THE tallest skyscraper in Dublin, with a bird's eye view of Wales from a €5m penthouse apartment and viewing deck, got the green light from planners yesterday.
On a clear day, those standing on the special deck should be able to see Wales, according to the developer, Point Theatre owner Harry Crosbie.
The 120 metre-high WatchTower will soar 35 storeys at the new Point Village development in the Docklands by the end of next year. The skycraper was granted planning permission by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority.
It will have a multi-storey rooftop bar and restaurant, luxury apartments and offices. The most expensive apartment will be the penthouse, expected to go on the market for about €5m.
There will also be a viewing tower and so-called bullet lifts on the outside of the building. Mr Crosbie said: "As we are already in the ground working, this will be the first skyscraper completed in Ireland. And I'm told that on a really clear day you should be able to see Wales from the viewing deck.
"We will be running a major international competition to commission a piece of art to go on the roof of the WatchTower," he added.
He said the details would be made public in the next few weeks and a substantial prize fund would be involved. "This is the final piece of the jigsaw and we're delighted," said Mr Crosbie. It is the focus of the new Point Village, which will cover a 12-acre site surrounding the Point Theatre and include a 30,000 sqm shopping centre, hotel and cinemas.
The Watchtower, along with the U2 Tower, will form a maritime gateway to the city of Dublin. The Point Theatre is to be expanded to 15,000 capacity, laid out in the style of a curved Roman amphitheatre.
A double-size Vicar Street is also planned for the development. A new Luas line will provide access for shoppers and tourists to the new Point Village. The site will also be serviced by six Quality Bus Corridors and the proposed Macken St Bridge by Calatrava across the Liffey.
The development is expected to be one of the busiest shopping precincts in the city, with over 45,000 people living in the Docklands alone.