Friday 22 May 2009

O’Callaghan looks to build €80m Cork hospital

A NEW €80 million private hospital is being proposed for Cork city centre.

Developers O’Callaghan Properties (OCP) this week are to go for planning permission for a new 100-bed, 140,000sq ft private facility alongside their Lancaster Gate apartment development and the new Jurys Hotel, on the Western Road.

The hospital will be just half a mile from the Bon Secours where planning was granted last month by An Bord Pleanála for a €100 million expansion.

The proposed hospital, to be run by an international health group, would be built on a two-acre portion of a site on part of the old Jurys Hotel. More than 100 apartments have recently been built here, with underground parking and a leisure centre. Developers OCP are now seeking an alternative use for the balance of their costly city site, by the River Lee’s southern channel and near UCC.

The hospital building’s outline and height would be in line with a permission already granted for further apartments on the site, noted a company spokesperson.

If permission is secured, building would start right away, and the hospital could be completed by autumn 2010. The proposal is for a 100-bed hospital with six operating theatres and 20 consulting suites. It would create 350 construction jobs and 300 within the finished hospital.

The plan has the support of several national and international healthcare operators, including the Health Partnership, who were involved in developing Dublin’s Beacon Hospital and Waterford’s Whitfield Clinic, and are developing the Wyndale Clinic in Letterkenny and the Wellwood Clinic in Tullamore.

A number of private healthcare locations are mooted for Cork city, including a co-located hospital at CUH, while the Sheehan Medical Group are understood to have shifted their focus from the western suburbs to a building at City Gate, Mahon.

Architects for the OCP proposed hospital site are Henry J Lyons and Partners, with support from an international healthcare operator, backed by a European private equity fund, added the company spokesperson.

According to Owen O’Callaghan, "the Western Road site is the premium location for a private hospital in Cork city. It is close to a number of existing hospitals and clinics, is near University College Cork, has ample onsite parking already developed, is on a public transport route, is adjacent to two hotels and is now backed by experienced specialist health care operators."

The 343-bed Bon Secours hospital on Cork’s College Road was recently given the green light for an extension to include a multi-storey car park and a new five-storey wing with 80 private rooms. The Bons says a detailed design and tendering process will take place over the next three or four months, ahead of a two-year build period.

Irish Examiner

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