A €43 million contract for the development of a 296 bed student residence was signed earlier today by BAM Ireland and Global Student Accommodation (GSA), and is expected to be completed by September 2018.
The residence, Uninest Mill II, will be located in Merchants Quay alongside another 400 bed student residence constructed by GSA. That residence, Uninest New Mill, will open for students in September 2017. The Merchants Quay site received planning permission in July 2016.
The new construction will offer a combination of ensuite cluster apartments and community spaces, while the ground floor will house small businesses.
The construction will create approximately 250 jobs throughout its construction, with a further five full-time positions becoming available upon completion in 2018.
According to a press release, GSA have said that during site planning for the new construction there was “full consultation” with local residence and Dublin City Council, and that they held discussions with local universities to discuss the needs of the universities as their student populations grow.
Following the signing of the contract, GSA’s Head of Construction Europe, Aaron Bailey, said in a press statement: “This is an exciting day for GSA, as securing this contract brings us even closer to our goal of delivering 5,000 additional student beds to Dublin by the end of 2021.”
The construction of Uninest Mill II will make it the fifth student accommodation residence built in Dublin by GSA.
GSA currently has one student residence open in Dublin, called Uninest Broadstone Hall, which provides 101 student beds. The building was refurbished for student use and opened in 2016.
GSA has plans for two student accommodation complexes to open this year. As mentioned above, Uninest New Mill will provide 400 beds by September 2017, while Uninest Kavanagh Court is expected to provide 491 student beds from September 2017. Plans also stretch into 2018, as Uninest Brunswick Street is being constructed by Bennett Construction and will provide 571 student beds from September 2018.
Dublin is currently in the midst of a housing crisis that has been affecting students for a number of years. Not enough student accommodation is being provided to satisfy the population, and the cost of renting has risen annually.
Some measures have been taken to combat this, however. This academic year, Trinity College leased 248 beds in the Binary Hub student accommodation complex to Trinity students. However this lease was for one year and it is currently unclear whether it will be extended for the 2017/18 academic year.
Construction of Oisin House, a proposed student accommodation complex on Pearse Street for Trinity students, was approved by Dublin City Council in December last year, and is set to provide approximately 250 beds for Trinity students.
However, a plan for a 152 bed student residence in Drumcondra was rejected last week as the planning was, according to Council planning officials: “inappropriately designed and inadequately detailed”, and due to its “bulk, height, and design would seriously injure the residential amenities” of the area.