Green light for Hines project on former Player Wills Factory site

An Bord Pleanála has approved planning permission for Hines to build 732 new residential units and 2 large new public parks for the Liberties. This is the second phase of the significant urban regeneration of a large brownfield site in Dublin 8, once home to the Player Wills cigarette factory.

The decision also allows for the transformation of the former Player Wills Factory into an innovative mixed-use space, with a fully permeable ground level including a large cafe, bar, restaurant, outdoor courtyard, and an 852 sq.m. dedicated community, arts and cultural and exhibition space, including artists’ studios. On the upper levels, residents can avail of c. 1,500 sq.m. of amenities – comprising a large gym, fitness and wellness studio, lounges, terraces a library, meeting rooms and a large business centre. There are numerous other cafes, retail units and resident amenities in adjacent buildings, along with a sizable creche.

A core part of the new development will be two large new outdoor amenity spaces – a 3,960 sq.m. public park which will be a landscaped outdoor play and amenity zone for the new residents of Player Wills and Bailey Gibson and the existing wider community. The second important outdoor amenity area will be a 1,350 sq.m. public park and playground adjacent to St. Catherine’s National School on Donore Avenue. A third temporary 1,158 sq.m. public park will also be built at the same location and set aside for a future school extension.

It’s the second of three planning applications connected to the redevelopment of the former Player Wills and Bailey Gibson sites, which was purchased by Hines and APG in December 2018.

The Phase 2 application granted today also allows for the construction of 3 brand new residential blocks containing a total of 445 new residential units, with the balance of the units (287) to be based in the Player Wills building. The masterplan for the overall site was designed to ensure a stepped approach with lower height buildings located towards the perimeter, and the new taller buildings proposed to be located at the centre of the site, away from the existing streets and houses.

Welcoming today’s decision, Managing Director with Hines Ireland Gary Corrigan said: “We welcome the approval by An Bord Pleanála of the 2nd phase of the Player Wills-Bailey Gibson development. Our proposal responds to the significant housing need that exists in Dublin at this time in line with the current policy backdrop now in place to facilitate its early delivery. Hines and APG are delighted to be in a position to be able to deliver much needed residential accommodation and extensive new amenity, community and outdoor recreational spaces which will benefit all residents across this development as well as the wider neighbourhood of Dublin 8.

We are especially happy to get the endorsement of the Board for our proposed approach with the Player Wills building, which will see both the retention and reimagining of the original building and façade which had fallen into disrepair and is in need of major investment to ensure it survives and can once again become the beating heart of Dublin 8.

We will continue to work collaboratively with Dublin City Council and our community stakeholders in bringing forward a carefully planned and integrated design for the entire project as we ultimately aim to deliver 1552 new homes across the combined Player Wills and Bailey Gibson sites.”

Hines hopes to submit a further planning application for the third and final phase of the Player Wills – Bailey Gibson site in the coming weeks.