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Throughout Europe there are many examples of the redevelopment of rail stations to include significant commercial development as well as the rebuilding of the stations themselves. In Ireland such development is in its infancy with the only major mixed station/commercial development to date being the concourse and office development at Connolly Station in Dublin. The potential of stations for commercial development may be limited by their location, the limited extent and capacity of the rail network and the attitude of the property industry to these locations. However, the potential of these locations in Dublin City may be about to change. The unprecedented economic growth of recent years has led to ever worsening traffic congestion in the city. It is accepted that an efficient public transport system is essential to the survival and economic well being of the city. The proposed investment of £2.2 billion in public transport in the Greater Dublin Area under the National Development Plan will see a significant expansion in the capacity and extent of the city’s rail network up to 2016. This greatly expanded rail system will form the backbone of the public transport network in Dublin. This will increase the importance of stations as access point to the city especially in the city centre, the principal employment and cultural area of the city and the focal point for the rail network. This in turn may result in a reappraisal of these locations form a commercial property standpoint. However, the nature of development at stations presents unique problems including possible higher than normal costs which affect the viability of development at these locations. The increasing attractiveness of the station as a location for commercial development will have to produce returns adequate to offset the additional costs and other risks.
Adamson, M.: Rail Stations as Locations for Commercial Property Development: the Implications for Dublin. Masters Thesis. Dublin Institute of Technology, 2001.