Joyce hotel plan to go ahead

Dublin City Council has formally approved the €20m redevelopment of a Dublin hotel immortalised in James Joyce’s Ulysses.

The Council has granted planning permission to Monteco Holdings — a firm co-owned by AirAsia boss and Queens Park Rangers Football Club owner, Tony Fernandes — to demolish and redevelop the Ormond Hotel in the city centre.

The approval has come despite stiff opposition from the Save Joycean Dublin Committee and local residents.

A spokesperson for Monteco Holdings said yesterday: “We are pleased that our planning request has been successful.”

“The approval follows our submission of a detailed response to the planning authority’s request for further information, which included modifications to the main façade, windows, and materials used.

“Our revised scheme has taken extensive steps to address objections raised against the previous application, including reducing the numbers of bedrooms from 170 to 121 and lowering the height of the building from six to five stories,” they added.

The spokesperson added the scheme also acknowledges the site’s connection with James Joyce’s Ulysses.

“Whilst the current buildings contain none of the physical structures referred to in Ulysses’ famous Sirens episode, the plan proposes the original outline of numbers 8 and 9 Ormond Quay Upper, the original location of the Ormond Hotel and the setting for Ulysses, be marked out using text from the book embedded into the floor and courtyard with bronze plaques or lettering.

“The new hotel will help address the urgent lack of hotel accommodation in Dublin’s city centre and make a very significant contribution to the rejuvenation of a site that has been vacant for over 10 years and is now in very poor condition.”

The proposed €20m investment in the new hotel will create 250 construction jobs during the building phase and 80 jobs in the hotel upon completion.

“We hope to commence construction in 2017 with a view to opening the hotel by the end of 2018,” said the Monteco spokesperson.

The hotel was bought by developer Bernard McNamara in 2006 for €17m, a year after it closed. 

He put it on the market in 2009 with a price tag of €7m, but it was subsequently bought by Monteco Holdings for less than €2.5m.


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