By Tommy Barker
IN his sporting days, Kevin Cummins always wanted to demolish hurling adversaries Glen Rovers.
It may have taken several decades, but the Blackrock club hurler and now owner of seven sports shops in his native Cork got his wish with the 'inside' help of three Glen Rovers club members and sporting opponents.
A new landmark 22-apartment development is rising up out of the ground on the site of the old Glen Hall, epicentre of Cork's rejuvenated suburb Blackpool, where several hundred million euro is being invested.
Developers of the tax-driven Section 23 scheme are Spring Lane Developments, comprising directors Kevin Cummins, along with Glen Rovers stalwarts and one-time sporting enemies Paul Young, Michael Lane and Liam Martin.
"Money helped us put those differences behind us," they joke, as they launch a €5 million apartment development on the old Glen Hall site.
They banded together to buy the former Glen Hall when time came for its removal as part of the renewal of Blackpool.
While there were a number of suggestions for its redevelopment (including bowling alley and cinema), the decision reached with Cork City Hall "was for a landmark building; the city manager Joe Gavin was very determined and helpful," notes Kevin.
The original Glen Hall dated back to 1951, and was literally built block by block by the hands of the club's members. It was the scene of many sporting victory celebrations, was a community hall in every sense of the word, and was where Jack Lynch celebrated his election as Taoiseach.
In it stead is a new development of 22 apartments, also called Glen Hall, in a gated development of three blocks, topped with curved zinc roofs and featuring roof gardens and lower level parking for 26 cars.
Design is by architects James Leahy Associates, and most of the units are two bedroomed, of about 700 sq ft each, with a couple of penthouse/duplexes as well.
Selling agents are F&V Sheahan Auctioneers and prices range from €265,000 to €315,000, with 90% capital allowances for investors and 50% tax breaks against income over 10 years for owner-occupiers, according to Paul Young.
Builders on site are John Paul Construction, and the scheme is expected to be ready for occupation by the end of this year.