Irish Nationwide Site Faces Multiple Appeals
Appeals have been lodged against a large-scale refurbishment of the former Irish Nationwide headquarters in Dublin, leading to the scheme being called in for assesment.
It is argued that the “vast scale” of the plans for the site are “totally out of proportion and character with its surroundings of Victorian houses.”
Backed by Hines and Hong Kong’s wealthy Yeung family, the new offices were approved last month by Dublin City Council but will now be assessed by An Bord Pleanála because of the objections.
There are multiple appeals against the redevelopment, including one from the Upper Leeson Street Area Residents Association.
The council authorised the plans, stating they are "in the interests of the proper planning and sustainable development of the area," according to the Irish Independent.
The existing eight-storey, 39,200 SF office block already on the 1.7-acre site is a protected structure more than 50 years old.
The rest of the site houses old warehouses and almost 100 parking spaces.
Last year, a company controlled by the Yeung family and Hines sought planning permission to redevelop the former Irish Nationwide Building Society headquaters, and to build a new office development between three and six storeys in height.
A café and galley are included in the redevelopment plans along with the new office block.
Hines and the Yueng family bought the site in 2016 for around €37M from London & Regional Properties, a U.K. investment fund controlled by brothers Ian and Richard Livingstone.
The Livingstone brothers bought the site from the joint special liquidators of the Irish Bank Resolution Corp., formerly Anglo Irish Bank, in 2015 for approximately €15M.
The Irish Bank Resolution Corp. occupied the building at the time of the original sale.
It was thought that a refurbishment of the building would come to about €5M in 2014
Also known as the Carroll’s building, the building was originally built for the Irish tobacco group PJ Carroll.
The Yeung family was also one of the co-buyers of the former Central Bank premises in Dublin in conjunction with Hines for €100M through their company The Peterson Group.
Since the acquisition, the Central Bank has relocated to a building on North Wall Quay, which was built as the intended HQ for Anglo Irish Bank.
The Peterson Group was set up in 1959 by Yeung Pui Kam in Hong Kong to trade embroidered fabrics. The company has assets of more than $1.1B.
The Yeungs' stake in the former Irish Nationwide HQ is owned via a Hong Kong company called Chance Prosper Ltd.