Skyscraper will bring 'great life to Cork city'

Skyscraper will bring 'great life to Cork city'

A CGI render of the planned Custom House Tower. Pic: Pedersen Focus

A NEW skyscraper in the heart of Cork city will boost tourism and bring 'great life to the city', according to city council.

An Bord Pleanála has upheld planning permission for the proposed mixed-use development at the old Port of Cork site on Custom House Quay by the Tower Holdings Group.

The scheme includes plans for a five-star hotel, new food and beverage outlets and a new maritime culture and heritage offering.

City Hall chief executive Ann Doherty said the project will “deliver a tourism, economic, hospitality, cultural and amenity proposition on a riverside site that was not previously accessible by the public”.

“Cork City Council is working to create a city of sustainable urban growth and a true counterbalance to Dublin — a city that can strike a sensitive balance: that respects the past while embracing the future,” she said.

“I am heartened to see an opening up of the bonded warehouses to the public and a visitor centre that celebrates our unique maritime heritage. It is a project where meticulous attention was paid to the principles of conservation.”

The news of Bord Pleanála’s decision follows last week’s government announcement of €405m for urban regeneration in Cork, which includes €353m to drive forward the Cork City Docklands project. Cork Chamber CEO Conor Healy said ‘the plans for multipurpose use of the site will harness this prime location, overlooking the river and standing proudly at the head of the city’s island’.

Fianna Fáil councillor and former lord mayor Seán Martin said the development will bring “great life to the city”.

“It’s welcome to see people prepared to develop in Cork, particularly in these challenging times.”

Tower Holdings (Ireland) director of operations Conor Lee, said a start date for the project has yet to be determined. “We have yet to fully examine all the planning conditions and certain points of detail to establish their effect on the scheme before commencing future engagement with potential occupiers, which in turn will dictate a start date for the project,” he said.

Marco Gamini, lead architect for the project for Gensler said the project will act as a catalyst for further regeneration of the docklands district.

“The slender sculpted tower will form a contemporary new piece to complement the much-loved historic composition, bringing new purpose and dynamism to the River Lee, as well as provide the city with a beacon to the future.”

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