THE IFSC is to get a €1bn rival as the 'Atlantic Quarter' development was formally unveiled in Cork -- the largest development ever planned for the city.
The giant project -- masterminded by Howard Holdings -- was hailed yesterday as the spark for a 'New Cork' with its revitalised docklands serving as a strategic counterweight to Dublin and the eastern seaboard.
With the IFSC in Dublin and the Titanic Quarter in Belfast, Cork's Atlantic Quarter will create almost 5,000 jobs and will radically transform the city's historic docklands by the Pairc Ui Chaoimh stadium.
The project -- the centrepiece of which is a 30-storey 'green' tower block -- aims to kickstart the e8bn regeneration of Cork's entire 420-acre docklands.
Enterprise Minister Micheal Martin hailed the project as one of the most important developments ever undertaken in Ireland.
Howard Holdings chief executive, Greg Coughlan, acknowledged that the Atlantic Quarter blueprint was "without parallel" in terms of its vision for Cork.
"This is a radically different project to anything Cork has seen before. It is created by some of the leading global design and urbanisation specialists and will offer a unique cluster of landmark buildings of architectural acclaim that will highlight the river's and docklands' prominence to visitors and investors and signal the strong emergence of Cork city," he said.
The e1bn mixed-use project includes:
- Three tower-blocks of 30, 20 and 10 storeys in height.
- 550,000 sq ft of office space.
- An iconic e80m swing-bridge which will be the biggest in Europe.
- A 120,000sq ft event and conference centre capable of hosting over 5,300 people.
- A 205-room four-star hotel.
- 575 residential units catering for 1,600 residents.
- Bars, restaurants, shops and cafes designed to exploit the revamped dockland areas.
The project will be supported by a completely new city roadway -- and a new railway station at Tivoli.
While Howard Holdings designed the iconic new swing bridge, the e80m structure will be financed by Cork City Council and State/EU grant aid.
The tower blocks rank as the most 'green' in the world -- with public parks on their roofs, recycling of rainwater and renewable energy systems.