The Port of Cork is moving ahead with plans for the long-term redevelopment of the city's Tivoli Docks.
Container traffic and other services at Tivoli are to relocate to the new Cork Container Terminal currently under construction at Ringaskiddy.
The transfer will free up a 153-acre brownfield site for future redevelopment including a new railway station and thousands of new homes.
The Port of Cork is now seeking an engineering-led, multi-disciplinary design team to facilitate the redevelopment of the Tivoli lands on the north bank of River Lee.
In recent days, the company published an initial contract for the preliminary design and planning stages for the required access, public transport and cycleway infrastructure.
The contractor will identify, assess, and recommend a preferred transport infrastructure to serve and connect Tivoli Docks with the surrounding transport networks including pedestrian, cycle, public transport, and general vehicle access.
Last year, the Port of Cork appointed Swedish firm Tyréns and Reddy Architects to prepare various options for how the site can be reimagined.
Tyréns designed the redevelopment of the Hammarby Sjöstad area in Stockholm that saw a vast industrial site regenerated into an eco-friendly urban district.
According to the contract documents the masterplan establishes a vision and clear design principles that will carry forward for future development of the site, creating a mixed-use district that will be a vibrant place to live, work and visit, reinforce Cork’s economy, celebrate the riverside amenity, encourage public transport, integrate with and enhance the city fabric and promote healthy and active lifestyles.
The Tivoli Docks were first established as part of the Port of Cork Company in the mid 20th century through the reclamation of land on the northern banks of the River Lee.
However, the container facility at Tivoli is currently constrained in handling larger vessels due to the width of the channel for turning ships between Tivoli and the Marina on the south bank of the river. The Jack Lynch Tunnel also sets a limit of the draught of vessels that can access the upper harbour.
The new container terminal at Ringaskiddy will be able to accommodate some of the largest ocean-going vessels in the world which the Port of Cork said is vital for them to remain competitive and future proof Cork as an international gateway for trade.
It will offer a 360m quay with 13m depth alongside and also includes a 13.5-hectare terminal with two ship-to-shore gantry cranes.
Despite the progress in Ringaskiddy, the phased redevelopment of Tivoli is not expected to commence until 2025.
The Port of Cork recently appointed Eoin McGettigan as its new chief executive. His initial role will be to focus on the completion of the Cork Container Terminal in Ringaskiddy and then the redevelopment of the Tivoli lands.
On his appointment last month, the Port of Cork's Chair John Mullins said: “Eoin will steward the company from the River to the Sea through the commissioning of key infrastructure in the lower harbour whilst making available former assets for critical residential and commercial development.
"Eoin’s property experience will be instrumental in ensuring that Tivoli will be one of the most exciting projects in the future for the company and for the City of Cork."