WORK has begun on the partial demolition of the former Windsor Hotel on MacCurtain St for it to be rebuilt as a €7 million 'micro-sleeper' hotel with 73 rooms.
The project is being undertaken by Townmore Construction, a company that is based in Cork and is designed by Meitheal Architects, who were involved in the recent extension of the well-known and long-established Dingle Skellig Hotel in Kerry.
Some internal work had already begun at the site in the early days of January, according to Meitheal Architects.
Meitheal Architects has described the project site as "challenging" and in a historic location demanding a unique and creative solution.
A spokesperson said: "The resulting permission for this new city sleeper/micro-hotel concept [will deliver] an extremely high yield to plot ratio on a fully enclosed site. From the very beginning we worked closely with our clients and Fáilte Ireland to develop the new 'Welcome Standard' for a modern sleeper room concept that reflects the needs and aspirations of the modern traveller. The excellent planning result breaks new ground for density and height, without compromising the strong urban context. The Windsor Hotel design allows both a strong commercial model and identifiable character for a new and unique Cork hotel offering.
“The hotel is aimed at tourists who are travelling light and are wanting to stay somewhere central.”
To facilitate the build, York Street, a residential street just off MacCurtain Street has had to be closed for 12 months to through traffic.
Earlier this month, a council spokesperson said it has been engaging with the contractor in relation to the development.
“All avenues have been explored to minimise the disruption to local traffic and pedestrians as much as possible,” the spokesperson added.
In March of last year, city planners gave permission for the 73-room hotel in what has branded as the 'Victorian Quarter'. It will see some 90-bed spaces provided and incorporates the partial demolition of the existing building and the construction of an eight-storey hotel with a bar facility. There will also be an external courtyard along with a basement level. The development will involve partial demolition of existing structures.
Across the road, the owners of the Metropole, Trigon Hotels Ltd, have 10-year permission for a major overhaul to deliver up to 400 bedrooms through a refurbishment and an extension of the existing hotel.