Ballymore seeks to repurpose Guinness building as new HQ for Diageo

Permission for multimillion-euro project at Brewhouse 2 to be sought from council

Property developer Ballymore is to submit a planning application to repurpose the Brewhouse 2 building at the St James’s Gate brewery in central Dublin into a modern office space that will become a new headquarters at the site for Diageo, the international drinks group that owns Guinness.

The building, which was once part of Guinness’s brewery operations, will extend to just under 13,000sq ft, with Diageo as the anchor tenant. Permission for the multimillion-euro project will be sought from Dublin City Council.

Refurbishing the building will also facilitate the wider redevelopment at St James’s Gate site by freeing up buildings where Diageo staff currently operate.

The Brewhouse 2 planning application is separate to a major masterplan for the wider St James’s Gate site that will be finalised by Ballymore over the coming months. It is due to include plans for a high-quality, mixed-use scheme that will be integrated into the wider Liberties area where the brewery is located.


Historic building

The masterplan will focus on “placemaking and will have a strong emphasis on putting quality of life and a connection to community, arts and culture at its core”, according to Ballymore.

The Brewhouse 2 project will repurpose the historic building as a modern, high-quality office space.

Subject to planning approval being granted, it is expected that construction of Brewhouse 2 will take about three years to complete.

In September 2020, Diageo announced Ballymore as its partner to deliver the transformation of 12.6 acres of its St James’s Gate site into one of the “most dynamic urban quarters in Europe”. This followed a major investment by the drinks group to consolidate its brewing activities on the site, and free up land for alternative uses.

Guinness Quarter

Called the Guinness Quarter, it will include about 2.5 acres of public space. The plan is expected to be submitted to Dublin City Council in the coming months, with construction slated to take 10 years.

Diageo and Ballymore, which is led by chairman and co-founder Sean Mulryan, aim to develop the Guinness Quarter as the first zero-carbon district in Dublin. This will see an examination of the reuse of existing buildings as well as available renewable energy sources and how zero-energy ratings could be met.

Ballymore was selected following a three-year search by Diageo. Guinness has been brewed at St James’s Gate since 1759.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times