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Developer planning to build 500 apartments on 'coveted' RTÉ site


A ‘for sale’ sign at the Montrose site. Photo: Colin O’Riordan

A ‘for sale’ sign at the Montrose site. Photo: Colin O’Riordan

A ‘for sale’ sign at the Montrose site. Photo: Colin O’Riordan

An Irish developer intends to construct up to 500 apartments on RTÉ's Donnybrook headquarters if it succeeds in the bidding war for the coveted €75m site.

At the Cairn Homes' annual general meeting in Dublin yesterday, Michael Stanley, chief executive officer, confirmed the company was pursuing the prime development land.

But he claimed the 8.9 ~ acres, marketed for sale by Savills, were best suited to apartments. "It is what is needed," he said.

He added that while there "may be" scope for 10 to 15 houses, his preference was for the construction of 400 to 500 apartments.

The number of apartments means the residential blocks will fall within the "five storeys" height restrictions imposed on residential developments.

However, he cautioned that 'Project Montrose' is among a "number of potential acquisition opportunities" that Cairn is exploring. He signalled that the company would abandon the hunt if it was felt the site became too expensive.

The London-listed Irish-based company, which will shortly dual list on the Dublin stock exchange, has concentrated chiefly on affordable family homes since its 2015 initial public offering.

But Mr Stanley said that Dublin needed more apartments to cater for the influx of new employees post-Brexit, as well as to accommodate increasing demand from people looking to downsize.

He said that "housing needs change and the market evolves".

Mr Stanley claimed Cairn ranked as "one of the few companies that can build apartments today in Ireland and with the continuing employment in Dublin, I think they are badly needed".

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He also claimed that Ireland needed more large-scale developers if the country is to rapidly alleviate the housing crisis.

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