City council likely to bid for Dartmouth Square
Dublin City Council is planning to bid for Ranelagh’s Dartmouth Square which will go under the hammer at an Allsop/Space auction of distressed properties early next month, The Irish Times has learned.
While a spokesman for the council refused to comment on its plans for the December 4th auction, informed sources said the council is very anxious to take full control of the residential square, which is being sold with a reserve not to exceed €140,000.
“We want to buy the square and we would hope to be in a position to buy it. Obviously we can’t predict the outcome of the process but that certainly would be the intention of the council,” the source said.
Dartmouth Square is being sold on the instructions of the court-appointed liquidator of Marble and Granite Tiles.
If the council is successful in acquiring the square it will be second-time lucky.
In 2006 it initiated a compulsory purchase order (CPO) in an effort to bring it into public ownership.
The plan was abandoned after two years amid fears that a legal action by its owner, Athlone businessman Dermot O’Gara, could have exposed it to a legal challenge leading to a “substantial” award.
In 2005 Mr O’Gara achieved notoriety after he bought the park for about €10,000 from PJ Darley, whose ancestors had built the square in the 1880s.
He attempted to operate a tile showroom and car park on the site but his efforts were blocked and the square subsequently returned to public use.
While officials in Dublin City Council are conscious that declaring its intentions may drive up the price at the auction, councillors have attempted to warn off potential bidders by insisting that the two-acre site in the heart of a residential Dublin suburb will not be rezoned for development under any circumstances, irrespective of who the final bidder is.
“Dublin City Council will not facilitate any development or rezoning of this land now or in the future,” Labour councillor Dermot Lacey said.
“It is a very important space in Dublin 6 and I cannot imagine any circumstance in which the council would agree to change its current status.”
The square is not the only property which will be for sale at the Allsop Space property auction which will take place in Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel. All told there will be 109 lots offered with combined reserves of €13.6 million.
Commercial properties dominate the catalogue with an entire shopping street in Clonmel likely to attract a good deal of interest.
Market Place is made up of 18 units and buildings, nine of which have tenants including Specsavers, Elverys and Xtra-vision.
Rents total €231,645, with nine units vacant.
The reserve has been set not to exceed €900,000 for the entire street.
On the other end of the price scale is an apartment at Castle Cottages in Tullaghan, Co Leitrim. The two-bedroom home has a reserve of just €15,000.
A block of 10 apartments in Doughiska in Galway, meanwhile, is selling as a job lot with a reserve of €310,000.