Developers of a planned luxury apartment scheme for Herbert Park in Dublin 4 are proposing to sell 10 apartments for €5.88 million to Dublin City Council for social housing.
The McSharry Kennedy families are proposing to construct a 12 storey block that will contain 105 apartments in a project called ’40 Park’ on a site overlooking Herbert Park in Ballsbridge.
The development will also include 10 additional apart-hotel bedroom suites in an expanded six storey apart-hotel.
As part of requirements to provide 10% of the development towards social housing under Part V of the Planning and Development Act, the families’ Derryroe Ltd is planning to sell eight two bedroom apartments with a price tag of €625,021 each and two one bedroom apartments with a price tag of €440,337 each to the City Council.
The McSharry-Kennedy families already own the Herbert Park Hotel and the €66 million apartment plan has been lodged as a ‘fast track’ plan with An Bord Pleanala for a site at 36, 38 and 40 Herbert Park and 10 Pembroke Place.
In a letter on behalf of Derryroe Ltd to the City Council, it states that the letter’s contents containing the price estimates “is purely indicative” and “is intended to provide a reasonable estimate of the costs and values of the units based on construction costs and values prevailing at the time of the application”.
The €625,021 price put by Derryroe Ltd for the two bed unit is more than €100,000 more put by Cairn Homes for its €521,377 two bedroom units the builder is planning to sell to the City Council in a proposed €30.17m social housing deal at former RTE lands at Donnybrook.
The letter on behalf of Derryroe to the Council further states that the values are subject to change depending upon the nature of any final grant of permission.
Sinn Fein Housing spokesman, Eoin Ó Broin TD stated on Tuesday: “There is a real problem where €500,000 is being asked by a developer for an apartment where you can build two social homes for €240,000 each.
He added: “I am not arguing against the Part V - I understand the value of it and I think there should be more social homes in Donnybrook, Blackrock, Stillorgan and Dalkey where traditionally too few have been built.
“But at the same time, you really have to question the logic of paying double the price at a time of huge housing need. Dublin City Council has a huge housing list and if it gets into the habit of regularly paying twice the price for Part V apartments than it could build social homes, it is not an efficient use of public resources.
“If this becomes more common paying these kind of prices for apartments, then there clearly needs to be a rethink from Government as to what is the most important housing objective - increasing the overall output of social housing at a time of great or acquiring very expensive apartment units in the most affluent parts of Dublin City.
He pointed out: “People are waiting 10 to 14 years in Dublin City Council for social homes and if we are spending twice the price, they are going to keep waiting that length of time.”
A spokesman for Dublin City Council confirmed that it last year purchased 31 Part V units all of which were apartments at a combined cost of €7.66m.
This works out at an average unit price of €247,332.
The spokesman stated that agreement was reached in 2019 to acquire a further 88 such Part V units, but they were not finalised by year end.
He stated: “So far in 2020 a total of 170 Part V units have agreement for acquisition by Dublin City Council.
The spokesman stated that the number of people currently on Dublin City Council’s housing waiting list is just under 17,000.
The rent charged by the Council to those council tenants who will be let the 10 Part V apartments at the Herbert Park scheme will be based on the weekly assessable income of a household.
The spokesman stated: “Rent is calculated in the same way as all other Dublin City Council tenancies.”
He pointed out: “Part V is one of several different options open to Dublin City Council to source social housing for allocation to families on our waiting lists.”