More bedrooms sought for Sullivan's Quay hotel

More bedrooms sought for Sullivan's Quay hotel
A computer-generated image of the proposed hotel on Sullivan's Quay.

The developers building a new hotel on the site of the former tax office on Sullivan's Quay are seeking permission to increase the number of hotel rooms after attracting an international hotel brand to the location.

In a further sign of the growing demand for hotel space in Cork, Bam Property Ltd want to increase the number of hotel rooms from 193 to 220.

The company said they have secured a "premium international hotel brand" who will operate the development and make it a "destination in itself."

Planning permission was granted in 2009 for a major office development and a 183-bed hotel after Bam acquired the site from the Revenue Commissioners in 2006.

However, the decade-long financial and construction downturn meant the site has remained undeveloped.

In May this year, Bam Property Ltd lodged plans to modify the permission increasing the number of hotel bedrooms to 193.

In July, planners in City Hall asked Bam to revise their plans to make sure the new development is not taller than what was granted permission in 2009.

Last week, Bam responded to the council's request and said the original scheme was primarily an office development with the hotel being ancillary but that this had now changed.

"The evolving and improving city-centre conditions have resulted in the applicants attracting a premium international hotel brand," Bam said.

As a result, they are now seeking permission to increase the number of beds to 220, adding 1,000 square metres of hotel space.

Consequently, they are reducing the amount of office space by 1,500 square metres.

Bam said a premium international hotel brand has higher minimum requirements in terms of the size and number of bedrooms and quality of the conference facilities.

"The currency of new hotel development is bedrooms. A 4-star international brand that the hotel has been designed to accommodate, requires significant ancillary amenities in terms of meeting rooms, conference & banqueting, restaurants and bars."

Bam is proposing that the ground and first floor of the hotel would accommodate the hotel amenities with bedrooms on the floors above.

"The applicants are confident that this international brand will expand the city's hotel base, offer greater choice for visitors and become a destination in itself."

BAM said the request from City Hall planners to reduce the scale of the planned hotel would result in the reduction in the number of bedrooms.

"This would result in the loss of the premium brand to the City and to make a hotel viable on the site it will have to be redesigned as a 3-star hotel with limited ancillary amenities as previously permitted."

A planning decision from Cork City Council on the development is expected later this month.

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