New life for Cork's Sunbeam site

Asite in Blackpool, Cork city, associated for generations with the Sunbeam factory, devastated by fire in 2003, and which was later earmarked for a €100m redevelopment of offices and retail seven years ago, is now for sale, guiding €1.8 million.

The Sunbeam site now for sale on Cork's north side is highlighted showing its position on the N20 adjoining Blackpool Retail Park and Shopping Centre

New to market with agents Savills is 4.3 acres of cleared, brownfield development land by the N20 Cork-Limerick road through Blackpool, and adjoining the Blackpool Retail Park and Atrium office development.

It has, says James O’Donovan of Savills, a positive planning history (now lapsed) after planning was granted in 2010 to developers Rothbury Estates for the development of a large mixed-use retail and office scheme in excess of 400,000 sq ft: reported development value at the time in 2010 was put at c €100m.

The well-located site is immediately adjacent to Blackpool Retail Park, and can be accessed from its northern end as well as from the N20, and from the Redforge Road where the balance of the former Sunbeam plant, factory and offices was located for decades, and which is now in mixed uses. The cleared site portion now for sale was used for textile manufacturing by a company Reffond until a devastating fire in September 2003, one of the largest in Cork city in decades: it led to the loss of 103 textile jobs, after damage to the old buildings was put at excess €5 million.

It also has close proximity to the West Link Business Park on the old Mallow Road and Northpoint Business Park to the north west, which was a springboard for John Cleary Developments and which has 250,000 sq ft of business space, as well as light industrial and showroom occupiers.

There’s also a sizeable office development at the Shipton Group-developed Atrium, by the Blackpool Retail Park near where fast-growing cloud-based business management applications company Teamwork took 16,000 sq ft of refurbished offices at Park House. In what was one of the largest office deals on Cork’s northside in 2016, the company spent most of 2016 fitting out its new offices (at a quoted rent of €15 psf in a deal done by HWBC with Savills and DTZ), pledging to grow employee numbers from 70 to 120 by the end of 2017.

Meanwhile, large scale retailers in this section include Woodie’s DIY, Maplin, Next Home and Boots in the retail park, plus an Aldi and multi-screen cinema, while Dunnes Stores and Carphone Warehouse are all located within the shopping centre on the city side of the retail park.

Peter O’Meara and James O’Donovan of Savills say “the site is ideally suited to a mixed-use scheme, similar to that previously granted, and interest in the office space should be strong given the shortage of grade A office space in the city”.

“We anticipate strong levels of interest in the site. It is well located close to Blackpool Retail Park, an area that is fast becoming a popular hub for large office space.

“The positive planning history certainly adds value by way of eliminating uncertainty surrounding the site.”

The 2010 permission was for 41,000 sq m of retail, office and commercial development, across several tall buildings, with a two-level basement car park for 576 vehicles and included links to the spine road from Blackpool Retail Park, the creation of a new road linking Commons Road and Redforge Road, and realignment of portion of the River Bride.

Details

: Savills 021-4271371

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