Cork’s CIT/Crawford College of Art has emerged as the buyer of 46 Grand Parade, seeing off rival bids from developers, investors and other private sector interests after the historic building went to best bids, having been put on the open market in June of this year.
Sale terms have been agreed and the deal is progressing, according to education sources who say the acquisition by CIT/Crawford is being seen as strategic by the third level college.
At present, the Crawford art school’s main presence is 250 metres upriver, at Sharman Crawford Street between the city and UCC.
Crawford/CIT has also been able to make use of art/studio space on a temporary basis across the Lee from 46 Grand Parade, in the former Government Buildings block on Sullivans Quay, set to be redeveloped by owners BAM for hotel/office uses.
Meanwhile, moves are still continuing to copper-fasten sufficient funding for BAM/Heineken’s Brewery Quarter events centre/conference centre in the same Grand Parade/South Main Street vicinity, which promises to act as a cultural quarter hub for this city sector.
Also due redevelopment in the vicinity is the Capitol cinema site on Grand Parade, with development plans referred to An Bord Pleanála, while the ex-Frinailla site at the former Grand Parade Hotel/Sir Henry’s site remains moth-balled.
No 46 Grand Parade’s selling agents Lisney had given a guide of just under €1m for the property, vacated by Certus and for decades known as Dún Mhuire.
It was sold on behalf of a receiver, and prior to Certus the Bank of Scotland branding was prominent on the building which was associated for decades with investor Robin Power.
The site behind, running up to the South Gate Bridge and currently used as a surface level car park, has been controlled by the Kenny Group.
Book-ending the South Mall, by the Nano Nagle pedestrian bridge, 46 Grand Parade has 13,000 sq ft over four levels with a distinctive balustered facade, is a protected structure and is next to architecturally important bow-fronted and slate-hung buildings on Grand Parade. It has been in office use for 30 years, and needs considerable upgrading.
- Meanwhile, a nearby block of 18th- and 19th-century buildings on South Mall, from Parliament Street to Electric and bounded to the back by the river, will be the focus of an urban regeneration seminar organised by the planning policy unit of Cork City Council in coming weeks.