Skyscraper could provide €296m-a-year boost

Johnny Ronan’s plans for the tallest building in Dublin could provide an annual €296 million boost to the economy, an expert has claimed.Constantin Gurdgiev, an economist from Trinity College Dublin, has written a report on the proposed landmark development as part of Mr Ronan’s planning application. The 22-storey Aqua Vetro tower adjoining Tara Street station would include a hotel and office accommodation topped off by a restaurant and bar with panoramic views. A decision by Dublin city council is expected in July.The report is among documents lodged in support of the planning application by Ronan Group Real Estate. In his 33-page account Mr Gurdgiev said that an “upside” scenario for the development would provide a total annual economic benefit of €296 million a year. He said that this was based on GNP growth of 5 per cent and no adverse economic shocks between 2018 and 2023. In a “downside” scenario, such as a mild recession, the forecast would be €263 million a year over the same period.Mr Gurdgiev said that between 2,722 and 3,068 jobs would be supported by the development. The total economic impact of the construction phase would be between €50 million and €60 million. He described the neighbouring areas as “a de facto black spot” in the capital, with minimal daytime footfall and near abandonment during evening hours.

“The area suffers from a lack of modern building facilities, relating to both commercial and residential real estate, as well as from underdevelopment of quality food and entertainment venues,” the report said. Mr Gurdgiev said that the Tara Street area was “marked with urban decay, severe underutilisation of urban and private infrastructures and lack of sufficient scale of development to sustain viable economic, social and cultural activities”. He claimed that Mr Ronan’s project would “ deliver a new world class public realm for one of the county’s busiest commuter transport nodes”.“The development site provides an unparalleled opportunity to create a focal 24-hour node of economic and social activities connecting the north quays to the east of The Custom House and the main business and government hub of the city centre,” he said. He said that the development would act as an anchor for regeneration in the area.The report estimated that at least half of the employment on the site would be generated by companies outside Ireland.“While the expected impact of the Brexit on professional services employment in Ireland is hard to gauge, the continued development of Dublin as an international financial and professional services hub offers significant opportunity for such a development,” Mr Gurdgiev said.