Location map of proposed new student centre in south inner city Dublin

Location map of proposed new student centre in south inner city Dublin

A partnership between a major global provider of student accommodation and a Dublin property investment and management group has today revealed plans for a major €41 million development and refurbishment of a site in Dublin city centre.

Dubai headquartered Global Student Accommodation (GSA) and The Creedon Group has submitted a planning application on a 2.56 acre freehold site at Mill Street, Dublin 8, for a mixed use scheme, including a c.400-bed student residence together with retail, restaurant and office space for occupation by local businesses.

Subject to grant of consent, the project will also deliver extensive new public realm and landscaping to Mill Street and Warrenmount Lane, the refurbishment of a dilapidated historic townhouse at No.10 Mill Street to provide a “centrepiece” for Mill Street and the opening up of a section of The Poddle stream to public access.

GSA will fund, develop and operate the student accommodation on a long-term basis while The Creedon Group  intends to complete the development by mid 2017, having it available for occupancy by students and commercial concerns in September 2017. Hundreds of jobs will be created during the construction and refurbishment phase as well as fulltime positions once the scheme opens.

The Mill Street site forms part of GSA’s plan for continued growth of its global purpose-built and managed student accommodation portfolio, concentrating on major international student destinations. The business is already rolling out similar purpose built properties managed under both its Uninest and Urbanest operational brands in central London, Dubai, Tokyo, China and Australia.

 Tim Mitchell, CEO of GSA Europe, said: “We aim to make a real difference to our student residents’ lives by using our track record, expertise and knowledge to deliver the best student living experience in the cities in which we operate. We develop, manage and invest in great student communities on a global basis and we are delighted to be investing in Dublin at this time and to be part of the growing knowledge economy here.

We see a clear demand for our type of accommodation that just isn’t being met at the moment and we are encouraged by the initiatives of both central Government and Dublin City Council in promoting Dublin as an international student city. We were also drawn to the Newmarket area on the back of The Creedon Group’s vision to create a new mixed-use destination in the City. Our Dublin business plan involves deploying up to €250m over the next few years, so this project represents an important step for us on that journey.

Martin Creedon, Managing Director of The Creedon Group said: “We have been working to promote the regeneration of the Newmarket area for many years and this development on Mill Street will be a significant catalyst that will bring in benefits to the immediate and wider area. The site will be redeveloped under the vision of our leading Dublin architects, Tony Reddy Associates, to create a vibrant new quarter.

We are excited to be delivering further commercial units into the locality, alongside the recently commenced Teelings Whiskey Distillery. Our intention is that these will provide “incubator” space for food and other related businesses already operating in and around Newmarket Square to trade up to.”

The initial capital investment at the site by 2017 will be around €41m but that does not include our proposed nursing home which already has planning consent at the western end of Mill Street. That project, when completed, will provide 150 permanent jobs, many for local people. Apart from a substantial construction project, the subsequent operational management of the completed student housing by Uninest and occupation of the commercial space will bring many jobs to this area of Dublin”.

There are currently some 80,000 full time students studying in Dublin’s nine higher education institutions and a further 100,000 students coming to the city to study English language courses each year.  Both central government and Dublin City policies strongly support the promotion of Dublin as an international student city and the provision of good quality purpose built student accommodation is seen as a key element in meeting this objective.

Purpose built student accommodation is regarded as asset class in its own right, particularly in the USA and UK where there are relatively mature markets.   The development of student accommodation in Ireland, apart from direct development by colleges, has traditionally been driven by tax incentives and in most cases involved the breakup of the development into individual unit sales to private owners.  The current proposal involves the long-term retention of the entire asset by investors and will be one of the first large scale developments of its type in the city.

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