Traders on North Main St have welcomed the news that Cork City Council has issued a notice of its intention to compulsorily acquire a number of properties under the Derelict Sites Act, 1990.
The derelict buildings at 62, 63, 64, and 65 North Main St have been on the derelict sites register since 2016.
Cork City Council has said that despite extensive engagement with the owners and receivers, no significant works have been carried out since they were placed on the register, and the buildings have not been put up for sale on the open market.
A spokesperson said: “The properties have caused significant problems for the surrounding community, including potential danger.
“Number 63 experienced a partial collapse in June 2019. Consequently, Cork City Council has already been obliged to undertake works to stabilise the structures and make the existing buildings safe.”
The local authority now wants to remove the dereliction to the buildings, and notices under the Derelict Sites Act were issued on Friday.
The owners can submit an objection to the proposed compulsory acquisition before July 14, and where a valid objection is received, the consent of An Bord Pleanála must be sought.
Mick Scully, who runs Murphy’s Pharmacy on North Main St, said traders on the street are “absolutely delighted” after pushing for the CPO “for years”.
“I just hope they [the council] push forward with it now,” he said.
“I’d like to see retail on the ground floor, and I’d presume apartments. I have no issue with apartments. I don’t think I’d like to see any more student accommodation — the student accommodation that we’re getting at the top of the street is adequate. What we really need is permanent people living in the street.”
Meanwhile, Patrick Leader of Leader Menswear on North Main St said that the way is now paved to move forward with development.
He said he believes the move by the council will positively impact business on the street, saying: “If you have somebody that’s going in there that’s maybe a tech firm or a cafe or something like that, it’s going to draw people.
“If it’s given a good makeover and presented in a good way, it’s bound to attract people into the street more so than before.”
Fianna Fáil councillor Seán Martin labelled the buildings an “eyesore” in their current form.
“The place is badly in need of a new vision and new development,” he said.
Mr Martin said he recently spent some time in Wexford and Kilkenny, where small retail shops are still thriving, and said that “maybe we need to start rebranding that way”.
The council is also set to compulsorily acquire numbers 118 and 119 Barrack St.