PLANS for the long-awaited redevelopment of Penneys are expected to finally be submitted before the end of the year.
The retailer has spent the last two years acquiring neighbouring buildings in a move that is understood to have cost tens of millions of euros.
The ambitious redevelopment will more than double the size of the current Penneys store on Patrick St, making it one of the largest retail units in the entire country.
The news comes as the sale of the iconic Roche's Stores building progresses, with the deal expected to fetch €70 million for its owners. It is understood that a number of international investors are interested in the property.
The building now houses Debenhams and generates more than €3 million in rent per annum for the 150,000 sq ft building, which was developed in 1922.
It is the latest step in the revitalisation of the city's main thoroughfare, coming just after Fáilte Ireland submitted plans for 125 Patrick St.
Formerly Black Tie, the landmark building has been vacant for more than two years, though it is now expected to operational by April 2018 in time to welcome 100,000 tourists to the city next summer.
Just a few doors up, work has been completed on the revamp of 83-85 Patrick St. The three buildings have been combined into one larger unit to meet modern retail needs and are understood to be attracting significant interest from high-end fashion retailers.
Plans for the revamp of Merchants Quay are understood to still be on the cards, though this is not expected to take place before the end of the year.
Lawrence Owens, chief executive of the Cork Business Association, welcomed the developments on the street as a sign that things are moving in the right direction.
"We certainly want to see more work on that top, left-hand block, which still has some vacancy," he said.
"But otherwise, there is a lot of positive news, including 83-85 Patrick St and work on nearby streets, too. We want to see the city's main shopping street full, which it should be, and we are heading in that direction."