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UL plans to redevelop Limerick Opera site

Opera centre site. Pic Google Streetview

Opera centre site. Pic Google Streetview

The University of Limerick is set to build on its presence in Limerick City after it announced its plans to develop a 350 residence student village, a Clinical Therapies community practice centre and a city centre Design Laboratory for the UL School of Architecture.

Limerick City and County Council proposes to allocate 10,000 m² of the “Opera Centre” site for Higher Education infrastructure. However, the University informed The Clare Herald today that it has identified projects that will take up all of this proposed allocation of space on the site (pictured above).

For some time UL along with our partners in the Shannon Consortium, LIT and Mary Immaculate College, has been planning to construct student accommodation in Limerick City Centre. The Shannon Consortium has recently completed market research to assess the demand for the development of Student Residences at the Opera Site that will provide accommodation for 350 students to live in the heart of the City.

Speaking after today’s Call for Expressions of Interest in the Limerick City Opera Centre development site, UL President, Professor Don Barry said: “The University of Limerick welcomes the progress made by the Limerick City & County Council in issuing the Call for Expressions of Interest relating to the Opera Centre site. UL has committed to working with the Council and the selected private sector partners so that there can be a greater UL presence in downtown Limerick and our students and staff can contribute to the dynamic re-energising of the wonderful City of Limerick.”

“We will eagerly await the outcome of the Council’s competitive process so that we can work with the Council and the winning consortium to advance the exciting educational and accommodation projects we have proposed to contribute to Limerick’s renaissance”.

The Department of Clinical Therapies (CT) will develop an inter-professional, community-based practice in the Opera Centre to allow CT staff work with the people of Limerick to deliver health and well-being programmes to community groups. This centre will also facilitate CT research projects, while enabling UL students to learn about professional healthcare delivery and adding to the health and social care of the people of Limerick.

The School of Architecture at UL (SAUL) will develop a city centre design laboratory that will be a very visible design hub in the city centre, including design teaching studios, an exhibition and design activity space, labs and an incubation centre for enterprise and innovation.

The SAUL and CT projects will involve the refurbishment of existing buildings on the Opera Centre site.

Limerick Chamber has today welcomed the announcement by Limerick City and Count Authority that expressions of interest are being sought for the €80m – €100m Opera Centre Site.

Limerick Chamber CEO Dr. James Ring said “this strategic and centrally located site has been a derelict eyesore in the heart of our city centre for too long and has become a symbol of all that went wrong with overinflated and overambitious boom year projects.”

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