Over recent months the Council extended the contract to May 15th, 2021 with Falcon Real Estate Development (Falcon) for the North Quays Development to allow the developer (Falcon) time to source alternative funding partners, given the obvious constraints imposed by the Covid 19 pandemic.
In correspondence received from Falcon Real Estate Development Ireland over the weekend, the developer has not demonstrated to any reasonable satisfaction that it has fulfilled its contractual conditions. As a consequence, this Council will not be extending the contract further in the coming week/s and will be in discussion with Falcon to conclude our relationship on an agreed basis.
The Council appreciates Falcon’s commitment to the project over the past number of years; and the considerable resources, time and effort committed to the project by the company.
While this position is regrettable it is by no means the end of the project. The Council’s position remains the same: it is fully committed to the development of the North Quays and is confident that an exciting and transformative proposition can be brought to bear and it is our intention to immediately go back into the market-place to secure other development partners. We are satisfied that there will be market interest and that the North Quays project is now in a very different place to where it was a few years ago:
- All land ownership and title issues are secured and in the ownership of Waterford Council.
- All site environmental issues have been resolved.
- Benefit of a National SDZ designation which facilitates fast-track planning permission.
- Secure government funding under the URDF for North Quays and City Centre regeneration.
This Council has been working in the background to undertake a fundamental reappraisal of the North Quays Scheme and will be proposing to engage with the marketplace on a revised proposal in the coming weeks. To this end it is envisaged that there will be a Request for Tender issued next week for a commercial property adviser(s) to assist us in reengaging with the marketplace.
It is to be regretted that there is a delay in the project at this time but this may in some respects be timely. A revised planning permission will only take three months to complete once ready given the Strategic Development Zone designation and there is a reality that the broader development market is in serious trauma post-Covid and it is only now that signs of re-emergence are beginning. It would be our clear objective to be at market by September where we envisage the broader development market growing significantly again in line with the reopening of society and we would now be targeting development commencement in Quarter 2, 2022.
There is a strong need for this project under Project Ireland 2040 as Waterford continues to grow and the South East has the expertise required to attract major international investment and jobs. The recent launch of Waterford 2040 demonstrates the city’s enormous potential and we intend the North Quays to be a central element in the City’s future.