Work has resumed on the €300 million Greystones harbour and marina development in Co Wicklow, with the first of more than 350 new homes expected to be offered for sale by April 2016.
The ambitious project has already seen the former Victorian harbour replaced by a new structure with south and north piers, a 200-berth marina and ongoing work on five new clubhouses for sea scouts, divers, sailors, rowers and anglers.
Also included in the project is a coastguard station, a new town square, a 16-acre public park, a new beach and marine-related shops and leisure facilities.
The project is financially underpinned by the development of 358 new houses and apartments rising as high as three storeys over a retail level.
Following the exit of housebuilders Park Developments from the project during the economic crash, developers Sisk – who have invested an estimated €80 million in marine engineering works – and Wicklow County Council secured new backing from investment fund Targeted Investment Opportunities.
The fund is managed by Oaktree Capital a global investment manager with almost €100 billion in assets under management. The consortium has now appointed builders Bridgedale Homes to carry the housing and other elements of the project forward.
Bridgedale said it has already started work on the residential element and will begin construction of the commercial units as well as the public park and boardwalk in 2016.
This week, almost €1 million is being handed over to the five clubs to provide fit-out for the buildings, bringing total investment in the clubs to almost €4 million, a spokeswoman said.
The schedule for completion of the works envisages completion of the new town square in the second quarter of 2016. It will include hard and soft landscaping, furniture, lighting, car-parking spaces and infrastructure to accommodate community events. The square will lead to a new boardwalk on to which all commercial units such as cafes and shops will be facing.
New fishermen’s stores and boat pens are also being constructed and the public park is to form part of the Greystones to Bray cliff walk. The backers said the total value of the community investment will exceed €85 million.
The residential units range from one-bedroom apartments to five-bedroom detached houses will be offered for sale before completion. The full development is expected to be completed by 2020.
Local councillor Derek Mitchell, who has spearheaded support for the development, said locals wanted it finished. Responding to local criticism that large amounts of space on the pier had been handed over to private clubs, boat owners and public areas, finished in plain wire fencing and cement, Mr Mitchell said the project was still in transition.
He said there would be a quality finish to the new public square and a boardwalk which would effectively look like an extension of Trafalgar Road into the harbour.
“It is wonderful that these clubs are being provided, and the public square will be cobblelock with dark stone,” he said.