By Nick Moloney
Two of DIT’s campuses on the edge of the Liberties are set to vacate and move to Grangegorman as soon as 2019.
The campuses will be moving across the river to Grangegorman and bringing with them 6,000 students.
DIT Kevin Street and DIT’s largest campus in Aungier Street are set to leave the area by 2019 and 2022 respectively. The move will leave a big hole in the area’s commercial streets. However, not all businesses are worried.
“There are pros and cons from a business point of view… there will be no negative impact if another business moves in,” Oliver Cruise from Network Café said.
Oliver said they tend to get more business from students in Aungier Street and would be happy to see a business move into Kevin Street.
“If a business went into Kevin Street we could aggressively target that,” he said.
Network Café is positioned across the street from the Aungier Street campus and has become the café of choice for a lot of students.
Paul Horan, head of campus planning for Grangegorman commented on the situation: “Any building we leave will be sold and redeveloped … there will be new users/occupiers.
“And while the uses may change, if there is a shift from academic to office use, it will come with a changing demographic and more year-round use, as opposed to the up-down nature of the academic calendar,” he added.
There is no certainty as to who will move into the buildings after DIT leaves. However, they are expected to be bought up quickly given the current economic climate and their location.
“We have no certainty about who will buy/use but it is our general opinion that the Kevin Street site is likely to be demolished and fully redeveloped, possibly as a mixed-use office, residential, office site,” Horan said.
“Aungier street is a far more modern building and suitable for continued academic use or office use,” Horan added.
While both buildings are expected to be bought up quickly, Horan said Kevin Street will probably be redeveloped and this could take up to two years. DIT is working towards a September 2019 deadline for the move, but that could slip.
“Hopefully any impact on local businesses will be short term,” Graeme McQueen from the Dublin Chamber of Commerce said.
“DIT leaving the area will open up new opportunities for new tenants or for potential new development,” he added.
“The Liberties area is full of potential, that will hopefully be realised in the coming years. Key to this will be the much talked about redevelopment of Iveagh Market, and also the future use of the DIT sites,” Mr McQueen said.
According to Dublin City County Council, the location of the two buildings make them attractive to buyers hoping to acquire them for commercial use.
A council spokesperson said some third-level institutes could take interest in either of the buildings.
“That may even include other third-level use and there are other third-level colleges in the area including private colleges and institutions such as the Royal College of Surgeons,” the council spokesperson added.