Planning application for Irish Glass Bottle site expected in weeks

Purchase price of additional affordable homes yet to be agreed by Council

The Irish Glass Bottle site at Ringsend. Construction work is now expected to start on the first phase of the   37-acre development at the beginning of next year. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

The Irish Glass Bottle site at Ringsend. Construction work is now expected to start on the first phase of the 37-acre development at the beginning of next year. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

The long awaited redevelopment of the former Irish Glass Bottle site in Ringsend is finally to get underway following the completion of a deal between developer Johnny Ronan and the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA).

A consortium of Ronan Group Real Estate, Oaktree Capital Management, and Lioncor Developments was last year chosen as the preferred bidder to develop up to 3,800 apartments on the former industrial lands on the Poolbeg Peninsula.

Following the finalisation of the deal on Friday the consortium said it would seek planning permission for the first 600 apartments within weeks, with construction likely to commence at the beginning of next year.

However, negotiations have yet to conclude on the State funding of affordable homes on the site.

Under planning laws, 10 per cent of the new homes must be sold to Dublin City Council for social housing. However, in May 2017, in order to secure councillors’ approval for the redevelopment plans, then minister for environment Simon Coveney agreed State funding would be made available for an additional 650 affordable homes.

The council’s head of housing, Brendan Kenny, said no agreement had been reached in relation to the purchase price of these homes. “We have yet to see what price the developer will be offering, but that will need to be resolved before development commences.”

Nama chief executive Brendan McDonagh confirmed on Friday the affordable homes would be provided. “The 25 per cent allocated to social and affordable units will provide homes to those most in need, close to the heart of Dublin.”

In July 2019, Nama began a sales process on the site seeking cash bids in excess of €125 million for an 80 per cent stake.

In July of last year the Ronan consortium was named as preferred bidders, when it was reported to have offered €200 million for the 80 per cent controlling stake.

The site, and surrounding lands on the peninsula, have been designated as a Strategic Development Zone (SDZ). Under this fast-track planning designation, projects approved by the council cannot be appealed to An Bord Pleanála, which means developers could start work two months after making an application.

Blocks of up to 16 storeys or 50m are permitted under the scheme, but most will be within the four to seven storey commercial, and up to nine storey residential range.

Rory Williams, chief executive of Ronan Group Real Estate, said: “Everyone understands that we have to make the most of the limited land we have in Dublin, and this new suburb will do just that, delivering homes for well over 10,000 people at a time of huge demand for housing.”

The Irish Glass Bottle Company site was bought in 2006 for €412 million by a consortium involving developer Bernard McNamara and State body the Dublin Docklands Development Authority. Nama bought the debt associated with the site from the now defunct Anglo Irish Bank after the property crash.