Unfortunately, it's both. I have been scouting around for office space and the rents have fallen very dramatically. Also, there seems to be endless space available of all types old, new, big, small.
An agent I spoke to was saying what activity is there is largely churn i.e companies abandoning older office space and moving into new / refurbished office space, but leaving the old stuff unoccupied.
Also, new generation space that was overpriced compared to the current market is being moved out of in favour of better value new build / recent refurbs.
It's a pretty gloomy market. It's all about cost cutting.
On the commercial side of things, I strongly suspect what you will see, at least in the short term, is a movement of existing stores from older premises (shopping centres and on-street properties) to the new centres to avail of better facilities and more competitive rents. Many of them are tied into very high rents which, in this market, are probably very unrealistic.
While there may be some new entrants to the Cork market, many of the British chains (which tend to make up most of the retail new entrants here) are in dire trouble at the moment and neither have the finances nor the backing to expand right now.
On a positive note, it might mean that local businesses and more interesting chains i.e. non UK highstreet blandness get a foothold in Cork that they would not have been able to afford a few years ago.