Investors eye 300 apartments at Citywest Shopping Centre

Goldman Sachs and Carval back plan, which goes to consultation and permission process

Citywest Shopping Centre

Citywest Shopping Centre

 

Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs and US investor Carval plan to build almost 300 apartments at Citywest Shopping Centre to cash in on growing demand for homes.

Goldman Sachs bought Citywest Shopping Centre several years ago as multinational investors mopped up cheap assets following the property crash.

The centre has begun talks with An Bord Pleanála and the local council on a proposal to build 296 apartments at its site in west Dublin under the fast-track initiative for residential projects.

An up-to-date list of new An Bord Pleanála cases states that Citywest Shopping Centre has begun consultations under the Housing Act 2017 with the planning board and South Dublin County Council on the plan.

It is understood that Goldman Sachs and US investment fund Carval are jointly backing the plan.

Goldman Sachs is an investment bank, while Carval manages about $10 billion of investors’ cash, which it places in troubled assets and industries. Both moved into the Irish market following the recession earlier in the decade.

Consultation is the first step in seeking permission to build under the Strategic Housing Initiative for projects involving 100 or more homes that allows developers to side-step the local council by going straight to An Bord Pleanála.

The consultation allows planners to work with builders to ensure that the project is suitable for the site and meets local zoning and development objectives.

Once that is complete, the developer seeks permission under the fast-track initiative. An Bord Pleanála then has up to 18 weeks to decide on whether to allow the project. That decision is open to review by the High Court but cannot be appealed.

The Goldman Sachs-owned shopping centre is the latest of several businesses seeking to build in west Dublin, which has public transport links to the city centre as well as being an industrial zone.

Publicly quoted Glenveagh Properties is considering building 473 dwellings, a mix of houses, apartments and duplexes, on a site close to Citywest Shopping Centre.

Similarly Cairn Homes, which held its shareholders’ meeting this week, is seeking €90 million for 282 apartments that it plans as part of a larger development in Citywest that will also include houses and duplexes.