St Michael's Regeneration to start soon, sortof...

Article Posted: Thursday 8th April, 2010

THE REGENERATION of St Michael’s Estate in Inchicore, Dublin is to start next September, more than two years since the public private partnership (PPP) scheme for the development collapsed.

The dilapidated 1970s high-rise flats complex was one of five social housing schemes in the city which were to have been developed under a PPP deal between developer Bernard McNamara and Dublin City Council.

Following several delays, the deal with Mr McNamara collapsed in May 2008. Attempts were made throughout the following summer to rescue the schemes but these were unsuccessful and the council formally terminated its relationship with the developer in August 2008.

Later that year the council announced it would rebuild the social housing in the three largest estates – St Michael’s, O’Devaney Gardens and Dominick Street. It said it would release land for private housing construction to create the planned mixed community in each estate in future years when the property market returned to health.

St Michael’s Estate is the only one of the failed PPPs which has since seen progress towards redevelopment. In June last year, Minister for the Environment John Gormley announced he had sanctioned funding of €7.8 million for the construction of 32 new social units at the estate, a fraction of the 165 which were to have been built by Mr McNamara.

A spokesman for the council said eight companies have now been shortlisted for the job and a contractor will be selected within the coming weeks, with construction scheduled to start in September.

Full redevelopment of the social housing element of St Michael’s Estate will cost about €36 million, providing 137 social and affordable units, a creche and community buildings on four acres of the 14-acre site. The council hopes private development on the rest of the site will take place after 2015.

The council plans to develop Dominick Street and O’Devaney Gardens through similar schemes.
(The Irish Times)