'Such a hole in the centre of Cork city': Delight as former Debenhams store hits market

'Hopefully it doesn’t stay on the market too long." 
'Such a hole in the centre of Cork city': Delight as former Debenhams store hits market

The prime retail premises, which has a footprint of 1.32 acres, has come on the market with a guide price of €20m after sitting vacant for more than two years.

The news that the Patrick Street premises formerly home to Debenhams has gone on sale has been welcomed in Cork city.

The prime retail premises, which has a footprint of 1.32 acres, has come on the market with a reported guide price of €20m after sitting vacant for more than two years.

Lord Mayor of Cork, Deirdre Forde said that it is hoped a new owner could help “bring life back into Patrick Street”.

“Patrick Street is the main thoroughfare in the city, and a significant premises like Debenhams unoccupied doesn’t do us any favours. 

I would welcome any people interested in buying it,” she said.

She added that Cork City Council will have an “open door” to any entity interested in the property to “help them come to any decisions or assist them”.

“We want to try and work with entrepreneurs or businesses to alleviate vacancy, create employment, and help bring life back into Patrick Street,” she said.

Kevin Herlihy, President of Cork Business Association, said they are “absolutely delighted” the historic premises is back on the market, adding that a €20m price tag for such a massive site in the heart of the city is “good value”.

“We'd certainly be hoping that somebody will come in and make something viable of the building, because it's absolutely huge and it is such a hole in the centre of Cork city at the moment. 

"It's just very, very sad to see every day.

“There's been rumours of a hotel, there was talk of apartments, retail - no matter what goes in there, it's going to be better than what's there at the moment."

The landmark four-floor premises, formerly home to Roches Stores for almost a century, was leased to Debenhams in 2006, and the department store operated out of the site for more than a decade.

The former Debenhams closed in 2020 with the loss of hundreds of jobs, and the building, which is the largest single retail shop in Munster, has been vacant since.

Fine Gael councillor for Cork City South-East, Des Cahill, said that the new owners will likely have to change the site from purely retail to adapt to today’s market.

“Retail is struggling, and it’s a big space to fill. 

Most people would welcome a multi-use purpose of the site, because I think that’s the only way a site of this size will manage at this stage,” he said.

“The fact it’s on the market is a positive thing, it means it’s ready for sale, and hopefully it doesn’t stay on the market too long." 

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