Cork City Hall begins talks with skyscraper developers

Senior officials at Cork City Council continue to meet with the developers behind plans to build a skyscraper twice the height of the Elysian tower in the city’s docks, writes Kevin O'Neill.

City planners are hoping to see progress on the ambitious development of the 40-storey skyscraper in 2018, but warned that the current plans contravene zoning in the area.

The Port of Cork site earmarked for the €100 million development proposed by US-based developers Kevin and Donal O’Sullivan is currently not zoned for tall building development. While the site does have zoning for commercial purposes, it also includes a number of protected structures, all potentially causing an issue in the delivery of the new project.

Pat Ledwidge, deputy chief executive of Cork City Council, said that the local authority has had conversations with the Kerry duo behind the proposals in a bid to ensure that all the requirements are met.

“We have had — and are having — ongoing engagements about this plan,” he said.

“They are funding this plan and the information and planning relating to it. It is something we all want to see come to fruition but it has to meet certain criteria.”

Mr Ledwidge said he is optimistic that the issues can be resolved and that the development will progress in 2018.

Meanwhile, planners at Cork City Hall are still awaiting further information on the multimillion euro redevelopment of Horgan’s Quay.

However, senior officials at the local authority have reassured that the outstanding information is ‘minor’ in the grand scheme of the project. HQ Developments, a joint venture between Clarendon Properties and BAM Ireland, submitted plans for the €160 million development on the vacant site adjacent to Kent Railway Station in September.

It includes office space for 5,000 employees and some 237 apartments, as well as retail space, public realm enhancements and a 136-bed hotel with a rooftop garden on the Lower Glanmire Road side of the site. Plans looked to have hit a hitch in recent weeks, though, with city planners seeking additional information on the project.

However, senior officials at City Hall have confirmed that the information is ‘minor’ and should not derail the ambitious development, which is viewed as a key element of the Docklands redevelopment in the city centre.

This story originally appeared in the Evening Echo.


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