Elevated and set directly opposite the Kingsley Hotel, on tiered grounds and looking directly south over the River Lee and the city’s western suburbs, the four-storey over-basement building has been vacant since 2002: it was badly damaged by fire last year — after over €2m had been spent on security since 2002, with over €1.5m spent between 2002-2007 alone.
Selling agent Margaret Kelleher of Lisney said what was notable at the St Kevin’s campus was the scope thanks to the amount of land the property occupies, within 2.5km of the city centre, and within a kilometre of the Apple HQ at Hollyhill.
There’s potential to develop new residential units in sections of the grounds, including multi-level apartment blocks, as well as in a reinstated and adapted main building.
In all there’s c 90,000 sq ft of buildings and structures, including the 1890s built, 33-bay red-brick St Kevin’s, the smaller St Dympna’s to the rear, and St Kevin’s Church.
Even before last year’s fire gutted two thirds of the C19th structure, St Kevin’s main building has slid into a sorry state of dereliction.
Designed by William Henry Hill, and notable for its red and yellow brick detailing, it was built to accommodate 500 patients as an annexe of Our Lady’s Hospital, and is said to have an underground passage linking both.
Much of the enormous 1850s Our Lady’s was converted to apartments, since the 1990s, with several new blocks behind at Atkins Hall, called after that complex’s architect William Atkins.
Lisney’s Ms Kelleher says the chance to develop at St Kevin’s is “superior”, given the site’s attributes and aspect, with 14.188 acres over three tiers, with access via Shanakiel Road.
There is also a right of way to the Lee Road below, in front of the 28-unit Lee Vista modern apartment buildings.
The majority of the St Kevin’s site is zoned “Residential, Local Services and Institutional uses” in the Cork City Development Plan 2015 to 2021, and while they are not protected structures, a number of the buildings are recorded in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.
Also along the city’s south-aspected ridge, plans for residential development by a Drogheda-based firm Moneda at the Good Shepherd convent for 182 residential units are currently under appeal to An Bord Pleanála, largely because of tight access issues via Sunday’s Well and Blarney St.
The HSE’ public sale of St Kevin’s was signalled earlier this year, despite Cork City Council officials saying they would have an interest in it being developed for housing.
The HSE countered by saying it had been offered to State departments, under a protocol for the intra-state transfer of state property assets and had not received confirmation, from other government departments, of their interest in the property, hence their move to sell it on the open market.”
Lisney say they expect strong interest in the property.