It is hoped that construction work on the 200,000 sq ft, hi-tech, riverside building on Albert Quay will begin within a month, creating up to 300 construction jobs.
Once complete in late 2015, Number 1 Albert Quay will have the capacity for 2,000 workers, with talks already under way with potential occupiers.
The project is one of the single largest private sector investments in the city in five years, and one of the largest office block developments in the city centre in decades.
The planning decision was heralded last night as a massive boost for the city centre, and for the city council’s docklands regeneration plan.
Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said the investment is a sign that Cork is “moving in the right direction and an attractive place for business.”
“High-end office development and significant demand for it will revitalise Cork city centre and provide an additional economic boost to the area,” he said.
Cork Chamber chief executive Conor Healy said as well as the boost from the construction jobs, the project would deliver a lasting benefit in terms of sustainable jobs.
“This project will give the whole city a economic lift,” he said.
And hopes are high that more building jobs are on the way with a decision due in May on the favoured location for a €50m conference centre — with one of the potential sites a few hundreds metres away.
BAM Contractors and John Clery Developments (JCD) will build the new, glass-fronted, office block on a prime riverside location near City Hall, in the shadow of the Elysian tower, facing the Clarion Hotel.
The development will consist of Grade A, large floor-plate office space with over 32,000 sq ft per floor — the type of office development the IDA says Irish city centres need more of.
BAM and JCD worked together on the largest office development built in Ireland during the recession — City Gate Park in Mahon — which is now home to companies such as EMC, Dell, RDJ solicitors and Fireye.
Last month, fire protection and security systems giant, Tyco, announced the creation of 500 jobs at a global business services centre which will be located in City Gate.
While JCD has refused to comment, it is understood that Tyco plans to locate a large chunk of these jobs to the new office block on Albert Quay.
However, JCD boss, John Clery, did confirm that negotiations are under way with a number of potential occupiers.
“Cork has a great track record in attracting multi- national 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,” he said.
The offices will be built to the highest global standards with full LEED accreditation — the US gold standard for sustainability and use of the latest, efficient and sustainable technology.
Cork City Council last week approved plans to demolish remaining unused silos, warehouses and other buildings around the Odlums mill at nearby Kennedy Quay.
A major, mixed-use, docklands commercial scheme there was rejected by An Bord Pleanála in 2010, but the owners, a subsidiary company of IAWS milling group, say clearing the site is the first step towards its redevelopment.