Dublin City University is drawing up plans for a major expansion of the college campus which will mirror the Gateway scheme planned for University College Dublin on the southside.
Dublin City councillors were told by city manager John Tierney recently that the college is planning to develop office, hotel, retail and leisure space on part of its lands in Glasnevin as well as educational buildings.
The manager said these uses were allowed under its current Z12 zoning meaning the proposed developments fitted in with uses that are "normally permissible or open for consideration" on such sites and therefore the university would not need a variation of the city development plan to proceed with the scheme.
However, it would need to apply for planning permission and at that stage "the design, layout, height and massing would be assessed".
In 2000 DCU bought a 10 acre site on Griffith Avenue for €39.4m which had been owned by the Eustace family for nearly 150 years. Charlie Kenny's Clancourt Group had originally won the tender for the site but it flipped the site on to DCU at about cost price.
The Kenny family have strong links with DCU and Conor Kenny, who is the group's joint chief executive, is on DCU's Educational Trust board. Charlie Kenny had previously been a board member.
Clancourt's assets include Hibernian's headquarters on Hatch Street and Crescent shopping centre in Limerick.
DCU's main campus stretches from Collins Avenue to Ballymun Road and is about 50 acres. It owns another 35 acres at St Clare's on the west side of Ballymun Road which is used as the university's sports grounds.