Johnny Ronan gets go-ahead for €200m Ballsbridge build

Property developer, Johnny Ronan has received the green light for a €200m office block development at Ballsbridge in Dublin that will have the capacity to accommodate 2,200 workers.

An Bord Pleanála has approved the Ronan plan, located opposite the RDS on Merrion Road, despite six appeals lodged against the proposal.

In giving the plan the go-ahead, An Bord Pleanála over-ruled its inspector who recommended the omission of the top two storeys of the six-storey block.

However, in its ruling, the board ordered only the top storey from the two blocks be removed.

The Board stated “that the omission of the sixth floor represented an acceptable reduction in the quantum of development and reduction in overall height adequately protected the residential amenities of adjoining properties”.

The decision comes days after Mr Ronan’s RGRE (Ronan Group Real Estate) signed off on a €600m deal to develop over one million square feet at Spencer Dock in a development called ‘Spencer Place’.

Yesterday, RGRE’s development director Shane Whelan welcomed An Bord Pleanála’s decision. Referring to the sealing of the Spencer Dock deal and yesterday’s permission, Mr Whelan said: “It has been a good run and we are going to have a fairly busy couple of years now.”

He said RGRE’s intention is to be on site at Ballsbridge by the end of the year with construction to continue to mid-2019.

“It is an exciting time. We are back building and developing having had gone through one of the biggest recessions I have ever experienced and Johnny would say the same and we are happy to be out the far side of that.”

RGRE also has plans for the 22-storey Aqua Vetro Tower at Tara Street in Dublin and Mr Whelan said “constructive” pre-planning negotiations are continuing with Dublin City Council “to try to find an architectural solution they are happy with”.

RGRE hopes to lodge plans for the Aqua Vetro Tower before the end of the year. Mr Whelan said it will be “a significant addition to the Dublin skyline.”

“Office space is badly needed in the city and we hope to benefit from any fall out where people are relocating to here as a result of Brexit.”

RGRE has already taken out ads in the UK property press and made presentations to the IDA to make the agency aware of the stock the group has coming on stream in the coming years.

“We are fully engaged to try to make sure everyone is aware of what we have to offer and what options we have to try to entice these people,” said Mr Whelan.

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