Words: Ellen Kenny
Property developer Ballymore have submitted an application to Dublin City Council to build a new urban quarter called the Guinness Quarter.
It would like Ireland to have an area of its capital named after a pint, wouldn’t it? Some countries have Hollywood, some have Trieste, but Ireland’s landmark district may one day be the Guinness Quarter.
Diageo, the parent company of Guinness, have partnered with Ballymore to develop an entire residential and commercial district in the Liberties. They plan to build the district by the Guinness Storehouse. The quarter will also use 12.5 acres of the now disused St. James’ Brewery campus.
The managing director of Diageo Ireland, Barry O’Sullivan, said the new quarters would turn the Liberties “into one of the most dynamic neighbourhoods in Europe”.
And to be fair to O’Sullivan, the Guinness Quarter definitely sounds like a dynamic spot. According to the plans submitted to Dublin City Council, the new district will include 336 residential units. 20 per cent of the units will also be social housing managed by The Iveagh Trust, which the Guinness family originally formed to provide housing for workers.
The plans also include a performance space seating 300 people, a “Victorian-era” hotel, a wide range of commercial, retail and community spaces. I wonder what drinks the pubs will sell.
There will be two acres of public outdoor spaces, one of which will be a large pedestrian square. Dublin City Council did just delay plans to pedestrianise College Green, so promises of another new square are definitely welcome.
Also, the developers plan to make the Guinness Quarter the first Zero Carbon District in Ireland through “modern, sensitive and highly sustainable urban design”.
Diageo and Ballymore have been constructing their masterplan since 2017. Once the planning gains approval from Dublin City Council, they expect the district will be constructed within 10 to 15 years.
Imagine telling your friends and family you’re moving into the Guinness district. Well, I guess it’s better than telling them you’re moving to the liminal space that is the Government’s new town in west Dublin.
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