City living is set to reach new heights in Cork’s docklands despite a legal challenge to a vital docklands road upgrade.
The JCD Group has confirmed that it has lodged a planning application directly with An Bórd Pleanála for a soaring €90m 201-apartment build-to-rent scheme with a landmark 25-storey tower close to the gateway to the sprawling south docks.
A decision on the project, earmarked for Carey’s Tool Hire site on Albert Quay, is expected within 16 weeks under the Bórd’s fast-track Strategic Housing Development process.
If approved, it will be the city’s tallest building at 82m, topping the nearby 71m Elysian, and the 22-storey 79m tower at Capital Dock, Dublin. But it will still be three metres short of the 85m Obel Tower in Belfast.
A planning application is still being considered for a 34-storey 250-bed hotel on Cork's nearby Custom House Quay site.
JCD's scheme includes 93 50sqm one-bed apartments, 104 80sqm two-bed apartments, and four 127sqm three-bed apartments.
The scheme also proposes the demolition of the former Sextant pub and the relocation of the bar and restaurant use to the ticketing office and railway terminus building of the protected former Cork-Blackrock and Passage Railway on the Albert Street side.
JCD said there will be significant investment in these protected and historic structures to restore them to their former glory.
Rents have not been finalised but market sources suggest monthly rents could be around €2,000 a month for two-bed apartments.
Under build-to-rent regulations, it is not possible to buy the apartments individually for the first 15-years.
The plans were lodged just days after Save Cork City confirmed it is mounting a legal challenge against the decision of Cork City Council in September to proceed with the €7m docklands to city centre public realm road scheme which includes major upgrades to Albert Quay.
Gerry O'Beirne, the city council's director of services in Infrastructure Development, said the city's docklands is potentially the largest docklands regeneration area in Europe with the capacity for more than 10,000 homes and around 29,000 jobs.
"Already, it is attracting significant inward investment with a series of landmark office, residential and hotel developments under construction or in planning," he said.
"The reported application for judicial review is seriously concerning and disappointing as it jeopardises the provision of this key road improvement scheme which will support the delivery of these new jobs and homes in the city."