PLANNING has finally been granted on a long-stalled hotel project in the heart of the city.
The Beasley Street hotel, which includes entrances on the South Mall and Parnell Square, has been stalled for the last decade.
It was purchased by hotel chain Dalata for €10.2 million from Nama in early 2016.
Revised proposals for the 165-bed hotel were submitted by developers to Cork City Council in early March, with planners granting conditional approval this week.
The revisions included a controversial plan to convert a lower basement car park to a storage area and the conversion of an upper basement car park to include eight bedrooms, a business centre and ten meeting rooms.
If the development proceeds as planned, the 165-bed hotel would become the third biggest in the city centre, answering a long-awaited boost for additional hotel beds in the city.
This week, planners granted conditional approval for the development, subject to more than 20 conditions, including the requirement to develop a dedicated traffic management plan for the duration of construction to minimise the impact on the busy South Mall.
The proposed hotel will form part of the Dalata Hotel group, which manages the Clayton hotels at Lapp's Quay and Silversprings.
The group also controls the Maldron brand, including one at Shandon, with the Beasley Street project set to come under this mantle.
Initially part-developed by the Corbett family, the site is located between the historic Imperial Hotel and the recently rebranded Clayton hotel on Lapp's Quay.
It will contribute further to the resurgence in that end of the city, lying just minutes from One Albert Quay, the recently approved developed at Navigation Square and adjacent to plans for a major office development on the South Mall.
The former Trustee Savings Bank building on Lapp's Quay, recently purchased by UCC, is also set to undergo development in the coming months, adding a further boost to the area.
The addition of 165 new hotel beds is likely to be welcomed by tourism operators in the city.
Business groups, including the CBA and the Cork Convention Centre, have called for extra hotel beds to meet the demand for space in the city centre, a situation illustrated during last year's Guinness Jazz Festival when many tourists were left scrambling for extra beds as the city hit capacity.