Limerick Twenty Thirty’s Joint Venture With ISIF
Holmes O’Malley Sexton LLP (Holmes) recently advised Limerick Twenty Thirty (LTT) on its €80 million Joint Venture Partnership with Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF).
The partnership represents ISIF’s largest direct commitment to date under its €500 million investment programme for Cork, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick and Waterford, which was announced in 2022. The aim of the programme is to direct significant investment towards each city, creating new places to work and live, with the eventual goal of regenerating their respective city centres.
The joint venture will see the development of One Opera Square. The site is located at the corner of Michael Street and Ellen StreetLimerick and covers six flexible-use floors. This location provides for around 10,000 square metres of Grade A office space, with the ability to accommodate several tenancies per floor and up to 1,000 employees in the building. Once completed, the development will offer restaurant and retail units at ground level with an external seating area in the public square, external landscaped roof terraces and world-class cycle facilities for employees.
Holmes advised LTT with a team led by Partners Sandra Egan and Lisa Killeen and Of Counsel Caroline Connolly. Lorraine Power, Partner, Gillian Butler, Senior Solicitor and Nicola Hackett, Solicitor also advised. The team provided multi-disciplinary services to LTT, including input from lawyers advising from across the firm’s commercial real estate, banking and finance, corporate and construction teams throughout the transaction.
Lawyer Monthly had the pleasure to speak with Sandra Egan, Real Estate Partner at Holmes to give us some further insight into this transaction:
Please tell us more about the role played by yourself and your team in advising LTT on the joint venture.
Holmes advised LTT on all aspects of this JV Partnership with ISIF. Led by myself and Lisa Killeen, our multi-disciplinary team collaborated with our colleagues across our commercial real estate, banking & finance, corporate and construction teams to deliver this project for LTT.
As with any project of this nature, part of Holmes’ role involved liaising and coordinating the delivery of services with LTT’s non-legal advisors including tax advisors, insurance, architects and other construction professionals.
When it comes to large property investments and collaborative ventures like this, what are the most important operational aspects to keep in mind?
As with all large property investments and collaborative ventures, there are a number of stakeholders involved. It is important to keep the lines of communications open at all times and to make sure that all parties’ perspectives are understood.
In terms of the overall Opera development, Holmes facilitated a strategic workshop at the master planning stage which involved collaboration with and input from both legal and non-legal advisors including procurement, insurance, engineering and finance. The One Opera Square project was one of a number of significant projects generated from that workshop.
Once this project was operational, we held weekly all-party calls to keep track of the various aspects of the transaction, with completion checklists being maintained and updated and timelines set for all relevant streams of due diligence to ensure the transaction progressed as smoothly as possible.
How will One Opera Square be developed to meet sustainability standards?
Sustainability will be at the heart of Opera Square’s design and build, with the project developed to the highest international sustainability standard by achieving LEED Platinum accreditation as well as achieving a ‘Nearly Zero Energy Building’ (nZEB) rating and WiredScore. LEED-certified buildings have the highest energy efficiency, lower carbon emissions and create healthier places for people to work and live. They are a critical part of addressing climate change and meeting ESG goals, enhancing resilience and supporting more equitable communities.
Holmes advised LTT on all aspects of this JV Partnership with ISIF.
What impact do you believe this development will have on Limerick and the wider region?
Works on One Opera Square have commenced, which has led to construction job creation in the region.
One Opera Square is one of the flagship projects in the overall Opera Square project and will be developed over six flexible-use floors. It will provide for circa 10,000 sqm of Grade A office space and accommodate several tenancies per floor with up to 1,000 employees in the building. This building will also offer restaurant and retail units at ground level with an external seating area in the public square and external landscaped roof terraces.
The wider Opera Square development will be a landmark commercial development in a regional and national context and one that will reflect Limerick’s status as a leading city in sustainability and innovation. It will encourage people to build their lives in Limerick and the surrounding areas, boosting its status as a vibrant place to live, work and play in. It will deliver significant economic benefit for the city and region.
Do you expect to work on similar projects in the near future?
We have acted for LTT since inception. We are delighted to have been involved in large projects to date, such as Project Opera and Limerick Gardens International office, block which was valued at €23 million.
In the near future, we look forward to working with LTT on the development of the Cleeves Riverside Quarter. LTT have successfully secured a €35 million grant under Urban Regeneration Development Fund (URDF) to help unlock and enhance the site.
Once fully developed, Cleeves Riverside Quarter has the potential to help build a strong local economy through the construction of residential units, commercial real estate and mix-use of educational and cultural/visitor attractions.
Holmes is a multi-disciplinary firm with a national presence. Our clients include national and international companies across a diverse range of sectors including energy and natural resources, education, real estate, construction and engineering, insurance, financial services, healthcare, pharma and life sciences, food, beverage and agribusiness, hospitality and leisure, technology, media and telecom, which means we are very well positioned to advise on similar projects in the future.
About Limerick Twenty Thirty
Limerick Twenty Thirty is a dynamic property development company established as a special purpose vehicle of Limerick City and County Council to plan and develop key strategic sites in Limerick City and County. These sites will act as anchors for enterprise and investment development across Limerick and the Mid-West Region.
About Opera Square
The 3.7 acre Opera Square project will be a landmark commercial development in a regional and national context and one that will reflect Limerick’s status as a leading city in sustainability and innovation. The 1.62 hectare project is funded, thanks in the main through lending from the European Investment Bank, the Council of Europe Development Bank and now ISIF.
A transformational project for Limerick, the fully developed site will be capable of employing up to 3,000 people across 450,000 sq ft campus accommodation. Sustainability will be at the heart of Opera Square’s design and build, with the project developed to international best practice ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum’ and ‘nZEB’ standards. A day-time employment hub, it will transform into a bustling night-time destination complete with restaurants, bars and open entertainment spaces. The design will also be entirely complementary to and protect existing important Georgian architecture. The project will deliver significant employment opportunities and act as a catalyst for other major city centre investment.