By Gordon Deegan
Beef baron Larry Goodman is seeking to capitalise on the buoyant Dublin office market with plans for a €100m office development in the heart of the capital.
Mr Goodman has lodged plans with Dublin City Council for the redevelopment of the Goodman-owned Setanta Centre on Dublin’s Nassau Street facing on to Trinity College.
The new eight-storey office block plan includes a swimming pool. It will involve the hiring of 430 people for construction jobs, according to its promoters.
It effectively calls a halt to plans previous plans by Mr Goodman to sell the centre before redeveloping it.
The economic report, prepared by KSN Construction Consultants, estimates that the project will create a so-called gross value-added effect of €247m a year.
The new development aims to have a gross floor area of 37,722sq metres, including basement areas of 14,970sq metres.
The Setanta Centre was built in the mid 1970s. It houses the Kilkenny Design store, which will be undisturbed by the redevelopment, according to the plans.
Documents lodged with the application say most of the office space in the existing eight-storey structure will be demolished to make way for “a contemporary building” that “is currently unoccupied due to the unsuitable conditions of the floor plates, floor-to-ceiling heights and circulation inefficiencies”.
Most of the office space at the existing buildings have been vacant since 2013 “with no uptake or interest”, according to the documents.
A planning report claims the existing buildings “have reached the end of their useful life”.
According to KSN Construction Consultants, “the demolition of outdated office space and its replacement with good quality office space will assist in attracting headquarter-type uses”.
A separate report lodged with the plans claim that “high-quality extended floor plates, more in keeping with modern occupier requirements” will help the city attract “international headquarters in the financial, technology and business services sector”.
The architect of the new office scheme is Henry J Lyons who says the buildings have no architectural merit and their demolition will “deliver a new building of exemplary architectural quality and sustainable design”.
A decision is due on the application next month.