Major residential, educational, commercial and public realm programme outlined for iconic Cleeves Riverside Quarter

Major residential, educational, commercial and public realm programme outlined for iconic Cleeves Riverside Quarter

  • Masterplan for historic 10acre site on banks of the River Shannon unveiled at two-day public consultation this week.

  • Est. €500m plus programme to put Cleeves Riverside Quarter on a par with top European developments and boost ongoing transformation of Limerick.

  • Up to 500 residential units including apartments, town houses and student accommodation, third level education hub and landmark commercial building.

  • Site set to retain and celebrate rich architectural and landscape heritage, including rare 19th century Flax Mill, Limerick’s landmark red-brick chimney and onsite reservoir and quarry.

Thursday, March 30, 2023:  The masterplan for an iconic new development for Limerick city, the Cleeves Riverside Quarter, has been unveiled by Limerick Twenty Thirty (LTT), with proposals for a major new residential, educational, commercial and public realm hub for the city and region.

A two-day LTT public engagement at the old Flax Mill building on the historical site saw members of the public interested in the future of one of the city and region’s most iconic sites meet with the LTT design team and discuss the outcome of the master-planning process.  It was the culmination of a comprehensive engagement process throughout the month of March, with briefings to several stakeholders, agencies and neighbouring residents. Members of the public are invited to make submissions through the Masterplan Submission Form.

The project is expected to cost in excess of €500m to develop, with a commitment of €35m already in place under the Urban Regeneration Development Fund (URDF). LTT will, following feedback from the public, complete the Masterplan and expects to seek expressions of interest from the market in Q3 of this year. 

Among the key elements outlined in the masterplan were:

  • The development of up to 500 residential units, including some student accommodation.
  • A third-level education hub, supported by the signing this week of a Memorandum of Understanding by LTT and Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest (TUS) for TUS to locate on the site.
  • A landmark office block, as well as small and medium sized workspaces.
  • A blended working hub.
  • Significant public realm, complete with open space, gardens, boardwalk and reservoir trail.
  • Sustainable connectivity to the site comprising regional transport connections, pedestrian access to the city and maximising the planned new pedestrian foot and cycle bridge planned for the Shannon in Limerick city centre.
  • Holistic site-energy system capitalising on renewable energy.
  • Small theatre venue and gallery.

The 10acre Cleeves Riverside Quarter is one of Limerick’s most recognisable sites, visible and identifiable from across the city by its 142ft red-bricked chimney stack, which remains the emblem for what was one of Ireland’s largest industrial sites of the 19th century that was designed and built for up to 6,000 workers. It was home to the famous Cleeves Toffee and the Condensed Milk Company, which had 3,000 employees on its payroll and sourced its raw material from 3,000 farmers across Ireland.

Other iconic buildings on the site include the 15-bay, four-storey Flax Mill, the limestone for which was cut from an on-site quarry, the remnants of which will be featured in the new development. The celebration of the site’s huge industrial heritage will also see its reservoir, which supported the flax making process, turned into another unique public realm feature. The site also has significant political heritage, having been one of the key locations for the Limerick Soviet of 1919.

Commenting on the masterplan, Limerick Twenty Thirty CEO David Conway said that the project had reached a key stage. “A huge amount of work and expertise has been involved in bringing this masterplan together. It’s a completely unique site that includes river frontage, historical and iconic buildings, a quarry and reservoir, all of which we will be celebrating in the development. That’s an unrivalled mix in an urban context, so bringing all that together is going to result in something incredibly special.”

He added: “What we’ve set out is a concept for a masterplan that celebrates the rich history and heritage of the site but turns it very much to the future in a dynamic mix-use campus. The purpose of the public consultation was to inform all interested parties in what we envisage for the site, its enormous potential and to seek submissions on this.  To say the least, we’re very pleased with the response as there has been huge welcome for the sense of ambition, diversity, embracing of heritage and all-round scale of the project”

Said design team architect Simon Carter, of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios: “This is an amazing site, so rich in cultural heritage, with a unique landscape for an urban centre space of this scale. The masterplan is underpinned by a resilient and phased design approach. It will bring a complementary mix of working, living and learning within a public realm that promotes community.  It will be a development befitting a vibrant, modern European city, that will be built to the highest sustainability standards and will be something that Limerick and the region can be really proud of.”

About Limerick Twenty Thirty

Limerick Twenty Thirty Strategic Development DAC (LTT) was established by Limerick City and County Council (LCCC) in 2016 and remains a uniquely owned special purpose vehicle of LCCC. It is tasked with planning and developing key strategic sites in Limerick City and County that will act as anchors for enterprise and investment development across Limerick and the Midwest Region.

It has already developed the award-winning Gardens International project on Henry Street, which set a new standard for the city and region for sustainable development, mixing the best of old and new architecture.

It recently commenced construction work on the eagerly anticipated and fully funded Opera Square site, just off Limerick City Centre on the south side of the Shannon, a project that will be game-changing for the social and visual change landscape of Limerick city centre.  The Cleeves Riverside Quarter project, on the northern side of the river, will complement the Opera Square programme brilliantly, with the two world-class projects delivering transformational change for the city and region, accelerating the ongoing renaissance of Limerick as it emerges as a modern, vibrant European city.