The former Cork city centre cash vault stronghold for Bank of Ireland’s many Cork branches is up for grabs — but, while the site holds promise, it’s one empty of cash in any denomination.
Guiding €600,000 on launch with Sam Daunt and Isobel O’Regan of Savills, Cork, is a plot of 0.14 of an acre at Smith Street/Phoenix Street: the narrow Smith Street links the South Mall heartland to Oliver Plunkett Street, and houses a bunker-like complex previously bristling with security cameras, access controls and a hot-line to Garda HQ nearby at Anglesea Street.
Now no longer used to securely hold millions of euros in cash, the decommissioned property is being sold for Bank of Ireland.
Agents Savills merely describe the property as “a single storey building, previously used as a storage facility, extending to approximately 288 sq m (3,100 sq ft).”
There’s parking to the side, with car access to Phoenix Street, and the property/site is likely to be developed for offices.
The adjacent office block 89/90 South Mall (the former Norwich Union House), also runs down Smith Street, and was acquired this year by John Cleary Developments as an investment, in a c €4m purchase. No 89/90 South is currently being refitted and upgraded, with occupiers such as KPMG and law firm James Riordan & Partners.
The site has minimal profile, but is just metres from the South Mall, and Dalata are due to invest €10m in a new hotel after a €10m purchase of a Corbett-family part-developed hotel just a block away, on Beasley Street to the east.
Next door to this B of I site is a vacant plot, understood to have planning permission for a four-storey office building, just short of 20,000 sq ft, so a site assembly may be on the cards.
Also with a presence on low-key Phoenix Street is Counihans Bar, Crane Lane, and Jacques Restaurant, while another existing building here is due for redevelopment, for bar/entertainment use.
Among the traditional South Mall buildings backing towards Phoenix Street are Cohalan Downing Associates (CDA) and a former Bank of Ireland bank branch, now occupied by Moore Stephens, who did a recent c €2.5m sale and leaseback of their own offices.
Pitching the BofI cash vaults/depository site, “the property presents a unique development opportunity,” says Savills’ Isobel O’Regan, adding “given its convenient location it could be suitable for an office building or a mixed-use development comprising commercial uses on the ground floor with residential apartments above subject to any necessary planning permission”.
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