Developer offers to swap hotel already under construction in Dublin for a building to let

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A Strategic Housing Development (SHD) program of 227 rental apartments up to 12 floors is being sought for a site on Upper Abbey Street in Dublin, in place of a hotel which is already under construction.

Balark, a subsidiary of real estate developer Pat Crean’s Marlet, obtained authorization in 2019 for a hotel and a hotel residence on a site behind the Jervis shopping center, near the Jervis Luas stop.

Despite having already started construction work on the hotel, the company has applied to An Bord Pleanála for the apartments, three quarters of which will be studios or single beds.

The application is made within the framework of the SHD system, through which developers of more than 100 housing or blocks of 200 student places can bypass the planning stage of the local authorities and go directly to An Bord Pleanála.

The system, which removed the right to appeal planning decisions on large-scale housing estates, is to be abolished next February.

Of the 227 rental apartments alone, 17 would be studios, 152 one-bed and 58 two-bed in two 12-story blocks and would replace the hotel complex under construction.

The resort reportedly saw the construction of a 303-room, 11-story hotel overlooking Abbey Street as well as a 10-story, 277-room aparthotel at the rear of the site facing Great Strand Street.

It is understood that uncertainties surrounding the return of tourism and business travel to the city in the post-pandemic environment, coupled with the large number of hotels already licensed or under construction in the immediate vicinity, have motivated the new demand. apartment.

If Mr. Crean were granted permission for the development of the rental construction, he could choose to go ahead or continue with the resort depending on market conditions at the time.

The surrounding area recently saw the completion of the Zanzibar Locke Aparthotel which stretches from Great Strand Street to Ormond Quay. The 310-bed Motel One is under construction at the corner of Liffey Street and Upper Abbey Street across from the Balark site, and immediately east of the site, an 11-story hostel, which could accommodate over 600 people, is also being built. in construction.

Dublin City Council recently agreed to sell part of the hostel site, which was owned by the council, to Abbey Cottages Ltd. The company had already started construction of the hostel and had paid the council € 100,000 for the 41 m² plot.

The council bought the site at 35 Upper Abbey Street in 1939 as part of a road widening project that never happened. In 2019, he discovered that the building that stood on the site had been demolished and that the site had been incorporated into the hostel’s larger development lot, without his knowledge or permission. He then entered into discussions with attorneys for Abbey Cottages Ltd, which resulted in the contract of sale.


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