De­vel­op­ers re­ceive re­port from Di­a­geo on St James’s Gate plans

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - Commercial Property - BY SA­MAN­THA MCCAUGH­REN

GUIN­NESS owner Di­a­geo has pre­pared a re­port for po­ten­tial de­vel­op­ers of part of St James’s Gate, which out­lines the com­pany’s vi­sion for the site fol­low­ing a wide-rang­ing con­sul­ta­tion process.

Di­a­geo is to re­de­velop 12 acres of its prop­erty in Dublin 8 for hous­ing, of­fices, shops and busi­nesses, to cre­ate a new quar­ter for the city.

Prop­erty play­ers Hines, Bal­ly­more — in part­ner­ship with Ox­ley — and U+I are on the fi­nal short­list to de­velop the project, with the suc­cess­ful com­pany due to be an­nounced in the New Year.

Liam Reid, cor­po­rate re­la­tions di­rec­tor with Di­a­geo Ire­land, told the Pub­lic Re­la­tions In­sti­tute of Ire­land (PRII) an­nual con­fer­ence re­cently that given the de­vel­op­ment would be a longterm project, which would have last­ing con­se­quences for the city, it had em­barked on ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tion.

In a pro­gramme called ‘con­ver­sa­tions at the Gate’, Di­a­geo en­gaged with more than 150 na­tional and lo­cal stake­hold­ers.

As Ire­land is in the mid­dle of a hous­ing cri­sis, Mr Reid said he was un­sure what type of views the process would get back, but he said it had been very pos­i­tive.

This feed­back has been col­lated and a re­port sub­mit­ted to all the po­ten­tial de­vel­op­ment part­ners, who have been asked to con­sider the re­port in their plans. An an­nounce­ment is ex­pected next year.

Ini­tial ad­vice from ex­perts was that the brewer should sell the site. “We de­cided that would be the wrong thing to do, and a missed op­por­tu­nity,” Mr Reid said.

The com­pany’s lead­er­ship has ‘set an am­bi­tion’ to build a world-class ur­ban cen­tre. Ini­tially, around 16 de­vel­op­ers ex­pressed an in­ter­est in work­ing on the site. It is now down to three firms.

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