The new city centre accommodation was proposed by Tetrarch Capital, an Irish-owned real estate investment and development group that owns several upscale hotels throughout the country, including Powerscourt Hotel in County Wicklow, Mount Juliet in County Kilkenny and The Marker in Dublin’s Docklands. It will provide 158 bedrooms over seven storeys – addressing a small portion of what has become a chronic shortage of hotel rooms in the capital, as visits by overseas tourists continue to increase exponentially.
As well as providing much needed rooms to the growing tourist industry, the new ‘budget boutique’ hotel will complement existing plans for redevelopment of its historic surroundings. In spite of being Dublin’s main thoroughfare, O’Connell Street has been somewhat neglected since the 1970s, and plans to regenerate the area launched in 2002 fell short of expectation.
Today, locals are more optimistic. The new owners of Clery’s have planned a six-storey retail and office space at the O’Connell Street site, including a glass rooftop dining and bar area, with the building’s feature staircase and beloved tearooms being preserved. Meanwhile, the stately Gresham Hotel – located in a Georgian building down the street – has been purchased by a Spanish hotel company.
The proposed ‘O’Connell Street renaissance’ will occur alongside the broader Dublin City Development Plan 2016–2022, due to be voted on next month by the city council. The draft plan – if successful – aims to transform Dublin into ‘one of the most sustainable, dynamic and resourceful city regions in Europe.’ Proposals include increasing building heights and improving energy efficiency.
However, not everyone is happy about plans to modernise O’Connell Street and the wider city centre. Amid the ongoing debate about elevated building heights, complaints were lodged against the new Marlborough Street hotel by conservation group An Taisce and the nearby Wynn’s Hotel, which dates back to 1845. However, their concerns were overruled by An Bord Pleanála. The hotel will open in 2018, and – with line extension works due to finish by the end of 2017 – will enjoy the presence of a new Luas tram stop just steps from its doors.