Set right above the centre of the city’s retail boulevard and opposite Opera Lane and the former Moderne where SuperDry are due to open next month, it’s a racing certainty that the Victoria’s buyer is former bookmaker and savvy investor Joe Donnelly.
Mr Donnelly owns much of the ground floor footprint of the now-closed Victoria Hotel block, having bought retail investments there in the 1990s, such as those now occupied by Monsoon and Accessorize on St Patrick Street/Cook Street.
The block is next to that assembled by retail giant Penneys on Patrick Street/Cook Street and Oliver Plunkett, which is due to be considerably redeveloped in a Primark/Penneys investment of tens of million of euros.
One of Cork city’s oldest hotels, the Victoria Hotel dates to 1810, and had its ground floor space converted to retail in the 1980s, with main access to its upper floors of 33 bedromsand function room/bar, and old salon, from Cook Street, with secondary access from StPatrick’s Street.
Originally called the Royal Victoria Hotel, and owned in recent decades by the King family, it went to market in early 2014, for sale by tender with a price-guide of €1m quoted by joint selling agents Lisney and Kevin O’Sullivan Estates.
The joint agents declined to confirm market reports of its sale to Joe Donnelly.
It’s understood the 32,000 sq ft property may have fetched about €750,000, and will need significant refurbishment for any new, as-yet undisclosed uses.