University of Limerick agrees €8m purchase of Dunnes Stores site in city centre
The move will lead to a new riverside city centre campus.
The University of Limerick has made an agreement to purchase the vacant Dunnes Stores site at Sarsfield Bridge in the city centre for a total of €8 million.
UL President Dr Des Fitzgerald confirmed the plan on Friday (5 April).
"I am very happy to have the full support of the UL Governing Authority to purchase the vacant Dunnes Stores site at Sarsfield Bridge," said Fitzgerald.
"It is fitting that UL’s presence in the city will be on the waterfront, mirroring our magnificent riverside campus just four kilometres away."
Definitely an exciting day @UL pic.twitter.com/Z4GkqkCpng
— Professor Kerstin Mey (@ULPresident) April 5, 2019
Limerick mayor James Collins hailed the forthcoming removal of "one of the biggest eyesores in the city centre" and noted that the new development will assist with general redevelopment of the area.
“The 5,535 sq m shopping centre at Sarsfield Bridge has been left idle for years," said Collins.
"Now, by replacing it with a new UL campus, we are opening up the entire riverside area between Sarsfield Bridge, Arthurs Quay, the Potato Market and City Hall.
"The new campus should be looked at now in the context of possible redevelopments at the Potato Market, the Opera Centre development, pedestrianisation of nearby O’Connell Street and a future education, tourism and retail plan for that area of the city between Sarsfield Bridge and City Hall.”
Describing a "very significant" day for Limerick, Collins anticipated over 2,000 students to be based in the city centre when construction of the campus is complete.
"It’s incredibly significant news which will benefit all the city centre traders, as well as reinvigorating the city centre.
"If hundreds of students are based in the city, it will benefit local shops, cafes and restaurants.
"This is just as significant as a multinational company announcing several hundred jobs in Limerick city centre," the mayor added.