UCC plans world-class business school at Lapps Quay bank building

A bank building being bought by UCC in Cork city centre for €1.42m is set to house a UCC equivalent of UCD’s Smurfit School of Business in Dublin.

Cork City Council next week looks set to approve the sale of the historic Cork Saving Bank building at 1 Lapps Quay for over €1.4m after a sale conducted by Lisney, who sold it to City Council in July 2014 for €800,000.

So City Hall is already ‘up’ c€600,000 or 78% as a business profit, even before the UCC Business School opens its doors at Lapps Quay.

A university spokesperson declined to comment on the plan until the sale is formally approved by City Council’s elected members next Monday.

But, in a report to members, the city’s director of services and strategic planing, Pat Ledwidge, said UCC was committed to using it as “a world-class executive education centre that will benefit existing indigenous and multinational business, and serve as a hub for future inward investment to the city and broader region.”

According to Mr Ledwidge, it will be UCC’s business school flagship building, in the heart of the city and business district, mixing teaching space and course rooms for programmes for post-grads, master students, and mid-career professionals in areas such as technology, healthcare,and financial services.

UCC plans world-class business school at Lapps Quay bank building

UCC will need planning permission for change of use and its occupation “will establish an exciting and sustainable future for this historically important building, in this high-profiled location,” says Mr Ledwidge.

Agents Lisney got 19 expressions of interest for the Deane-designed early 19th century classic limestone building, having sold it in 2014 to City Hall who initially sought development proposals for it, before opting earlier this year to sell it on, subject to appropriate and approved new uses.

The agents, with City Hall, drew up a shortlist of just two final bidders, with UCC emerging on top this month. Among uses proposed by other bidders were offices, hotel, restaurant, hospitality/licenced industry, and educational uses, including language and business school, according to Lisney director Margaret Kelleher.

UCC’s move follows CIT’s purchase of a building at the far end of the South Mall, previously used by Bank of Scotland/Certus. Still for sale is the former AIB branch at 97 South Mall/Parnell Place, most recently a HQ for Thomas Crosbie Holdings, now for sale or to let via Downing Commercial.

Cork City Council last week completed a multi-million euro upgrade of public spaces on Parnell Place, where hotel group Dalata is set to invest €20m in a new hotel linking back to Beasley Street and South Mall, having bought a part-completed structure from Nama for €10m earlier this year.

Details: Lisney 021-4275079


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