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Planning granted for 110 apartments in derelict 14-storey Sandyford block

Around the Block: The skeleton of the unfinished Sentinel building has loomed over the south Dublin skyline for 15 years

A computer-generated image of how the Sentinel building in Sandyford, Dublin, is intended to look upon completion

For 15 years now the unfinished Sentinel tower at Sandyford in south Dublin has served as one of the ugliest reminders of the credit-fuelled Celtic Tiger era and its subsequent and hugely damaging demise.

Located on the periphery of the larger Rockbrook site assembled originally by Cork-born developer John Fleming during the boom, the building has stood like a stubborn skeleton even as hundreds of new apartments have sprung up around it.

But all that is hopefully about to change following last week’s decision by Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to grant planning permission to the Comer Group, the business headed up by Galway-born developer brothers Luke and Brian Comer, to convert the building from its previously proposed office use to 110 apartments.

While the Comers had already secured approval in 2017 to redevelop the Sentinel with 294 “office suites” with small work-live studio facilities, the proposed scheme never went ahead, largely due to access issues to the Sentinel’s basement car park, with the access ramp remaining in the ownership of the neighbouring Rockbrook apartment-scheme’s owner Ires Reit.


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However, the Comers recently bought the adjoining “RB Central” site from Ires giving them a majority share of the basement and allowing the Sentinel apartment scheme to progress. The RB Central site has permission for 428 apartments which are already under construction.

While it remains to be seen when Comer Group subsidiary Dante Property Company will commence construction at the Sentinel, one can only hope that it’s sooner rather than later.

Upon completion 60 of the units at the building are set to be two-beds, while the remaining apartments will comprise a mix of 22 one-beds and 28 three-bed units.

Having spent just €850,000 to secure ownership of the Sentinel shell and its site in 2011, the Comers should be in line for a significant return on their original outlay whether they develop and hold on to it themselves, or indeed if they choose to sell it on in its current state with planning in place.

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Property Editor of The Irish Times