The Shoebox King And You



Ching Chait Kwong (top) and the proposed Dublin Docklands Strategic Development Zone (SDZ)

Ching Chiat Kwong.

He has suits bigger than some of his apartments.

The Government’s Housing Agency wants Dublin City Council to lower its apartment size rules and allow the construction of rental-only “studios” 27 per cent smaller than the current minimum size.

Housing Agency calls for smaller apartments in Dublin (Irish Times, October 4, 2014)

Planning permission has been sought [By Oxley and Ballymore] for the first phase of one of the largest developments planned for Dublin’s docklands under Dublin City Council’s new fast-track planning scheme.

…Oxley is headed up by former Singapore police officer Ching Chiat Kwong, who made his name in Singapore as the “Shoebox King” for developing compact apartments.

Major development planned on Dublin docklands site (Irish Times, today)

D writes:

Surely there’s some connection between these two stories…Perhaps your readers can shed some light?


Major development planned on Dublin docklands site (Irish Times)

Ching Chiat Kwong on Forbes Lists

Previously: ‘No Party May Appeal To An Bord Pleanála’

40 thoughts on “The Shoebox King And You

  1. Clampers Outside!

    Our govt has the peoples interest at heart when it goes out of its way to encourage this brilliant man to create studios while every homeless and housing charity and agency in the country says that homes need to be bigger… but sure our Ministers who don’t know what they are doing anyway pay massive salaries to advisors so they don’t have to listen to the experts in the field of housing.

    Nothing to see here at all.

  2. _d_a_n_

    All that matters in this city is the bottom line. Through a continuing housing crises, a rental market which is out of control and the spectre of ghost estates still lingering, what do we do? We hand planning permission to an international developer renowned for his sub standard building practices and tiny apartments, but not before a government agency recommends to our city council to reduce allowed apartment sizes. We are building an unlivable city. Imagine what these developments will be like in 50 years.

    For the record, here are our councillors for the area;

    Janice Boylan – Sinn Féin –
    Christy Burke – Independent –
    Gaye Fagan – Sinn Feinn –
    Nial Ring – Independent –
    Ciarán Cuffe – Green Party –
    Gary Gannon – Independent –
    Ray McAdam – Fine Gael –
    Éilis Ryan – Independent –

    1. Ha

      The councillors do not control planning (thankfully?). A list of the planners dealing with it might be more relevant. There’s a lack of accountability if you were looking for it.

    2. ReproBertie

      “We hand planning permission to an international developer.”

      But the articles quoted reads “Planning permission has been sought.”

      Planning permission has been sought, not handed over. Yet.

    3. ollie

      “a rental market which is out of control”
      Wrong, rents are not far off the boom rates. The problem is lack of affordability as a result of high taxation and salary cuts.
      “and the spectre of ghost estates still lingering”
      Wrong, there is a small overhang of unfinished and unoccupied housing in parts of the County where no-one wants to live. These properties are not and cannot solve the housing crisis.

      In fact, there are not enough properties available for people to rent, that’s the problem; and the only solution is to build, but developers are sitiing on their hands waiting for prices to rise and the next boom to begin (which it will).
      As for Mr Shoebox, how many anouncements has this pathetic government made for this “strategic area”. I can count at least 3 in the last 4 years.

      1. _d_a_n_

        I’m not saying that ghost estates can solve the housing crises, all I’m pointing out is that they exist because of bad planning and regulation.

        There are bedsits in south Dublin on the rental market for 1000 p/m. Like this one;

        ‘Wrong, rents are not far off the boom rates. The problem is lack of affordability as a result of high taxation and salary cuts.’

        I’m sorry, are you saying that rents are high because people can’t afford them? What would you define as out of control?

        Lets say Average Joe should spend a maximum of 33% pf his income on rent. He would have to earn over 53,000 for the privilege of living in the above bed sit.

      2. curmudgeon

        “Wrong, there is a small overhang of unfinished and unoccupied housing in parts of the County where no-one wants to live.” You’re dead wrong on this one. Plenty of ghost estates and even entire half finished apartment complexes abound in Dublin, one very large one only a 10 minute walk from Glasnevin cemetery. I know of another at the back of a very nice and populous estate in Lucan. Along with all the other properties in the NAMA portfolio which they don’t want to “flood” the market with. I don’t disagree with a general lack of availability in Dublin though, maybe the government should spread the budget so that other counties get a fairer proportion of public transport, schools and other general amenities and infrastructure so everyone doesn’t have to live here. But they do, so rents will stay high.

  3. Custo

    Population density in Singapore (pop 5.4m) – 7200 p/km sq
    Population density in Ireland (pop 4.5m) – 65/km sq


    1. benny

      Yarp. Many of the apartments in Singapore are so small that people just don’t spend their free time in them – they socialise outside in the public areas instead. Of course, they have the weather for it.

      1. ahyeah

        The average size of a resident of Singapore is 34.8% of the average size of a resident of Dublin City and 39.7% of the average resident of Dublin County. It stands to reason that their homes are smaller.

    2. curmudgeon

      I’ve been to Singapore, the climate is a bit nicer and you know people can go outside where it’s absolutely sunny and also completely spotless, and no one has cars. The place is about 40 years ahead of Ireland in terms of well everything, heck it’s the most futuristic place I’ve ever been to and I’ve been to Japan. Probably not the most apt comparison espcially considering that outiside of Dublin population density is spartan and in Singapore well its a very small country and theyr’e all pretty much packed to capacity as is.

  4. sycamoreal

    there was an old woman who lived in a shoe. she had so many children she had to use the box as an apartment in D.2

      1. New Person A

        Jones lad poo
        defends box king of shoes
        poems don’t have to be not crap
        or an accurate factual record

  5. Owen C

    Bigger apartments will cost more to build. They will therefore sell for more. They will therefore cost more to buy or to rent. Which we all believe to be a problem right now. Anyone see the conundrum here v-a-v “we want bigger apartments!”?

    1. _d_a_n_

      Of course, but the answer to these problems is not to build a huge development of tiny apartments. We have to think about the next 20 years, not the next five. Short sighted thinking has resulted in tiny bedsits in Ranelagh being rented out for over 1000 euro a month, not to mention homelessness. A number of measures need to be brought in across the sector. If it turns out that these apartments will be tiny it doesn’t help anything. Even if they are affordable (which I doubt they will be) they will result in sub standard living conditions into the future.

    2. Custo

      Would they not cost less to build?

      Within the main building there would be: Fewer dividing walls, fewer power outlets, fewer sinks, fewer shower units, fewer toilets (and all the pipes & fittings that entails), fewer doors, fewer storage heaters, fewer water pumps, fewer white goods needed to fit them out etc.

      If I had an area in which to build 50 or 75 appartments depending on the size, surely It would cost far more to build the 75.

      1. _d_a_n_

        Profit from selling the additional units would more than cover the additional material cost, making them cheaper.

      2. Owen C

        Land is the biggest cost input into our relatively low rise residential construction. Again, we could make ’em cheaper if we built them higher, but no one really wants that either…

  6. JunkFace

    WE ALREADY HAVE Shoebox homes!! What the hell do they think was built during the boom? Decent sized homes? Christ!! This country is a f***ing joke!

  7. Soft like

    The cat that you can’t swing currently in most Irish apartments will not be able to fit through the door of these pods that this crowd of idiots will build. But sure it’s a quick fix to build a load of crap and then worry about fire safety afterwards. Sure we all need a new priory hall to live in.

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