Plans to convert a vacant office block off Sean Mulvoy Road to student and tourist accommodation for up to 90 people have been lodged with Galway City Council.
Swuite Bohermore will be run by an international accommodation company and some student residents will be appointed as paid wardens to police anti-social behaviour.
Kildare-based Tim Sheahan of IVS Student Development Bohermore Ltd has sought permission for a change of use of the three-storey building at Sandyfort Business Centre behind the Topaz station at Cemetery Cross.
Most recently, part of the building was occupied by The Learning Institute, an adult education centre which shut down overnight last August.
The development will comprise:
- 77 professionally-managed student and self-catering holiday apartment suites (65 single suites, 8 twin suites and 4 two-bed suites).
- A total of 89 bed spaces.
- Reception area, TV/cinema lounge, juice bar and games area
- Roof terrace with seating
- Basement parking for 57 cars and 63 bicycles.
- New footpath to Sean Mulvoy Road and landscaping.
IVS is part of the Iveragh Student Accommodation group, which has extensive experience in designing and developing purpose-built student accommodation in Ireland, the UK and Germany.
As a result of their previous experience elsewhere, they have identified the Swuite model that can provide third level students accommodation, while also providing a valuable resource to the short-term tourist and business visitor market.
Appropriately designed, the facilities can play an important role in serving each market in its period of highest demand to achieve maximum occupancy and at affordable prices.
Swuite Bohermore offers high quality and professionally-managed student and holiday self-catering apartment suites and ancillary facilities specifically designed for use during the college semester by senior undergraduates, post-graduates and visiting academics and in the summer season by short-term tourist visitors, the planning application reads.
The suites are single and twin occupancy and are fitted with private en suite bathrooms, wardrobe and under-bed storage, double size bed and kitchenette.
A management team will be employed by IVS and will include a full-time operations manager, an administrator, a site maintenance worker and cleaning staff.
During the academic semesters, out-of-hours times will be covered by a concierge or overnight security professional and retained student wardens with a mature outlook and who are resident on site and fully-trained in Health & Safety matters, the application reads.
The student wardens will be residents and will be given a monthly salary to provide a visible presence and point of contact for all residents and any other parties/visitors.
Together with the operations manager, they will be responsible for dealing with noise and any minor anti-social behaviour and to respond to alarms and any relevant planning conditions as well as facilitating good neighbourliness with other local residents, the application reads.
A decision is expected from the City Council in April.