Words: Dylan Murphy
Developers made a last minute attempt to turn the shopping centre into a co-living scheme before the ban on such properties came into law last month.
The owners of Phibsborough shopping centre were previously granted permission to turn the complex into student accommodation. However, according to The Irish Times, they made a last-ditch attempt to turn the buildings into a co-living development before the ban on such properties came into law.
The move came after Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien announced a ban on new co-living developments. with the ban becoming law weeks later on December 22.
Around two years ago, MM Capital, who own the shopping centre were granted permission to undertake a €50 million redevelopment of the centre on the grounds that it would become student accommodation. Their original intentions also included plans for a sizeable increase in retail space available. The developers did not move forward with plans due to access issues with the site’s core tenants.
However, in the weeks between the announcement and the implementation of the ban the owners of Phibsborough shopping centre submitted a new application to An Bord Pleanála for a 321 room co-living development.
The site would not be demolished and the co-living rooms would be built on top of the existing shopping centre. They would be 18 square metres in size and placed across six floors with up to four kitchen and living areas on each floor. Alongside the standard rooms would be 18 “cluster” rooms which are smaller in size and would entail between three and six bedrooms sharing spaces.
The news follows the announcement from the minister for housing, Darragh O’Brien that he was banning co-living developments.