Vacant Ulster Bank building in College Green considered for social housing redevelopment 

The former Ulster Bank on College Green that closed earlier this year may be turned into social housing. 

In a bid to tackle the on-going housing crisis, Dublin City Council is exploring the possibility of repurposing the vacant Ulster Bank building on College Green into much-needed social housing. 

In April this year, 63 Ulster Bank branches closed down. NatWest (National Westminster Bank) also took the decision to close branches in the Republic. 

The Ulster Bank building, located in the heart of Dublin, has sat empty for several months, presenting an opportunity for creative solutions to address the city’s housing needs. The proposal to convert the vacant property into social housing is gaining traction among city officials. 

Former Ulster Bank branch at 33 College green. Photo: Aine McKeon

The Liberty spoke to the public to get their opinion on whether this new initiative is a good idea. 

“I think it could be a good idea, especially with the housing crisis at the moment. There’s so many vacant buildings around Dublin that could easily be used for housing,” local businessman John Reynolds said. 

The building is not cheap and it has recently been put on the market with a guide price of €13.5 million. Part of the building is a protected historic structure and is possibly why the cost of this building is so high. 

The council are also considering purchasing other former Ulster Bank buildings in Dublin including the former branch on Baggot Street. An offer of €2 million was made last month as it is also a protected structure. 

Lisa Burke, a college student who frequently gets the bus from College Green told The Liberty, “I had no idea they were thinking of turning it into social housing, but I do think it would be beneficial to use it for housing as it’s just sitting there but will they actually do that? I don’t know.”

Dublin City Council have recently set up a new ‘adaptive reuse’ program to convert derelict buildings in the city into social housing. 

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