Plans lodged for 103-bed hotel on Cork's South Terrace

Permission sought to convert three late-Georgian homes into an aparthotel
Plans lodged for 103-bed hotel on Cork's South Terrace

Permission is being sought for a 103-bed Aparthotel at Nos 31-33 South Terrace, Cork city , run by the Adagio brand

The family-owned hotel group behind plans for a new hotel on Camden Quay in Cork City has lodged a fresh application seeking permission to convert three late-Georgian homes on South Terrace into a 103-bedroom aparthotel.

The JMK Group, owned by the UK-based Kajani family, is hoping to open its second Cork hospitality venture, the Adagio Aparthotel, in summer 2024, creating 100 jobs and marking the group’s sixth hotel venture in Ireland. It will be the first Adagio-branded aparthotel in Ireland. Adagio is a key brand in the European aparthotel market.

The Kajani planning application, lodged this week with Cork City Council via Carra Shore Hotel (Cork), is for the redevelopment, conservation, refurbishment, and change of use of Nos 31, 32, and 33 South Terrace, which are protected structures, with some demolition work to the rear of No 31. The buildings are described in the national architectural heritage database as “of particular visual significance to the streetscape” and one of just a”few remaining terraces of this type in Cork City”.

The proposal at South Terrace includes an application for permission to construct a five-floor over-ground floor and lower-ground floor annex to the rear of the buildings, as well as an external landscaped courtyard and green roof.

Customers entering the hotel would do so from Cotters Street and South Terrace, with a new entrance to the north of the site also from Cotters Street.

John Kajani’s company was in 2017 refused permission by Cork City Council for a 146-bed hotel at 31-33 South Terrace, which he had bought for €1m. The Pakistani-Irish businessman, also known as Jalaluddin Kajani, had proposed a change of use from office to hotel and business centre.

The new JMK Group proposal follows recent moves by University College Cork to get going on long-standing plans for a city-centre business school between South Terrace, Copley St, and Union Quay, on the site of the former Brooks Haughton builders’ yard.

There has been an uptick in activity recently with the appointment of architects RKD to the project.

The Cork University Business School will be around 17,000 sq m. UCC acquired the site from Dairygold for €17.25m in 2019.

The area has seen further regeneration with the opening five years ago of the refurbished and extended Cork Courthouse on nearby Anglesea St at a cost of €35m, and more recently, a €5m ophthalmology department on Infirmary Rd, next to the Breastcheck facility.

Back over on Camden Quay, demolition work — with Italianate facade preserved — is complete on the first Cork City Kajani project at the former Atkins/McKenzie building, used as a temporary circuit courthouse and then a centre for the arts.

An artist's impression of what the new 148-bedroom €50m Marriott-brand hotel on Camden Quay will look like. 
An artist's impression of what the new 148-bedroom €50m Marriott-brand hotel on Camden Quay will look like. 

Mr Kajani bought the prominent quayside site in 2020 and is planning to open the €50m 148-bed Moxy Hotel and Residence Inn, the first Marriott-branded hotel in Cork City, next year.

Across the river from the Cork Opera House, it will also host 43 long-stay suites and a rooftop terrace bar.

Both hotels will be three stars- plus. The aparthotel will consist of midscale apartments, with the freedom of an apartment and the bonus of services.

JMK Group is also behind a new 276-bedroom hotel next to Titanic Belfast, on Hamilton Dock.

The group has undertaken major expansion in the Irish market in recent years.

Along with its four London hotels, it runs the Holiday Inn Express on Dublin’s O’Connell St and the Waterford Marina Hotel. Hampton by Hilton in Dublin city centre is another of its projects, as is the Holiday Inn in Dublin Airport.

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