Arup was founded in 1946 and has been involved in some of the globe’s most iconic buildings.
It employs 12,000 worldwide, across 92 offices on five continents: in Ireland, it has offices in Dublin, Cork, Galway, and Limerick, and employs 360 design professionals.
Market sources say Arup, currently located at no 15, Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork, is to take up 20,000 sq ft, or half a floor, in developer John Cleary’s new Cork office block One Albert Quay, close to City Hall and facing City Quarter.
It’s one of a number of well-advanced deals at the signature Leeside building, involving a mix of indigenous Cork firms and FDI moves to the southern capital.
Also set to move into One Albert Quay is investment bank, Investec.
This will be its first presence in Cork (it employs 240 in Dublin), taking c 4,000 sq ft at ground level, in a deal negotiated by Savills Cork.
Bank and asset manager firm, Investec, came to Ireland in 2000, acquiring Gandon Capital Markets, and in 2012 it bought stockbrokers NCB for €32m.
Currently under advancing construction, One Albert Quay was purchased earlier this year by Green REIT, for €58m, with further value incentives for the developer, John Cleary, if occupancy targets are met on physical completion.
And, all the signs are that it is on course to be fully let by year’s end, in advance of early 2016 occupancy and fit-outs.
The 175,000 sq ft One Albert Quay, with 31,000 sq ft floor plates, is being anchored by Tyco, while PwC were also early to commit.
Tyco are currently located in City Gate, in Mahon, which is a John Cleary Developments complex.
JCD have developed and let 650,000 sq ft at Mahon, in its first two developments, City Gate and City Gate Park. Earlier this year, they got planning permission for City Gate Plaza, on the former Ma/Com site, next to the Central Statistics Office at Mahon.
The site will take 280,000 sq ft of offices, in five buildings, bringing Mr Cleary’s build tally in Mahon alone to close on 1m sq ft of Gold LEED grade A offices.
The same developer is also poised to transform the former Capitol cinema site, on Grand Parade/St Patrick Street, to a €50m retail, office and food use development, but this grant of planning was appealed last month to An Bord Pleanala, by An Taisce, and by a trader in the adjacent English Market.
Joint letting agents on One Albert Quay (being built at a rapid pace by BAM, who sold a portion of the quay’s site to John Cleary Developments) are Savills and DTZ, at rents of circa €25 psf.
Surveyor Eoin Ryan, of DTZ, said he couldn’t comment on reports that Arup was being signed up for One Albert Quay, but did say “we are under advanced negotiations with a number of parties and we’d be very confident it will be fully let at the end of the year. It’s very positive news for Cork City centre.”
There’s currently 85,000 sq ft being transacted, it’s understood.
Meanwhile, across the River Lee’s south channel, terms have been agreed via Savills Cork, on part of the ground floor of City Quarter’s office block, facing Port of Cork.
The 3,800 sq ft premises, with good public profile, were vacated two years ago by The Irish Examiner/Evening Echo (now in Blackpool, with its public office in Oliver Plunkett Street) and have been vacant since.
GVA Donal O’Buachalla represented the new tenant, an international test-admin company.
It is expected that a significant section, including offices and ground-level bar/restaurant investments, in the original, circa €100m Howard Holdings investment, at City Quarter, will come to market in the coming months.
There’s current keen interest in the circa €30m sale of the Clarion Hotel, which forms the other block of City Quarter.