Bowen Construction have finally removed the tower crane from over 21 Lavitts Quay – the 24m(thereabouts) euro office and residential development along Cork city island’s northern quays – beside the Opera House. Although much of the building remains shrouded in scaffolding, when up and running, the O’Callaghan Properties development will house 44 luxury apartments overlooking the river and Shandon Bells, over 35,000sq ft of office space – of which the 5th and 6th floors will house the new O’Callaghan Properties HQ, a private multi-storey car-park, retail facilities and a restaurant at ground-floor level. The building was designed by Patrick A. Cashman & Associates, and in my opinion, is one of the finer looking office developments in the city centre of recent years.
🙂 Though Mahon Point is up and running, the demand by retaillers for Cork city centre space is still overwhelming – demand far outstrips supply. OCP must be licking their lips at the prospects this poses for their Academy Street development – but I’ve heard that both Frinailla (through Atis Harrington Bannon) have had very avid approaches for the retail space at their soon to be constructed Grand Parade Plaza development, so too, Michael O’Donoghue (Rockfell Investments) has been able to cherry-pick interested parties for his 170,000sq m department store/retail mall development along Cornmarket Street (also soon to be constructed – following subsurface investigations). H&M, TK Maxx, Habitat (confirmed for Cornmarket Street), Dixons, Esprit among others have all approached the aforementioned developments – but I can’t confirm any at this point in time (unless otherwise stated). Zara and other Inditex stores have been reviewing other premises throughout the city also in addition to their existing Pull & Bear, Bershka and Zara stores.
But more still, I can confirm – John Lewis, Harvey Nichols and House of Fraser have all be scouting locations in Cork city centre ~ we may have to wait until Academy Street is up and running before they attain the desired space, but you never know – something ‘else’ may crop up in the meantime. ( 😉 )
This comes on the back also, that Debenhams in Mahon Point have recorded trading levels only succeeded by their Oxford Street store (this is probably the initial rush syndrome – but trading levels would not be expected to vary too much in the strategic run).