UP to 300 student bed spaces could be delivered under proposals for an apartment building on a derelict site on North Main Street.
The property at 96 North Main Street was bought by City Hall in May of last year. It has been derelict for almost two decades and is considered one of the worst eyesores in the city centre.
The council has been approached by developers, Panterlee Ltd, who own the adjoining properties at 92-95 North Main Street with a view to developing the entire site. A report by City Hall chief executive Ann Doherty states that Panterlee Ltd has requested that the council disposes of number 96 to allow the apartments to be built.
Former Lord Mayor Sean Martin said councillors will “wait and see” the precise details from the developer but he wants to see a social housing element built into the proposed development.
Councillor Martin said: “It would be positive for footfall but this is basically student accommodation which I suspect is for the foreign market.
“I, along with the ward council and city officials, had a meeting with the people involved, which was an exploratory meeting. Some residents and traders were there as well.
“Panterlee own two of the buildings so they can apply and do what they want within the planning structures. We will allow them to look at their overall plan and come back to us. We haven't ceded number 96 to them. We would insist that the car park is excluded.
“This is a site that has been vacant for 20 years. We have asked them to look at social housing and they have said that they won’t. I have a problem with that. Would they not give over six to eight units to social housing at number 96?
“I’d be interested to see the designs and drawings of what they are looking at,” he added.
Workers’ Party representative, Ted Tynan, said family homes are more needed in the area.
“My concern is that there has always been an understanding in the city council that the area is family orientated," he said.
"I would oppose any more student accommodation going into that part of the city in lieu of family homes. The developers can build flats there that are two or three storeys which can accommodate families. There is a need for student accommodation but there is also a need for families to be housed," he added.
In a report to the council’s Finance and Estimates Functional Committee Ms Doherty said: “In line with the council’s overall objectives for the wider North Main Street area and in order to facilitate an integrated, rejuvenating plan for the proposed redevelopment of this property...it is proposed that Cork City Council would allow the developers to include 96 North Main Street in its planning application and, subject to planning permission, that Cork City Council enter into discussion in relation to the sale of the property to the developers.”