Ballymore lodges plan to develop new urban quarter at Guinness brewery

Ballymore scheme includes 336 housing units, commercial work spaces, a food hall and landscaped public spaces

Irish property developer Ballymore has submitted a planning application to Dublin City Council to develop a 12.5 acre site that currently forms part of Diageo’s St James’s Gate brewing campus in Dublin 8.

Called the Guinness Quarter, the plan includes 336 housing units, a hotel, a 300-seat performance space, a food hall and marketplace, commercial works spaces and more than two acres of landscaped public spaces. There would also be provision for 2,000 bicycles.

A separate application has already been submitted to repurpose Brewhouse 2 on the site into a new Irish headquarters for Diageo.

The site would previously have housed some of Diageo’s brewing operations for Guinness and other beer brands but these were consolidated on another part of the campus some years ago to free up this land for development. Ballymore was chosen by Diageo in 2020 as the developer of the site and has spent the intervening period developing its masterplan for the area.


Diageo will retain ownership of some of the buildings on the site, including number 1 Thomas Street, a former home of Arthur Guinness, who developed the famous stout, and the iconic front gate.

‘Dynamic neighbourhood’

According to Diageo, consultation on the plan has taken place with more than 120 community groups, public representatives, local businesses, and other parties since 2017. It is expected that the development would take 10-15 years to complete from when it receives planning approval.

The application states that the 336 housing units would be a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. It would include homes to buy and rent, and social housing possibly with the Iveagh Trust as a partner. The Iveagh Trust was originally founded by the Guinness family to provide housing for its workers.

Seán Mulryan, group chief executive of Ballymore, said the plan involved a “modern, sensitive and highly sustainable urban design” in a historic part of Dublin city. “By balancing new and carefully considered interventions with heritage buildings, which are being repurposed and given a new lease of life, our vision is that St James’s Gate will be among the finest examples of sustainable urban development, protecting the cultural, community, social and industrial legacy of this part of Dublin 8 and the Liberties,” he said.

Barry O’Sullivan, managing director of Diageo Ireland, said the plan would transform the area “into one of the most dynamic neighbourhoods in Europe”.

This allows us to continue our centuries-old brewing operations in Dublin 8 while also developing the area into a truly modern place to live, work and play,” he added.

Ballymore and Diageo said their joint ambition was to create Dublin’s first “operational zero-carbon district that respects both the wider community and the natural environment”. Earlier this month, The Irish Times revealed that Diageo plans to invest €200 million in Ireland’s first purpose-built carbon-neutral brewery at a greenfield site in Newbridge, Co Kildare.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times