More than €250m in building projects are currently underway in Cork, which is now home to Irelands “smartest building” following a surge of investment in the city centre.
One Albert Quay – a €58m office complex that boasts a computer system to monitors comfort levels, solar panel heating, a rainwater harvesting system and ‘smart’ parking – marks Cork as a hub for development and innovation.
Fifty feet away, the 500,000 sq ft ‘New Albert Quay’ office project is also set to get underway, predicted to deliver a €90m boost to the city and accommodate 3,000 staff.
Projects at the heart of the City Centre include the development of The Brewery Quarter and the €70m Capital retail and office complex on Grand Parade.
The Brewery Quarter – a €53m event centre that will house a 6,000-seater venue, restaurants and shops – is ‘on track’ despite delays in contract-signing and internal design, with Minister for Housing, Simon Coveney, weighing in on the project.
“This is not just going to be a big basketball hall that will host concerts. This will be unique, a bespoke and multi-functional facility that will be able to host a ballet one day, and a rock concert the next day”, he said.
A €3m overhall for Kent railway station and a proposed €18m redevelopment plan for Cork harbour that would see the acquisition and development of the former Irish Fertiliser Industry plant at Marino Point near Cobh – to handle oil and agri-feed and accommodate city growth.
Cork North Central TD, Billy Kelleher has drawn attention to traffic ‘pinch-points’ at the main entrances to the city following the break-down of a lorry this week – highlighting the potential for massive disruption at present and in the future if the issue is not addressed.
“all it takes is one incident to shut down the Jack Lynch Tunnel and Cork and the entire region could come to a standstill” affecting “the airport, the port and business throughout the city”.
Earlier this month, Cork County Council sought €110m in funding for the development of five urban extension projects, and €60m to address community housing needs in 14 locations that would see 18,000 homes built combined – highlighting the need for an enhanced transportation infrastructure to support the city’s 125,622 residents – a population increase of 5.4% in 5 years.
Other projects currently underway include the €78m redevelopment of Páirc Uí Chaoimh, the construction of a new courthouse on Anglesea Street for €21m and a €3.2m facelift for the Irish independent ruby stadium.