US property giant Hines is pressing ahead with one of the country's biggest residential developments on a derelict former industrial yard in Dublin 8, despite the uncertainty in the housing market.
However, the developers say the Covid-19 outbreak has already prompted design changes for the former Bailey Gibson yard scheme.
Proposed communal areas - which will include residents lounges, a gym and co-working spaces - have been re-specified to allow for the integration of social distancing measures in the wake of the pandemic.
Hines and partner APG will today submit planning application for 416 new residential units at the former Bailey Gibson yard off the South Circular Road under the fast-tracked Strategic Housing Application process to An Bord Pleanála.
Together with the neighbouring former Player Wills cigarette factory, also being developed by Hines, and a neighbouring site owned by Dublin City Council, the overall connected developments will total around 2,000 residential units in blocks ranging from two storeys to 22 storeys.
Today's planning application signals the first major phase of the proposed development, since the sites were bought in 2018 and is likely to be read as a signal of intent that development will be kept on schedule despite the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, although building work itself can't begin until planning is in place, which is likely to be well after the lockdown.
There are fears that forecast house price drops of around 15pc as a result of the outbreak will mean some developers opt to sit on sites and delay developments until prices recover.
None of the units will be sold to individual buyers. Some 10pc of the units are reserved for social housing in line with statutory requirements.
Phase 1 of the proposed scheme consists of 404 new apartments, two duplex, three triplex apartments and four houses to be built in five new proposed blocks.
As well as homes and communal areas for residents, the scheme will include a 387 sq m commercial centre with a restaurant, café or bar, as well as shops, health facilities, community and arts spaces and offices. The plan also proposes the construction of a 283 sq m childcare facility and associated play areas.
Hines Ireland managing director Gary Corrigan said today's is the first of a series of planning applications, with others to follow over the next few months.
"Ultimately, we will see up to 1,360 new homes being built by Hines and APG across our two sites, with excellent amenities and extensive recreation spaces delivered in the coming years, all of which will bring significant benefit and uplift to this part of the city," Mr Corrigan said.