Hollyhill Inn site needs to become a retail business

Hollyhill Inn site needs to become a retail business

Cllr Tony Fitzgerald against the backdrop of the Hollyhill Inn on Cork’s northside which is closed and which he says should be used for retail purposes. Picture: Denis Minihane

CALLS are growing for a focus on retail in the multi-million regeneration of Knocknaheeny.

It comes some months after the closure of the Hollyhill Inn, with the building remaining idle still.

Local councillor Tony Fitzgerald has urged the city council to put a focus on retail and commercial activity in the area, suggesting that having such a prominent site unused at the heart of the community takes away from the progress made to date.

"Cork City Council has spent millions in developing the infrastructure of the area," Mr Fitzgerald said.

"This includes the new creche and preschool, the new library and the new community buildings. But, in the heart of that, we have a commercial property unit lying idle and there is a huge concern in the community regarding the future of the premises."

The Hollyhill Inn closed in October 2016. It had traded for more than thirty years.

Its location, near two schools in the area, had been a concern among locals and was even met with protests when it opened.

However, the prime location represents a great opportunity for retail trade in the area, according to Mr Fitzgerald.

"We know that retail is up in the area and it would be nice to develop the unit and the whole shopping centre," he said.

"This would enhance the public realm and would mirror the existing buildings that are being developed by Cork City Council under the regeneration."

While there have been some rumours locally about interest in the site, there have been no concrete moves in terms of finding a new occupant. Mr Fitzgerald said he hopes to see this change in the near future.

"What we have is a property lying idle in the middle of the area that does not correspond to the millions of euro invested by Cork City Council," he said.

The regeneration of Knocknaheeny is continuing at a rapid pace.

Plans are underway to commence work on 47 new homes in the Harbour View Road area.

Two new roads have also been proposed under the next phase of works.

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