TAKE-up of a brand new €28m business park in Cork’s Little Island will be a bellwether both of recovering economic confidence and a shift in Ireland’s business bedrock, the industrial and logistics sector.
Launching this month is the first new business park to be started in the past decade in Cork’s industrial heartland, Little Island, to be called Harbour Gate. Construction will start as soon as current lockdown restriction move on from the lift in residential building to the wider construction sector.
The Little Island area, east of Cork City and the Dunkathel hub and Jack Lynch Tunnel, is already home to over 1,000 companies, as well as millions of square feet of logistics, warehousing, services, and manufacturing, anchored by the pharma sector, helping to make it the region’s industrial powerhouse.
Now, poised to capitalise on post-Covid-19 recovery and the already evident surge in the logistics/distribution sector is the new Harbour Gate Business Park, being developed by the well-established East Cork-based Geaney Group, headed by Seamus Geaney.
A further development following on from the highly successful Harbour Point Business Park, it takes high-bay warehousing to literal new heights, with 15m clear to eaves (versus 6m-12m in older buildings) for additional capacity for end-users.
Launching Harbour Gate this week, with the four buildings available to buy or to rent and with construction slated to start as soon as permitted, agent Edward Hanafin of Lisney says units could be ready for use by early 2022, and reports early interest from a preliminary canvassing of the market.
He says there’s keen interest from logistics and distribution sectors, as well as retailers looking for Munster-based storage for shops and online.
It’s understood that space at the park is being pitched to online retail monolith Amazon, which has an active space inquiry in Cork this year, but Amazon is known to be looking at sites on which to build to its own specifications.
Mr Hanafin says: “The industrial market has been the least affected property sector by Covid-19 and has been active and resilient over the last 12 months.
Mr Hanafin adds that “the increase in online retailing is one of the factors driving the demand for warehousing, and Brexit has also been a factor".
The development’s arrival comes as a number of longer-established parks in Little Island have reached capacity, such as at EastGate (where there’s just one final office phase yet to come), Euro Business Park, Harbour Point, and others. In the longer term, redevelopment of the former Harbour Point Golf Club is likely with a new island ring road section proposed by the local authority.
Upgrade works on the Dunkathel Interchange by the Dublin M8/N25 Waterford route and the Lee tunnel are also expected to reinforce demand for the Little Island location, where JCD Group has the old Mitsui Denman plant site earmarked for a data centre.
Blocks on the seven-acre Harbour Gate site by the water’s edge have been designed to NZEB standard by Edge Architecture and are available in sizes from 17,222 sq ft, through 63,000 sq ft units on to 126,370 sq ft, with 15m eaves, mezzanine scope, glazed section for office/service block, and served with dock- and grade-level loading doors.
“This will be the first new business park to be developed in Little Island in over a decade and it will provide much-needed new warehouse/industrial space, providing property solutions for modern industrial requirements,” said Mr Hanafin, adding that with the internal eaves height of 15m, “these will be the highest warehouse buildings to be built in Cork, providing far more storage capacity and optimum utilisation of space".
Quoted prices to buy are €140 per square foot, and €9.50 psf to lease, with “an opportunity for potential occupiers to have an input into final design at this stage to obtain a purpose-built bespoke facility to suit specific requirements".
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