Hines Seeks Planning Permission for 732 New Homes, 2 New Parks and Restoration of Former Player Wills Building in Dublin 8

Hines and APG have today submitted a Strategic Housing Application to An Bord Pleanála seeking the construction of 732 new residential units and 2 large new permanent parks for the Liberties in the next phase of its planned major redevelopment of the former Player Wills site in Dublin 8. The application also proposes the retention and transformation of the iconic former Player Wills Factory into an innovative new mixed use space as part of a major rejuvenation project proposed for the overall site.

This will be the second of three proposed planning applications connected to the redevelopment of the former Player Wills and Bailey Gibson sites, which was purchased by Hines and APG in December 2018. The second phase will be constructed across 2.39 hectares of Hines lands and 0.67 hectares of Dublin City Council lands. Under a joint agreement, Hines will seek permission on behalf of Dublin City Council to construct a new park and will hand it back to the Council once completed.

The application also proposes the refurbishment and extension of the original Player Wills factory building to facilitate 287 new residential units. 240 of these will be new shared living industrial style loft units with dedicated tenant amenities including 1,036 sq. m of living space. The refurbished building will also be characterised by an extensive array of high quality shared areas amounting to 1,519 sq. m of shared tenant service, amenity and facilities for its residents – comprising lounges, TV rooms, games rooms, a library, meeting rooms, business centre, gym and terraces.

The Player Wills building will also have a very sizable 852 sq. m of its ground floor area devoted purely to a free community, arts and cultural and exhibition uses such as arts activities, artists’ studios and a community arts space as well as café, bar and restaurant floor space. This along with a repurposed internal open air courtyard space will completely redefine the look and feel of Player Wills and open it up for the benefit of the wider Dublin 8 community. This extensive space will be equivalent in size to the Project Arts Centre space in Temple Bar.

The application also proposes the construction of 3 brand new residential blocks containing a total of 445 new residential units. The masterplan for the overall site has been carefully designed to ensure a stepped approach with lower height buildings located towards the perimeter, with the new taller structures proposed to be located at the centre of the site.

A new residential block will comprise 415 new apartments ranging in height from 2 to 19 storeys and will be located in the middle of this large site. A second new 2 storey block will comprise 2 duplex (2 bed) and 7 triplex (3 bed) apartments. A third new 3-4 storey block, will comprise a further 21 new apartments and will also be the location of a new 275 sq. m childcare facility with its own dedicated 146 sq. m adjoining external play area.

A centrepiece of the new development will be 2 large new outdoor amenity spaces – a 3,960 sq. m public park will be a thoughtfully designed and landscaped outdoor play and amenity zone for the new residents of Player Wills and Bailey Gibson. The second important outdoor amenity area will be a 1,350 sq. m public park and playground adjacent to St. Catherine’s National School on Donore Avenue. A third temporary 1,158 sq. m public park will also be built at the same location and set aside for a future school extension.

Announcing the details of the Phase 2 planning application, Managing Director with Hines Ireland Gary Corrigan said: “Hines and APG are delighted to submit this second planning submission in which we will deliver much needed residential accommodation and extensive new amenity, community and outdoor recreational spaces which will benefit all residents across this development as well as the wider neighbourhood of Dublin 8. Our extensive engagement with local residents over the past 18 months was a turning point in determining our approach with the much loved Player Wills building. On foot of feedback received from our 2 Open Days, we altered our original plan and now are proposing the retention and creative reimagining of the entire original building and façade. It will include a modern extension to the rear to add new residential units as well as a full restoration of the original building, creating new community, artistic and cultural spaces as well as separate commercial space for activities such as small business and co-working facilities. Our aim here is to make the Player Wills building once again the beating heart of a new and vibrant community in Dublin 8.

We have also worked extensively with Sporting Liberties and other community groups to consider in particular the sporting and recreational needs of the Dublin 8 community, mindful of the deficit in such facilities locally at present. We were very pleased to secure an agreement in principle with the Council to take on responsibility to deliver these critical new pieces of infrastructure for the Liberties and in our next application early next year, we will look to develop a full multi-code outdoor playing pitch and changing rooms – a facility that is badly needed in the locality.

Pending the grant of planning permission, we would aim to be on site with this as soon as possible and for it to be open to the community but this will depend on the outcome of the planning application for this Phase 2. We continue to work collaboratively with Dublin City Council and our community stakeholders in bringing forward a carefully planned and integrated design for the entire project as we ultimately aim to deliver 1552 new homes across the combined Player Will and Bailey Gibson sites”

The new application also includes 4 new pedestrian access points into the Players Will site from South Circular Road, St Catherine’s Avenue and Donore Avenue to significantly increase public permeability. A low-speed internal road network will prioritise bicycle users and pedestrians. There will be a total of 1013 dedicated bicycle spaces – 903 of which will be long-stay and located underground or in secure on-surface bike rooms. 110 short-stay visitor bicycle spaces will be provided at street level.

In September this year, planning permission was granted for 404 new apartments, 2 duplex, 3 triplex apartments and 4 houses on the former Bailey Gibson lands, with construction delayed until the outcome of a judicial review process is concluded.

Pending planning approval of this new Phase 2 proposal, Hines hopes to commence construction by Q3 2021.