There has been some good news this week for one of the Irelands most famous landmarks, Clerys department store located on the Main street of Dublin. After a number of years of uncertainty and disputes among owners and former employees, redevelopment on the site is to begin in the coming months and breath new life into the street while providing much-needed employment.
Reported in both the Irish Times and the Independent redevelopment will see some of the most famous aspects of the building restored along with a host of other amenities. The new layout will include office space, retail floors and a new 176 room four-star hotel. The development will provide 400 permanent jobs on completion and roughly 750 temporary construction positions.
The developers are tending contracts at the moment and hope to begin work within the next couple of months.
This news should be well received by locals and especially former employees of Clerys department stores. Many of whom were in a long-standing dispute with owners over redundancy payouts and future employment terms, many of which will be included in the most recent developments.
Clerys store closed abruptly in June 2015 having been bought by consortium Natrium. The closure resulted in the loss of 130 Clerys employees and around 330 concession employees who worked on the grounds reported the Irish Times.
Following this, a dispute arose between the consortium and former employees who believed that redundancy agreements were not being fulfilled. This delayed planning permission and setbacks for proposed development in 2016.
The new owners consisting of a number of partnerships including Core capital and Oakmount took possession of the building last year in a deal said to have cost in the region of €63 million, highlighted RTE. It is from this that the new announcement has been made. Details of the development were included in the Independent report, some of the details are below :
64,100 sq ft of office space is going to be developed above the retail space in the store. It is hoped this will attract small businesses and new startups onto O’Connell street, something that has been lacking in recent years. Office space will also be made available in the new Earl building which will face North Earl Street
Spread over the existing basement, ground and first floors of the 165 years old Clerys Building. The retail space is almost exactly the same layout as the previous incarnation of the building and will definitely attract past visitors and new patrons to the iconic building. Refurbishment of the existing façade will hopefully bring back a touch of class that the building has been lacking.
Earl Place Market
In addition to the office and retail offering within the Clerys Building, there will be an exciting new street-level destination for hospitality, food and beverages in the heart of Dublin city centre. Earl Place Market will host some new and exciting food and average destinations. Aiming to draw in local businesses and a few brand names this will be the go-to destination for those on their lunch break.
A New Hotel
To the rear of the Clerys Building on Earl Place Market, a former warehouse is to be transformed into a new 176-bedroom four-star hotel. The hotels will anchor the new Earl Place Market.
All this work will see the building expand from 212,000 sqr foot to 344,000 sqr foot also noted the Independent. As stated already much of the original façade will be refurbished including the famous Clery clock, the Tea Rooms bar and restaurant, the internal staircases and columns and the ceiling. The development is aiming to mix the old with the new and it most definitely sounds like an exciting and promising development.
As much of Dublin has seen a resurgence in recent years post-recession many streets and buildings have seen an upgrade but visitors to Dublin’s O’Connell Street will have noticed a serious lack of development in the area.
With retail situated around Grafton Street and the Tech giants staying close to the Docks it has been a struggle to find a meaningful investment on O’Connell street. Partly due to redundancy issues this news will definitely be welcomed by residents of Dublin and visitors to O’Connell street.
A spokesperson for the group said, “Uniquely located on Dublin’s premier thoroughfare, O’Connell Street, and centred around the restoration of the historic former Clerys department store, Clerys Quarter will combine both traditional elements and modern concepts to create a new city centre destination that will regenerate Dublin’s landmark street,”.
The new development is at the moment being called the Clerys Quarter and is set to be operational by early to mid-2020. We look forward to checking out the new building once it is complete.