The extensive lands and properties owned since 2001 by The Digital Hub Development Agency were all recently transferred to the State’s new Land Development Agency. The LDA has a remit to redevelop available State and local authority owned land, as well as to faciliate largescale housing on other key sites.
The Digital Hub itself will remain in operation and will continue to operate the start-up and enterprise hub at Thomas Street, as well as continue to develop and administer a wide range of community programmes.
The lands formerly owned by the DHDA are now being masterplanned for a major mixed-use development in the heart of The Liberties. It is envisaged that the site will accommodate housing, commercial and work spaces, heritage and tourism uses and new community uses.
The site extends from School Street in the south (including the former St Catherine’s School and the adjoining car park) north to Thomas Street and across Thomas Street and down to Bonham Street. Along the buildings in the site are the famous St Patrick’s Tower, the former Guinness Hopstore (now Digital Exchange), the huge Crane Street Vathouse, the former Bank of Ireland premises, and a range of important, if disused, heritage buildings and properties.
The Land Development Agency (LDA) this week launched a vision document and initial consultation process on its plans for the development of the Digital Hub campus. The consultation will help to inform the development of a Masterplan that the LDA is working on to generate a coherent plan to redevelop this 3.72-hectare site with mixed tenure affordable homes, including adaptive reuse of key heritage buildings and opportunities for commercial, cultural, and community facilities.
Pear Tree Crossing is the working title the LDA has given to this project, referencing the pear tree – said to be the oldest fruit bearing tree in Ireland – that sits on the existing site adjacent to the famous St Patrick’s Tower, once the largest smock windmill in Europe.
According to the LDA:
“Our mission is to make efficient use of state lands to help deliver affordable housing. The Digital Hub site has huge potential to create a sustainable residential and mixed-use community, delivering hundreds of new homes, while ensuring that the architectural heritage and buildings are retained and re-purposed. The local community and those currently working at the site will play a key part in the discussions we are starting about how it might change. Our approach will see the space open up and give back to its neighbours; welcoming in the local community, providing affordable homes, community space and workspaces.”
“The vision for the site is based on three key themes:
• Identity: a development that respects the site’s heritage, that serves the people living and working in it, and delivers new uses drawn from the needs of the local area
• Living: a development that will deliver affordable and sustainable housing that is peoplecentred in its design, with inclusive public spaces for old and young
• Unlocking: an approach that will deliver enhanced green spaces and biodiversity, with a focus on public transport links and creating a walkable neighbourhood
Until the Masterplan is developed the quantum of housing planned, and the split of the lands between different uses has not been determined. The LDA’s intention is to submit first phase planning applications during 2023, following a formal public consultation process on the Masterplan later this year. Following the planning applications, phased delivery is expected to take place during the next decade.”
An outline of the vision for Pear Tree Crossing can be found below and a dedicated website www.peartreecrossing.ie will shortly go live allowing the chance to make comment on the developing plans.
Download the high-level vision document for the Pear Tree Crossing