Developments see the face of Cork changing

Cranes have returned to Cork's skyline with several major developments transforming the face of the city. Rob McNamara looks at some of the landmark plans underway.
Developments see the face of Cork changing
An outline render of a landmark building on the Custom House Quay site in Cork. A planning application is expected to be lodged in 2018.

CORK’S skyline is undergoing rapid change and the next 10 years could see it become unrecognisable from what it once was.

While the controversial Cork Events Centre rumbles on without any end seemingly in sight, several other projects have been completed or are in the works.

Páirc Uí Chaoimh, the home of Munster GAA, is now one of the most modern stadiums in Europe, The Capitol has rejuvenated Grand Parade and there are several student housing developments in the works to address the shortage of beds.

A revamped Kent Station has reopened and a massive office development at nearby Horgan’s Quay is in the planning process.

Perhaps the most significant potential development for the future though is a skyscraper planned for the Docklands.

Developers Kevin and Donal O’Sullivan plan to build a 30 to 40-storey building which will include a hotel and offices, a boardwalk and a museum. 

Despite the positivity, the stalling of progress at the Events Centre to be built by BAM, but held up by funding issues, has led to some fears that Cork could lose out on investment.

The announcement last month that the European Investment Bank would commit €85m for the development of ‘Opera Centre’ in Limerick led to envious glances at the Treaty City.

However, Cork City Council moved to allay those fears, telling city councillors that developments, like those in Limerick, were primarily funded by the private sector in Cork.

“The situation in Cork is fundamentally different to Limerick. In Cork, developments such as those funded by the European Investment Bank in Limerick are funded totally by the private sector, without the need for the public sector to take on any debt, no matter how favourable the terms are,” a report to councillors said.

O'Callaghan Properties development at Navigation Square in the Cork Docks. Pic; Larry Cummins.
O'Callaghan Properties development at Navigation Square in the Cork Docks. Pic; Larry Cummins.

Navigation Square set to head in the right direction

A MASSIVE pour of concrete comprising some 3,100 tonnes in November marked the beginning of the construction of the largest office complex ever to be built in Cork city.

The €90 million Navigation Square project is on the site originally earmarked for the Cork Events Centre.

Brian O’Callaghan, managing director of O’Callaghan Properties, said the development will soon become part of Cork’s skyline.

The completion of the concrete pour was followed by sheet piling work and the installation of a stairway into the building. A single tower complex can already be seen in the area, with more to come next year.

“Within a few years, in the region of 3,000 people will be working in Navigation Square which will be tremendous for the city,” said Mr O’Callaghan.

“The project is really positive for the city and the region and taken in conjunction with other projects underway or planned indicates that Cork is entering a period of strong growth and economic development in the years ahead,” he added.

Navigation Square is set on 2.25 acres of quayside land close to City Hall and will comprise six floors with a car park.

The new courthouse nears completion on Anglesea Street. Pic; Larry Cummins
The new courthouse nears completion on Anglesea Street. Pic; Larry Cummins

Courthouse to be completed this month

THE jury has literally been out at Cork's Anglesea Street courthouse for several years but work is set to be completed this month by contractors BAM on the Cork site involved in a €135m public-private partnership project to update seven courts across the country.

The building will be six storeys high and will contain six courtrooms in addition to custody rooms and offices.

Care has been taken to preserve and integrate the former courthouse on the site which dates from the 19th century and is notable for it's red brick facade which was once home to the Model School.

The new structure will see all criminal cases both at district and circuit court level heard at Anglesea Street and civil cases handled in Washington Street courthouse.

It is expected that the Washington Steet courthouse complex which was refurbished in recent years at a cost of €25m, will mainly handle civil actions.

The Anglesea Street property will provide additional 6,900 square metres added to the existing building, bringing its total area to 8,400m2.

Works began on the courthouse in January 2016 and it is now due to open ahead of schedule. BAM has also been contracted to undertake the management of the facilities for a period of 25 years.

NEW €30m office scheme proposed by John Cleary Developments for Cork city' South Mall.
NEW €30m office scheme proposed by John Cleary Developments for Cork city' South Mall.

New offices on the Mall

Planning was granted in August for a new office development on the South Mall in the heart of the city centre. John Cleary Developments began construction immediately on the €25m project that could provide more than 400 new office jobs in Cork.

The five-storey office building will include two additional sites, to the north, which will border Crane Lane, Phoenix St, and Smith St, with the main entrance lobby onto the South Mall.

Members of the Board of Directors of the Dalata Hotel Group on the South Mall junction with Beasley Street, where they inspected their premises the proposed site of their new Maldron Hotel.
Members of the Board of Directors of the Dalata Hotel Group on the South Mall junction with Beasley Street, where they inspected their premises the proposed site of their new Maldron Hotel.

Construction underway on new city Hotel

Last month the cranes moved in over Parnell Place and Beasley Street to complete construction on a new Maldron Hotel.

Dalata Hotels are behind the project that will kick-start a series of new hotel developments with new hotels planned for Sullivan's Quay and Parnell Place along with extensions in the works for the Metropole and Kingsley Hotels.

The new student building on Western Road.
The new student building on Western Road.

Concrete movements in student digs

THERE is a dearth of student accommodation in the city but that is set to change with a number of developments already on underway or in the planning stages.

Last January, planning permission was granted for a controversial student apartment complex on the Western Road.

The €75m development, close to the River Lee was the subject of objections by locals who voiced concerns about noise pollution and a rise in anti-social behaviour.

The site was previously home to a now long-closed down Esso filling station close to the main campus of UCC.

The development is part of plans by UK-firm Ziggurat to create an additional 1,000 student beds in Cork city, and an additional 4,000 student beds nationwide, within the next four years.

The Bon Secours Hospital extension in Cork.
The Bon Secours Hospital extension in Cork.

Extension to Bon Secours making healthy progress

WORK is continuing at pace on the extension to the Bon Secours hospital which will feature a new bridge and entrance from the Western Road. Another six-storey development for Cork, the project is expected to be completed in 2019 and, during that time, will have created over 300 construction positions.

The new development includes a new critical care unit, inpatient wards, oncology day ward, an additional four operating theatres and recovery room as well as 81 new private rooms.

More in this section

Sponsored Content