Population is estimated to triple by 2012, with 11,000 new homes and apartments under construction.
The creation of up to 40,000 jobs is another benefit to the redevelopment, and the city eventually plans to develop the 1,300-acre area into a bustling city suburb by the time it is finished.
Launched in 1997, the plan has managed to attract thousands of Dubliners who didn’t even know the area existed. Family events, such as the upcoming docking of the replica Famine ship Jeanie Johnston during the New Year period, are helping the regeneration.
“As the regeneration plan is under way, we also want families to come and enjoy the area and develop it into a city attraction in its own right,” DDDA spokesperson Loretta Lambkin told the newspaper.
To help get the word out about the new docklands, Dublin’s main fireworks display for St Patrick’s Day will be launched from a barge on the River Liffey in the heart of the docklands.
By 2015, organizers hope the region will be home to an entirely new community within Dublin, featuring access to education, employment, housing and social amenities.
The DDDA was created by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority Act in 1997 to lead a major project of physical, social and economic regeneration in the east side of Dublin.
The plan was to extend development over central dockland areas once blighted by warehouses and unused waste ground.
In the years prior to the development, severe economic and social problems had characterized the area as one of Dublin’s seediest.
A staggering 30 percent of the population was unemployed and only 35 percent of the children had reached their Leaving Certificate year.
Recent gains to the area have been nothing if not huge for the project. Organizers are hoping it becomes a niche business hub, much like the nearby IFSC.
U.S. technology giant Google has located its European headquarters in the Gasworks office block on Barrow Street. The company had recently moved into Dublin amid much fanfare and its presence is one that officials hoped to raise Dublin’s profile within the international community as a force to be reckoned with.
U2’s Hanover Quay recording studios, where part of their new album, “How to Dismantle and Atomic Bomb,” was recorded, are just around the corner.
Other infrastructure initiatives for the docklands are also planned, like transportation elements.
A 54-seat river bus running along the Liffey is in the pipeline for next year.
The bus will undergo several months of trial runs before being fully commissioned.
Also earmarked for the New Year is a bridge at Macken Street, which will link the north and south sides of the Liffey.
The structure is currently being constructed in Poland and will be carried to its location in the spring.