partner. A feasibility study Diageo submitted to the Dublin City Council suggests 63,000 square miles of office space and 22,000 square miles for hotel and leisure facilities and 5,000 square miles of retail space.

While Diageo had intended to sell part of the site prior to the recession, Loomes says that now Diageo is “not popping up a ‘For Sale’ sign and selling, we’re looking to partner with a world class property partner to do something wonderful.” Diageo has hired Deloitte Real Estate to aid in seeking for that development partner. As of last month it has been reported by the Sunday Independent they are considering Apollo, Lone Star, Oxley, Hines, Delancey, and U&I.

Diageo expects to complete the quarter in a number of years.

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