€50m office block could be biggest built in Cork

Construction cranes could be back on Cork City’s skyline next year, with plans being lodged today for a €50m eight-storey office block alongside City Hall.

€50m office block could be biggest built in Cork

Partners in the plan for 200,000sq ft of offices capable of hosting 2,000 jobs are BAM Construction and John Cleary Developments. The duo have built (and mostly filled) 300,000sq ft of offices in Cork’s Mahon suburb in the past two years for the likes of Dell, Fireye, RDJ, and EMC.

Just last month JCD sold two completed Mahon City Gate blocks to Irish Life Assurances for €40m, and has now teamed up with BAM on what’s probably the best available office site in the city centre, fronting the Elysian complex on Albert Quay.

Designed by Henry J Lyons Architects, it looks to be the single biggest office block ever built in the city. And, with large open floor areas of 30,000sq ft, it fits the IDA’s call for such space in Dublin, Cork, and Galway for the arrivals of foreign companies.

The Albert Quay site currently has two separate office planning grants for large buildings: One is already owned by BAM, and they’ve just bought the second Doyle Warehouses site (previously owned by Howard Holdings) from Nama via Savills for about €2m.

If there’s a clear run through planning for this new unified proposal, the developers say work could begin as early as April, generating 200 construction jobs.

News of the application was welcomed by Cork Chamber of Commerce CEO Conor Healy, who said the city centre was close to running out of quality available office space for inward investment: “It’s very welcome news for Cork to have a project of this quality and scale proposed by developers with their reputation, in the heart of the city.”

The €50m development will have twice the office space as City Quarter, across the river on Lapps Quay. Figures now being tallied are expected to show 500,000sq ft of Cork offices was accounted for in 2013 — a higher take-up than in any year in the boom.

Developer John Cleary said: “Cork has a great track record in attracting multinational companies and I believe that this building, which will accommodate up to 2,000 people, provides a unique opportunity to attract further investment with large floor-plate, world-class office facilities that major international and indigenous companies are looking for.”

BAM chief executive Theo Cullinane described the project as “exciting and an immediate boost to the construction industry in Cork. It makes the city more attractive for foreign direct investment”, adding it was proof of BAM’s commitment to Cork.

BAM also developed Linn Dubh in Blackpool, and is involved in one of the two rival plans for an event centre in the southern city at Brewery Quarter.

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