Development impetus for Fermoy as half of former €22.5m mart site bought by Tesco for €1.5m

Fermoy Mart site fetched €22.5m in 2007, undeveloped since. Now, half has resold for €1.5m to Tesco, with the balance on offer for a further €1m, after a €38m flood prevention investment
Development impetus for Fermoy as half of former €22.5m mart site bought by Tesco for €1.5m

The Fermoy town centre site just bought by Tesco for c €1.5m, and the adjacent site of 3.8 acres, guided at €1m, now offered for sale by Savills.

A new development impetus is on the way for the North Cork town of Fermoy, with a long-mothballed town centre site just bought by Tesco, another alongside on the old Fermoy Mart site now offered for sale, and as new house building begins to pick up the pace, from a very low base.

The momentum comes as Cork County Council has identified a need for 800 new homes by 2028 in Fermoy, with population growth envisaged to rise by over 25% to nearly 9,000 and with the local authority keen to see commercial activity also regenerate the Blackwater river community.

Just up for sale now is a development site of 3.8 acres on the old Fermoy Mart site, guided at €1m.

It’s right alongside a four-acre plot recently bought by Tesco for an unconfirmed price close to €1.5m under the €2m guide quote indicated in a low-key market offer in 2020 via agents Savills.

The entire eight-acre site, occupied since 1957 as a mart, last sold as one lot back in 2007, with owners Cork Marts getting a whopping €22.5m for the town centre development site from the Shipton Group, after very competitive bidding from leading Cork developers, for mixed-use development.

The site, sold just before the property crash and economic slump, fell victim to a planning refusal on a number of grounds, including flood risk from the adjacent River Blackwater.

That risk has since been remedied by a reported €38m floor relief scheme done by the OPW and Cork County Council, which included 1km of high walls, earth mounds, and other measures.

Plan for supermarket

Following the sale of half of the former mart site, Tesco is expected to go for planning permission in coming months for a supermarket of c 30,000 sq ft, adjacent to an existing Lidl and across the road from a SuperValu.

Tesco previously had an interest in the Mill Road setting, and now may be poised to build nearly 15 years after it first eyed up an opening in the town.

Agents Savills (who sold for Cork Marts in 2007 to Shipton, who’d planned a €100m mixed-used scheme) declined to comment on the low-key sale, but is known to now be marketing the 3.8-acre balance of the eight-acre Fermoy Mart site, on the Main Street side of Tesco’s site, guiding €1m.

A report in the Irish Examiner this week noted Cork County Council’s views of the former Fermoy Mart site as an important town regeneration opportunity: it’s zoned for town centre uses, primarily retail and commercial development, including an element of residential, social, and cultural uses.

Meanwhile, work continues on a health centre on the old Sean Quinn/Bupa/Laya site on the northern fringes of the Blackwater.

House building

On the residential front, and as the local draft development plan is set to focus on a more central town boundary development radius, this week sees a €2m guide price attached to four-acre Fermoy house building site at Pike Road, Rathealy.

It has full planning permission for 45 homes, 30 three-bed semis and 15 three-bed townhouses, equivalent to a price per stand of €45,000 per unit.

A four-acre site at Pike Road, Rathealy, which has full planning permission for 45 homes, is for sale with local estate agent Paul O’Driscoll, with a €2m guide price.
A four-acre site at Pike Road, Rathealy, which has full planning permission for 45 homes, is for sale with local estate agent Paul O’Driscoll, with a €2m guide price.

It’s for sale with local estate agent Paul O’Driscoll, who notes “there is little or no housing development going on in Fermoy at the moment, apart from the odd one-off house”.

On the Dublin Road, Cork County Council has acquired a land parcel for 50 social homes, and it’s understood another builder has acquired a site at Strawhall, Fermoy, which has an existing planning grant for 70 units.

The local authority believes 800 housing units will be required in Fermoy by 2028, with 600 housing units on residentially zoned land and another 200 within the built footprint of the town.

  • Details: Savills 021-4271371; Paul O’Driscoll 086- 1895128

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