The John Cleary Developments’ (JCD) plan for the 0.63-acre site, which has lain derelict for almost a decade, is set to breathe new life into the city centre.
Up to 200 jobs will be created during construction, which could start before the end of the year, and once completed within 12 to 15 months, the 85,000 sq ft development will feature three floors of shops, which could employ up to 100 people, and two floors of high-spec offices across some 36,000sq ft, providing accommodation for up to 350 workers.
The landmark site has frontage to both St Patrick’s Street and the Grand Parade and JCD’s plans also include the refurbishment of the Oyster Tavern; the development of a food innovation hub in the former Central Shoe Stores site in partnership with the neighbouring English Market; and the creation of a new street leading in to the market.
The real estate agency Colliers International has described it as “a game changer” for the city.
Developer John Cleary said that talks with high-profile retail brands and potential office occupiers are well-advanced.
“The project is fully funded and we are intent on starting on site as soon as possible,” he said. “We see huge opportunities to attract high-profile international retailers to Cork. The city centre office rents are half the price of equivalent office space in Dublin, and coupled with the quality of graduates being produced here makes Cork a really attractive location that’s easy to sell. We still see an opportunity to provide the world-class office space that companies are looking for.”
Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney welcomed the planning decision, describing it as one of the most significant for Cork city centre for decades.
“This development has the capacity to hugely increase footfall at the Grand Parade end of the city and will bring at least two new major retailers to the city centre,” he said. “This is a high-end and high-quality strategic development and will add to the positive momentum in the city.”