Construction work has begun at the former Beamish & Crawford site more than eight years after brewing activity ended at the South Main Street location.
The current development work does not include the events centre which remains in limbo awaiting a Government decision on further State funding.
Bam Property Ltd have instead begun construction of more than 400 student bedrooms on the northern section of the site, referred to as Zone A.
Construction work formally began on Friday. Zone A will see the construction of 61 apartments in four accommodation blocks over a basement car park.
The development will also see the revival of a historic laneway called Lamley's Lane.
Once the development is complete, Tuckey Street will lead directly onto Lamley's Lane through to the western edge of the site where a new pedestrian bridge will be built onto Cross'es Green.
Also included in Zone A is a ground floor retail unit on the corner of South Main Street and Lamley's Lane. A restaurant is planned for the western side of the development close to Clarke's Bridge with outdoor seating and a cafe facing Lamley's Lane.
The development will create 417 bedrooms in 61 apartments in a mix of four to eight bedroom units. More than 200 bicycle parking spaces will be provided.
Zone A was included in the original planning permission granted in 2011 for the complete redevelopment of the Beamish site. However, Bam Property sought permission last year to modify Zone A to increase the number of student apartments.
The development is the latest in a series of student apartment projects underway in Cork.
Significant construction has been completed on a major student complex on the Western Road at the site for the former Muskerry Filling Station.
UCC's student apartment development on the Crow's Nest site at Victoria Cross was recently accepted for a new fast-track housing planning process that bypasses Cork City Council and goes directly to An Bord Pleanála for a decision.
Despite the first phase of the Beamish site going to construction, there is no update on when work on the Events Centre will begin.
The former Taoiseach Enda Kenny turned the sod on the Events Centre in February 2016 after the government committed €20m towards the cost of the 6,00-capacity venue.
However, work has stalled due to redesigns and the costs associated with the development have increased. A request for a further €18m has been made to the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht but there is no timeline for when a decision will be made.