Mr O’Callaghan, who is behind projects such as Liffey Valley Shopping Centre in Dublin and Mahon Point and Opera Lane in Cork, told Red FM Cork has to increase its population in order to avoid being tagged as a big town rather than a city.
“On many occasions I have left the airport with investors coming to Cork and the first question they ask you driving down Airport Hill is ‘how big is this town?’,” he said. “They have come from towns in different parts of Europe the same size as Cork. We are a city. We must hold our status as a city. That is how we will attract investment into Cork.”
Mr O’Callaghan, saying Cork “is only a big town”, also expressed concern about growth in places such as Limerick and its €500m Twenty Thirty Strategic Development DAC.
“We want Cork established as a city,” he said. “It is vital. Limerick lodged a huge project yesterday. Limerick is starting to go places. We would want to watch Limerick. They have a lot of people rooting for Limerick. They have got the Minister for Finance there.”
Mr O’Callaghan is managing director of O’Callaghan Properties, which is working on the development of a multimillion-euro office block at Albert Quay in Cork which, when fully occupied, will house 3,000 people.
Some 350 jobs will be created during the construction of the site, which will see four different buildings constructed.
The development, titled Navigation Square, will span 310,000 sq ft, making it the single biggest city centre office development.
The Albert Quay project was decided upon after O’Callaghan Properties was unsuccessful in its bid to use the site for an events centre.
O’Callaghan Properties has said its four Albert Quay buildings, with roof terraces, two restaurants, and 100,000 sq ft of double-basement car and bike parking, are designed to ‘Gold Leed’ energy efficiency standards, with floors flexibly configured for general office accommodation as well as space for other business and technology uses.