I think its a combination of all three.
Some interesting developments:
1) Cork City Council has vetoed any zoning changes as part of its new development plan. Of particular interest is the decision not to rezone a portion of land close to the Mardyke for a UCC "Outreach Centre" - apparently for Cork's Northside!! A pointless building in the wrong place, if you ask me....I've written about it and posted images a while back on this thread.
2) Meanwhile, across the walkway (literally 20 metres away) CCC are nearing completion of their new Skate Park. While I have to admire the skill of the workers who put this together - it really looks like they put a lot of thought and research into it, it will need a lot of trees and soft landscaping to repair the damage it has done to the walkway. I think the plan is to outlaw skating in the City Centre once this is finished - a hopeless idea. The whole culture of skating means that the skaters are unlikely to skate where the council tell them!
3) Out on the Western Road, the new UCC "IT" building is all but complete on the old Dog Track site. Word from de college is that (a) it will no longer just serve an IT use - anything goes in this economic climate and (b) there's no money to open it at the moment. The massive UCC crest on the front wall is very impressive.
4)The Bodega on Cornmarket St. is getting a multi million euro makeover (badly needed) to return it to former glories. St. Peter's Market (as it previously and now futurely will be known) should add to the street which has already seen massive development with TK MAXX on the other side. CCC have recently put out to tender for builders to implement a refurbishment plan for the street and street furniture (including market stalls - cue endless complaining from stall holders) designed by none other than Beth Gali.
As much as I love her work on Patrick St, Grand Parade and Oliver Plunkett St., unless CCC drop Gali pretty soon, the city is going to look very much the same all over.
5) CCC have signed deals with well known Coffee Shops to open the two kiosks on Grand Parade as Coffee shops. Despite one of the kiosks (at least) being inappropriately positioned, it seems there is nothing we can do to change it.
6) Nearby, Frinailla are rumoured to be stalling big time on their commitments to the City Library site. They have permission (albeit with some modifications) for a mixed use development on the site, including a major new City Library. At the moment they are also sponsoring the City Library's "Year of the Constant Reader" http://www.constantreader.ie
7) Things seem to be slowing down at the other end of the Grand Parade too. BAM (formerly Ascon and Rohcon) have got permission from ABP to demolish Government Buildings and replace with another mixed use development (with hotel and "tower" element - can you call it a tower when it just has 10 storeys?)
A spokesperson for the company was recently quoted as saying (and I quote from memory): "We're pleased with the grant of permission. We hope to start work really soon - by the end of the year maybe!"
By the end of the YEAR??? and they call that quick?
Most of the above people will already know about. I just thought it might be useful to summarise a few things.