The much needed and highly anticipated renewal of Cornmarket Street as a primary extension of the retail/commercial core took a step closer to realisation today as Cork City Council have officially opened tenders on the provision of professional Architectural/Engineering services related to the design and implementation of the vital scheme.
The tender abstract reads:
Design Services for the development of an urban design for Cornmarket Street, Cork, including an implementation strategy and detailed design of pavements, lighting, street furniture, landscaping and other features.Cornmarket Street is a mixed use market Street in the centre of the compact commercial core of Cork City. It is situated between the old Historic Centre and the main commercial centre and is located on the island formed by the north and south channels of the river Lee. This street historically and to this present day caters for small independent on-street traders mixed with well established business premises. The Street is currently the focus for an expansion of the central shopping area and has a long tradition of a street market cooexisting with other uses.
The deadline for application is July 7th 2006
- it opens up the prospect for engagement and accommodation in creating a unique and distinctive streetscape for what will be a core commercial area in Ireland's second city.
Already signs of renewal are in place with the redevelopment of the Guy & Co. site steadily (very steadily) proceeding at the hands of Rockfell Investments (designed by Frank Ennis & Associates) and which will realise over 120,000sq ft of retail space with 65 overhead apartments.
The acquisition of premises currently housing The Loft Furniture Store and The Coal Quay (i.e. the former City Market) by supposedly Joe O'Donovan also open the prospect of further higher-order retail development - however any development here will have to the pay the utmost respect to the truly beautiful Cornmarket Street facade. Also, the recent purchase of the 0.5acre site at Kyrl's Quay by Murrayforde Developments (the RH Parker site) and advent of Cork City Council's sale of the "Phillips" site fronting Kyrl's Quay sets options on further retail and mixed-use accommodation in motion.
A currently vacant site between the former City Market building and the Paintwell Building (beside the Bodega Bar) is another location ripe for development - the in-fill nature of such a project offers a substantial planning gain to the street, but should be provided with the retention and provision of improved public walkway/connections to North Main Street. A complimentary development site exists just off Cornmarket Street at Dalton's Avenue with the presence of a Floral Distribution warehouse. Smart minds interested in this site will be sure to develop this location with consideration to the access point on the lane to the Cornmarket Street development by Rockfell Investments, therefore opening to pedestrian traffic through the scheme. An enhancement of Dalton's Avenue should be high on the Cork City Council agenda - allowing an improved realm for residents of the beautiful Corporation Houses (which should continue to form a pivotal sense of this area's character) and allowing the area become more attractive to pedestrians.