Friday 16 May 2008

Harry Crosbie tries again for 'no star' hotel

DEVELOPER HARRY Crosbie has come back with a planning application to build a no-star hotel to the rear of the Vicar Street music venue in Dublin's Liberties.

In March Crosbie's plan for an eight-storey 180-bedroom hotel was turned down by Dublin City Council because of its height, massing and proximity to properties on Vicar Street, which it said would "seriously injure" and overshadow residential amenities and other developments in the area.

This time around he is still looking to build an eight-storey hotel but on a smaller scale - it will be over 300sq m (3,229sq ft) less than the last planning application at 1,285sq m (13,832sq ft).

He is seeking to build 14 more hotel bedrooms than the last application at 194 but, while he is proposing a creative art studio, he is no longer proposing a workshop and rehearsal space on the ground floor.

Crosbie has said the hotel will be almost "monastic" in terms of its facilities and will not seek a star rating from Bord Fáilte because it will be "too basic to have any stars".

He described the rooms as "cells to sleep in with concrete walls and a very good bed with a duvet".

The most lavish aspect of the development will be the €1 million spent on art works by young Irish artists for the bedrooms.

A freight lift will bring patrons to the residents' bar, restaurant and check-in area in a "big glass box on top of the hotel" which will look out over the city.

The proposal is to locate the hotel to the rear of the music venue and demolish a warehouse on the site.

He says that the "no star" approach is part of a worldwide trend to offer hotel accommodation "at the lowest possible prices".

Special package deals will be available to people attending shows and concerts at Vicar Street, the new Point Arena and the Libeskind theatre in the docklands. Room rates will start at €50.

Irish Times

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