Tuesday 17 September 2019

Private developer behind co-living flats preferred bidder for O'Devaney Gardens

O'Devaney Gardens
O'Devaney Gardens
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

The private developer behind a controversial plan to build a co-living facility in Dún Laoghaire is the preferred bidder to develop public lands at O'Devaney Gardens.

A report by Dublin City Council deputy chief executive Brendan Kenny, to be presented to councillors today and seen by the Irish Independent, stressed the council was not selling the site and is "certainly not 'giving it away'" to Bartra Capital.

However, the council will have to approve the transfer of land title to Bartra, which will take place in phases, under the plan.

The developer will be subject to restrictions that no shared accommodation, no student accommodation and no studio apartments could be built at the site. These restrictions were highlighted in bold in Mr Kenny's report.

The cost of the development including 769 homes - 56 are already in construction by Careys Construction for a total of 825 units - has been estimated at €300m.

As part of the deal, 411 units will be put on private sale, including 119 one-bedroom, 274 two-bedroom and 18 three-bedroom apartments.

There will be 192 social units, including 11 three-bedroom houses, 64 one-bedroom apartments, 80 two-bedroom apartments and 37 three-bedroom apartments.

The report said 165 homes will "go to the lucky applicants under the Affordable Housing Scheme". A discount of 30pc to 40pc will apply on affordable units, with the price range for a three-bedroom apartment from €360,000 to €420,000 at the top end, with a two-bedroom home €270,000 to €315,000 at the bottom.

Benefits to the city from the deal listed in the report included a discount on the social and affordable housing units, with a cash equivalent of €32m.

It said it allowed development of the site without associated risks, such as financial and planning.

O'Devaney Gardens was a flat complex developed close to the Phoenix Park in Dublin in the 1950s. The site, 3km from O'Connell Street, was earmarked for redevelopment in 2008, but fell victim to the economic crash.

At that stage, the work was to be carried out under a public-private partnership involving Dublin City Council and developer Bernard McNamara.

"We believe this project will have a transformative impact on the north inner city, with the opportunity to develop one of the most vibrant and sustainable mixed-tenure communities in Dublin, with a development of high-quality housing and significant public open space," Bartra said.

Its objective, it said, was to deliver the units as quickly as possible and begin next year.

Bartra is also the developer behind a proposed 208-bedroom co-living unit at Eblana Avenue, Dún Laoghaire.

Irish Independent

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