Re: Rockfell Development and other updates!
Well, one must remember that it is Michael O’Donoghue behind Rockfell Investments, and if anyone is familiar with his hotel business (and lifestyle) I think the idea of Shaws or Heatons locating in his Cornmarket Street business is slim to none. (I can verify that also from my involvement). -> the site is zoned for Higher Order Retail Development, so if a department store does secure the space, it will be of a high standard (one name interested has just moved into Dublin). But if it doesn’t go the direction of department store, the development has been designed as 7 retail units which may be divided between a selection of upmarket retaillers.
I’ll try and do my best to get up CGIs of the Rockfell development on Cornmarket Street, and hopefully images of their previous proposal (so that we can sigh and long for what could have been). Their new proposal is essentially a scaled down version (3 floors less) of their last, but scaled down (in my opinion) in utility and prospect as well.
City Manager Joe Gavin has confirmed today that 3 sites have been designated for the development of a 6000 seat conference centre and event centre.
The sites are located on Horgan’s Quay/Railway Street (as part of the CIE Development of the Northern Docklands [next to Water Street]- see previous post), The Cork Showgrounds (on the southern docklands) and the jutland along the Douglas River/Atlantic Pond at Mahon Point.
It is clear that the CCC favour the Horgan’s Quay site, and have said they have no trouble finding investors for the development here. Treasury Holdings, Manor Park Homes and CIE have been the names behind Horgan’s Quay most prevailently. However, their intention is primarily focused on the development of a major retail, commercial and residential quarter for the site. The convention centre would be ancillary to this. CCC intend to thus put up a PPP bid on the convention centre project for one of the sites, to be decided upon within the next few months. It is their intention to have the centre up and running by 2007.
The problem with the Showgrounds site, although nicely located on the southern docklands, is that the GAA are aggressively in pursuit of the site to provide new training facilities, an extended stadium at Pairc Ui Chaoimh and possibly a hotel and leisure centre. CCC are said to prefer this proposal (on the grounds PuC is to be redeveloped).
O’Callaghan Properties, who are behind the Mahon Point Convention Centre proposal, say they have been intensively involved in a feasibility study for the past 4 months. Owen O’Callaghan is obliged to provide such a facility under a clause of the sale agreement in which he purchased the Mahon Point lands from CCC. Otherwise he may face a payment to the council of 6m euro. O’Callaghan has said he has no interest in pursuing such a development in the city centre, and wishes to focus on Mahon Point, he noted that viability would be an issue for more than 1 such centre, but said that he knew of a vast interest in such development by other investors.
A landmark facility is, in my knowledge, probably most likely for Horgan’s Quay pending a move by O’Callaghan. CCC said they intend to purge ahead with the tender.
The remaining Horgan’s Quay development proposals incl. a redeveloped rail terminal w/ multistorey car-park and ancillary works. Up to 5000 residential units (over stages), offices, retail centres, leisure amenities (clubs, pubs, gyms etc), a central, landmark plaza, boardwalks and many more. The area is zoned for high-rise development (one Irish Examiner report mentioned buildings scaling between 20 stories). However, no developers have made firm commitals due to the lacklustre of CIE organisational skills. Hmmm.