Construction of Cork City’s Prism set to start

The project was delayed by pandemic lockdowns but will commence this month
Construction of Cork City’s Prism set to start

CGI Artist's Impression of Prism Building, Cork, Ireland

Construction of The Prism, a long-awaited €20m commercial development in the heart of Cork City with an eye-catching design, is finally set to get underway on November 23.

Documents filed with Cork City Council indicate the late November commencement date, more than two years after planning permission was sought for the 15-storey office block, which is modelled on the iconic 22-storey Flatiron building on New York’s Fifth Avenue.

The project was delayed by pandemic lockdowns.

The company behind The Prism is Clontarf Street Developments Ltd, whose directors include New York-based, Kerry-born Kevin O’Sullivan; and Blarney-based Michael Cunningham. The building design is by Reddy Architecture +Urbanism.

The development — earmarked for a narrow triangular-shaped, 280sq m (3,000sq ft) site next to the city’s bus station at the confluence of Clontarf Street/Deane Street/Oliver Plunkett Street Lower — is described by the developers as a “grade A” commercial development consisting of “6,000sq m of light-filled, fourth-generation office space”.

The Prism is the first of two ambitious projects planned for Cork by Mr O’Sullivan, president and chief executive of New York-based Tower Holdings Group. The group is also behind the proposed mixed-use development at the old Port of Cork site on Custom House Quay, which was given the go-ahead by An Bord Pleanála in March, with work yet to start.

The plan is for a 34-storey hotel and heritage project, including the rejuvenation of bonded warehouses on the site. No date has been given for work to begin.

In recent weeks, Mr O’Sullivan’s brother, Dónal, a passive investor in the group, was found guilty of fraud in a federal court in Brooklyn on charges relating to his own company, Navillus Contracting, a large US construction company involved in high-profile projects such as the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City. 

The jury found he and two others had deliberately devised a fraudulent scheme to avoid making required contributions to union benefits’ funds on behalf of Navillus’ workers. Mr O’Sullivan could face lengthy jail time, with sentencing likely to take place early next year.

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