Council gives green light for McNamee's Grafton plans
Businessman Ronan Mc-Namee has been granted permission to demolish premises on Duke Street in Dublin in order to construct a new retail building on the site that will link to an outlet on Grafton Street.
Mr McNamee, who made his fortune selling the Cuisine de France company to IAWS over a decade ago, spent about €37m acquiring the 900 sq m site over the past number of years.
As one of the planning conditions, he will have to pay an €85,000 contribution towards the Metro North project. However, development of the project is highly unlikely to proceed for some time given the current downturn.
The scheme, being pursued by Mr McNamee's firm Temple Duke, will eventually include the demolition of the Creation Arcade on Duke Street, which was built in the 1960s and which Mr McNamee bought for €17m in 2008.
It will link with a Grafton Street shop that was previously occupied by O'Connor's Jeans, which was bought for €20m.
The overall plans include 21-23 Grafton Street, known collectively as the Burton Building dating back to 1928. They're occupied by Hickey's Pharmacy and Field's Jewellers, while the former O'Connor's Jeans outlet has been rented by Mr McNamee to Scottish retailer Dalvey.
According to the plans, the new complex will extend over as many as five storeys and include two floors of retail space and a restaurant. It will comprise just over 3,000 sq m of space.
That makes it about one-quarter of the size of the Jervis Street shopping centre owned by Paddy McKillen, and almost twice the size of the adjacent A-Wear unit on Grafton Street, owned by Aviva Investors.
Dublin City Council approved the planning application for Mr McNamee's project last week. Aviva Investors made a submission on behalf of A-Wear, which operates a retail outlet at the A-Wear building and uses part of the premises as its head office, which includes design staff.
The planner's report by the Dublin City Council said the redevelopment of the site would be of significant benefit to the area.