An application for planning permission for a development at Doughiska has been lodged this week with supporters believing it could create up to 1,000 jobs for that side of the city.
Last evening, city councillor and former mayor Michael Crowe said that if granted, this development has the potential to competely transform the Doughiska area, bringing benefits to both the local community and businesses.
The application details what has been described as a radical and innovative mixed use development on a high profile site measuring in excess of seven acres. The development will be constructed at the site on the Coolagh gateway roundabout to Galway from the M6 motorway.
The proposed nodal development comprises a 100,000 sq ft, of office space, a residential scheme of 130 apartments ranging in size between one and four bedrooms, together with a 122 bedroom Hotel with adjoining suites which will provide an additional 24 bed spaces.
The development includes a gymnasium, six lane 25-metre swimming pool, tennis court, astro turf playing facilities, creche, café serviced with a mix of undercroft and multi storey car parking.
The projected gross development value of the scheme exceeds €130 million and represents a step change in urban living in Galway City.
Cllr Crowe said that while designing to an appropriate density, height, and scale, the development team have sought to deliver a high quality public realm to integrate seamlessly with the local residential and business communities, public transport nodes and other neighbourhood amenities.
“It is my belief that this will add significant value to the Doughiska and will has the potential to positively transform the area. It will bring benefits to both local residents and business owners. The successful delivery of the project would generate significant employment potential during the construction stage. 250 local jobs alone would be generated during the building phase.
“On completion, it is expected that the occupier of the office space will provide close to 800 jobs with the hotel and other facilities making the total number of jobs here, approximately 1,000. This is the most significant proposed development for Galway City in over a decade.
“I think there will be challenges and concern, in certain quarters but on the whole I hope as a community and city, we embrace it. I think we can work through the various issues that will no doubt arise and we also need to understand there will be different views. And all of these views need to be considered carefully and taken into account during the planning phase.”
“Evolution Asset Holdings Ltd have already established considerable engagement locally to ensure this project has been designed to meet the needs of the community and all related stakeholders.
“Detailed discussions have already been held with a number of high profile end users, both domestic and international, in respect of the office and hotel developments, which will add significantly to the future profile and employment potential of Galway.
He said that the hotel is to be managed by a leading Operator in the Industry and will provide for much-needed bed spaces to service the growing Galway business and tourism needs. Local employers will benefit from the extensive mix of business centre and meeting rooms planned while the local community can enjoy the extensive leisure facilities proposed.
“The residential units are deliberately designed to support the full aspirations of the community, with a mix of 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom apartments on offer to cater for all stages of family life.
“Critically, the residential experience will be characterised by a high quality “live, work, play” environment complemented by excellent public transport links. Overall, this scheme represents a unique development opportunity for Galway, delivering a striking dynamic and modern architectural design proposal for this highly visible gateway site.” concluded Cllr Crowe.
Last gateway opportunity
The site is one of the very last gateway development opportunities for Galway City. Its location off the roundabout at the entry to the City from the M6 is highly visible to both local and national commuters entering the City from the Dublin, Limerick or Sligo motorways. It is envisaged that the development would integrate into the existing fabric of the local community, which boasts adjacent National and Secondary Schools, together with the Galway Clinic, Bon Secours and Merlin Park hospitals which are located nearby.
High profile domestic and international employers are based in the neighbouring Parkmore East and West Business Parks, where at present over 6,000 high value jobs are provided by prestigious corporate employers both domestic and international. Shopping is amply provided for by the neighbouring Briarhill Centre, with food retailers such as Dunnes Stores, Joyce’s Supermarket, Lidl and Iceland close to hand.
The scheme represents a paradigm change in urban living and as proposed is designed to support a “live, work, play” concept, based on a series of high quality plaza’s connecting the core office, hotel, residential and leisure uses.
Whilst extensive car parking facilities are included, the scheme is intended to make full use of the well established public transport nodes available including the high frequency bus corridor, and convenient Oranmore train station, providing access to Galway’s Ceannt station and mainline rail throughout the country. Merlin Woods is also close by, providing access to the largest urban woodland area in or around Galway City.