O’Devaney Gardens flat complex to get €125m regeneration

Large-scale mixed-income housing scheme to provide 580 homes on derelict Dublin site

 O’Devaney Gardens flats, off North Circular Road, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

O’Devaney Gardens flats, off North Circular Road, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill


A cost estimate of more than €125 million has been put on the regeneration of O’Devaney Gardens flat complex, according to documents for prospective developers issued by Dublin City Council.

The council secured sanction from the Department of Housing last year to spend just under €18 million to build the first 56 social homes on the site of the derelict flat complex in Dublin 7.

Tender documents issued this week for the rest of the scheme, which will see the development of more than 500 social, private and affordable homes, have placed an indicative budget of €125.5 million on the project.

The 1950s flat complex, close to the Phoenix Park, is one of the seven city council-owned properties on the register of vacant sites, and is designated as one of the council’s prime sites for the development of large-scale mixed-income housing schemes.

In the tender documents the council said it would “directly develop” the first 56 State-funded social homes, for which it secured planning permission in 2011, leaving approximately 530 houses and apartments to be built by the chosen developer at an expected cost of €125 million.

Affordable housing

Under an agreement reached with councillors, half the 585 new homes will be private housing, 30 per cent will be social housing, and 20 per cent will be “ affordable” housing .

The first 56 homes, which the council expects to start work on this year, will contribute towards the 30 per cent social housing commitment. That will leave about 120 social homes to be built by the developer, along with more than 290 private homes, and 117 affordable units that will be sold to people nominated by the council.

The social and affordable units are to be “peppered” throughout the development and “should not be confined to single blocks and/or area,” the council said.

Most of the homes are expected to be apartments of varying sizes in blocks of three to five storeys, with around 100 two- and three-storey terraced houses, and a small number of duplex units.

The council expects to award a contract for the development next January. The successful developer will then have six months to apply for planning permission, and must start work on site within one month of securing planning permission. Construction must be completed within four years.

Starter homes

O’Devaney Gardens will be the first project developed under the council’s Houing Land Initiative to provide a mix of social, affordable rental and starter homes on State-owned lands. The council also plans to seek developers for sites it owns at Oscar Traynor Road in Coolock and St Michael’s Estate in Inchicore.

O’Devaney Gardens was to have been redeveloped under a public-private partnership (PPP) between the council and developer Bernard McNamara, but after several delays the deal collapsed in mid-2008.

Most of the almost 300 flats had been emptied by that time in preparation for the regeneration scheme. Demolition of the vacant blocks began in September 2008 after a summer of vandalism and violence that culminated in a stand-off with riot police.

The council drew up plans to redevelop the estate using public money and secured planning permission in 2011, but in late 2012 conceded it could not secure the €32 million needed and shelved the project.