herald

Wednesday 24 May 2017

'Eyesore' tower dodges wrecking ball as 340 flats planned for site

Phibsborough Shopping Centre and the ‘ugly’ office block
Phibsborough Shopping Centre and the ‘ugly’ office block

A €50m plan to build 340 student flats as part of the Phibsborough Shopping Centre redevelopment has generated concern as it will see one of Dublin's worst eyesores given a reprieve from demolition.

While the local mood was generally positive about the plans, some were disappointed student flats would be built rather than family homes.

Others were annoyed the eight-storey office block, regarded as one of the city's "ugliest" buildings, won't be torn down.

The unpopular 1960s tower will instead be "upgraded", with "metal mesh" used to disguise its current appearance.

regeneration

It is hoped the scheme will see a three-fold increase in the number of shops and student apartments at the site.

"There's some concern over the large number of student flats," shopper Patricia Busteed told the Herald.

"I'm sure students will help by shopping locally, but we'd want to see family homes there too. And, as for the office tower block, it's an eyesore. I just can't imagine why that needs to stay. I think most people think it's ugly and it needs to go.

"I'm glad to see a plan though, as the area was looking run down."

MM Capital, which is planning to develop the 2.8-acre site, said the project would be delivered over two years and would include office space, shops and a public plaza.

The overall site to be developed includes ground floor retail units, the former tram depot, which includes single-storey warehouses, and the former east terrace of the Dalymount Park stadium.

The development will offer a new entrance into the football ground.

Bohemians FC, who will share the stadium with Shelbourne FC, have vowed to work with the community and Dublin City Council to ensure plans will benefit the "shared community" in "long need of regeneration".

The flats, targeted at DIT and DCU students, will be completed by 2019.

Local Fianna Fail Councillor David Costello said the plans looked like a great improvement. "There are concerns over the number of student accommodation," he added.

A public presentation by the developers has been arranged for April 10 from 6pm to 9pm on the third floor of the tower.

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