PLANNERS have given the go-ahead for a transformative residential development that will see more than 1,000 apartments built on a prime docklands site in Cork city’s golden Marina Quarter.
The development at the former Ford Distribution site, on a circa five-hectare parcel of land, bordered by Centre Park Road, the Marquee link road and Monahan Road, is among the most ambitious ever proposed so close to the city.
The proposal, by Marina Quarter Ltd, backed by Glenveagh Properties, involves the construction of 12 apartment blocks, some up to 14 storeys in height, targeted at the build-to-rent sector.
It was unclear yesterday what conditions might be attached by An Bord Pleanála to the planning permission which extends to 10 years. A spokesman for Glenveagh Properties declined to comment.
The land on which the development is scheduled to take place is in the South Docks Development area, just under 2km from Cork city, on the site that has hosted the long-running Live at the Marquee.
However, this fixture is unlikely to be affected in the immediate future as it will take considerable planning before any work can commence on the site.
The land on which the development is set to take place was bought in 2018 by Glenveagh Properties for a sum understood to be in the region of €15m, almost double the asking price of €8.5m.
The site has a long planning history, as it was once earmarked by the now-defunct Howard Holdings for major development after they acquired the land in the mid-2000s for a reported €35m.
Plans were unveiled in 2009 for the €1bn Atlantic Quarter project, to include three tall apartment towers of 10, 20, and 27 floors, as well as 350,000sq ft of offices, retail, and 5,000-seat event centre. It was described at the time as “the single largest development project ever undertaken in Cork, and a catalyst for other docklands schemes to follow”, but it never materialised in the wake of the financial crash and its impact on Howard Holdings.
The new development will take place close to the revamped Páirc Uí Chaoimh and the new Marina Park, a €10m public amenity next to the stadium and Monahan Road, currently being developed by Cork City Council.
It’s also close to where plans have been drawn up for a new Eastern Gateway Bridge linking the road network by Tivoli to the south docks at Centre Park Road/the Marina.
This Ford plot is one of two Cork south docks sites granted Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) approval under the Rebuilding Ireland programme with a €15.5m allocation to facilitate 700 residential units on the two approved sites.
A previous 2008 LAP assessed that the South Docks’ overall 300 acres was capable of supporting 20,000 workers and a 25,000-resident population, according to commercial real estate firm CBRE.