Developer Gerry Barrett's Edward Capital has secured the green light from Galway City Council for the delivery of one of Ireland's largest and most ambitious urban regeneration schemes.
Located on an eight-acre site adjacent to Ceannt Station, Augustine Hill, as it will be known, will include a mix of 229 apartments, a 130-bed hotel, a six-screen cinema, restaurants, retail and a craft food market distributed across 11 new and fully-pedestrianised streets and four large public spaces. The residential element of the scheme will be housed in seven blocks with a 21-storey tower as its centrepiece.
Augustine Hill is a joint development by CIÉ, which owns the land, Edward Capital, and Summix Capital. CIÉ held a competition in 2017 to find a developer for the site.
While the approved scheme represents a somewhat scaled-down version of the developer's original proposal, which had included plans for a total of 378 apartments and a 180-bed hotel, Edward Capital's managing director, Gerry Barrett, said he and his team were delighted to secure permission for the project.
He said: “We are delighted with today’s decision by Galway City Council. This project will breathe life into the city centre and help rebalance growth away from the suburbs of Galway. It is a landmark decision for Galway city. I want to thank our partners Summix Capital and CIÉ and our team of 70 professionals for their hard work and dedication. I would also like to thank the hundreds of people in Galway for sharing their thoughts and visions with us during the public consultation.”
An economic assessment of the scheme prepared by Prof Alan Ahearne of the Whitaker Institute at NUIG estimates that it will support some 610 jobs per year over the six-year period of its construction, and a further 2,700 jobs upon completion. Prof Ahearne’s analysis suggests it could contribute up to €200 million annually to national income and deliver a boost of €80 million to the exchequer.