'An important piece of tourism architecture for Wexford'
Chief Executive of Wexford County Council Tom Enright said the council 'very much welcomed the purchase of Stonebridge by the Pettitt group which will act as an important piece of tourism architecture for the town.'
At one stage, there had been a suggestion that Stonebridge could have been acquired for social housing, but Mr Enright said this would have been inappropriate given the nature of the development.
'That development was never designed for a social housing development and it would have been difficult to retrofit it in that way,' Mr Enright told this newspaper.
He that as the town economy was improving more people were coming to Wexford to establish new businesses and Stonebridge, under the Pettitts' banner, could provide options for short- to medium-term corporate lettings.
'It is a very positive development for the town and also fact that the car park will be fully utilised - two floors of that were never fully opened - and with the local economy picking up, parking is more and more important to the town.'
Mr Enright said the south end of the town would benefit significantly from the Stonebridge development.
He said that there is a need for more investment in the south, but with the work the council is doing in the quayfront area, and the purchase by Brendan Hickey of the former Tesco site in Crescent Quay, where he is to build a mixed residential and commercial development, there is great focus being put on the area.
Chief Executive of Wexford Chamber Madeleine Quirke described the acquisition as great news for Wexford.
'After so long looking at what is one of the finest building in the town, but one that has been empty for so long, it gives us something positive to look forward to. The fact that it is the Talbot group and that both Cormac and Des and locally born and bred is added cause for celebration,' she said.