January decision for Limerick aparthotel development

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 28 November 2019


Ireland: A planning board hearing in to the €180 million Project Opera mixed-use scheme in Limerick is set to decide the scheme's fate in late January.

The latter part of an An Bord Pleanala oral hearing at the Strand Hotel was dominated by questions over the small number of homes in the scheme – 16 permanent apartments and a 90-room aparthotel.

Gavin Lawlor of Tom Phillips and Associates which designed the latest proposals for the project, said that by providing an aparthotel for short-term lets, they would free up the city’s housing market for “families and longer term stays”.

Initially, plans for Project Opera, a mixed-use scheme behind Patrick Street which will see offices, restaurants and a new city library, were to have no accommodation element.

Lawlor said: “We know a lot of corporate lets going on in the apartment fabric in the city centre, whereby landlords provide their homes to a company and let it to the likes of people coming into Limerick for a month’s stay or so. That housing is lost from the housing stock. We feel we get a much better bang for buck around release of housing by providing an apart-hotel which is what these people want and need.”

He added that if the aparthotel was turned into apartments, it would bring just 40 units to Limerick's housing stock.

The oral hearing ended yesterday. A decision date on Project Opera is set for late January.



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