COMPUTER giant Apple is to provide up to 350 jobs in Cork after signing a property deal to establish an office in the city centre.
The company, which already employs more than 3,000 people in Ireland, has signed a deal to lease offices in Cork’s Half Moon Street, a move that reverses recent trends of companies moving out of the city to cheaper suburban parks.
Apple has had a major presence in Cork, since 1981, at Hollyhill, on the city’s northside.
It is to lease the top two floors of a €75 million building in a mixed-use development by Owen O’Callaghan, completed in 2009.
A former garage site owned by Thomas Crosbie Holdings, the Half Moon Street building is near another recession-bucking O’Callaghan Properties scheme, the €500m Opera Lane shops and apartment development.
Apple is committing to 25,000sq ft (about 2,300sq m), which could accommodate up to 350 employees, and the building which opens onto Lavitts Quay has further vacant space on lower floors if required.
Fitting out is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
The leading technology company had looked at several other Cork locations to cater for its support staff space needs, as sales continue to soar worldwide.
Its decision to plump for a city centre base has been hailed as a business coup, equivalent to Google’s growth in Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock area.
It is likely to boost street activity and add to trade for city centre bars, shops and restaurants.
The striking glazed building, designed by Wilson Architecture, is next to the Opera House, Crawford Art Gallery and O’Callaghan Property’s Opera Lane retail development.
All parties to the deal have maintained a strict “no comment” position.
An IDA spokesperson said: “Apple is one of the many global technology companies with operations in Ireland.
“Since it established in Cork 30 years ago it has been a significant employer in the south-west region.”
Apple’s support services in Cork serve its markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and it has been consistently adding staff and contract employees in recent years, currently advertising for 30 people.
Apple, which manufactures computers, phones, the iPad and a fast-evolving range of consumer items as well as the recently launched online storage facility iCloud, has about 45,000 employees worldwide and annual sales of over $60 billion (€41.5bn).
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