New office projects can build Cork’s appeal to businesses

New office projects can build Cork’s appeal to businesses

A computer rendering of the planned office block on Anderson’s Quay.

CORK's office developments are future-proofing the city and making it more attractive for international investors.

Developers John Cleary Developments announced the full details of their newest plan for the city centre, revamping numbers 85 and 86 South Mall with a €30 million project that will be capable of hosting 450 jobs once completed by next summer.

The proposed, €90m Navigation Square, Cork.
The proposed, €90m Navigation Square, Cork.

The announcement comes as the Cork developers near completion on their landmark project at the Capitol on Grand Parade, which revealed its tenants this morning.

It is just part of the improved offering emerging throughout the city centre, answering the demand for premium office space.

Developers and city business chiefs are optimistic that Cork's comparably low rental costs will entice an influx of foreign direct investment, with opportunities rife on the back of Brexit.

In addition to the South Mall, a final decision is expected in the coming weeks on the Navigation Square development on Albert Quay.

Totalling some 300,000 sq ft, the development from O'Callaghan Properties is currently awaiting the outcome of an appeal with An Bord Pleanála.

Elsewhere in the city centre, acres of premium land is becoming available, with six acres of waterfront land at Horgan's Quay lined up for development.

This is in addition to plans for Anderson's Quay and the so-called Trinity Quarter near South Terrace.

The city centre won't be recognisable in ten years, according to the Lord Mayor of Cork.

How the Trinity quarter, South Terrace, Cork, may look.
How the Trinity quarter, South Terrace, Cork, may look.

Welcoming this latest development at South Terrace, Mr Cahill said, "Cork is fortunate with office space.

"The drive is being business-led in recent times. We haven't had any situations where we have had to turn people away.

"We have plenty of strategic sites, many which have planning and zoning already. The owners of these, some of which includes developers like O'Callaghan's and JCD, are actively looking for partners to work with in development.

"The model is working - we won't be left with unoccupied office blocks."

Fears had been expressed by business chiefs in the city that Cork could miss the opportunities created by Brexit due to a lack of suitable office space.

A €30m office scheme proposed for Cork city’s South Mall, on a site bounded by Smith Street, Phoenix Street, and Crane Lane.
A €30m office scheme proposed for Cork city’s South Mall, on a site bounded by Smith Street, Phoenix Street, and Crane Lane.

However, the current developments are exactly what is required to make Cork even more attractive on an international scale, Mr Cahill said.

He welcomed the influx of new employers to the city.

Giants like Apple and Amazon have long been major players in the city, but these new developments are bringing grade-A office space to tempt the likes of Huawei, Facebook and others to Leeside.

Mr Cahill said, "It is important for the city to become more diverse in the type of company that operates here. We want to have a great variety in the number of companies here rather than keeping all of our eggs in the one basket.

"It is prudent to be continually looking for new operations."

And the work looks to be paying off.

The Capitol building on the old cinema site. Picture: Denis Minihane
The Capitol building on the old cinema site. Picture: Denis Minihane

In addition to the new faces eyeing up Leeside, some Cork-based operators, including AlienVault and Nginx, are increasing their footprint in the city centre.

"We have had an announcement a month for the last six months or so," the Lord Mayor said.

"As the volume increases, so too does the demand for employees. And the beauty of it is that a lot of it is in the city centre and it just adds to the vibrancy of what we have."

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