€500m worth of development projects to transform Cork

Several strategic investment projects worth almost €500m will transform Cork City and generate thousands of jobs over the next few years, the city’s business leaders were told last night.

Several strategic investment projects worth almost €500m will transform Cork City and generate thousands of jobs over the next few years, the city’s business leaders were told last night.

Three of the country’s biggest developers — John Cleary Developments, O’Callaghan Properties, and BAM construction — outlined the scale of their projects at a briefing organised by Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney.

Mr Coveney said he wanted the city’s business owners to be aware of the sheer scale of the projects under way, or in the pipeline, in the city centre.

“One of the failures in recent years has been that a lot of development in Cork has taken place on the outskirts of the city, and not so much in the city centre,” he said.

“These strategic investments should instil quite a lot of confidence in traders that our city centre is going in the right direction.”

There was confirmation that a €50m six-storey office block which has planning permission on the former Brooks Haughton site on Copley St, South Terrace, is going ahead within months.

Margaret Kelleher of Lisneys said the 16,260 sq m project on the 1.6-acre site will create 100 construction jobs, and will be able to accommodate up to 1,000 people.

Martin O’Brien, of John Cleary Development, outlined progress on the company’s €60m One Albert Quay office block and plans for the €50m regeneration of the Capitol Cinema site.

The Albert Quay office block is already over 60% pre-let, with Tyco and PWC among the early take-ups. It is expected to be finished by February.

He said, pending a planning decision, it is hoped clearance on the Capitol site will start before the end of the year.

Read More: €50m Capitol development a 'game changer' for Cork

Theo Cullinane, the head of BAM Ireland, said his firm is working to finalise the contract and funding agreement for the €54m events centre on the former Beamish and Crawford site, which will receive €20m in State aid. He said he hopes work will start before the end of the year.

Mr Cullinane said the firm also has planning permission for an 11,150 sq m office block and a 180-bed hotel on the site of the former Revenue building on Sullivans Quay.

Joe Keane, of O’Callaghan Properties, whose Opera Lane and Half Moon St developments delivered 1,000 jobs in the teeth of the recession, , said his firm is due to lodge a planning application within weeks for a fourth-generation office block on Anderson’s Quay.

He said the firm hopes to start building, within two years, two office blocks on Albert Quay which could deliver up to 1,500 jobs.

Isabelle O’Regan of Savilles said deals have been done on several high profile retail outlets on St Patrick’s Street, some of which have lain vacant for some time, and she predicted a strong retail scene for the next two years.

Cork Chamber chief executive, Conor Healy, described the meeting as “hugely positive”.

“What we will see over the next three to five years is Cork city totally transformed from an investment, job creation, entertainment and attractions perspective,” he said.

Meanwhile, the city council said it has plans to upgrade the South Mall, Lapps Quay, and is finalising its derelict sites register with plans to take targeted action on certain structures.


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