Capital's Docklands to be transformed by bold design of Spencer Place

An artist’s impression of how Spencer Place will look

Ronald Quinlan

The changing face of Dublin's docklands is changing yet again following the recent submission by Johnny Ronan's Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE) of a planning application for its proposed Spencer Place scheme at Spencer Dock.

RGRE is seeking permission for the development of 66,599 sq m (717,000 sq ft) of space, which upon completion will include a 212-bed hotel, restaurant and retail units and 46,184 sq m (500,000sq ft) of LEED platinum-rated office accommodation.

The new application represents a significant revision of the planning permission which had been obtained by the site's receivers prior to Ronan's acquisition of it last year for a reported €43m. The existing permission allows for 31,580 sq m (340,000 sq ft) of offices and a 169-room hotel.

Commenting on RGRE's new planning application for the scheme, the company's development director, Shane Whelan, said: "It marks the culmination of months of positive engagement with Dublin City Council. The design has incorporated the best architectural elements from around Europe and will deliver a 211-bed hotel to compliment the 500,000 sq ft of best-in-class office accommodation.

"Spencer Place will see the completion of the original Spencer Dock masterplan which successfully delivered 2,000,000 sq ft, including the National Convention Centre Dublin, PwC, Credit Suisse buildings and 620 state-of-the-art apartment units."

Whelan said each of the proposed buildings at the Spencer Place development will have an "individual identity and be constructed to a high-quality of architectural detailing and finish".

Spencer Place will achieve an LEED platinum rating and will include a seven-storey glazed atrium wider than Grafton Street, three storeys of internal landscaped garden and breakout areas, 1,000 bike spaces, a 10,000 sq ft gym, two hotels and best-in-class retail space, bars and restaurants.

The scheme, which accounts for just over half of Ronan's six-acre Spencer Dock site, is well-located with immediate access to two Luas Stations, Dublin Bikes and the Spencer Dock surface rail station. The development will also be within easy reach of Dublin's proposed 'Grand Central' station once the planned Dart underground is delivered with capacity for over 30 million passengers per year.

Spencer Place will also be accessible on foot from the south side of the River Liffey following the completion in two years' time of a new pedestrian bridge linking Spencer Dock with Grand Canal Dock.