Wednesday 23 April 2008

Waterford tower to be twice as tall as Liberty Hall

A TOWER described as being twice as tall as Dublin’s Liberty Hall will form the focal point of an urban development in Waterford, which is set to create 400 jobs during construction and a similar number on completion in 2014.

The riverside development will incorporate a 156-bedroom hotel, 22 floors of apartments above 10 floors of offices in the central tower and a marina and leisure centre, while the possibility of a light rail system servicing the site has also been flagged by the developers.

Named Water Haven, the €380 million project is earmarked for a 13-acre site formerly owned by Waterford Stanley beside the river Suir at Bilberry in Waterford city.

The scheme, on land formerly used for an iron foundry, is the brainchild of developer William Bolster of the Bolster Group. A planning application is due to be lodged soon with Waterford City Council by the design team led by CJ Falconer & Associates.

The site has been designated as a potential development site in the 2007-2013 Waterford City Development Plan.

Central to the plan is a 119-metre, 32-storey building with apartments and offices.

According to the developers, the project will also house a “sky view” area “offering unprecedented views of Waterford city, east Co Waterford and south Co Kilkenny”.

The hotel will include a large conference centre with a 500-delegate capacity aimed at boosting Waterford’s business tourism.

A leisure and fitness centre will include a gymnasium, spa and swimming pool, while the scheme also includes marinas with 80 berths.

The design team is facilitating an extension of the existing Waterford and Suir Valley Railway, to allow the train run to the site of the former Waterford South railway station at Bilberry. “The railway works will also leave open the possibility of light rail ultimately running along Waterford’s south quays,” a spokesperson for the Bolster Group said.

A total of 395 one, two and three-bedroom apartments is incorporated in the development, along with children’s play areas.

Speaking about the project, William Bolster of the Bolster Group said the site provided an opportunity to create a new gateway to Waterford.

“With work continuing at a great rate on the Waterford city bypass, including the second river crossing just upriver from our site, there will be a whole new experience for those approaching Waterford by rail and road within the next couple of years,” he said at yesterday’s design launch.

“This will help enhance Waterford’s appeal as a genuine riverside city and meets the sustainability objectives of strengthening the city’s core and making the best use of available lands.”

Irish Examiner

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