A surge in property development across residential, commercial, educational and other sectors has led Dublin-based KSN Project Management to open a new Cork office.
Dublin-based KSNPM has advised on recent schemes in Cork such as the CLUID housing scheme, the Blackpool Apartments, Blackpool, and the HATCH student housing on Coakley Street, which is nearing completion. In business for more than 20 years, the company has advised on many developments in Cork.
In Dublin, its residential projects include Clancy Quay 2, Cherrywood and Landsdowne Place. It has advised on a range of projects with Kishogue Community College, Smurfit School of Business, on the artificial sports pitches at NUI Maynooth and Mary Immaculate College.
It project managed the 10,000 sq ft of Eyre Square Shopping Centre, Galway, the refurbishment of Mikey Ryan’s Pub and Restaurant in Cashel, Co Tipperary. It acted as project manager and employers’ representative in 2014 for the upgrade of Croke Park stadium infrastructure and the fit-out of existing concession units.
“We are a growing business, specialising in project management and advising on public procurement,” said Mark O’Neill, managing director of KSNPM.
Cork has become a big market in recent years. Between now and 2040, it is heading for major population growth, which will require matching developments in residential, commercial, educational and other areas in which we have a specialisation.
“In the coming years, Cork will need the kind of advice that we can bring to high-end residential developments. After winning a number of recent projects in Cork, we felt that this was the right time to open an office in the city, which will also serve as a base for our projects throughout Munster.
“Cork is a great city. It has a wealth of great cultural strengths, lot of infrastructure and a good airport.
"There will be a lot of future investments at UCC and CIT, as well as light rail, bus and residential and commercial developments to serve the growing population.
“The population is set to grow by 50% in the next 20 years. The same will be true for a lot of other cities. All Irish cities will have to look at the space available and make some decisions about vertical living.
“Cork will definitely be going vertical to some extent, but in a sustainable way. Dublin has been looking hard at its options, Cork will be looking at similar choices.”
Cork’s university city status is of central importance to the local authorities’ development plans.
While retail is going through its own evolution, both UCC and CIT have been expanding into the city centre, linking their student populations to the city’s cultural heartland rather than sprawling into the suburbs and wider county.
KSNPM advised Watfore on the development of the 1.46-acre riverside site between Copley Street and South Terrace in Cork city centre. In the future this will house the university’s Business School and accommodate 4,000 students and 200 staff.
The company is working with the Department of Education on a new 24-classroom primary school with a three-classroom special needs unit on a greenfield site at Carr’s Hill, Douglas. It has also advised on other schools and education projects in Cork.
KSNPM has advised a lot of clients through successful planning applications. Its key staff includes experienced project managers, developers, architects, engineers, quantity surveyors and people with building experience.
“We have a full range of skills in the office,” said Mark O’Neill.
“We have architects and engineers. We also have people on the other side, former contractors, people who have an in-depth knowledge of new and leading construction techniques.”
KSNPM has appointed Eric Woodlock as manager of the new Cork office. He will manage the projects and interact with the board in Dublin.
The company will start with five staff members, and expects to double within a year or two.
The company has already seen that its strengths in project management, procurement and planning processes are easily transferable between Dublin and Cork. KSNPM has already made a strong impression in Cork’s business community.
“We are building strong links with the city’s key developers and key influencers,” said Mr O’Neill.
The city is evolving. There will be a lot more student accommodation developed. When that happens, it will take a lot of the pressure off the retail market. It is always good for cities to have new investment come in.
“We will see a lot more tenant amenities around the residential developments.
"We have done a lot of work like this elsewhere with great success, and we aim to replicate that success in Cork. Housing is great, but you also need infrastructure around it
“If the developments are allowed to go upwards, then that will be great, but it will need buy-in from all sides. This is a very exciting time for KSN Project Management to open an office in Cork.”