PLANS are afoot for a residential development over the popular Hickeys retail store on Maylor Street.
A planning application has been lodged with Cork City Council for works to the well-known building.
Proposed above the retail store is six storeys of residential development to provide 32 apartments in total.
These would comprise of nine studio apartments, 11 one-bed apartments, and 12 two-bed apartments.
The development also includes plans to demolish a portion of the site, mainly to the northeast to facilitate an access to the residential units from Maylor Street.
Applicant John Kennedy is also seeking permission for the change of use of a portion of the ground floor of the existing Hickeys store from retail to residential in order to facilitate an entrance lobby, plant room, covered bin storage and bike storage and the consequent reconfiguration of a portion of the ground floor retail element retaining 980.44m2 of the Hickeys store.
Access to the store will be retained from Maylor Street as well as from 123 and 124 Oliver Plunkett Street.
The existing apartments above the store accessed at 125 Oliver Plunkett Street are not included in this development.
The planning application also seeks permission for drainage, landscaping and surface treatments including a podium garden, and all ancillary site development works.
Hickeys of Maylor Street has been in business since 1923.
The application is currently at pre-validation stage.
A decision on the planning application is expected by August 16.
It comes at a time when calls to develop more housing above shops in the city centre are mounting.
The topic was raised in the Dáil earlier this week by Fianna Fáil TD Christopher O'Sullivan.
In his reply, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that "every single avenue" to provide additional units of housing must be explored.
"The Minister for Housing in the context of the Housing for All strategy will be making provision for the restoration and the bringing back into use of houses that are currently idle and vacant in rural Ireland and in towns and the Town Centre First policy of the Government’s programme will also dovetail with that objective and also provide resources to incentivise conversion of over the shop premises to accommodation purposes," he said.