Reply To: Look at de state of Cork, like!

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Well first of all CCC didn’t reject the application for the hotel at the Guy & Co site, but it was ABP who made the refusal on a third party appeal by An Taisce and Corporation Housing Residents at the time.

The original hotel plan include 20 retail units with a combined area similar to that of the new plan, so in terms of higher order retail space, the proposal worked in line with the later revised Development Plan – and due to the variety that came with numerous units, a greater retail pull would have ensued. However, a development is only as good as its tenants. If the new propsal manages to attract the significant tenants it requires, it may still do exceedingly well. Under the plans that I am aware of, this looks so pending the correct outcome. And, that ‘church site’ to the rear of the Guy & Co site is actually part of the development site of which Rockfell have been involved in since 1998.

It would be highly unlikely that Zara would locate on Cornmarket Street (unless part of a department store concession) as they are opening their first stand alone store in Mahon Point in Feb 2005 (a Cornmarket Street location would depend highly on the success of their Mahon Point store – I’ve a feeling it will do well). Along with Pull and Bear and Mango (their 2nd Cork store). When Arnotts first issued authorised shares for capital, their expansion plans were limited to Dublin, and ever since, they have concentrated on developing their Henry Street premises, the most recent development being their purchase of the former Irish Independent Building. The particular market associated with Heitons or TK Maxx does not comply with Michael O’Donoghue’s intentions for his Cornmarket Street development – I would think along the lines of a more Brown Thomas-type market were a department store the successful outcome. Failing that, stores like Sisley, Espirit and so on, would be targeted for tenancy. At least, that is the plan – but at the end of the day, these retaillers pave the final decision based on their own plans. H&M would be a fabulous addition to the Irish and in particular, Cork market – but their expansion plans have only ever assessed Ireland, and never acted on them.

I will provide interested party names when they become available to me, for the Carphone Warehouse premises near Merchants Quay. Nearby, Jump Juice Bars have opened their 2nd store at the Savoy Centre. A start-up Irish company, with their other store in Waterford, have also been trying to attain a Mahon Point outlet, but the SC is apparently fully let at this stage. Jump are based on the Zumo Juice Bars model – but instead of franchising, their growth thus far has been entirely organic (no pun intended).

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