WORK has commenced on a second state-of-the-art office block at Horgan’s Quay hot on the heels of reports that tech giant Apple is set to rent considerable space in the first block, which was completed last year.
No 2 Horgan’s Quay, designed by architects O'Mahony Pike, is expected to be ready for occupancy in 15-18 months time and will add 130,000 sq ft of office space to the six acre CIE-owned site as part of a €160 mixed-use development by Clarendon Properties and BAM.
Like its neighbour, No 1 Horgan’s Quay - which extends to 92,000 sq ft - it will be an eight storey building, but unlike No 1, it will have a 2,800 sq ft private terrace on the sixth floor overlooking the River Lee. It’s also closer to the river then No 1, which is cantilevered over the Cork limestone wall of what was the original Goods Shed for nearby Kent Train Station. The same 9m wall will act as a backdrop to No 2’s lobby.
Ronan Downing, development director with Clarendon Properties, said they are confident that once people start returning in earnest to work that demand for good office space will return.
He said while working from home was “convenient from certain aspects” “it doesn’t work long term”.
“People don’t need to be all in at the same time, working 9-5 like battery hens. Those days are well and truly gone. But they do need collaborative spaces.
“The recovery has already started in the Dublin market and we are seeing tentative signs in Cork,” he said.
In relation to building a residential block of 325 apartments on Horgan’s Quay as part of the overall development, Mr Downing said they remain hopeful that they will be on site early next year. He said they were “engaged with a number of people” vis-à-vis getting a PRS (private rented sector) operator on board.
One of the challenges of pushing ahead with residential will be a rise in the cost of construction products such as oil, steel, timber, concrete and insulation. Another planned build-to-rent scheme across the river at the site of the former Sextant pub, has been abandoned in favour of an office block. JCD (John Cleary Developments) had planned a 25-storey apartment block at the former Carey Toolhire site, but re-applied for planning permission for an office block after a costings report showed residential was financially unviable.
Back over at Horgan’s Quay, the pending arrival of Apple is a major boost for the development, with the tech company taking the top three floors (36,500 sq ft) of No 1 Horgan’s Quay, with options for further space if required. As co-working company Spaces is already in situ over two and a half floors (30,000 sq ft), the building is now 75% occupied.
Apple already employs 6,000 workers in the city and is expected to house upto 400 additional employees at Horgan's Quay, where high-spec, energy efficient No 1 is ready for fit-out.
Also ready for occupancy at the riverside site is the beautifully restored heritage building, the original Carriage Shed. While the idea of a foodhall had been touted, with leisure space for activities such as yoga, current enquiries indicate retail interest along the lines of a convenience store and a coffee shop. The Carriage Shed adjoins the striking Wilson Architecture-designed Dean Hotel.
The extensive nature of the quayside development, as well as neighbouring JCD's award-winning Penrose Dock, has brought significant regeneration to the city's under-utilised northside quays, including creating 1.5 acres of new public realm, taking in two new plazas and new routes between the buildings. While a significant office development in the shape of O'Callaghan Properties (OCP) Navigation Square had taken place on the opposite quay, further massive rejuvenation is planned.