It's been a while since the sun shone on Cork’s Sunset Ridge Motel, now derelict, after 40 years of trading and hospitality. The doors shut, and curtains got drawn eight years ago.
So, what now are the rays of hope for its future, as it comes back for sale, guiding €1.5 million?
Coming for sale as a development site, on close to three acres at Killeens just a short drive from Cork city’s suburbs at Blackpool, close to Blarney, and to a targeted future growth ‘town’ of Monard, the Sunset Ridge is on offer via private treaty through estate agent Pat Falvey of Coldwell Banker Carlton Estates, for private investor owners.
It ceased trading back around 2011, and was put up for sale for a liquidator on three acres of very accessible ground at Killeens, just off the main Cork-Mallow/Limerick N20 road.
Offered again by joint agents for disposal by tender in 2013, it had then carried a loose €300,000-€400,000 guide price, and is understood to have been bought for c€250,000, by private investors, understood to be in the motor trade.
The former two storey, 1960s-designed 40-en suite bedroom motel, bar and function room has largely remained idle since, and for periods has been a centre of anti-social activity, and at one stage suffered fire damage.
Previous owners, the Cronin family who operated it as a hotel, had secured planning permission for a bar, restaurant and a number of retail units, and others also looked at it with a view to establishing a funeral home.
Now, Coldwell Banker’s Pat Falvey says the Sunset Ridge site would be very suitable for residential development of some density, including possible duplexes, and says it’s zoned in the Cork County LAP, as town centre and residential use which “lends itself to a high-density development to include residential and commercial uses.”
He is prepared to sell subject to a planning basis, and feels it may take a scheme of 40-50 units, or a possible site unit cost of €30,000 to €40,000, along with possible ‘neighbourhood centre’ type uses.
Given the longer term scope for Monard, ear-marked for thousands of new homes in coming decades, planners may favour residential development of units, priced between €200-300k on the modest, three-acre site.
It’s set on the Rathpeacon Road, by a junction with the N20, 4kms from Blackpool, and five km from the city centre.
It’s served by the 215 Blarney bus, while it’s on the city side of the Blarney Business Park, now being reinvigorated after that park’s purchase by John Cleary Developments.
According to Coldwell Banker, “the site is suitable for private or Part 8 development and is sure to appeal to those looking for a strategic development opportunity, on a ‘subject to planning’.