High-class hub opens

A SERIES of deals and employment is expected to flow at the €70 million City Gate Park, built over the past 18 months in the face of international recession, and where Taoiseach Enda Kenny tomorrow officially opens the 75,000 sq ft stand-alone building bought by Dell/Quest.

High-class hub opens

City Gate Park, at Cork’s burgeoning Mahon suburban business and retail hub has scope for over 1,500 jobs, in over 300,000 sq ft of buildings, characterised by exceptionally large 55,000 floorplates, with Gold LEED or ‘green’ building credentials with 36% energy savings, and a range of services to include a 20,000 sq ft gym, with 18’ metre swimming pool.

With €50m spent to shell and core level, it’s aimed at attracting mobile FDI, corporate and IT firms — and it’s working. It is already finding tenants and occupiers, with a number of further good news deals pending for John Cleary Developments.

The first 180 employees with Dell/Quest moved in just last week to a stunning finished building, with scope for hundreds more jobs there to follow. Quest Software, in Mahon for the last two years at JCD’s earlier City Gate project (which is due to have a 120-bed Mater Private hospital opening within months) was bought out in recently by Dell for $2.5 billion, as it adds software technology expertise to outfit data centres for handling storage and cloud computing. Quest employed 3,900 globally at the time of the takeover, and now the familiar Dell log is over the building bought for Quest for €300 psf from Cleary Developments.

That Dell building faces a new high central plaza and new access walkways to the far larger ‘new’ street, lining two interconnected blocks offering 220,000 sq ft of offices with floor plates of almost 55,000 sq ft — the new industry ‘gold standard,’ but only rarely available in Cork or other Irish cities. It’s described as the largest office development ever built in Cork.

The IDA has already warned that Dublin is fast running out of available offices of this size and scale, and Cork’s JCD have jumped in with finished space to the highest spec, which can be ready for occupier use within a 12-week fit-out period.

Just yesterday the arrival of DFS Sofas was confirmed by retail agent Peter O’Meara of Savills, acting for City Gate Park, with 40 jobs in a 20,000 sq ft unit, Cork’s larges retail deal in severl years. It is due to open in December, and talks are finalising with an operator for the gym.

MD John Cleary say his scheme “provides an opportunity for Cork to get ahead, and attract in top quality mobile overseas companies.” He says the presence of a skilled workforce, CIT and UCC and Cork lifestyle appeal, helps to win tenants.

Mr Cleary acknowledged Cork City Council, who sold the Mahon site for development and who facilitated a material contravention for its planning, as well as to builders BAM. Taoiseach Enda Kenny was the man who turned the sod on the site just 18 months ago. Now, on his return, it includes 500 bicycle bays in the basement which also has parking for 650 cars. There are basement changing facilities and showers for those who run or cycle to work.

The location already has two bus services with a third, a shuttle, set for the New Year, the city centre’s a 15 minute cycle along the amenity old rail/walk line via the Marina, and the addition of new traffic lanes at Mahon junction has improved car access too. Design is by Henry J Lyons, with global architectural firm Gensler involved in the Dell building fit-out, and next door neighbours Project Management were also hands-on in the building’s successful rapid delivery via BAM.

Apart from the large floor plates, it has numerous features, high-end lighting, decor and layout touches, which include an American white oak seating sculpture which rises through all four levels, plus a ‘green’ wall of plants also the full building’s height. It’s crowned with a small feature wall of herbs in the canteen, a visible green fragrant face for buildings which also have rainwater harvesting, solar panels, and daylighting and views for 90% of occupants, through energy-efficient and low glare windows.

Details: Downing Commercial 021-4271000/CBRE 01-6185500 (offices), Savills 021-4271371 (retail). *www.citygateparkcork.com

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