Mercantile Hotel owners told to downsize revamp plans

Council has concerns about scale, mass and height of planned extension for Dublin hotel

Owner wants to increase Mercantile Hotel at 24-28 Dame Street from 28 to 109 rooms

Owner wants to increase Mercantile Hotel at 24-28 Dame Street from 28 to 109 rooms

 

Dublin City Council has told the Mercantile Group to reduce the scale of its planned €10 million revamp of the Mercantile Hotel.

This follows the council placing on hold the group’s plan to extend the hotel at 24-28 Dame Street from 28 to 109 rooms.

The group – which counts Cafe en Seine, Whelan’s and the George in its growing portfolio of entertainment venues – is expanding the hotel following its purchase of Dame House for €7.5 million in 2017.

However, the council has reservations about the scale, mass and height of the proposed rear extension to the existing buildings.

The Mercantile group is planning a six-storey vertical extension.

The council has requested Mercantile firm Orangeseed “to consider reducing the height, scale and mass of the proposed rear extension to a maximum of five storeys”.

The council has told the applicants that the submission appears to indicate an extension that dominates the existing structure and would be likely to appear out of proportion, particularly given the prominent location at the junction of Dame Street and South Great George’s Street.

The planning authority has also expressed concerns over the visual impact of the proposed additional vertical extension.

Previous refusal

A previous hotel expansion plan for the site was turned down in February 2018, and the Dublin city association of An Taisce has told the council that the current proposal does not address the previous refusal.

Kevin Duff of An Taisce has told the council that the “proposed development thus needs to be wholly revised”.

In an objection against the plan, solicitor John Synnott has told the council that he has no intention of leaving Dame House, where he currently has an office.

In a submission Mr Synnott said: “I am a current occupier of Dame House and have no intention of leaving my business premises.” Mr Synnott occupies the first floor of Dame House.

“Given that I have no intention of surrendering my leasehold, which guarantees the right of occupation for 21 years, with an unexpired term of 14 years, the site application needs to be assessed in terms of my practice’s continuing occupation of the building,” he said.

Fáilte Ireland has written to Dublin City Council to offer its support of the scheme.