O’Devaney Gardens site construction to start after 10 year delay

Almost 600 homes planned for former flat complex site

O’Devaney Gardens: the 1950s flat complex, close to the Phoenix Park in Dublin 7. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

O’Devaney Gardens: the 1950s flat complex, close to the Phoenix Park in Dublin 7. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

The regeneration of the O’Devaney Gardens flat complex that was scrapped 10 years ago will begin this week.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is expected to turn the sod on the first 56 homes, all of which will be used for social housing, on Wednesday morning, with around 530 more houses and apartments earmarked for the site.

Half the 585 new homes will be private housing, 30 per cent will be social homes, and 20 per cent will be “ affordable” housing .

The 1950s flat complex, close to the Phoenix Park in Dublin 7, was to have been redeveloped under a public-private partnership (PPP) between Dublin City Council and developer Bernard McNamara but after several delays the deal collapsed in mid-2008.

Most of the almost 300 council 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 gardaí.

Increasingly derelict

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. The complexes have become increasingly derelict since.

In December 2016 the council got sanction from the Department of Housing to spend just under €18 million to build the first 56 social homes on the site.

The 56 homes, which will be built by Careys Construction, will contribute towards the 30 per cent social housing commitment. That will leave about 120 more social homes to be built, along with more than 290 private homes, and 117 affordable units that will be either sold or rented to lower income workers who meet eligibility criteria.

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

Duplex units

Five developers have expressed interest to build the 530 homes at an expected cost of €125.5 million. A final agreement for the development is expected by the end of the year, with construction of the new estate due for completion within four years.

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.

O’Devaney Gardens will be the first project developed under the council’s Housing Land Initiative, which aims 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.