CIE to press ahead with major IFSC development
CIE is kick-starting a huge development beside Connolly Station in Dublin that will cost tens of millions of euro to complete.
The State-owned transport group received planning permission in 2012 for a scheme on a 3.2 hectare site that will include a 110-bedroom hotel, apartments and office space. CIE has dubbed the project the Connolly Quarter Development.
It has just initiated a long-awaited process to hire a property agency that will be used to help find a development partner for the project.
The 10-year planning permission secured by CIE in 2012 was for 13 buildings, providing almost 82,000 sq m (883,000 sq ft) of mixed-use space.
Apart from the six-storey hotel, there will also be 106 apartments and 50,000 sq m (540,000 sq ft) of office space. There will be underground parking for 550 cars and a museum.
The project had been put on hold after planning approval was secured, due to the downturn.
But now there is significant demand for office space, hotel rooms and residential accommodation in the capital.
The single largest office space element of the scheme is an up to seven-storey, 13,450 sq m (145,000 sq ft) block at the junction of Seville Place and a new street that will be constructed which will link Seville Place and Sheriff Street Lower.
CIE had said in 2015 that it planned to seek a development partner for the Connolly Station project by the end of that year.
That same year, CIE hired Lisney to find a partner to develop a 22-storey office block behind Tara Street train station in Dublin.
CIE had indicated that it was prepared to either grant a 300-year ground lease or take 10pc of the annual rental income from the proposed building.
Developer Johnny Ronan won the contract, and has teamed up with Cardinal Capital to build the office project, which will be known as the Aqua Vetro Tower. It's set to be Dubln's tallest building.
"CIE is now proposing to bring the site to market by way of development agreement, which is a model used previously by CIE most recently on sites at Tara Street and at Kent Station, Cork," the group said in a request for tender published this week for the Connolly Station project.
"Initially the proposed structure of the development agreement will be scoped out in the context of the various practical and operational constraints of the site, which is expected to be followed by a proposal to the board of CIE for the marketing of the site," it added.
"If marketing is approved by the board of CIE, the outcome of the marketing will be assessed and a recommendation to enter a development agreement may be made to the board of CIE."
The agent that will be hired by CIE is expected to provide advice on the value of the huge site, and also on the impact of operational constraints and the "phasing of the release of lands".
It will also be responsible for devising and managing the marketing campaign for the project.