An 80-million-euro development at Bishop’s Quay in Limerick City has begun construction, following delays due to the pandemic, creating 150 jobs during this phase. The nine-storey riverside block, which has been officially named 1BQ, will be built on the site of the old ESB building and is led by development company, Kirkland Investments. It is due for completion in the autumn of 2023.
At the official sod-turning ceremony, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Councillor Daniel Butler said: “As our economy recovers from the Covid-19 downturn, 1BQ brings promise and potential. Not only does it support jobs – both during the construction phase and after – it also benefits Limerick’s reputation as a city that is great to live and work in. Limerick City and County Council is delighted to see construction moving ahead and we commend Kirkland Investments for sharing in the ambition we have for the city.”
1BQ will transform the Limerick City landscape with the nine-storey building comprising of 110,000 sq ft of high-spec office space, and in addition 34 luxury apartments, retail space for hospitality businesses and more than 100 underground car parking spaces.
With cities vying to become more resilient post-pandemic, 1BQ has the potential to house 600 employees, supporting Limerick to attract further foreign direct investment from multinationals, whilst also strengthening housing and hospitality offerings for both city residents and tourists.
US-firm WP Engine - the WordPress digital experience platform (DXP) – already leases office space in Limerick, at another Kirkland Investments’ development, for its 135-member team signalling the calibre of interest in the city.
Rudi Butler, Chairman at Kirkland Investments, said: “We hope 1BQ represents the beginning of a significant transformation for Limerick City - a transformation that we as a local development company are keen to champion. Whilst we have been purposefully measured in our approach in terms of its scale, 1BQ is an ambitious development. It’s set to be the first building of this grade in the city and is a significant milestone as the city recovers from the pandemic and continues to compete with national counterparts.
“Limerick already has excellent travel links and a skilled workforce, so we know that 1BQ has the potential to support Limerick’s growth by delivering the standard of workspace international companies expect. In addition, it will deliver the standard of living and leisure that consumers have come to demand. We are targeting the third quarter of 2023 for official opening.”
Initial construction work began in May 2020 as the ESB building on Cecil Street was demolished, along with the rear annex of the former Bord na gCon offices next to Henry Street Garda Station.
The 1BQ complex will incorporate the principles of Near Zero Emissions Buildings (NZEB) and is designed to meet the highest standards of energy saving to ensure a comfortable environment for its occupiers, while also implementing the latest renewable technologies. This includes using heat-pump technology throughout the building and heat recovery ventilation systems to keep energy loss to a minimum. Photo voltaic panels will provide free electricity from solar radiation and 1BQ will also offer electric car charging facilities and 100 bicycle spaces with changing facilities, supporting active and sustainable travel in the city.
Joint commercial agents on the development are Cushman & Wakefield and Savills.
Ciara McCarthy, Divisional Director at Cushman & Wakefield’s Limerick office, said: “Despite the changing structure of work as a result of the pandemic, there is demand for premium office space as companies look to adopt the hybrid approach to working. Employers want to attract talent, and office surroundings are a key part of this. Limerick is one of the most accessible cities in Ireland and provides ease of access to a large catchment of skilled workforce. Kirkland Investments’ timing with 1BQ is perfect and will set the tone for the city moving forward.”
Peter O’Meara, Director at Savills Ireland said: “1BQ offers tangible world class city centre office accommodation on the western seaboard, as well as adding significantly to the continuing development of Limerick’s city centre.”