Patrick Street 'not reaching potential,' main street dereliction 'disheartening'

Cork Business Association (CBA) president Kevin Herlihy, of Herlihy Centra Group, said the vacant properties still visible there are disheartening for the local business community, and “serve as a reminder of what still needs to be done”.
Patrick Street 'not reaching potential,' main street dereliction 'disheartening'

Cork Business Association (CBA) president Kevin Herlihy said that, while new tenants and developments are welcome, the street is yet to live up to its true potential. Credit: Damian Coleman

FRUSTRATIONS around the “pace of development” on Patrick St have been highlighted by the business community as the issue of vacant properties remains a serious concern.

Cork Business Association (CBA) president Kevin Herlihy said that, while new tenants and developments are welcome, the street is yet to live up to its true potential.

He was speaking about the rejuvenation of Cork City centre which is seeing the introduction of retail stores such as The North Face, which sells outdoor clothing and accessories, and shoe and accessories franchise Dune London.

Luxury apartments at two sites including the old Finn’s Corner sports store are also expected to breathe new life into the surrounding area.

However, Mr Herlihy, of Herlihy Centra Group, said the vacant properties still visible there are disheartening for the local business community, and “serve as a reminder of what still needs to be done”.

“We are concerned about the pace of development that is happening,” he said.

“The Debenhams building has gone to market and when that sells we hope that it can be developed into a residential unit or a cinema or whatever form that’s going to take,” said Mr Herlihy.

“The Debenhams building has gone to market and when that sells we hope that it can be developed into a residential unit or a cinema or whatever form that’s going to take,” said Mr Herlihy.  Picture: Eddie O'Hare
“The Debenhams building has gone to market and when that sells we hope that it can be developed into a residential unit or a cinema or whatever form that’s going to take,” said Mr Herlihy.  Picture: Eddie O'Hare

“At the moment it’s lying idle and we are a little bit frustrated at the pace of some of the other developments including the Queen’s Old Castle.

“A beautiful job was done on Eason but it took a substantial amount of time to get it done.”

 The exterior of Eason, Patrick Street, Cork which has moved up the street.
The exterior of Eason, Patrick Street, Cork which has moved up the street.

Mr Herlihy, who runs a Centra store on Patrick St, said: “The less dereliction on the street is obviously better for Cork City.

“North Face has opened in the old River Island which is a great thing to see.

“Eason has also opened in the old Victoria Hotel building.

“All these openings are fantastic but the two big ones are the Queen’s Old Castle and the Debenhams building, which need to be developed as soon as possible. These are two businesses that we are looking at every day that serve as a reminder of what still needs to be done.”

Mr Herlihy said that bringing vacant retail properties back into use could make a huge difference to the city. “Seeing the transformation happen will be great for Cork City as a whole.

“Not only will it reduce dereliction, it will also make Cork City a more vibrant place to shop, eat or [for people to] just to live their lives in general.”

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