Square Deal development to include 280 student beds

Square Deal development to include 280 student beds

The former Square Deal building at Washington Street. Picture: Denis Minihane.

The mixed-use development on the former Square Deal premises site in Cork city centre has been green-lit to incorporate 280 student beds.

Five-year planning permission for the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) was granted for the project on Washington Street West, which will see the refurbishment and modifications of a protected structure.

That part of the building - which was also previously the former Lee Boots Manufacturing Company - is to be in student accommodation use, and developers hope they can “recapture some of this aesthetic” in the new design.

The new development will comprise ten one-bed studios, two two-bed studios, two four-bed apartments, four five-apartments, four six-bed apartments, ten seven- bed apartments and 18 eight-bed apartments, as well as a ground floor café or commercial unit.

IRE Real Estate Investment Partners Fund II intend for the development - named Broga House - to be operational from September 2022.

It is set to be part five and part six-storey, and will also include a commercial or café unit at ground level. 

A total of 140 bicycle spaces are also to be provided. 

There is no car parking provided and non-car travel will be promoted by staff.

Roof terraces are also included in the development, but one of the conditions attached to the grant of permission by An Bord Pleanála is that access to and use of these will be restricted between the hours of 10pm and 8am.

Another of the conditions states that the building may only be used for student accommodation purposes, unless a change of use grant of permission is given.

Planning permission for more than 200 beds was granted by Cork City Council in 2018 to Summix WSC Developments Ltd, but IRE Real Estate Investment Partners Fund II then sought to up the bed numbers to 292.

However, in their pre-application consultation for this SHD with An Bord Pleanala, they were told the proposals required amendment or further consideration.

The consultation phase with An Bord Pleanála also raised questions about the impact on protected views including the view of St. Finbarr’s Cathedral from Grenville Place and from St. Anne’s Tower, while issues were also raised in relation to the proposed height, bulk and massing of the proposed development, which was addressed in the formal application.

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