New business cycle

A NEW business cycle is hoped for at a Cork city building steeped in cycling and sporting lore — and an adjacent idle 1.3 acre site which housed another iconic Cork business is also on the letting market.

Wrapped around by the vacated timber yard, DIY shop and offices of the former Brooks Haughton is No 15 South Terrace, formerly the property of Harding Cycles, which was started post-WW2 in 1945 by the legendary cycling enthusiast George Harding. He had built acclaimed racers, and the great Sean Kelly rode his first Tour of Britain on a Harding racing bicycle.

George Harding was a founder in 1939 of youth association An Óige, later becoming its president, and in 1967 he was a founding member of the Irish Cycling Federation.

Harding opened what was known as the Clubman’s Shop, supplying bike clubs, and got the key of No 15 from timber merchant Benjamin Haughton on a gentleman’s agreement, and a weekly rent of a ten shilling note. It expanded considerably and became Hardings, but ceased trading after 54 years and two generations in 1999.

Since then it has been occupied by a firm of auditors who have now vacated, and chartered surveyor Robert Jeffrey of Frank V Murphy & Co is now ‘pedalling’ the building, seeking a rent of around €18,000 pa from any new user. It has 1,400 sq ft in all, made up of a ground floor 400 sq ft space with display window, and overhead offices, tea station and services.

* Meanwhile, the entire former Brooks Group/Brooks Haughton site (with Haughtons linking it to more than 200 years of trading in Cork) on South Terrace / Copley Street and running to about 1.3 acres remains to let via Savills.

Savills seek €75,000 pa for a short, two-year let on the entire, to include retail space, offices, 28,000 sq ft industrial and about 10,000 sq ft of open space. Proposals for farmers’ markets, car repairs, and commuter car-parking have been put forward, but City Hall is resisting the latter as being against their transport policy.

The significant development site was sold by Savills back around 2008 to the Alchemy Group / Dairygold / Reox for an unconfirmed €15 million, with the Brooks group concentrating on their Pouladuff, Togher depot. It now has planning for a significant mixed development, awaiting market recovery, says Denis O’Donoghue of Savills. Earlier this month, the Brooks group was bought out of its receivership by Welsh company Premier Forestry Products in an undisclosed, multi-million euro purchase.

Details: Frank V Murphy & Co, 021-4274204; Savills, 021-4271371.


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