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The St. Jame’s Gate Project

On the 4th of October, Diageo Ireland launched its ambitious plans to develop the Guinness brewery site at James St Gate. With such advances in brewing technology, most of the 12.6 acre site is no longer required for the process. Accordingly, Diageo have decided to use the available space to build a brand new “urban quarter” at the site, saying “The vat house, cooperage facilities, hop and grain stores, that once was the pulse of the brewing process, are now a blank canvass to be reimagined” . The overall aim of this urban quarter will be the development of residential, community and business units that will meet the needs of the Liberties and Dublin going into the future.

Diageo have said that the residential development will aim to provide housing, amenities and infrastructure that will attract a wide variety of residents. It is thought that up to 500 new homes could be created. In terms of social and affordable housing Diageo has said that it would like to work with their historic housing partner, the Iveagh Trust which was founded by the Guinness family, and operate numerous flat complexes in Dublin.

Regarding community development, Diageo has said that it wants to work with local partners to build “vibrant public spaces, plazas, and new streets” that are integrated into the wider community. Diageo has also emphasised that the development will be environmentally friendly, with a focus on pedestrianisation, cycle paths and access to public transport.

Not only do Diageo endeavor to make the urban quarter itself environmentally friendly, they also want to make the construction sustainable too, saying “Diageo is committed to reducing our environmental impact across all of our operations, including water, waste and carbon emissions”. And that they wish to make sure that all the construction methods used in at the St. James Gate site are environmentally sound and as energy efficient as possible too.

Diageo also wants to create a space that is nurturing to enterprise, entrepreneurship and innovation, with the aim of attracting new startups, tech companies and a mix of restaurants pubs, and cafes. With Diageo saying:

Our goal is for St. James’s Gate Quarter to be home to a new generation of entrepreneurs, innovators and creators. We want to create a sustainable mix of workspaces to meet a wide variety of commercial and non-commercial enterprise needs

As of yet, there are little in the way of solid plans for the new quarter, with Diageo still looking for partners for the development. Diageo are still the “feasibility study” stage of development. But one must remain optimistic. Guinness has a long history of positive development in the city of Dublin, from creating jobs, to sponsoring community development, to creating business incubators such as the Guinness Enterprise Center. It is likely that such a development will create many jobs, from the building phase, service sector jobs, and the potential for many jobs being created by the innovators and creators that Diageo wants to attract to the site.

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