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Britain's biggest co-living company closes deal for site in Dublin's historic Liberties region

A deal to buy the site closed on Friday and is set to be developed in the next two years.

THE BIGGEST CO-LIVING company in Britain has secured a site in Dublin and is set to develop a community living hub within the next two years. 

A deal to buy a site in the Fumbally Lane area of the liberties region of Dublin closed on Friday with The Collective, an established co-living company based in London, the business behind it. 

The concept of co-living sparked controversy in recent weeks after the government and opposition parties addressed concerns for a proposed development in Dun Laoghaire. 

In defence of co-living, Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said young workers should be excited about the concept, while Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald described them as a “glamourised form of tenement living”. 

Bartra Capital Property, which was behind the Dun Laoghaire project, also has three other co-living projects in the works for Dublin while also eyeing up cities such as Galway and Cork.

The Collective outlined its plans to enter the Irish market earlier this year following changes to the regulations concerning room size in 2018, which allowed for smaller units to be built.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, global planning and communications director James Penfold said the company was in pre-planning stages and that it would liaise with the local community and businesses within weeks. 

“We’re excited to build our flagship Dublin project in a community as rich as the Liberties,” he said.   

“It reflects who we are as a company and our founding ethos of providing a space for locals to live and grow together, to harbour great thinking and provide a space for nearby companies to use.”

The Oaks co-living block in London is the biggest of its kind, with 546 rooms which are rented out on short and longer term bases, and which have had an occupancy rate of 98% for the past three years. 

Each room contains a kitchenette, en-suite bathroom, and a number of communal spaces.

Details on the number of rooms that will be built in Dublin and the amount of people it can accommodate have not been finalised and will require planning permission before the project can proceed.  

Prices in the London unit come in around €1,100, although The Collective did not say how much it would charge for the new Dublin units. 

Along with running the London operation, the company set up co-living blocks in New York and also established offices in Berlin. 

“We opened offices in New York and Berlin in 2018, and we have a global development pipeline of 7,500 co-living rooms, with 1,600 currently operational,” Penfold said. 

“We are honoured to have acquired our first site in Dublin in the Fumbally neighbourhood.  

“We look forward to working with the people of the Liberties area.  We will be meeting and listening to local communities, businesses and planners in the coming weeks to co-create a world-class cultural destination we can all be proud of.”

A post on The Collective’s LinkedIn account last week said: “We are proud to have completed our first acquisition in Dublin today.

“Working with our development partner Mm Capital, we will deliver a world-class cultural destination with community at its heart by late 2021.”

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