Building works commence at One Opera Square as wider Opera Square project hits mid-point

Building works commence at One Opera Square as wider Opera Square
project hits mid-point


Monday, 26 February 2024: A milestone has been arrived in the six-year journey of the transformational Limerick Twenty Thirty ‘Opera Square’ project as the initial blocks on the first new build in the project, One Opera Square, are being laid and the wider programme reaching mid-way point.

With the huge demolition and enabling works complete, the site-wide basement programme is now well underway including the completion of the One Opera Square basement, triggering the build phase of the six-storey development on the corner of Michael Street and Ellen Street.

One of the iconic buildings in the overall programme, One Opera Square is being developed by the newly established Treaty Stone Partnership DAC, a unique joint venture between Limerick Twenty Thirty and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), part of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA).

The €80m JV investment in the six storey project is the largest commitment by ISIF in its Regional Cities Programme.

One Opera Square will comprise five storeys of office space over a ground floor restaurant/retail offering. The project will deliver 12,111m2 of Grade A office space, with capacity for 1,000 employees.

Work on the wider 3.7acre landmark commercial development – the largest city centre build project ever undertaken in Ireland outside of Dublin – commenced three years ago and is set for completion in late 2026.

The programme so far has involved the largest demolition and enabling works undertaken in Limerick, including navigating delicate works around retaining 16 Georgian buildings as well as archaeological features, including old walls, caverns and vaults.

The project’s basement works commenced last year and so far, 7,200 cubic metres of concrete have been delivered to the site, approximately 900 truckloads. There are currently 100 workers on site and a total of 142,000 working hours already logged.

The significant works completed to date include construction of 4.5km basement perimeter walls comprising 855 piles and 200 bearing piles extending to a combined depth of 1.5km.

Speaking on a visit to the site today to inspect progress, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Gerald Mitchell said, “It is exciting to witness the progress here at the Opera site. With the demolition works done and so much of the basement works completed, what strikes you first is the vastness of the project and the incredible opportunity it represents for Limerick.”

“We’re three years into the programme and so much of what has been done so far has been preparatory but essential. We are now beginning to see bricks being laid and that’s such a positive stage to be at. Limerick has very much become a national exemplar in how to regenerate a city by being innovative and resourceful. It’s no surprise now that others are following this blueprint.”

The site visit was also attended by Minister of State for Local Government & Planning and Limerick City TD, Kieran O’Donnell, who expressed his confidence regarding the impact of the ‘Opera Square’ project for Limerick and wider region which is being supported by over €40 million in funding from the Irish Government under the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage’s Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF). “When I look at the progress being made in Limerick now and over the next number of years, it will be a transformed city and Opera Square will be a heartbeat for our city. It will be a city with an incredible renaissance story, a success story founded on courage and innovation, with a real can-do attitude and vision.

“I have no doubt that we will be looking back in years to come and pointing to Opera Square, and indeed the other Limerick Twenty Thirty projects, as among the key reasons why Limerick has become one of the most talked about cities not alone in Ireland but in Europe.”

Treaty Stone Partnership DAC Chairman Barry O’Sullivan said that Opera Square, including One Opera Square, will be on a par with the top office, retail and public realm developments in Europe. “A key element that will set One Opera Square apart is that it will be developed to the highest international standards of sustainability, user wellness and IT interconnectivity achieving LEED, WELL and Wiredscore Platinum accreditation. That fits perfectly with the emergence of the region as one of Europe’s leading green energy generation hubs, which will be a major selling point for the Mid West and Ireland. It’s all about setting Limerick and the Mid-West region up for a bright, sustainable future,” he said.

Limerick Twenty Thirty CEO David Conway said, “One Opera Square is one of the anchor elements of the wider Opera Square programme. It is our first new build but 2024 will be a busy year elsewhere on the project, with the 14-storey landmark building at Bank Place, the new City Library and redevelopment of the public realm all set to commence. It really is an exciting time for Limerick Twenty Thirty, for this joint venture and for Limerick.”