Harbouring ambitions for Cork site

A Cork harbour site which once sold for €25m to Howard Holdings comes to market in the same week as the city’s Howard Holdings-developed Clarion Hotel sells for €35m.

While the Clarion hotel sale, at City Quarter, on Lapps Quay, to Delata, is a sales coup, the waterfront site at Passage West has plummeted by 90% in value, and is now offered at €2.75m by James O’Donovan and Peter O’Meara, of Savills.

The former Haulbowline Industries site, sold by the Hill family in 2006 to Howards, who’d planned a necklace of developments along Cork harbour, faces across the harbour pinch-point to the old IFI Marino Point site of 114 acres.

Sources indicate that both Marino Point and Passage West docks will continue to play a role in port activity, in new, private ownership.

A deal is done, signed but not yet closed, at Marino Point for a receiver: it went to market again last year, priced at €7m via DTZ.

It’s being bought by two commercial private entities, one local, one out of town, and Port of Cork will play a role in its new uses, likely to be bulk goods.

The sale price isn’t disclosed, but at one stage Marino Point sold to investors as a development play for €23m.

Meanwhile, port activities have continued at Passage West, with a three-year lease to Haulbowline Industries at €110,000, with the stevedoring Doyle Group/Burke Shipping Group operating the business,primarily scrap metal and animal feeds.

Doyle’s also have activity in the city wharves, at Verolme and at other Irish ports, employing over 300. Late last year, Burke Shipping bought out Greenore Port, in Louth, for €5m, making it the country’s first privately-owned port. Doyles/Burke can be expected to be front runners to buy the Passage West site from Savills.

Howards ambitious plans were for a €200m investment, with marina, up to 300 residential units, and a 150-bed hotel. Now, the outcome is expected to be more pedestrian, and may include residential, retail, town/civic uses, and wharf/stevedoring activity.

DETAILS: Savills 021-4271371


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