THE former Ford Depot site in the Cork docklands is set to be listed for sale by NAMA in the second quarter of 2018.
The site, formerly the Howard Holdings site in the docklands, includes the land currently used to host Live at the Marquee and is viewed as a key piece of infrastructure in the development of the entire docklands.
Planners in Cork city are currently putting together a Local Area Plan (LAP) for the entire docklands region, including new homes, offices and a retail strategy.
It also includes the redevelopment of Marina Park and the construction of new bridges and access routes, potentially doubling the footprint of Cork city centre.
The sale of the former Ford Depot site could be key to the development of any plan, according to Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy, who tabled the question about the site's future.
A report responding to Mr McCarthy's question noted that the site will be listed for sale later this year.
"NAMA have indicated that it intends bringing the former Ford Depot site in the South Docks to the market in Quarter 2 2018. Cork City Council will work with any new owners to secure the development of this key site," the report stated.
"The planning framework for the area will be updated via the new City Docklands Local Area Plan that is in preparation at present."
Funding for the development of the docklands will be sought 'via the National Development Plan to provide supporting infrastructure including new bridges, upgraded access roads and public transport,'
according to the report.
It continued, "The development of Marina Park, including the revamped Páirc Úi Chaoimh, adjacent to the site is a catalyst for the redevelopment of these lands.
"The funding currently available under the LIHAF initiative will also support the redevelopment of this important site."
Mr McCarthy said it is important for the site to be sold sooner rather than later to ensure that the city can work with the potential investor.
"We can't move on the docklands until this site is in place," he said.
"Whoever buys it will do so with the aim of implementing their own plan and it is crucial that we can work with them on this."
Mr McCarthy said that waiting for the sale and development of plans could slow down progress in the area.
"The sooner that we see who the investor is, the better, and the sooner we work with them, the better," he added.