Bowled over: Stillorgan Leisureplex to be demolished

Ireland’s first bowling alley, built in 1963, to make way for apartment scheme

Demolition in progress on the site of the former Leisureplex in Stillorgan, Dublin. Photograph Nick Bradshaw:The Irish Times

Demolition in progress on the site of the former Leisureplex in Stillorgan, Dublin. Photograph Nick Bradshaw:The Irish Times

 

Demolition is underway of the old Stillorgan Bowl complex in south Dublin, Ireland’s first bowling alley.

The 1963 building, rebranded the Stillorgan Leisureplex in 2012, is being levelled by developers Kennedy Wilson to make way for the construction of 232 apartments in blocks of up to eight storeys.

Kennedy Wilson bought the 2.5-acre site for €15 million in 2016, a substantial reduction on the €65 million which Johnny Ronan and Richard Barrett’s Treasury Holdings paid to acquire it in 2006.

The Leisureplex in Stillorgan in 2006. File photograph: Alan Betson
The Leisureplex in Stillorgan in 2006. File photograph: Alan Betson

Kennedy Wilson had planned to start work on its €100 million redevelopment in 2019, but could not secure vacant possession of the bowling alley from its operators Lorgan Leisure.

The company in March of last year failed in an attempt to secure a High Court injunction for possession against Lorgan, but an agreement was reached between the parties later last year.

Lorgan’s directors Ciaran and Colum Butler had previously sought to redevelop the complex with 314 apartments, a library, commercial and retail space, and a new leisure building and gym, but these plans were rejected by An Bord Pleanála.

The build-to-rent apartments are aimed at the upper end of the rental market, with proposals for a concierge service, cinema, gym, along with a residents’ lounge, co-working space, dining area, communal kitchen and rooftop terrace.

In addition to apartments the development will include four restaurants and cafés and two retail units.

The Leisureplex was a favourite haunt of American rock legend Bruce Springsteen who reportedly went bowling there twice, after concerts in 2012 and 2016.