Diageo to trigger major new city centre development on St James’s Gate site
DIAGEO is poised to trigger the development of land at its iconic St James’s Gate site in Dublin in a move which would lead to the creation of a new quarter in the city.
The landmark project at the home of Guinness would transform the wider Dublin 8 area and would be one of the largest developments in the heart of the city in recent times. Sources said that more than 10 acres had been earmarked for development, with a number of options under consideration.
There is scope for hundreds of new homes in the location, but it is envisaged that there will be residential, commercial and leisure elements to the masterplan. Protecting listed structures will be a key priority in the proposals.
It is understood that John Kennedy, Diageo president for Europe, Russia and Turkey, has been actively working on the project.
A spokesman for Diageo said: “We have always looked to the future at St James’s Gate, and we have invested extensively in our brewing operations, with a €170m new Brewhouse, and have this year announced ambitious plans for the expansion of the Guinness Storehouse and a new distillery.
“These developments mean there are parts of St James’s Gate that are no longer needed for brewing, and we continue to examine and explore the future potential uses of these lands and buildings.”
Diageo announced in July that Guinness Storehouse was planning a €16m expansion plan, which would see the Gravity Bar double in size.
In January, it announced that it would invest €25m over three years in developing a new distillery at St James’s Gate. It will produce a new blended Irish whiskey, called Roe & Co.
Prior to the recession, Diageo had planned to sell part of the Dublin site, but this was shelved when the property market crashed.
The sale of land at St James’s Gate, Kilkenny and Dundalk had been expected to net the company €500m.
The Dublin property market has rebounded and in recent months and years a raft of new hotels have been given permission to develop in Dublin 8, while demand for properties in the area has grown strongly.
Most recent figures for Diageo show that Irish and overall European sales for Guinness grew by 2pc, which was driven by the continued success of Hop House 13 Lager.