Construction set to start on site of city's historic 'Charlo' flats
CONSTRUCTION is expected to begin on the site of the historic Charlemont flats by the end of the year.
A crucial land disposal is to be put to city councillors which could see builders on site in the coming months.
The deal hinges on the developers providing 79 social housing apartments. and a community creche to Dublin City Council.
On top of the social housing provision a payment of €4.9m will be handed over.
In exchange, the developers Alcove Properties will take possession of the remainder of the site to build a mix of apartments and commercial units.
The city council will have the option to purchase a further 73 units in another block. It can buy 15 of these at a 10pc discount on the market value under the terms of the deal.
The flats on the Thomas Kelly Road in Dublin 2 have been slated for redevelopment for almost two decades.
Demolition work began at the site in January 2014. However at the time, planning problems had stalled the progress of the regeneration.
An Bord Pleanala had directed that the new build be restricted to six storeys, contrary to plans drawn up by the developers.
However, agreement has been reached and planning permission secured for the current plans. A cinema, a cafe and shops are all included in the sizeable development.
In the meantime both the historic Ffrench-Mullen House and Charlemont Gardens buildings have been razed to the ground.
They dated back to the 40s and the 60s respectively. Another block, St Ultan's flats, was torn down as far back as 2002.
Before the buildings were demolished last year there were calls to preserve Ffrench-Mullen House due to its historic significance.
It was designed by Busaras and Abbey Theatre architect Michael Scott.
One of the unique features of the building were its curved internal walls.
However as council approval had already been gained previously it was not possible for the block to be saved.
Residents have long campaigned for the apartments to be upgraded.
Councillors representing the South East Area ward will come together at a special meeting on Monday night to agree the disposal of the land that will allow plans to progress to the next stage.
Under the terms of the deal the deeds will be handed over either when construction is complete or when the remaining blocks are detonated.
It is expected that the disposal will be agreed on Monday and also at the wider city council meeting in July.
According to an update provided by council officials, if agreement is reached then construction could begin on block three in the third quarter of 2015.
Councillor Mannix Flynn has worked alongside tenants in the Charlemont flats to secure the regeneration.
The progress on the site is to be welcomed not only in the community, but citywide, he said.
"It's great news for the community there, they've been waiting a long time for this," he told the Herald.
"It will also give hope to the city and those on waiting lists for housing.
"All of the people moved out to temporary accommodation will be rehoused in Charlemont, freeing up units," he added.