Major apartment scheme in Cork city to accommodate 280 students

Major apartment scheme in Cork city to accommodate 280 students
Artist impression of the Square Deal / Washington Street development. Supplied by Digital Dimensions.

The developers of a major student apartment scheme in Cork city centre are aiming to have the new complex operating by September 2022.

Revised plans for the redevelopment of the former Square Deal building on Washington Street have been lodged with An Bord Pleanála. Developers are now proposing a 50 apartment plan, accommodating some 280 students.

This is an increase from a plan for 209 student beds on the site, which was approved in 2018.

The plans were lodged by an investment fund called IRE Real Estate Investment Partners Fund II.

The development includes 18 eight-bed apartments, ten seven-bed units, and a mix of one to six beds, including ten one-bed studios. That is in addition to a gym, lounge and study areas, a library, a private dining room, management offices and comms rooms. The complex will also include a café or commercial unit on the ground floor, as well as 140 bicycle parking spaces, internal courtyards and roof terraces.

There are no car parking spaces included.

Major apartment scheme in Cork city to accommodate 280 students
Artist impression of the Square Deal / Washington Street development. Supplied by Digital Dimensions.
The developers say the proposed site was chosen due to "its convenient location and proximity to the main campus of UCC", which is just 550 metres away, as well as its proximity to the likes of the Tyndall Institute, the Crawford College of Art and Design, and CIT.

They noted the government's National Student Accommodation Strategy which states there is a need for more than 6,500 purpose-built student beds in the city. 

The development would regenerate the former Square Deal furniture building, which has been vacant since 2015 and was sold for €5 million in 2017. Part of the site is a protected structure, while the building is also recorded on the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage -NIAH- for its architectural and historical merit.

The protected structure will be conserved, with works planned for its roof, windows and doors to restore the structure.

Major apartment scheme in Cork city to accommodate 280 students
Artist impression of the Square Deal / Washington Street development. Supplied by Digital Dimensions.
Demolition works have already commenced on part of the site, removing a street-facing building built in 1919 as approved under the previous planning application.

A series of public realm upgrades are also planned for the surrounding streets, with Woods and Lynch's Streets both set to be widened. New paving and public lighting will be added too.

The development will be managed by the Nido Collection, a UK-based student accommodation provider. It is currently working on its first tranche of new student developments in Ireland, including sites in Dublin, Galway and Cork. Its first Cork complex is at Curraheen Point, the former Gillan House on Farranlea Road, whose 145 student beds are due to be available for September 2020.

Major apartment scheme in Cork city to accommodate 280 students
Artist impression of the Square Deal / Washington Street development. Supplied by Digital Dimensions.
Developers are aiming to have the Square Deal scheme operational by September 2022.

The development will be named Broga House, and the full planning documents can be viewed at brogahouseshd.ie.

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