BAM seeks to build residence for 300 students in Dublin

Development is proposed for part of site where 200-bedroom hotel is being constructed

BAM obtained final planning permission in recent weeks for eight-storey hotel, which would be Denis O’Brien’s first involvement in hotel development in Dublin. Photograph: David Sleator

BAM obtained final planning permission in recent weeks for eight-storey hotel, which would be Denis O’Brien’s first involvement in hotel development in Dublin. Photograph: David Sleator

 

BAM Property is seeking to develop a 300-bed student accommodation block in Dublin’s south inner city on the same site where it is building a 200-bedroom hotel, reportedly with the financial backing of Denis O’Brien.

BAM is currently awaiting a decision from Dublin City Council on the huge student accommodation development on the Blackpitts site in Dublin 8, which is separate to another student beds project in the area with which it is involved.

It has lined up multinational student accommodation operator Global Student Accommodation (GSA) to run the Blackpitts project, while an international hotel operator is waiting in the wings to manage the O’Brien-backed hotel.

Mr O’Brien’s involvement with the proposed hotel was reported by the Sunday Times several months ago.

BAM would not comment when asked in recent days if Mr O’Brien was also an investor in the adjacent student accommodation block.

Housing crisis

As a consequence of the housing crisis afflicting the capital there is an acute shortage of student accommodation in Dublin, and this has led to a surge of interest from investors in the sector.

A 190-bed student block on the site of the old Montrose Hotel near University College Dublin is reportedly on the market following a €22.5 million redevelopment by UK operator Ziggurat.

GSA wrote to Dublin City Council earlier this year to confirm it would run the Blackpitts student block for BAM. The two companies are already collaborating on a student development on an adjacent site called the Mill.

Work is currently under way on the Mill scheme, which is expected to be ready for the start of the college year in September 2017.

GSA told the council that the two developments at Blackpitts and the Mill would together help rejuvenate that area of the city and create “a vibrant student environment”. It also said the whole area, close to the Liberties part of Dublin, was “eminently suitable” for student use.

GSA said it also planned to help build a 500-bed facility on North Brunswick Street on the north side of the city, adjacent to the Grangegorman campus being developed by the Dublin Institute of Technology.

The operator said it hoped to eventually open and operate 2,500 beds for use by students in the city.

The Blackpitts student scheme would include the accommodation, communal areas, leisure facilities such as a gym and two “business incubation units”.

Amenity facilities

The council raised concerns that the original plans did not include enough amenity facilities and common areas for the students, so BAM has agreed to take off a few accommodation units in order to create space.

BAM obtained final planning permission in recent weeks for the eight-storey hotel, which would be Mr O’Brien’s first involvement in hotel development in Dublin.

He has previously backed the development of a hotel in Haiti, while he owns a hotel in Galway and another in Portugal, on Quinta do Lago golf resort.