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Iveagh Market site gets green light for €90m revamp plan

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The Iveagh Markets, Frances Street

The Iveagh Markets, Frances Street

The Iveagh Markets, Frances Street

IT MAY have taken more than two decades, but the capital's historic Iveagh Market site is set to undergo a €90m redevelopment.

Over the last 20 years, the Frances Steet site, in the Liberties area of the city, has been the subject of contested ownership and a victim of the financial crash.

But hotelier and publican Martin Keane has finally been given the go ahead to begin refurbishment, which will begin in the spring and will be completed in 2017.

Restaurants, a craft brewery and distillery, a craft and clothing market and an exhibition area are among the projects to be developed at the site.

Adjoining protected structures will also be transformed into a 97-bedroom hotel.

An aparthotel featuring 79 rooms - 38 one-bedroom and 41 two-bedroom units - has also been planned at the Mother Redcaps Market.

The neighbouring site was a pub and music venue until around 2004.

The markets, which were built in the early twentieth century by the Guinness family, have remained derelict since the 1990s.

Originally the site housed traders who had operated around Patrick Street but who had to move due to the construction of the Iveagh Trust housing development.

DESIGNED

It was designed as an indoor market for traders to sell everything from clothes to vegetables and fish.

Dublin Corporation operated the site after it secured a favourable leasehold deal.

The corporation, later Dublin City Council, maintained the premises until it announced plans for a refurbishment costing the equivalent of €1.59m, in 1993 but later said this would be inadequate.

Three years later the council said that it was looking for private investment and Mr Keane secured a 500-year lease on the building.

But the Guinness family, who controlled the Iveagh Trust, objected that it owned the freehold, or ultimate title to the site, not the council.

When Mr Keane attempted to use the site to secure a loan for its redevelopment, the bank was not satisfied that the title was secure enough.

That dispute was eventually settled in 2004 and Mr Keane was granted planning permission by An Bord Pleanala for a refurbishment in 2007.

Then, the recession hit and Mr Keane explained that the banks began to change their minds on lending money for the redevelopment.

He has now secured funding.

hnews@herald.ie


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