Council grants permission for Clerys redevelopment

Natrium plans to build hotel, offices and retail units on site of former department store

Clerys closed suddenly last year with the loss of 460 jobs after changing ownership. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Clerys closed suddenly last year with the loss of 460 jobs after changing ownership. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

 

Dublin City Council has granted planning permission to redevelop the former Clerys department store in Dublin.

On Friday, Natrium, the group that owns the site, welcomed the decision to grant planning permission for a new mixed-use development at Clerys.

The development will include high-end retail units, a boutique hotel, modern office space and entertainment and leisure facilities.

The redevelopment will include the reinstatement of the unique architectural features such as the restoration and cleaning of the Portland Stone facades, renovation of the Clerys Tea Rooms and feature staircase.

“Natrium’s vision is also to re-establish O’Connell Street and its surrounding environs as a place of importance in the social and cultural life of citizens and visitors, where building will be a source of civic pride. Commerce created by the development will generate €329.1 million annually to the Irish economy,” read a Natrium statement.

The development will lead the way in the regeneration of O’Connell Street and deliver 1,073 jobs during the construction phase and 2,500 people once operational, a Natrium spokesman said.

Objections

Councillors, former workers and a neighbouring business have raised objections to plans to redevelop Clerys.

City councillors Ciarán Cuffe and Nial Ring, Maureen Deans of Justice for Clerys Workers are among the 43 individuals who submitted “objector letters” to the planning authority.

Ms Deans states that OCS Properties and Deirdre Foley, whose company FAM Assets owns 20 per cent of the Natrium consortium which bought OCS, have “no concept of fair working conditions for workers and there is nothing to suggest that things will change in the future”.

Clerys closed suddenly last year with the loss of 460 jobs after changing ownership.

On June 12th, 2015, Clerys was sold by its previous owners, the US group Gordon Brothers, to Natrium Ltd, which comprises Ms Foley’s investment group D2 Private and Cheyne Capital Management.

The department store’s 460 workers, including 130 directly employed staff and 330 indirectly employed staff, were made redundant hours after the sale.

Ms Foley has since refused to meet the workers or their representatives.

Staff subsequently only received statutory redundancy.