Category: Fit Out or Refurbishment €5m to 30m
Project: Park West Plaza office to Residential Conversion
Contractor: Harcourt in Partnership with Tuath Housing
Client: Tuath Housing
Tuath Housing, in partnership with Dublin City Council and Harcourt Developers delivered 86 social housing homes at the Plaza Building in Park West Business Park, Dublin 12. Originally built over four floors, both blocks lay vacant for over 20 years, finally being re-purposed and converted to a five-storey housing development, over a two year period in what is thought to be the largest conversion of office accommodation into residential use.
The buildings are located in the 230-acre Park West business and technology campus built by Harcourt in the late 1990s and early 2000s. While most of the buildings in the business park are occupied by companies, the two adjoining blocks, known as 70 and 72 The Plaza, did not secure commercial tenants.
The former office complex will now house up to 200 people and is the result of €26 million redevelopment undertaken by Harcourt Developments on behalf of Tuath Housing. Harcourt secured planning permission in 2018 to convert the two blocks into apartments. Two years later Tuath entered into a deal to acquire and fund the conversion of the offices into homes using financing from the Department of Housing and a loan from AIB’s Social Investment Fund.
“The main challenge of these types of projects is working within the existing fabric of the building, but we worked closely with the developer Harcourt, who have experience in other jurisdictions with this type of project,” said Martin Loughran, director of property development with Túath Housing.
“They’ve done a great job and designed it well… and have completed it to a high standard.”
There are some reminders of the building’s past life, as concrete columns dissect some of the apartments.
“Interestingly, some of the tenants actually are excited by the prospect of decorating things like the concrete columns that exist,” he said.
The other features that remain from the original development include the void spaces, which have been effectively converted into community spaces. Complete with a new penthouse floor, the development possesses exhaust air heat pumps, and heat recovery ventilation systems. Photovoltaic solar panels were installed to provide for modern heating and ventilation systems, according to Harcourt.
The Park West Plaza development is also designed to encourage community living. The development includes a range of amenities such as a community center, a gym, and a children’s play area, which will promote social interaction and community cohesion. The commercial buildings will also provide job opportunities for the local community, further enhancing the development’s positive impact.
The development’s emphasis on sustainability, community living, and job creation makes it a significant asset to the local area, providing a blueprint for future developments in Dublin and beyond. To date, all 86 homes have been allocated by Tuath to people from Dublin City Council’s housing waiting list.