Opportunity Knox as secure investment 'Fort Knox' Cork building comes back from the Brinks

Opportunity Knox as secure investment 'Fort Knox' Cork building comes back from the Brinks

Looking for a safe place to plonk your cash, or a super-secure building/investment option?

Look no further than Unit 9000 in the Blarney Business Park — it’s the Cork equivalent of Fort Knox, in terms of security.

Purpose-built in 2003 for Brinks, the international cash-in-transit and secure logistics/storage company on the edge of Cork city, the bomb and bullet-proof building extends to 26,000 sq ft and quite possibly has the greatest concentration of concrete, and the least amount of glass, of anything else built in decades.

Designed as a secure base for holding and moving cash around much of Munster, the Blarney Blarney Business Park Brinks’ base served cash security services and ATMs in Cork, Waterford, Kerry, South Tipperary and parts of Limerick.

The familiar branded company (the blue and white Brinks van is familiar from many movies and heist scenes) has a presence in 100 countries, but announced in 2016 that it was ending its business in Ireland, with the loss of over 200 jobs, in Cork, Dublin and Galway.

At the time, it said it could not find a sustainable business model in the Republic, and commented “the Irish secure logistics market has not been profitable for the past few years and Brinks believes that in its current state the market does not offer the potential for sustainable growth or profitability”.

Brinks had opened in Cork in 2003, to a fanfare, taking on a 35 year lease at then fledgling Blarney Business Park, which itself had launched on 70 acres in 2001, just two weeks after the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers in New York.

Brinks opened in Cork on a 35 year lease, which wags at the time quipped was “the ultimate in security of tenure”.

The 26,200 sq ft building is on a 2.9 acre compound/site, and carries a price guide of €850,000 with senior surveyor Seamus Costello of Cushman & Wakefield.

He said the site size allows for further development, in a park “re-energised in recent times by its new owners, JCD.

Other occupiers include ILC Dover, GLS, Healthcare 21, a NCT vehicle test centre, Ecco, and Masterlink logistics.”

The C&W sales details don’t identify the previous occupants of the building, and merely identify it as Block 9000, “a modern commercial building,” intriguingly adding as “a former secure cash facility, the building may now may be suitable for a variety of storage with ancillary office uses”.

An editorial description of it in these pages in 2003 noted it had a central vault, time-lock controlled, surrounded by 270 cubic metres of concrete and contained “a surprising amount of cash”.

Design of the robust, steel-clad concrete building was by Wilson Architecture, and the value of the security measures put in over and above the build cost was estimated at €500,000.

Performing the ribbon-cutting ceremony in Celtic Tiger times’ 2003, was rugby pundit and financial adviser Donal Lenihan who said at the time “Brinks are in the business of shifting money, and in Cork there is plenty to go around”.

The sales brochure for the €850,000 property doesn’t mention if the central vault is still in situ.

Other security features noted back in ’03 were gated security at the perimeter of the business park; three alarms; a bristling camera and sensor presence; concrete floors, frames and ceilings; an anti-ram Securequip rising road steel barrier at the vehicle access points; plus pressure resisting or anti-ballistic glass and “hi-spec centrally controlled pressure resisting doors”.

Viewing now is, eh, by appointment.

DETAILS: Cushman & Wakefield 021-4275454.

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