Date Uploaded: 02/03/2016
Another landmark building in Dublin city centre, Cathal Brugha Street College, is to be offered for sale a week after the adjoining Gresham Hotel was launched on the international market by Nama. The college trained thousands of chefs and hotel managers over the years and is due to celebrate its 75th anniversary this year.
The sale comes as the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) pushes ahead with plans to relocate the Cathal Brugha Street College and students from five other campus sites in the city centre to its new campus being developed at Grangegorman.
Killian O’Higgins of WK Nowlan Real Estate Advisers is quoting €15-€20 million for the iconic college building off O’Connell Street which includes two properties – the original early 1940s art deco style building fronting on to Cathal Brugha Street, Marlborough Street and Thomas Lane and a connected 1990s building opening on to Marlborough Street. Though each building has its own independent access they are linked at ground and first floor levels via a six-storey building of which the remaining upper floors form part of the Gresham Hotel.
DIT and Grangegorman Development Agency plan to offer the college for sale in one or two lots with a combined floor area of 10,761sq m (115,716sq ft). The guide price for the 1940s building will be in the €10-€12.5 million range while the modern extension will be expected to make in the region of €5 to €7.5 million.
Irish and international interests looking at the €80 million priced Gresham Hotel will obviously want to check out the college as well because of its potential to add possibly as many as 250 to 300 bedrooms on top of the 323 already in the Gresham. The other great advantage is that new owners would merely have to convert the existing college buildings rather than embark on a new build.
The four-storey over basement art deco style building with an internal floor area of 7,127sq m (76,712sq ft) has been maintained to a high standard. The accommodation includes commercial kitchens, restaurant, classrooms, lecture rooms, academic offices, library, stores and a 129-seat lecture hall at basement level.
The part seven and part eight-storey over basement building on Marlborough Street has an internal floor area of 3,624sq m (39,004sq ft). The accommodation includes a series of laboratories, tiered lecture rooms, store room and offices. The building is opposite a 612-space multi-storey car park.
John Vaudin of WK Nowlan said that, as well as being of interest to parties looking at the Gresham, Cathal Brugha Street College would also appeal to many private education providers as a purpose-built college, as well as to developers and investors interested in the residential market, leisure opportunities and student accommodation.
Cathal Brugha Street accommodates the Schools of Culinary Arts and Food Technology; Hospitality Management and Tourism and Environmental Health and Food Science.
Once it agrees on a sale of the college, DIT will be looking for a short-term lease to autumn 2018 or 2019 when the college will move to Grangegorman where the full-time student population will eventually be in excess of 20,000. The project will also include 2,000 student residences.
Cathal Brugha Street College is in the heart of the city just off O’Connell Street with its bus network. The college is also within a short walk of the Luas red line and the new Luas Cross City transport system currently being installed.
The president of DIT, Prof Brian Norton, said they already had 1,000 students on campus in Grangegorman and in two years that number would grow to 10,000.
As they celebrate 75 years of excellence in education in their Cathal Brugha Street buildings, they would bring that history of success and commitment with them.
The CEO of the Grangegorman Development Agency, Michael Hand, said the sale of the college would enable them to continue the programme of amalgamating the multiple sites currently in use by DIT throughout the city.
Journalist: Jack Fagan