Oddly, it housed the King’s Castle, built in 1206 and one of two fortresses guarding the entrance to the medieval port of Cork.
The original site of Queen’s Castle is further to the north.
It served as a jail in medieval times, fell into ruins in the 1500s, and, in 1609, the castle was demolished and Cork Courthouse built on the rear of the site.
The Queen’s Old Castle department store, built in the 1840s, was one of the best-known in the city up to the 1970s.
It was one of the few stores in the centre to survive the Black and Tans’ burning of Cork in 1920.
Store ownership changed hands over the years, to Brown Thomas and Penneys.
It was converted to a shopping centre in the late 1970’s.
That ran into financial trouble in the 1990s and was developed by Clarendon Properties, in 1997, into its present incarnation.
Part of that historic site is about to change hands again.
Cohalan Downing has been instructed by receiver, Eoin Ryan, to offer Unit 2, at The Queens Old Castle, 84/89 Grand Parade.
The property, better known as the Argos store, is for sale with the tenant unaffected.
Prime commercial property, with a strong tenant in situ, in the heart of Cork City, has been in demand since Ireland’s tentative economic recovery.
With the quantity of central, prime retail units for sale now dwindling, there is likely to be strong interest in this property, which is on a corner site with dual frontage to both Grand Parade and St Augustine Street.
It will be known to anybody who has done the main-street shopping trail east to west; its positioning makes it visible as you reach the end of St Patrick Street.
It is 10,100 sq ft, laid out with a customer-facing retail area and large storage area behind.
There are modern stock-loading facilities to the rear, accessed from St Augustine Street. Ancillary accommodation includes staff areas, canteen, manager’s office and plant room.
Brian Olden, of Cohalan Downing, says: “This is a tremendous retail location on one of Cork City’s most prominent retailing thoroughfares.”
It is also an area that will receive quite a bit of exposure in the shorter term.
Plans continue to wend their way through the system for the redevelopment of the former Capitol Cinema site, across the street, and 50 metres along Grand Parade.
The proposed development of the Cork Events Centre, on the former Beamish & Crawford site, is also just 200 metres south west of the property.
Being central in Cork, you can take your pick of landmarks in the vicinity, such as the famous English Market, Court House and Cork City Library.
Nearby occupiers include Dealz, Centra, McDonalds, Waterstones and H&M, to name a few.
This is a prime retail investment property, with an established rental income of €924,000 per annum, exclusive from a strong, internationally visible tenant, Argos Distributors Ltd.
The property is let on a 20-year lease from December, 1997 (expiry 2017), on full repairing and insuring terms. Brian Olden and Rob Coughlan, on behalf of the agents, are seeking offers in the region of €4,250,000.