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

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


Posted by asdasd

Sorry to hear about Sir Henry’s. I was in Cork for the first time in about 5 years some weeks ago, and did not notice a huge amount of different development – compared to Dublin – with the exception of Patrick Street which was then not finished, and had some construction work to be done. No cranes dotted the city. I did see the new building at UCC, the student’s uniion I think. ( i was in Cork for a day only, so I have have missed stuff)

First of all, I personally was glad to see Henrys’ removal. Besides the appalling structural maintainence of the premises, poor management and nurture of a large proportion of the Cork rave drug scene – the nightclub was more legend than substance. Were the nightclub as great as its so called ‘die-hard’ fans claim – they would never have abandoned the club in light of its increasingly dilapidated premises, failure to modernize, contemporize and poor strategic handling evident in its organisation. The moaners and pallbearers who claim the club’s nirvanic past have more exaggerated nostalgia than clear cut memories. The fact is the club and Grand Parade Hotel had to abandon its operations due to poor fiscal return down to declining customer base. So, if the club was so great, it’s longing fans would have remained rigidly loyal in the first place. Their actions are the result of realisation with respect to a poor premises and longing for something better. The club’s closure is a direct reflection of this and it’s failure to adapt.

Second, clearly asdasd you failed to look to far around you on your visit. That said, on my regular commutes to Dublin from Cork, I would fail to recognise many significant changes to the Dublin landscape bar say O’Connell Street or George’s Quay but for the fact I am already familiar with the Dublin landscape. The only other eye opener would be the presence of a tower crane for example. Similar, in Cork, the change is most prevailent with its dwellers who are clearly familiar with its landscape and more aware of what was, is and will be. However some changes are hard not to recognise – City Quarter for example, 21 Lavitts Quay, Blackpool Retail Centre and Park etc. And if you visited UCC, how could you fail to notice mammoth changes like the new Glucksman Gallery? Biosciences Building? Medical Building? Student Plaza???

Reading this thread, it seems there is a lot of development to come. I am wondering, however, if this is not all a bit late in the day? The property boom cannot continue forever;property prices may crash and will certainly level, what then of the massive development planned for Cork?

Unlike places like Dublin, Cork missed the main property wave – and is now riding it on it’s own terms. This is unique. The reason being that Cork has historically lacked the same investment evident in other Irish cities – this has created a huge backlog in demand. The reason Patrick’s Street rents equal those of Grafton Street (see Mango, Monsoon, Clinton Cards, TJS, River Island, Vero Moda etc) and the average Cork city centre private car parking space = 65000euro versus Dublin’s average of 45000euro is because demand has far exceeded supply. Developers first off the mark can take advantage of this demand before its caught up by supply. Remember, Cork’s metropolitan area homes 450,000 people and serves an additional 150,000. Were investment, sometimes in frustration with the lak of supply, traditionally went elsewhere, not all such investment is lured away for long due to the temptation of exploiting such huge market potential. With a current 3.1billion euros in private investment finding its way to Cork, a further 2.7billion euros at planning and much more on the way, supply is slowly freeing up to meet this demand.

And why does Cork need all this retail and office development now, when there was no need for it at the height of the boom years? Is there really the increases in population we have seen in Dublin – most migration – internal within Ireland and external into Ireland – is to Dublin.

As mentioned above, the historical lack of open-plan retail space has created a huge backlog in demand. The massive market potential has been realised at a national and international level – this may be verified by the fact that, for example, Debenhams chose to locate their 2nd Irish store in Cork over an additional store in Dublin. And why both B&Q and Zara signed papers for Cork locations before further deals were struck for increased store numbers in Dublin. The lack of retail space is gradually being rectified but there is still a massive demand for further retail space in the city centre. Remember, the city acts to serve up 550,000 people. The 2nd largest concentration in the country.
The same rules apply to office space. The new supply has helped the Cork office take-up of 3rd generation facilities out-perform that of any other Irish city. In fact, as of Feb 2005 (the end of tax designation for IFSC), at least 3 companies in the IFSC and surrounding areas have quietly signed papers to open options on transferring their Irish operations to the Cork city region – most notably the Docklands area. This is attributable to the more affordable social, operational and economic costs in Cork of running these businesses.

And why does Cork need all this retail and office development now, when there was no need for it at the height of the boom years? Is there really the increases in population we have seen in Dublin – most migration – internal within Ireland and external into Ireland – is to Dublin.

Cork needs this development to cater to the demand back-log – its not so much that Cork ‘needs’ it, which it does, but more down to the fact that there is a huge market demand in the city from years of investment lack, and now developers are taking advantage of that. As mentioned, Cork has outperformed all other Irish cities in its take-up of 3rd generation offices over the past 12 months and this looks set to continue in light of a continuing demand locally and nationally. Especially as Dublin becomes increasingly expensive to operate within – undoubtedly a partial factor. Furthermore, the vast majority of population increases within the Pale Region have not been within Dublin but in fact it’s hinterland, such as Meath, Wicklow, Louth and Kildare. In fact, their has been outward migration from Dublin – though I acknowledge the fact that it is Dublin which is loci to these migrants’ activities. Though, due to lack of development, Cork city centre’s population declined – its hinterland population increased exponentially. The lack of supply made city centre living exceptionally expensive in Cork. Numerous new developments are helping see the in-flow of new residents back into the city centre once again, however metropolitan development and population growth remains strong at 10% p.a. growth. However, the development in Cork is more to do with demand rather than population. I believe you are forgetting the simple laws of economics.

Lastly, as an individual with a strong personal and investment attachment to Dublin I can say with a clear conscience, that their is an unforgivable arrogance among many Dubliners that their Earth sees the Sun revolve around them. I highly resent that. Remember 39% of our GNP may be attributable to Dublin based economic activities, but 61% comes from the rest of the country. Considering Dublin’s population and administritive prowess, that is a huge figure and shows a huge dependence on the rest of the country’s economic well being. I think that is too often forgotten. My interest in Dublin is important to me, but as many developers like Howard Holdings, O’Flynn Construction, O’Callaghan Properties, Treasury Holdings and so on will tell you, their success in Cork for example has shown that the real smarts don’t follow the fattest rat. They follow the golden one. With returns nationally reaching an average of 40% versus Dublin’s ever declining marginal return average of 27% – I’d stick with the gold.

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