€90m office block Navigation Square clears objections in Cork

Cork city centre’s largest office scheme, Navigation Square, is now cleared for a €90m build commencement by the summer which could facilitate 3,000 jobs.

€90m office block Navigation Square clears objections in Cork

The news comes after the last of three objections to its construction was withdrawn.

The O’Callaghan Properties’ (OCP) development, in four blocks on Albert Quay, facing the Port of Cork, is on the site first proposed by OCP for an events centre.

After the company lost out in the events centre tendering process to BAM/Heineken’s ‘Brewery Quarter’ site, it quickly changed focus given the appetite for new city offices for mobile foreign direct investment employers.

An Bord Pleanála confirmed the withdrawal of appeals to Navigation House, in which eight observations culminated in three third-party objections.

A spokesperson for OCP said there had been “a lengthy process of engagement between OCP and the objectors individually; all of the concerns that had been raised were dealt with in detail and people were reassured”.

The spokesperson said the objectors’ view overall was that the project was beneficial for Cork “and OCP is grateful that it has been facilitated”.

Those discussions haven’t meant significant physical changes to the plans, and it is anticipated the work can commence by summer, employing 350 construction workers. The first phase of the four blocks, totalling 310,000 sq ft, is to be delivered late 2018, with lettings han-dled by Savills and CBRE.

Designed by Henry J Lyons, who also did the adjacent, fully occupied One Albert Quay for John Cleary Developments (JCD), Navigation Square is on 2.25 acres and is one of two quayside OCP office sites assembled by developer Owen O’Callaghan, who passed away in January.

His son, Brian O’Callaghan, welcomed the clearing of hurdles as “great for Cork and for the region”.

Mr O’Callaghan described it as “a flagship, ambitious development that further confirms that Cork City is capable of hosting large-scale multinational and indigenous investment projects.

“It makes a big statement for Cork and, taken in conjunction with other projects developed and planned for the city, really affirms our capacity to be a viable counterbalance to the Dublin region.”

Buildings will run up to six floors, over two basement levels, with 100,000 sq ft of parking for cars, motorbikes, and bicycles.

Just 200m from City Hall, the development — which continues the progression of new ‘fourth-generation’ offices down from the city centre towards the docklands — will include roof terraces and two standalone restaurants.

Further office developments are proposed by OCP at Andersons Quay, by the rail and bus station, and at South Mall by JCD.

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