Quay developments set to transform Cork city and harbour

Quay developments set to transform Cork city and harbour
Map of Cork City’s Horgan’s Quay site showing the development area in yellow.

Developments worth several hundred million euro are signalled for strategic Cork city and harbour water-fronting sites, at CIÉ-owned Horgan’s Quay, and separately at Marino Point for Port of Cork, write Tommy Barker and Séan O’Riordan.

A powerful development partnership of investment and development company Clarendon Properties, jointly with builders BAM Ireland has been selected by tender by CIÉ, for a sizeable six-acre site at Horgan’s Quay/Kent station, used by two million rail passengers a year.

The prime site at the city/western end of the sprawling Horgan’s Quay plot at Railway Street, is expected to be developed for offices for FDI companies/financial services, plus apartments for the rental market, along with leisure, most likely a hotel/aparthotel, plus shops and services.

Likely to have a feature building at the city end, where CIÉ is currently developing a new access point to Kent Station and including some protected structures, it has scope to be the oft-heralded game-changer for Cork city’s quays and docklands development, recovering pace after the economic crash and construction sector collapse post-2008.

Quay developments set to transform Cork city and harbour

Horgan’s Quay is deemed one of the city centre’s very best sites for significant, mixed-use development. It has had development proposals mooted for three decades, including one from Owen O’Callaghan in 1995 for a Science Park on three acres, and by Manor Park Homes in the mid-2000s, with up to 1,200 apartments proposed on 14 acres.

This time around, CIÉ is to retain a stake in the 6.1- acre site’s mixed development, getting an agreed rental stream or 10% of market rents, in return for granting a 300-year lease to long-established, Irish-based Clarendon Properties, and BAM Ireland.

Clarendon Properties and BAM will now engage with stakeholders beforeholding pre-planning discussions: they have seven years to secure planning and to develop the site, with the City Plan allowing heights of four to six storeys, and up to seven storeys onto the quay.

CIÉ’s property manager Niall Grogan said they were “delighted with the award of the development rights for this key Cork City site to Clarendon Properties and BAM Ireland as they have an abundance of experience, expertise and the financial strength required in the tender”.

Quay developments set to transform Cork city and harbour

Meanwhile, Port of Cork is leading a c€8m consortium buy-out of the site of the former fertiliser plant IFI on 114 acres at Marino Point which will be developed to take oil, agri-feed and fertiliser shipping traffic and use the facility’s rail link for biomass freight.

The port and its business partners are expected to spend up to €10m redeveloping the former IFI site which closed in 2002.

The jetty is also likely to accommodate oil and gas field supply ships as well as exploration vessels. Port of Cork chairman John Mullins said the consortium comprises agri-business and logistics companies, and the deal was a culmination of two years work.

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