Large new music venue in €25m docks site development proposed

February 16, 2023

An entertainment complex with a capacity twice as large as his Vicar Street venue, a boat maintenance facility, and an open space for fairs and festivals are among the plans businessman Harry Crosbie has submitted to Waterways Ireland for the redevelopment of three dry docks in Ringsend.

The Graving docks, also known as City Block 19, are located in the Grand Canal docklands on a prime three-acre site. Currently, plans are underway to sell the site for a mixed-use development that includes residential, commercial, and community uses. Waterways Ireland owns the freehold for the site, while Nama holds a multiyear lease on the property. The docks are situated in a Strategic Development Zone. Notably, one of the docks is home to the MV Naomh Éanna ship, which made headlines after it capsized on the site.

According to recent reports, Mr. Crosbie, the developer behind the successful Point Depot and Bord Gáis Energy Theatre projects, has put forward a proposal to lease the docks and restore them for operational use as part of a €25 million development.

In a letter addressed to Joe McDonagh, Waterways Ireland’s chief executive, in January, Mr. Crosbie suggested that one of the docks be used to “re-establish the ancient boat maintenance skills of Ringsend with a full programme of apprentice training.”

In another proposal, Mr. Crosbie aims to create a “double-sized” Vicar Street venue, with a massive capacity for 2,000 people that would be situated “built down on the floor of the cut stone dock, with an acoustic bubble overhead.”

He added that this venue would be unlike any other in the world and would be a significant attraction for Dublin. Furthermore, Aiken Promotions would program a full calendar of events for this proposed venue.

Regarding the third dock, Mr. Crosbie’s plan is to create a public space of nearly 40,000 square feet. This area would feature a translucent carbon fibre roof, be open on the sides, and follow the old Greek city concept of Agora, which served as a communal gathering place in ancient cities.

According to his letter, this public space would be used for various events, such as large markets and festivals, and would serve as a significant attraction for people, seeing constant use.