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Key building in Kilkenny City’s Abbey Quarter set to be in use by next April

The 48,000sq feet space is due to be occupied by Easter

One of the key buildings in Kilkenny City’s newest section is set to be in use by next April.

A media briefing on the Abbey Quarter this morning heard that The Brewhouse is expected to be completed by the end of this year with a three-month fit-out then to follow.

The 48,000sq feet space is due to be occupied by Easter.

CEO at Kilkenny Abbey Quarter Development Jason Clerkin says things are progressing well, telling KCLR’s John Purcell “It’s moving on nicely at the moment, we expect to have it finished in December and we’d expect to have tenants starting to come in in January with bums on seats in the first quarter of next year”.

He adds “We’re really excited about that, there’ll be people working here and it’ll be great to see the building in use and it’ll be great to see the couple of hundred people down here and the benefit it’ll bring to the city and then we’re moving on to get the next building on site once we have planning next year”.

There’s a focus too on what will surround it as Mr Clerkin outlines, “One of the things that’s probably missed is that there’s a significant public realm being developed by the local authority and in particular around The Brewhouse with the upgrading of Horse Barrack Lane and The Brewhouse Square which provides a really great environment for people to work which is an added benefit when you come down to the Abbey Quarter”.

The next step to be taken on-site is with Building 7, which has yet to be named and as Mr Clerkin explains “Is wrapped around the other side of The Brewhouse Square so with the success of The Brewhouse and the coming to completion we’re in design on the next building which will have some more offices, a different offering than The Brewhouse with some groundfloor restaurant, retail and service-type space”.

As to the project’s funding, costs of between €100 and €120 million are projected. Mr Clerkin says “There’s a distinction between the public realm which the council are doing and they’re using their own resources and grant funding for that and what the partnership is doing which is delivering all of the commercial buildings down at Abbey Quarter so that operates likes a private company so we borrow the money from the market to deliver the buildings which we then let and then obviously pay back those loans over time and it’ll be phased over time so it’ll be through a combination of leasing up, renting and selling and recycling some of the cash for the next buildings that come along”.

He adds “It’s not cheap and I think over the life of the development we could be spending upwards of €100 million, each building typically takes about €15million to deliver so when you look at all the phases in the various buildings it’ll add up to 100 over the life development pretty quickly”.

Building had been interrupted on-site during the Covid pandemic and there was some speculation of the demise of the office space but Mr Clerkin says “We’re in uncertain times and there was a bit of a knee-jerk response early on but what we’re finding is that there’s still quite a demand there and in fact the demand is coming from further afield and Kilkenny acting as a hub, there’s no doubt that users are looking at their space differently but they’re still taking the same space with circulation space, they’re looking at their offices and environment to come and collaborate maybe looking at a hybrid going forward where people can work remotely which I think is a good thing”.