THE PROPOSED multibillion-euro Cork docklands development has received a boost with confirmation by property developer Owen O'Callaghan over the weekend that he has applied for planning permission for a €210 million office and retail development near the city centre.
O'Callaghan Properties have applied for planning permission to Cork City Council for 14,864sq m (160,000sq ft) of office and ground floor retail at Anderson's Quay in a project which is expected to create 700 permanent jobs and 350 jobs during construction.
The site, close to the bus station at Parnell Place and fronting on to the north channel of the river Lee, will create a further link between the development of the docklands and the city centre similar to the nearby City Quarter developed by Howard Holdings which fronts on to the south channel. According to O'Callaghan Properties managing director Owen O'Callaghan, the project's location within a few minutes' walk of the city's principal retail and business districts makes a strong statement for commercial investment on Leeside.
"Cork has suffered in recent years because of a lack of large-scale, third-generation city centre office availability. Investment and jobs have gone elsewhere as a result," said Mr O'Callaghan, who is also developing a major retail site on Academy Street in the city.
"The development of office accommodation on such a well-placed site, near the railway and bus stations, will be very attractive and will address some of the city's office capacity problems. It also continues the successful renewal of the area which has occurred in recent years."
The site, adjacent to Clontarf Street, covering three-quarters of an acre, was assembled through the acquisition by O'Callaghan Properties of a number of adjoining premises including Reliance Bearing Ltd, the former Cork Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (CSPCA) shelter, Maher Sports and S-Tyres.
Maher Sports and S-Tyres will continue to operate within the new complex while O'Callaghan Properties, as part of its agreement with the CSPCA, has developed a new state of the art animals home at Mahon to replace the Clontarf Street facility.
According to Mr O'Callaghan, the building design by Wilson Architecture is striking and contemporary and characterised by a circular, cylindrical form with the building line set back from the corner of Anderson's Quay/Clontarf Street to create a public space area.
This allows more active public frontages to the ground-floor units as well as allowing the public realm to be brought into the building to the atrium which accesses the offices overhead, he said, adding that it will also incorporate 140 underground car spaces.
"We see this as an opportunity for Cork to have a corporate headquarters type office building available in a city centre location. We are very confident about this project and it would be our intention to commence construction once planning permission is obtained."
The Irish Times