The availability of high end office space which is key to attracting modern high-tech industries to the heart of Galway was enhanced this week with the granting of planning permission for the Bonham Quay development at Galway Harbour.
Galway City Council last Friday granted planning permission for the two acre development which will deliver in excess of 26,000 sq. m of Grade A office space to Galway city centre.
The development by Edward Capital, which is located in Galway City Centre overlooking Galway Docks, will be known as Bonham Quay and when completed will provide in excess of 26,000 sq. m of Grade A Office Space.
The four blocks range in size from 4,820 to 11,845 sq. m, designed with maximum flexibility to allow multiple occupation while maintaining an extremely efficient gross to net ratio that does not compromise efficiency for single occupancy.
Bonham Quay is expected to bolster Galway’s status as one of the fastest growing cities in Europe. The investment has the potential to create in excess of 500 full-time construction jobs, and it is anticipated that it will accelerate the delivery of urgently required prime office space, which will cater for approximately 2,600 employees once operational.
In addition, the scheme has been revised substantially and can now fulfil a variety of uses. The public realm use has been reconfigured to ensure permeability with the existing city centre and its historic street pattern. In addition the 3,700 square metres of these new public squares and plazas have been designed to be multifunctional and adaptable. They can be used for impromptu and organised events such as pup up markets, performances and outdoor cinema screenings.
The most significant revision will be the provision of a larger dedicated arts/cultural facility. This multipurpose space will be a highly visible and flexible space for the use of corporate clients and the city of Galway alike. The space will be made available to local community partners and arts groups. A significant design feature will be the option to incorporation of sliding doors and walls which will open out to and to provide a significant connection with the Docks and Galway Bay beyond.
The scheme will build on the attractiveness of the city for foreign direct investment and the marked lack of Grade A office space, which is impacting its ability to grow, attract and retain sustainable business that would provide sustainable employment.
Gerry Barrett, Chief Executive, Edward Group said that they are delighted to receive planning permission and would like to thank Galway City Council for supporting their vision to regenerate a significant pat of the city centre.
“We are confident that this is not just very good news for Edward Capital but is also great news for the city of Galway. Galway needs more city centre work and living space and Bonham Quay will help rejuvenate the city centre.”
“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.”
“It will cement a reimagining of Galway as it moves toward 2020 and takes up the mantle of European Capital of Culture. It will make up for a dearth in city centre office space that has precluded major international occupiers of moving operations to the city. It will have a major positive impact on tourism, local entertainment and hospitality offerings. The addition of the multipurpose auditorium and improvements to the public realm will be of great advantage to the local community,” he added.
Mr Barrett went on to say that Bonham Quay will offer significant opportunities for Galway and its surrounding areas post Brexit with ease of access to both Dublin and Shannon Airports.
“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.
“We will work diligently with all our neighbours, CIE and the Galway Harbour Company, together with the City Council to deliver a scheme that compliments Galway’s future ambitions. We will work conscientiously with all stakeholders: government, national agencies, the local authority, elected officials, local business groups and engage with the wider community to deliver 2,600 jobs for Galway. With Bonham Quay, it is our intention to deliver something quite exceptional for Galway City.”
For the project, Edward Capital has retained as architects BDP, the major international architect-led design practice, who continue to design and deliver many major workplace schemes across Ireland, the UK and internationally for clients such as Google.
In Bonham Quay, BDP have provided a scheme of 26,000 sq. m. of new Grade A office space for Galway and 2,005 sq. m. of retail and restaurant space. In the scheme as envisaged, BDP have created holistic workplaces and developed innovative solutions that lowers its environmental impact. Bonham Quayis projected to cost €104m to construct in total.
Bonham Quay is designed to the highest standard with all modern specifications, maximising the use of external glazing along with high-level landscaped areas through the scheme to allow the buildings take full advantage of the aspect of the site with spectacular views over Galway Docks and Galway Bay.
Welcoming the project being granted initial planning, former mayor Michael Crowe said that this is one of the most important decisions in recent times for Galway City.
“It is an enormously positive day for Galway and the West of Ireland. It will be a very attractive location for both foreign direct investment and indigenous businesses. I have believed that this part of the City needs an upgrade for many years.
“At the moment there is no significant office space available in Galway and more and more around the world, firms want to locate in the city centre. I commend the planners for their very diligent appraisal of this development.
“It is fair to say that this project has attracted many detractors. Those of them that made a submission will be entitled to appeal this decision to grant, to An Bord Pleanala. I would respectfully request these parties not to do this. I contend that talks can be had to alleviate some of these concerns. To appeal this, is not in the best interests of our City or more importantly, all of the people that live in this part of the country,” he said.