A Japanese hotel chain that mostly hires women is the preferred bidder for a former Magdalene Laundry in Dublin.
No frills franchise, Toyoko Inn, wants to redevelop the Sean McDermott Street site into a 350-bedroom hotel.
The move has been described as "extremely weird" and "insensitive" by an inner city councillor.
The Social Democrats' Gary Gannon says the business model suggests women on low incomes will staff it.
He said: "You're not going to be paid particularly high rates if it is a no frills hotel, so then on the site of where, for over 100 years, women in this country were forced into basically cleaning the laundry of major hotels and business, that is going to continue."