Monday 16 September 2019

Barrett gets green light for €104m Bonham Quay

An artist’s impression of the proposed Bonham Quay scheme which will overlook Galway Docks.
An artist’s impression of the proposed Bonham Quay scheme which will overlook Galway Docks.
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Developer Gerry Barrett's ambitious plans for the development of over 26,000 sq m of Grade A office space overlooking Galway Docks in Galway city centre have been given the green light by the city's planners.

Arranged across four blocks ranging in size from 4,820 sq m to 11,845 sq m, Bonham Quay will upon completion provide sufficient space to accommodate some 2,600 employees.

The scheme, which will be delivered by Mr Barrett's company, Edward Capital, is projected to carry a total development cost of approximately €104m and is expected to create in the region of 500 full-time construction jobs.

The original scheme proposed for the site has been revised substantially by Mr Barrett's design team.

Its public realm space has been reconfigured to ensure permeability with the city centre and its historic street pattern. All 3,700 sq m of Bonham Quay's public squares and plazas have been designed to be adaptable, allowing them to be used for both impromptu and organised events such as 'pop-up' markets, performances and outdoor cinema screenings.

The most significant revision of the plan will see the creation of a larger dedicated arts/cultural facility which will be available for use by corporate clients and local community partners and arts groups alike.

As well as its provision of state-of-the-art office and cultural spaces, Bonham Quay will include a further 2,005 sq m of retail units and restaurants

Welcoming Galway City Council's decision to approve the development, Mr Barrett said: "Bonham Quay is a new departure for Galway. The creation of a new urban quarter will stimulate significant employment in Galway city and its environs and will have a ripple impact in the broader national economy."

Mr Barrett said he expects there to be significant opportunities for Galway and its surrounding areas post-Brexit given the city's ease of access to both Dublin and Shannon Airports.

He said: "The reaction from the market has been very encouraging and we have already had strong interest from UK-based firms wishing to relocate to cities like Galway.

"The quality of lifestyle in Galway is also sure to be a huge attraction for foreign direct investment and their employees".

Edward Capital has retained major international architect-led design practice BDP as architects for the project, BDP continue to design and deliver many major workplace schemes across Ireland, the UK and internationally for clients such as Google.

Agents Cushman & Wakefield have been engaged by Mr Barrett to ensure that Bonham Quay is aggressively marketed both nationally and internationally.

Given the shortage of supply of modern floor plate offices that are flexible enough to cater for sophisticated multinational occupiers, the agents believe that the proposed development will see strong interest from existing and prospective occupiers.

Cushman & Wakefield believe this development given its superb City Centre location, high-calibre design and flexibility in terms of layout will attract strong interest from existing and new occupiers to the Galway market.

Bonham Quay Development will finally deliver new office space in an area that has seen demand outstripping supply in recent years.

Galway City Council's approval of the project is welcome news for Mr Barrett and for Edward Capital.

The developer is currently locked in a bidding battle with his biggest creditor, Deutsche Bank, for a number of his major assets, including the five-star G Hotel, after they were placed in examinership.

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