Planning permission a ‘game-changer’ for Cork quays

By Tommy Barker

A major planning approval this week brings to €300m the value of development set to flow onto Cork City’s north quays, by CIÉ’s Kent railway station.

Penrose Dock,a new €125m office based development on Cork’s Penrose Quay near Kent rail station for developers John Cleary Developments (JCD)
Penrose Dock,a new €125m office based development on Cork’s Penrose Quay near Kent rail station for developers John Cleary Developments (JCD)

Cork City Council has approved a planning application for a €125m office development, Penrose Dock on Penrose Quay, spanning 250,000 sq ft across two buildings. Proposed by John Cleary Developments, it says it has the capacity for 2,250 jobs when completed in 2020.

The decision to grant the permission comes shortly after BAM/Clarendon Properties got the green light to develop a €160m mixed-use scheme right alongside, called HQ on Horgan’s Quay, in conjunction with land owners CIE.

The HQ scheme includes 237 apartments for the letting market, a hotel, and 390,000 sq ft of offices, likely to take four years to complete.

Last night, JCD said it hopes to move on site as soon as next month, with 300 construction jobs via builders PJ Hegarty & Sons. It said the Wilson Architecture- designed scheme “is seen as adding substantial momentum to Cork City Council’s Docklands Development Strategy, by bringing balance to both the North and South Quays”.

Planning permission a ‘game-changer’ for Cork quays

Chief executive John Cleary described the granting as “a game-changer” for the north quays. “It also brings balance to the economic progress we have seen along the city’s quays in recent years and is another positive step forward in the strategy for the overall development of Cork’s Docklands,” he said.

The scheme can create another large employment centre in the city, with the potential for over 2,000 people to work there once it’s complete in the first half of 2020.

JCD representatives have been active in the US this month, over potential occupiers for Penrose Dock.

Last week it confirmed a letting at its 85 South Mall office scheme, currently under construction, to US-based cybersecurity firm Forcepoint, which will join KPMG there.

JCD buildings in Cork house more than 4,500 workers in projects from Mahon’s City Gate to One Albert Quay to The Capitol, spanning 850,000 sq ft.

Planning permission a ‘game-changer’ for Cork quays

Minister Simon Coveney hailed the swift planning approval as “greatly helping to meet the massive demand for grade-A office space in metropolitan Cork”.

Conor Healy of Cork Chamber of Commerce, said it was “yet another huge boost for the business landscape, employment, and economic growth in Cork”.

It faces the rapidly advancing O’Callaghan Properties’ Navigation Square development across the River Lee, where a second office block start is imminent, likely to see tower cranes simultaneously on Cork’s north and south quays, as developers compete to capture FDI demand.

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