RTE transfer to IGB site would save build costsBy Donal Buckley Commercial Property Editor
Wednesday December 01 2010
Taxpayers could save up to €300m if the state broadcaster were to build its new headquarters and hi-tech studios at the Irish Glass Bottle site in Ringsend, Dublin 4.
By locating at the pivotal waterfront site on Dublin Bay, RTE would also help to attract other developers and businesses not alone to the 24-acre IGB site but also to the adjoining 12- acre site owned by Liam Carroll, and the price paid by such developers could help NAMA and the beleaguered taxpayers to recover some of the funds which the landowners owe the State's banks.
The move could also act as a potent phoenix-like symbol for Ireland's ability to rise from the ashes of a burned out economy.
Experts believe that RTE's current 31-acre Montrose site would appeal to residential developers who would pay between ?3m and ?5m per acre even in the current climate because the site adjoins one of Dublin's most sought-after residential areas -- Ailesbury Road.
At such site values RTE could generate up to ?155m from the sale and that would be ?100m more than the ?50m valuation placed on the IGB site.
The IGB greenfield site would allow RTE to slash the ?350m it estimates it will cost to build its new scheme, Project 2025. Because RTE intends to phase building work over 10 years on the current site, it will cost more to develop. An expert said: "One of the big costs will arise because so many features will need to be moved twice including very delicate and highly technical recording and broadcasting technology."
Despite securing Bord Pleanla approval for the project RTE has yet to decide on a start date. It has also ruled out moving to to the city's outskirts. "RTÉ has become an integral part of the Dublin South East community. We are currently one of the area's largest employers with over 1,800 employees on site and many of us... also live in this constituency," it says.
But the IGB site also has the advantage of being in the constituency.
- Donal Buckley Commercial Property Editor
I think this is an absolutely great idea; if Luas were extended from the Point Depot and across the river through Ringsend then the site would be plugged in to public transport. In terms of funding it if the model of Spencer Dock (i.e. A JV with a large national or International developer) were looked at and both sites put into it where a commercial facility were delivered and residential development at Montrose used to pay for the costs of construction then RTE could probably walk away with a large number of flats that would provide a large and critically ring-fenced income stream to endow cultural areas of programming such as Irish Langauge and local news that is in my experience not provided to such an in depth level anywhere else. It is vital that by whatever means necessary that Ireland retains a strong independent national broadcaster to ensure that our unique national identity is protected.
- PVC King
PVC King wrote:I think this is an absolutely great idea; if Luas were extended from the Point Depot and across the river through Ringsend then the site would be plugged in to public transport. In terms of funding it if the model of Spencer Dock (i.e. A JV with a large national or International developer) were looked at and both sites put into it where a commercial facility were delivered and residential development at Montrose used to pay for the costs of construction then RTE could probably walk away with a large number of flats that would provide a large and critically ring-fenced income stream to endow cultural areas of programming such as Irish Langauge and local news that is in my experience not provided to such an in depth level anywhere else. It is vital that by whatever means necessary that Ireland retains a strong independent national broadcaster to ensure that our unique national identity is protected.
sounds reasonable, but politics will get in the way.
no matter what the sense of the suggestion, RTE is a topic which always causes controversy, no matter what the context of the discussion, and mixing that with the most controversial topic in the country, NAMA, is a recipe for one almighty row.
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The choice boils down to a question if they value their location more than their independence; what I liked about the location of Irishtown was that it is far from a bad location and would suit a lot of RTE staff who seem to live in Sandymount and Ballsbridge in disproportionate numbers.
Difficult it would be!!
- PVC King
RTÉ challenges changes to zoning conditions
Updated: 18:14, Monday, 24 January 2011
RTÉ and the Sisters of Charity religious order have brought separate High Court challenges to Dublin City Council's decision to impose what they say are restrictive conditions on the potential development of their lands.
RTÉ and the Sisters of Charity religious order have brought separate High Court challenges to decisions by Dublin City Council to impose what they say are restrictive conditions on the potential development of their lands.
Mr Justice Michael Peart gave leave to the two bodies to bring judicial review proceedings against the council over its new City Development Plan 2011-17, which brought in zoning changes on the lands last November.
RTÉ says the decisions will have a serious impact on redevelopment plans for their Montrose complex at Donnybrook, Dublin, while the Sisters of Charity say 18 parcels of land around Dublin, totalling 108 acres, will be affected.
The court heard all the land has been zoned 'Z15' in the new plan, which effectively implements a tougher designation than had been applied in the previous plan.
It means future uses such as housing development are not open for planning consideration, impacting on the ability of bodies like the Sisters and RTÉ to sell off land to fund their activities.
In RTÉ's case, the new zoning does not even allow for media-associated uses to be considered, Nuala Butler SC, for RTÉ, told the court.
Ms Butler said the station had engaged fully in the development plan process and had in fact got a less restrictive 'Z12' zoning in the amended draft plan, which was put on public display between 18 August and 15 November 2010.
But when it came back before the council on 23 November, councillors passed two resolutions reverting the zoning to 'Z15'.
Ms Butler said RTÉ had already got approval for 'Project 2025', a major redevelopment of Montrose as a purpose-built complex for the digital age.
This would involve the rationalisation of the existing campus, making Project 2025 viable, counsel said.
In the Sisters of Charity proceedings, it is claimed the development plan is substantively illegal because it applies a restrictive zoning to an arbitrary selection of lands which include St Vincent's Private Hospital, St Mary's, Donnybrook, the Hospice, Harold's Cross, and a number of school sites in the north and south city.
There was no evidence before the council establishing any particular need for the 'Z15' zoning, which has been applied in a manner that flies in the face of fundamental reason and common sense, they claim.
They are seeking orders quashing the adoption of the zoning on their lands, and a stay on the operation of the section of the plan affecting their property.
They are also seeking damages for breaches of their private property and religious freedom rights under the Constitution and similar rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Brian Murray SC, for the Sisters, said extensive legal submissions were put to the council during the development plan process, making the same complaints as were being made in the High Court proceedings.
However, 'no reason was given as to why they were rejected,' counsel said.
This action was terribly important from his clients' point of view because in order to maintain its charitable work, it is necessary to sell lands from time to time to generate income, counsel said.
I do have a certain amount of sympathy with both RTE who appear precluded from developing even institutional type accomodation on their holding and the Sisters of Charity who have for many decades drip fed small parcels of land to the market to meet the costs of their retired congregation members.
All too often councillors make development plans with a view to appeasing NIMBYs; I don't know the Sisters of Charity holdings but in the case of RTE it seems ludicrous given its proximity to a QBC and the fact it is at least for now an owner occupied national institution, all the same NIMBY arguments were raised on the Elm Park site that McNamara developed and as a scheme it works really well in every sense if valuations were frozen at 2003 levels.
I wish both groups well; no single landowners should be singled out to act as local amenity lands or under-developed holdings all this serves to do is allow poor public open space provision in neighbouring future developments be excused by those applicants referencing these applicants amenity lands as giving a higher quality provision.
- PVC King
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