Building boom encourages Limerick businesses to expand
The building boom in Limerick-with new office blocks springing up in the city centre-has prompted established professionals and business enterprises to move office or expand.
For example, a Limerick firm of accountants I founded over 25 years ago have relocated from Steamboat Quay to ultra- I modern new offices at Park Manor House overlooking the People's Park in Upper Mallow Street.
David O'Donnell, principal partner in David O'Donnell Associates, said Limerick is growing at an incredible pace and the number of businesses expanding out of that growth is substantial.
"Our firm has benefited from the increase in business in the Mid-West area," Mr O'Donnell said.
A company with a network of offices throughout the country has recently opened new modern offices on the Dock Road. ISS Facility Services an who bought out Contract Cleaners is involved in cleaning services. Maurice O'Meara is Branch Manager for the Western Region.
Smart Telecom is continuing to expand nationally by opening up a regional office at the the National Technology Park in Plassey. Heading up the Irish owned operation in the Mid-West is Donal Hession, Regional Sales Manager for Smart Telecom's business division.
"Businesses in the Mid-West region have been calling for a network service that will allow them compete on a local national and worldwide stage. Smart's fibre network gives customers the ability and flexibility they need to reach their business objectives." Mr Hession said.
New retail outlets are setting up continuously and garage enterprises have relocated into new premises with sophisticated glass-style architecture while others have upgraded.
There is also the proposed €200 million Opera Centre and an offshoot of the building boom is that one of the city's established plumbing and heating contractors. PJ Matthews has opened a new luxury state-of-the-art €2million showrooms at it's Ballysimon base.
The firm was facing voluntary liquidation in 1987 in a depressed building industry, but today Ciaran Smyth presides over a multi-million Euro business.
"Limerick and its suburbs are growing and expanding at a tremendous rate, we see the building industry prospering in the region into the future," said Mr Smyth.
"We have a young population who will be looking for housing and there is the new trend of immigrants coming to work here who will also require housing", he added. Another facet of all this movement and boom is highlighted by Jim Kenny, the General Manager of Arthur's Quay Centre. He believes that the business of the city centre is under threat from the it out of town retail developments and the people in the city centre most come together and ensure that a strong vibrant hub is maintained.
"To make sure the city centre does not decline everyone must pull together to improve the urban landscape, avoid dereliction, fast-forward regeneration and continue to reshape our riverside city with people at its centre," he said.
He believes the city centre needs to progress towards pedestrianisation to make it attractive for people to live in and shop in, but the fourth river crossing is needed before that can become a reality.
A young Limerick businessman David Hickey has recently opened a new €3 million self storage facility located at the Docklands Road Business Park. He opened his first storage facility on the Tipperary Road four years ago.
His family have been in the storage business for almost 100 years and he declared: "Limerick is developing into a very vibrant city as you will see from the Docklands and this is where I decided to base my flagship store right in the heart of the Docklands".
Self storage is a US invented concept which offers customers a facility where they can store their goods in a clean dry secure storage room to which they control access.