Sunday 20 October 2019

Solicitor vows to stay put despite hotel plan

Expansion: Dublin’s Mercantile Hotel wants to up number of rooms.
Expansion: Dublin’s Mercantile Hotel wants to up number of rooms.

Gordon Deegan

A Dublin city centre-based solicitor has ruled out moving his practice to facilitate the planned €10m revamp of the Mercantile Hotel.

Last month, the Mercantile Group lodged plans to expand the Mercantile pub and hotel on 24-28 Dame Street, increasing the number of bedrooms from 28 to 109.

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The group - which counts Cafe En Seine, gig venue Whelan's, and The George in its growing portfolio of entertainment venues - is expanding the hotel following its purchase of Dame House for €7.5m in 2017.

However, in an objection to plans submitted by the applicants, Mercantile group firm, Orangeseed DAC, solicitor John Synnott has told Dublin City Council he has "no intention of leaving my business premises".

"It is my family's practice and has been in occupation by my father since 1955, myself since 1970, with the potential for one of my children to continue the practice at some point in the future."

He added: "Given that I have no intention of surrendering my leasehold, which guarantees the right of occupation for 21 years, with an unexpired term of 14 years, the site application needs to be assessed in terms of my practice's continuing occupation of the building."

Mr Synnott wants the impact on his business assessed and told the council the expansion "could theoretically be delivered whilst I retain occupation of my rooms, notwithstanding the impact on the servicing and movement through the building from a future operator's point of view". He added: "I am not intending to leave my premises at any point in the near future and if the proposed development is to take place, this will be in the context of my retaining in situ."

Fáilte Ireland has backed the scheme. A decision is due next month. The Mercantile Group did not respond to a request for comment.

Irish Independent

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