A property expert warned that for Johnny Ronan’s 22-storey Aqua Vetro tower to commence on Dublin’s quays, the hotel part of the plans must be removed due to the further deterioration in tourism.
According to Daniel O’Connor, vice-president of hotels and hospitality at JLL, there is no likelihood of the developer, Tanat, receiving a commercially viable proposal from a hotel tenant at this time due to the impact of Covid-19 on the tourism industry in the capital.
Mr O’Connor’s views are contained in a submission that forms part of Mr Ronan’s 41-page Tanat Ltd appeal to An Bord Pleanála.
Tanat Ltd wants planning permission to remove the hotel element in favour of additional office space. Dublin City Council has refused this.
Highlighting the current weakness of the Dublin hotel market, Mr O’Connor stated that prior to the introduction of Level 5 restrictions, more than 2,400 guest rooms were already closed in Dublin due to a lack of demand.
Mr O’Connor states that the current Level 5 restrictions “will essentially shut the Dublin hotel market for Q4 2020, if not for longer”.
Mr Ronan secured planning permission for the 22-storey tower, including the hotel over four floors, in the podium element of the scheme at Tara Street and George’s Quay, from An Bord Pleanála in April 2019.
Planning consultant for Tanat John Spain has told the appeals board “due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding international travel and tourism to the city, the viability of a hotel use as part of this development cannot attract investment in order to deliver upon the development of this brown-field site”.
Last month, Dublin City Council refused planning permission to remove the hotel element after ruling that the proposal would detrimentally affect the dynamic mix of uses within the permitted scheme and would negatively impact on the viability of the inner city area location, particularly outside of standard office hours.
Mr Spain told An Bord Pleanála that the proposed office use is highly suitable and is in accordance with the zoning objectives for the location.
The appeal will be decided in March 2021.