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March 10, 2008

Ballsbridge high-rises may have overreached themselves and the city

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Two and a half years ago, when Sean Dunne broke all previous records by paying 53.7 million an acre for the Jurys site in Ballsbridge and then trumped that a few months later by paying 57.5 million an acre for the adjoining Berkeley Court site, there were many who thought it was “mad money”. Within a few months, however, the records he set were broken repeatedly by other developers in what seemed like a frenzy to stake claims on prime property in the heart of Dublin 4: Glenkerrin’s Ray Grehan, for example, paid 81 million an acre for the adjoining UCD Veterinary College site. Mr Dunne made it clear from the outset he would be pursuing plans for a mixed-use development that would include a 32-storey residential tower. Other developers, including Mr Grehan, were convinced they would get approval for high-rise, high-density schemes to make their money back. Last August and September, within two weeks of each other, Glenkerrin and Dunne’s company, Mountbrook Homes, both lodged their planning applications. By then, Mountbrook’s proposed tower had grown to 37 storeys, flanked by seven other buildings ranging in height from 10 to 18 storeys.

The Irish Times

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