Regeneration of social housing scheme near Ranelagh to start next month

Charlemont Street development the only PPP deal to survive property crash

Charlemont Street flats will be rebuilt under a deal between Alcove Properties, owned by developer Seán Reilly, and Dublin City Council

Charlemont Street flats will be rebuilt under a deal between Alcove Properties, owned by developer Seán Reilly, and Dublin City Council

 

Construction on the only major public-private partnership housing deal to survive the property crash is to get under way in Dublin in the coming weeks.

Charlemont Street flats, a complex of more than 200 flats near Ranelagh in the south inner city, will be rebuilt under a deal between Alcove Properties, owned by developer Seán Reilly, and Dublin City Council.

Unlike previous regeneration schemes, the social housing will be “front-loaded”, with 79 apartments to be built for council tenants before any private development takes place.

The council in 2007 advertised for developers to replace the dilapidated complex, most of which was built in the late 1950s, apart from one block, Ffrench-Mullen House, designed by Busáras and Abbey Theatre architect Michael Scott and built in 1944.

Preferred bidder

Shops, restaurants, a sports centre and about 20,000sq m of office space were to be included in the scheme, which would be built in five blocks ranging up to eight storeys in height.

Following two appeals to An Bord Pleanála, planning permission was granted in April 2013 for an amended scheme which saw height reduced to a maximum of six storeys and a reduction in the number of apartments to 253, as well as some adjustments to the retail and office space.

However, final agreements were not signed with the council and it appeared the development would not go ahead.

Eighteen months ago the council decided to demolish the old flats. They had been de-tenanted and had since become derelict.

Last month, the council agreed a tender to allow construction to begin and this work is expected to start next month.

Community centre

When more apartments are built the council will have the option to buy a further 15 units at a 10 per cent discount and 58 more at market price.

Alcove will also pay the council almost €4.9 million in exchange for the rest of the site, more than 1½ hectares, not required for social housing.

Although beset by delays, it is the only large housing regeneration scheme to survive the collapse of the PPP system in 2008.

Five large projects, including the demolition and rebuilding of three of the city’s most dilapidated flat complexes, were to have been developed under PPP contracts with developer Bernard McNamara.

The deals with Mr McNamara collapsed in May 2008 following the downturn in the property market.