An estimated €1bn worth of investment is set to transform the entire harbour region into one of the world’s greatest maritime and tourism centres over the coming years.
Two of eight projects are already underway — the €40m clean up of the old Irish Steel/ Irish Ispat site on Haulbowline Island and another €40m plan to redevelop Spike Island as a tourist attraction positioning it as Ireland’s answer to Alcatraz or Robben Island.
The other projects include a new multimillion cruise terminal for Cobh, and the Port of Cork’s new €100m deepwater development at Ringaskiddy which is awaiting a planning decision.
Building work at the Beaufort wave energy research lab, which will house one of the world’s largest wave tanks, is nearing completion.
It is part of the Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster in Ringaskiddy which aims to position Cork as the national hub for wind, wave and energy research.
One Albert Quay
John Cleary Developments, the firm behind the vast City Gate office campus in Mahon, Cork, is developing the €60m 175,000 sq ft One Albert Quay office block on Albert Quay.
It is already over 60% pre-let with Tyco taking 75,000sq ft and PWC taking 15,000sq ft.
Work started on site last September and the office block’s basement, lift shaft and steelwork are already in place.
Once complete by February 2016, the building will be capable of accommodating up to 1,700 employees.
It is one of the single largest office blocks in the city centre.
Capitol Cinema regeneration
John Cleary Developments has also lodged a planning application to regenerate the derelict Capitol Cinema site on the city’s Grand Parade as part of a €50m office and retail project.
The plans for the landmark site include over 95,000sq ft of retail and office space capable of accommodating up to 450 employees.
The development will also include a food innovation and tourist element which will be linked to the adjoining English Market.
The development site comprises the old Capitol Cinema, Central Shoe Store, Vineyard Bar and adjoining buildings onto St Patrick’s Street, as well as the Oyster Tavern which will be restored to its original use as a restaurant and bar.
There are also plans to open up Market Lane, which leads to the historic English Market, back onto St Patrick’s St. Pending a planning decision, it is hoped that site clearance on the Capitol site will start before the end of the year.
Events and conference centre
BAM Construction, which last December won the tender and €20m of state aid to develop the city’s first major multi-purpose events and conference centre on the site of the former Beamish and Crawford brewery, is working to finalise the contract and the funding agreement.
The city council has advanced the issue of state aid and a preliminary engagement has been initiated with the European Commission on this.
It is hoped the complex negotiations on the state aid will be concluded by autumn and that work could start before the end of the year.
The events centre is a key part of BAM and joint venture partners Heineken Ireland’s wider €150m Brewery Quarter regeneration plans for the entire site, which will include offices, shops and student accommodation.
Former Revenue Commissioner’s site on Sullivan’s Quay
BAM has planning permission for a 120,000sq ft office block and a 180-bed hotel with a triple basement on the site of the former Revenue Commissioners office building on Sullivan’s Quay.
The site is a stone’s throw from where it plans to build its events centre. The green lighting of the events centre increases the likelihood of development of the former Revenue Commissioners office site in the short term.
Anderson’s Quay and Albert Quay
O’Callaghan Properties, whose major office and retail developments at Opera Lane and Half Moon St retail and apartment developments in the heart of the city delivered 1,000 jobs in the teeth of the recession, is due to lodge a planning application within weeks for a fourth-generation office block on the site of the former animals’s home on Anderson’s Quay.
This 150,000sq ft development, which has a projected completion date of early 2017, will be capable of accommodating 1,500 workers. The company also has plans to develop two more office blocks on its site on Albert Quay — which lost out in the events centre site selection process — to accommodate up to 2,500 workers.
The company is also looking at developing two sites in Mahon — offices on a roadside site near the Mahon Point shopping centre, which has housed Cork on Ice in recent years, and more apartments on Jacob’s Island on the opposite side of the N40.
Brooks Haughton site
Plans by Watfore Ltd to regenerate the historic Brooks Haughton site on South Terrace have been resurrected.
The site has planning for a six-storey office and apartment development. Property consultants plan to marketed the project actively over the coming months to attract anchor tenants.
Páirc Uí Chaoimh
Demolition crews are due to move on site at the landmark GAA grounds this week in the first phase of its €60m regeneration to create a modern stadium. Demolition is expected to last 15 weeks. The project will create 400 jobs in its development.
The stadium will have capacity for 45,000 spectators and has already been examined by leading concert promoters for large-scale concerts by world-class acts, and it is being considered as a venue for Ireland’s rugby world cup bid.
A new three-tier stand, which will replace the existing covered stand, will have a capacity for 13,000 spectators. A covered stand will replace the existing open stand and will have a capacity for 8,000 fans.
The Blackrock end and the city-end terraces will each have a 12,000-capacity.