Noel Smyth’s Fitzwilliam Real Estate has secured the green light for a nine-storey 245-bedroom “lean luxury” hotel over Arnotts in Dublin city.
Dublin City Council has given the scheme the go-ahead after concluding that the planned hotel “will contribute to the regeneration and will have a positive impact on the surrounding area”.
The council also stated the scheme is “unlikely to impact negatively on the amenities of properties in the vicinity”.
The scheme involves a two-storey element with set-backs over Arnotts and a three-storey element with setbacks over Arnotts’ multi-storey car-park.
The hotel proposal will involve the demolition and decommissioning of the top three open air levels of Arnotts’ multi-storey car-park, resulting in the removal of 145 car spaces.
Planning documents lodged with the scheme state Fitzwilliam Real Estate owns Arnotts’ ‘air rights’ allowing the firm to lodge the application for the portion of the scheme above the department store.
Planning consultants for the hotel firm, Tom Phillips + Associates, have told the council that it is intended that Ruby Hotels will be the operator of the scheme.
Associate with Tom Phillips + Associates, Síne Kelly stated Ruby Hotels are a Munich-based hotel group “who host a contemporary, affordable form of luxury style of hospitality”.
Ms Kelly said there are currently 15 Ruby Hotels in operation across Europe, with a further 18 under construction.
She also pointed out that Ruby Hotels “have a ‘lean luxury’ philosophy for streamlining their hotel layouts and space”.
Ms Kelly said the partnership between the applicant and Ruby Hotels “has resulted in an enhancement of the hotel overall with all elements now sized accordingly to suit the operations of Ruby Hotels”.
Ms Kelly contended the proposed development will facilitate the provision of high-quality hotel development with an experienced, dedicated operator, whilst significantly improving the character of the area and bringing a partially vacant building at 97 Middle Abbey Street back into full use.
The grant of planning permission follows the council refusing planning permission to Fitzwilliam Real Estate for a 12-storey 159-unit build-to-rent scheme on the same site in January after the local authority pointed out that there is a general presumption against large-scale residential developments which are comprised of 100 per cent build-to-rent units.
The firm had existing planning permission for a hotel at the site since 2018, but Covid-19 Government restrictions prevented work from commencing “in a timely fashion”, necessitating the lodging of the new application.