By Tommy Barker
A very tall office tower, of up to 15 storeys on a very tiny footprint site, is expected to go for planning permission in Cork city centre in coming weeks.
The postage stamp-sized 0.07 acre, triangular site next to the bus station at Deane St/Lower Oliver Plunkett St and Clontarf St has been bought outright, for close to €1m by New York-based Kevin O’Sullivan and a company called Tower Holdings. Mr O’Sullivan, jointly with his brother Donal in a company called Times Square Development, bought the Port of Cork site last year for c €5m, subject to planning permission.
The US-based, Kerry-born developers, experts in ‘skyscraper’ construction, have brought a new lofty and upwards attitude to Munster, suggesting a tower of 30-40 storeys for the riverside tip of the Port site in Cork city where the two Lee channels meet.
Sources say that Kevin O’Sullivan’s Tower Holdings has fully acquired the 0.07 acre site by the bus station, which had been reoffered to the market last year, at prices varying from €950,000 to €1.3m.
It was bought via CBRE Cork and Dublin for an unconfirmed €900k-€1m.
It has a lapsed planning grant for a nine-storey, 31,000 sq ft office tower, designed by Coughlan DeKeyser architects, and it’s understood plans for an even taller 15-storey tower, designed by Reddy Architecture and just a few floors short of the Elysian’s 17 storeys, have been drafted and presented to City Hall officials in recent days.
Similar in scale to Dublin’s 16-storey Alto Vetro apartment building, it’s described as a mini Flatiron building, in a reference to the iconic New York 22-storey landmark built in steelframe in 1902. It’s expected to be submitted for planning within the next month or so.
The site is adjacent to the city’s main bus depot, by a warehouse building running back to Parnell Place which was sold last year by City Hall to Brehon Capital for hotel development, as well as being close to 5&6 Lapps Quay, the O’Callaghan Properties’ Andersons Quay office site, and the City Quarter and Clayton Hotel developments.
If successful in planning, it could form a new ‘Downtown Cork’ with high rises proposed for here at Clontarf St as well as at Port of Cork, joining the now 10-year-old Elysian.