Dublin docklands site with scope for 1,051 apartments priced at €80m

Eight-acre holding near Dublin Port Tunnel was last offered for sale for €150m in 2006

Having assessed interest among developers and investors earlier this year, agent Savills Ireland has brought a landmark 3.2-hectare (8-acre) site in Dublin’s north docklands to the market at a guide price of €80 million.

Located on the East Wall Road, the Brick Yards comes with the potential to accommodate a scheme of 1,051 apartments, according to the feasibility study prepared for the sale by MCA Architects.

The proposed development would, subject to planning permission, comprise 458 one-bed units, 489 two-bed units, 104 three-bed units, along with 20,780sq m (223,674sq ft) of commercial space.

The site currently comprises a number of low-rise industrial buildings, which the selling agent says could provide the purchaser with an opportunity to benefit from short-term income while seeking planning permission for a development scheme.


Assembled originally by a joint venture involving the Westmeath-based Bennett Group, the “Merchants Gate” site, as it was known previously, was last offered to the market in 2006 at the much-higher guide price of €150 million.

On that occasion, the site came with full planning permission for an 83,773sq m (901,725sq ft) mixed-use development with a 19-storey tower block rising to a height of 65m (213ft) as its centrepiece. The scheme was also to have included 721 apartments, a four-star hotel with 200 bedrooms, a 20-suite boutique hotel, 38,000sq m (409,000sq ft) of mainly offices, social and affordable housing, a gym, swimming pool, shops, a community care centre and creche.

Although the proposed disposal of Merchants Gate did not proceed in 2006, the combination of the site’s positive planning history and its location s expected to see strong interest this time round.

Dramatic transformation

While Dublin’s north docklands has been home to the IFSC for several decades now, it has, in more recent years, undergone a further and arguably more dramatic transformation.

Among the area’s major landmarks are Live Nation’s 3Arena, a venue which ordinarily hosts more than 100 concerts a year, and the Point Campus Student Accommodation, a development comprising 966 student accommodation beds. The north docklands is also set to become the home of Dublin’s tallest office building, the Exo. Due for completion shortly, some 9,290sq m (100,000sq ft) of the 17-storey building’s 15,700sq m (169,000sq ft) of office accommodation is set to be occupied by An Post following the relocation of its headquarters from the GPO on O’Connell Street.

Other large-scale office-led developments in the area include Dublin Landings, the one million square foot scheme delivered by Sean Mulryan’s Ballymore and its partners, Oxley; Spencer Place – Ronan Group Real Estate’s mixed-use development comprising 35,210sq m (379,000sq ft) of Grade A office accommodation (pre-let to Salesforce) and 329 apartments; and TIO’s North Dock, which comprises a 241-bedroom aparthotel and two Grade A office buildings extending to 18,580sq m (200,000sq ft).

Commenting on the sale of the Brick Yards site, John Swarbrigg, director of development at Savills Ireland, said: “This is a prime landbank in the north docklands with clear development potential for a mixed-use scheme. The property provides a purchaser with an opportunity to develop a scheme of unrivalled scale in the docklands area and to capitalise on an area undergoing major change. We expect significant interest in this site, due to its location, scale and the potential behind this project.”

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Property Editor of The Irish Times