Wednesday 23 April 2008

€380m project could create 800 jobs

UP TO 800 jobs could be created in connection with the construction of a 32-storey €380 million mixed-use urban development in Waterford city, which is expected to be completed by 2014.

A planning application will be lodged with Waterford City Council shortly for the Water Haven development, on the 13-acre site of a former iron foundry beside the river Suir at Bilberry.

The developers said about half of the jobs would be created during the construction phase of the development, while the remainder would be in place upon completion.

Plans announced yesterday propose to feature an "iconic" 119m-high, 32-storey building with 22 floors - containing 395 apartments above 10 floors of offices.

This building will also house a "sky view area offering unprecedented views" of Waterford city, east Co Waterford and south Co Kilkenny, according to a spokesman for developers, the Bolster Group.

"An eye-catching 20-metre high roof feature will echo the elegant design of the nearby cable stay bridge included in the Waterford city bypass," said the spokesman.

Identified as an "opportunity site" in the Waterford City Development Plan 2007-2013, the brownfield lands, bought from Waterford Stanley, will accommodate a 15-storey, 156-bedroom hotel.

Also featured in the building, which would dominate over existing buildings in the city, are underground parking facilities, restaurants, smaller office units and duplex apartments.

A hotel containing a conference centre capable of accommodating 500 delegates is hoped to "make Waterford a more attractive venue for business tourism".

"A state-of-the art leisure and fitness centre will include a gymnasium, spa and swimming pool while the scheme also includes marinas with 80 berths," according to the application.

An extension of the Waterford and Suir Valley railway to allow the train to run to the site of the former Waterford South railway station at Bilberry is also being facilitated by the design team.

A scale model and images of the Water Haven scheme will be on public display on the ground floor of Maritana Gate, Canada Street from today until Saturday.

Irish Times

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