Demolition work on the former Capitol cinema site in the heart of Cork City has begun, heralding the start of a €50m project which is set to rejuvenate the city centre.

The demolition work, which is being undertaken by Loftus Demolition, is expected to take just over three months, before work starts on the development of a major retail and office block on the landmark site.

The entire project, which is expected to take just over a year to complete, will support up to 200 construction jobs. Much of the large-scale construction work is due to be finished before the run up to next Christmas.

A detailed photographic and archaeological survey of the old buildings has been completed and submitted to Cork City Council.

A spokesman for John Cleary Developments (JCD) said the demolition process on a site right next to the famous English Market will be sequenced to work from Market Lane/St Patrick’s Street side towards Grand Parade.

“This will effectively mean the majority of the demolition work will be carried out from the inside of the site, working outwards,” he said. “We retained Rentokil from a pest control perspective, who have been on site for the past number of months to ensure no negative impact from demolition works, particularly to the adjoining English Market. Extensive dust/noise control measures will also be undertaken.”

He also said they have set up a detailed liaison process with local business owners and traders from the English Market.

The redevelopment of the former cinema site, which has lain derelict for over a decade, is one of the largest projects of its kind in the city centre in 10 years. JCD plans to deliver up to 5,500sq m (60,000sq ft) of retail space and 3,250sq m (35,000sq ft) of grade-A gold LEED office space. The office element will be capable of accommodating up to 350 people.

The scheme also includes a food innovation area, with links to the English Market, and the restoration of the Oyster Tavern.

JCD project manager Martin O’Brien said the firm was looking forward to starting. “We have been hugely encouraged by the level of public support for this project and are in detailed negotiations with a number of potential retail and office occupiers. The development will provide prime retail space opening onto St Patrick’s Street as well as large floor plate offices.”

President of the Cork Business Association, Claire Nash, said once complete, the scheme will have a hugely positive impact on the city. “It will make Cork city the retail centre and the hub of business that we missed out on in the boom.

“It will be a huge addition to complement the city’s existing 300 independent, family-run businesses. The build of course will cause some disruption but this project, I am guaranteed by Mr Cleary, will be delivered on time. Bring it on.”


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