RIAC members approve €35m plan for Dawson Street premises

Deal will see RIAC and Dawson Hotel owners Tetrarch redevelop adjoining properties

Members of the Royal Irish Automobile Club (RIAC) have given their backing to a €35 million plan to redevelop its premises on Dawson Street in central Dublin in a deal with Irish investment group Tetrarch Capital, which owns a hotel on neighbouring properties.

At a meeting last week, members of the RIAC voted 90 per cent-plus in favour of the redevelopment, which clears the way for a planning application to be drawn up for the project.

The RIAC and Tetrarch first announced their plans to redevelop their adjoining properties on Dawson Street, which are directly opposite the Mansion House, in December.

The proposed scheme will cover the buildings at 33 to 36 Dawson Street and several properties to the rear.

It will deliver a significant upgrade to facilities at the RIAC club at 33 to 34 Dawson Street, including a new members’ restaurant, bar, reading room, meeting rooms, offices for the RIAC and Motorsport Ireland, a new location for the Club’s Guinness Seagrave Library, and a 61-space car park.

Dry rot

A recent assessment of the condition of the RIAC buildings found evidence of dry rot, a need for roof repairs, and substantial movement in some walls.

The plan also involves adding 77 new bedrooms to Tetrarch's existing Dawson Hotel. The hotel currently comprises 36 bedrooms, a day spa, Sam's Bar and the former La Stampa restaurant.

It will be operated by Tetrarch and use the RIAC brand in its name. A new glazed atrium will house a central courtyard lobby and a shared reception for the new club and the hotel.

Assuming a satisfactory planning permission is obtained, the two parties envisage that the RIAC would vacate the club by the end of June 2019, with the redevelopment works to be completed within 24 months.

The proposed scheme has been designed by McCauley Daye O'Connell Architects, assisted by Molly Associates Conservation Architects, with Ganley Waters acting as property advisers to the RIAC.

Separately, Tetrarch has agreed terms to acquire the Waterways complex in Sallins, Co Kildare. It comprises an unfinished hotel with 42 bedrooms, 11 apartments and other buildings.

The Waterways site is situated close to the to the Sallins railway station, where the Arrow service connects commuters with Dublin.