Tuesday 24 October 2017

Waterfront project costing €160m will kick-start Cork docklands

An artist's impression of the Horgan's Quay development
An artist's impression of the Horgan's Quay development
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

CORK is the focus of a €160m waterfront project which aims to kick-start the redevelopment of the city's vast docklands.

The €160m project, which includes three multi-storey office blocks complete with a new hotel and 237 apartments, is proposed by HQ Developments.

It is proposed for a six acre site at Horgan's Quay adjacent to Cork's Kent railway station and facing directly onto the River Lee quays.

The site is located just minutes from the city centre.

The same site was the focus of a major development proposal in the 1990s which failed to materialise over political rows.

Now, it is hoped that the Horgan's Quay site will dramatically expand commercial interest in Cork's quays and docklands.

If approved, the project will push to almost €1bn the commercial, retail, residential and leisure projects either underway or proposed for Cork.

These include the €70m Cork events centre, the €60m One Albert Quay office complex, the €3m facelift for Kent railway station, the €70m revamp of Pairc Ui Chaoimh GAA stadium, the Irish Independent rugby stadium revamp, the €50m Capitol retail complex and the €90m Navigation Square office complex.

HQ Developments is a joint venture between the Clarendon Group and BAM Ireland.

Their mixed use waterfront development is comprised of eight new buildings, the restoration of existing buildings and the design of significant new public realm space.

At peak construction time there will be 450 workers employed.

The main project will include three office blocks varying between six and eight storeys high providing work space for 5,000 employees.

A residential element will include 237 apartments across four major blocks.

They are designed for the private market.

A centrepiece of the project will be a 136 bedroom hotel complete with rooftop restaurant.

This will have a frontage out onto the Lower Glanmire Road.

A number of leisure and retail units will also be included in the development.

A focal point of the development will be the restoration of three significant industrial conservation buildings, the Station House, the Carriage Shed and the former Goods Shed.

This development also aims to make Kent railway station more accessible to the city centre.

The Horgan’s Quay site is owned by CIÉ and the agreement for its development is based on a structured income sharing finance deal whereby the developer will obtain a 300-year ground lease in return for the higher of an annual rent or alternatively 10pc of the market rent from the new buildings.

Plans for the project were lodged with Cork City Council this week and, if planning permission is granted, it is hoped that work on the site will begin in early 2018.

Clarendon boss, Tony Leonard, said it is an exciting development.

“The Horgan’s Quay redevelopment is an ambitious and most exciting scheme. What was previously unused industrial land will be transformed into a new urban quarter."

"The Horgan’s Quay scheme is key to unlocking the future development of the Cork city docks."

BAM Ireland boss Theo Cullinane said it was a great opportunity for the city.

“In addition to opening up an old industrial area of the city to habitable and public friendly space and enhancing the River Lee as a public amenity, this investment is creating much needed residential and office space and, indeed, jobs for Cork. I hope that this development will be a catalyst for additional much needed investment in this quarter of our city.”

Online Editors

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