THE long-awaited, €500m North Quays project hopes to get off the ground with a new developer, after the long-touted Saudi Arabian investment failed to proceed.
A preferred developer has now been identified for the North Quays development after Falcon Real Estate said it was unable to meet the funding timetable. The Saudi-backed firm said it had secured €400m for the ambitious project — but did not meet funding pre-conditions set by Waterford City and County Council. Now, Waterford has identified a preferred developer for the project.
The North Quays project involved the greatest urban regeneration ever attempted in Waterford and included a 15-storey hotel and conference centre, twin blocks of office space rising to seven storeys, 300 apartments in five structures varying between seven to 17 storeys in height as well as a major open public amenity space.
However, some Waterford politicians believe that if there is no movement with the North Quays project by 2023, the funding should be redirected into other local
five years later and we still don’t have anybody
Councillor Adam Wyse said if there was no action taken in the short-to-medium term with the North Quays, other Waterford projects should be prioritised. Cllr Wyse said some hard decisions needed to be taken over the project.
“We’re here now in 2022 five years later and we still don’t have anybody – obviously it was really disappointing when Falcon Real Estate let us down, as far as I’m concerned,” he told WLRFM.
“I said then in June 2021 that if we’re here in 12 months’ time – that we need to think about reinvesting those funds back into the existing city centre.
“I’ve had conversations in private with the executive of Waterford Council. They have confirmed that we are now down to one developer. We’re in discussions to try and actually bring the North Quays along.”
“The larger contractors that we are looking to develop this (just) cannot get the sub-contractors. This is something that has been happening all over the world.
within the next three months we will start to see some sort of an announcement
“I’ve been given assurances that within the next three months we will start to see some sort of an announcement as to what will be developed at the North Quays — and an announcement could come in terms of naming a developer.”
It is understood infrastructural work around the North Quays will proceed and this will include 1.3km of urban dual carriageway, local Ferrybank road upgrades with improvements for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
There will be a new train station, transport interchange and public works directly north of the strategic development zone as well as a 207-metre-long pedestrian, cycle and public transport bridge across the River Suir, with an opening span to accommodate river traffic.