Cork City Council approved the ambitious HQ mixed-use scheme on Horgan’s Quay yesterday which will deliver more than 230 apartments, a 136-bed hotel, and up to 400,000sq ft of office space, with capacity for up to 5,000 employees, across eight buildings on a six-acre riverside site alongside the city’s train station.
Most of the schemes delivered in the docklands to date have been office blocks. But this scheme, which includes a residential and retail element, as well as a hotel, marks a significant expansion of the city eastwards into the docklands.
Pending possible appeals, it could take between three and five years to deliver.
City officials said it has the potential to act as a major catalyst for regeneration, not just of the city’s northern docks, but of the entire docklands — described as one of the most significant brownfield development sites in Ireland.
Tánaiste Simon Coveney described it as “another piece in the city’s docklands jigsaw”.
“We can expect a lot more of this kind of development — the kind of mixed-use development, offices, apartments, hotels and retail, that are going to change the face of Cork City.”
News of the project emerged last September following the conclusion of a development deal on the site between CIÉ and joint purchasers, the property company, Clarendon Group and BAM Ireland.
CIÉ will be entitled to 10% of the income from the development, under the terms of the deal negotiated by agents Lisney on a 300-year lease.
Conor Healy, CEO of Cork Chamber, said HQ would enhance the city’s growing reputation as a rapidly developing, forward-looking city with unlimited capacity and potential: “We are hugely excited about the HQ development being given the go-ahead as the latest addition to Cork’s changing skyline.”