The €150m redevelopment of U2′s Clarence Hotel will not get under way for another two years.
After a protracted planning application process, Bono and the Edge are willing to wait before closing down the Dublin city centre hotel.
A spokeswoman for the project told the Herald the Clarence would operate as normal for the next two years.
“The owners are currently working on the design and pro-ject management requirements. For the next two years, the Clarence Hotel is fully operational as normal,” she said.
The hotel will re-open again following the redevelopment in 2012 or 2013, the spokeswoman added. An Bord Pleanala gave the go ahead last July to the Norman Foster-designed pro-ject, which has been going through the planning process for over a year and a half.
The decision was hugely significant as the redevelopment will involve gutting a series of protected buildings, including the Clarence itself, leaving just the facades.
Revised plans will have to be submitted to Dublin City Council as the planning board directed certain changes.
The massive revamp was granted permission by Dublin City Council in November but that decision was appealed.
An Bord Pleanala then directed that an oral hearing take place.
Permission was granted despite the Department of the Environment saying it did not believe the plan was of such architectural merit as to justify the demolition of six protected buildings.
The U2 band members, along with property developers Paddy McKillen and Derek Quinlan, will transform the 44-bedroom boutique hotel into a 141-bedroom, five-star hotel and spa, complete with restaurant, bar and fresh food market.
During the oral hearing, the Edge, whose real name is David Evans, said: “If it goes ahead, it will be the ninth different version of a hotel on that site. We want to keep the infrastructure in the city — we don’t want it to turn into apartments. We don’t want it to be lost.”
But the plan caused controversy as it involves a massive reconstruction of the Clarence, an art deco building dating from 1937, four Georgian buildings from the early 19th century and Dollard House, built in 1886.
All are listed buildings and only the facades along Wellington Quay in the south inner city will be preserved.
It is proposed to re-use skirting boards, fireplaces, floorboards and all other internal features in the new building.
A huge glass atrium, which will be accessible to the public, will be at the heart of the hotel, with a skycatcher allowing light to enter the hotel.
News Source: Evening Herald