Friday 14 December 2018

Apollo House site sells for over €40m

Done deal: Developer Pat Crean’s Marlet Property Group is understood to have agreed the purchase of the 0.72 acre site in recent days. The price being paid equates to over €55m per acre
Done deal: Developer Pat Crean’s Marlet Property Group is understood to have agreed the purchase of the 0.72 acre site in recent days. The price being paid equates to over €55m per acre
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

The site of the former Apollo House office block in Dublin city centre has been acquired by developer Pat Crean's Marlet Property Group for a figure in excess of €40m, the Irish Independent can reveal.

The deal, which is understood to have been agreed in recent days, will provide Marlet with a significant development opportunity immediately adjacent to its existing property holdings on Townsend Street.

The company already has planning permission for the construction of College House, a Grade A office scheme on the site of the former offices of An Post and Screen Cinema. Its purchase of the adjoining 0.72 acre Apollo House site gives it control of almost an entire block in one of Dublin city centre's most sought after locations.

Apollo House became a focal point for Dublin's homeless crisis in December 2016 after it was occupied by activists supported by celebrities, including singer Glen Hansard.

Prior to offering it for sale this year, planning agents acting for Nama-appointed receivers, Mazars, wrote to Dublin City Council to confirm their intention to demolish it and the adjoining Long Stone Pub to make way for the construction of an 11-storey office building.

The site was brought to the market at the end of September by Mark Reynolds of Savills Ireland with full planning permission for an 11-storey over-basement office building extending to 12,622 sq m (135,863 sq ft).

Designed by award-winning architects, Henry J Lyons, the 'Apollo Dublin' scheme also includes ground floor retail, cafe, bar and restaurant units, as well as a double basement providing 40 car parking spaces and 166 bicycle spaces - with associated shower and toilet facilities. The building also includes a wrap-around terrace on the eighth floor with panoramic views over Dublin, and additional outdoor space available on most of the upper levels.

Marlet's redevelopment of the Apollo House site and the former An Post offices and Screen Cinema will be integral to the creation of a new 'midtown' area in Dublin city centre. The former headquarters of the Department of Health at Hawkins House are also set to be demolished and replaced as part of this plan.

And Tara Street could yet become the home of Dublin's tallest building should developer Johnny Ronan succeed with his expected appeal to An Bord Pleanala of Dublin City Council's refusal of permission for a 22-storey (88m) tower comprising offices, a hotel and rooftop restaurant, next to Tara Street station.

Tara Street is acknowledged as one of the last remaining areas with development potential in Dublin's central business district (CBD).

It is arguably the best located thanks to its proximity to Trinity College Dublin, Grafton Street, St Stephen's Green, Merrion Square, and Government Buildings.

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