Large student housing scheme in Dublin 7 gets green light

Complex comprising 571 bedrooms part of GSA’s €250m investment in Irish capital

International student accommodation company GSA has been granted planning permission for a 571-bedroom development at Brunswick Street in Dublin 7 as part of a €250 million investment in Dublin over the next five years.

An Bord Pleanála granted permission for the construction of 21,000sq m of purpose-built student accommodation and 3,700sq m of retail space, including a supermarket, at the Brunswick Street site. The GSA building is being backed with finance from Ulster Bank.

The planning approval follows GSA’s refurbishment of the 101-bedroom Broadstone Hall in the north inner city, which is now fully occupied by students for the 2016-2017 academic year.

The Dubai-headquartered GSA is also developing two further student accommodation units in Dublin alongside joint venture partner Harrison Street Real Estate Capital.


Ulster Bank funding

The New Mill, a 400-bedroom development in Mill Street, Dublin 8, will come to market in 2017, while the 491-bedroom Kavanagh Court in Gardiner Street, Dublin 1, is also being developed, again with funding from Ulster Bank.

Some 80,000 full-time students attend Dublin’s nine higher-education institutions and a further 100,000 students come to the city to study English language courses each year.

The recent Irish Government education strategy includes a goal of increasing international enrolment in Irish higher education by 33 per cent by 2020.

However, with almost no student housing built on or off campus in Dublin for several years, the supply of accommodation is tight.

"GSA is delighted to receive planning permission for the Brunswick Street site, the latest in a series of student accommodation investments that the group is making in Dublin," said Aaron Bailey, development director for GSA Dublin.

“This latest approval signals real progress in our long-term plans for investment in Dublin,” he said.

GSA, founded by Nicholas Porter, is the owner-operator of student accommodation in Australia, China, Dubai, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom.