New hotels serve up serious expansion of tourism in city

New hotels serve up serious expansion of tourism in city

A view of the planned BAM Sullivan’s Quay hotel development. It has yet to progress beyond demolition of existing structures.

WITH another new Cork hotel announced last week, 2019 looks set to continue the trend of serious expansion of the tourism scene in the city.

The boutique hotel planned for 71 South Mall joins a host of other hotel projects at various stages of development.

A planning application has been lodged for a hotel development at 71 South Mall. Pic; Larry Cummins
A planning application has been lodged for a hotel development at 71 South Mall. Pic; Larry Cummins

South Mall Hospitality Ltd, headed by directors Ray Byrne and Eoin Doyle, have applied for planning permission for a 58-bed hotel to be developed at the former National Irish Bank (NIB) branch. All going well as regards planning, the project has an estimated opening date of 2021.

The new hotel will be a near neighbour to the longstanding Imperial Hotel, now in its third century of trading, and will bring to three the number of hotels on the South Mall.

The other, the Maldron Hotel, became the second biggest hotel in Cork when it opened its doors days before Christmas.

A view of the planned new hotel proposed for Dean street next to the Parnell Place bus station.
A view of the planned new hotel proposed for Dean street next to the Parnell Place bus station.

In addition to its 163 bedrooms, the Maldron will have two restaurants, a bar, a cafe and six conference rooms of varying size when it is fully complete. While the hotel is welcoming guests, work continues on the planned Italian restaurant and the conference facilities, which will open in the coming months.

Across the water from the Mall, the planned hotel on the site of the former tax office on Sullivan’s Quay is set to become the city’s biggest when it opens.

Planning has been granted for a 29-bed hotel at former Clancy’s Bar.
Planning has been granted for a 29-bed hotel at former Clancy’s Bar.

An Bord Pleanála gave the green light to plans for a 220-bed hotel on the site in June last year but it has yet to progress beyond demolition of the existing structures. Cork City Council is applying pressure on developers BAM to clear the mounds of rubble on the site, threatening to impose vacant sites levies if it is not progressed.

Work is well underway at another development across the city in Horgan’s Quay. A new hotel, to be called ‘The Dean’, is one element of a 5000 square metre development by HQ Developments Limited, a joint company involving BAM and Clarendon Properties.

The 136-bed hotel, with a rooftop garden, will share the 6.1 acre site with several hundred apartments and a mix of office and retail space.

Horgan’s Quay development will include hotel, office and residential urban development, on a six acre site, beside Kent Station. Pic; Larry Cummins
Horgan’s Quay development will include hotel, office and residential urban development, on a six acre site, beside Kent Station. Pic; Larry Cummins

There are also plans to address the budget end of the tourism market, although these have run into problems with planning.

In December, planners in Cork City Council granted permission to Dublin company Tetrarch Capital to build a seven-storey 162-bed budget hotel at 7-9 Parnell Place, which previously housed Flor Griffin and Mahers. But that decision has now been appealed to An Bord Pleanála, who have up to four months to decide if it can go ahead.

The development would stretch back to Dean Street and onto the rear of homes and businesses on Lower Oliver Plunkett Street. A historic laneway that previously existed.

Conal O’Neill, Maldron Group General Manager; Robert McCarthy, General Manager, Maldron South Mall, Stephen McNally, Deputy CEO, Dalata Hotel Group, and Pat McCann, CEO Dalata Hotel Group, at the opening of the Maldron Hotel, South Mall. Picture: Darragh Kane
Conal O’Neill, Maldron Group General Manager; Robert McCarthy, General Manager, Maldron South Mall, Stephen McNally, Deputy CEO, Dalata Hotel Group, and Pat McCann, CEO Dalata Hotel Group, at the opening of the Maldron Hotel, South Mall. Picture: Darragh Kane

Development in the city is not limited to hotels with hundreds of rooms, there are also a number of smaller projects A 73-bed hotel on the corner of MacCurtain Street and York Street was approved last year and planning has been granted for a 29-bed hotel at the former Clancy’s Bar in the city centre.

Future tourists may even have the option of staying on the Lee itself while in Cork, with planning granted last year for a floating hotel moored at Penrose Quay.

While the tourism industry is bracing itself for possible Brexit-related disruption, Fáilte Ireland is confident there will be a market for the hundreds of additional beds coming onstream. In its annual report at the end of last year it estimated that even in a worst-case economic scenarios the city market would need 600 bed spaces, rising to 1,200 in a strong economy.

More in this section

Sponsored Content