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Published in Commercial Property on 12/07/2019

Plans Revealed for Ireland’s Tallest Building in Cork


CNI Editor reports

THE developers of the historic Custom House Quay site are promising a project that will be a ‘symbol not only for the city of Cork but an icon for Ireland as a prominent modern European destination’.

Details of the 34-storey hotel tower, twice the size of the Elysian, at the Port of Cork’s Custom House site were revealed today by the developers, Tower Holdings Group.

The skyscraper will also include retail units, cultural spaces, food and beverage businesses, office space, recreational areas and a micro-distillery.

Custom House Quay development
Custom House Quay development

The developers say their plans will help make the docklands an integral part of the city’s centre.

“Custom House Quay will be the centrepiece of Cork’s new business district,” Tower Holdings Director of Operations (Ireland), Conor Lee said. “For the first time ever, this entire area will be fully opened up to the people of Cork. As the tallest building in Ireland, the hotel itself will be a focal point for the city rising.

Equally, the design is aimed at preserving the existing infrastructure for future generations through the addition of new tourism and commercial offerings.”

Custom House Quay development
Custom House Quay development

Both the custom house and the bonded warehouses behind it are to be retained, with the custom house to gain a new façade over the building’s northern end ‘to create balance to the previous extension on the south’.

The hotel centrepiece of the project is being designed by world renowned architecture firm, Gensler, in association with Henry J Lyons as local architects. In addition to spa, swimming pool and gym facilities, the tower will feature a sky bar and restaurant at its pinnacle.

“We are honoured to be part of the team reimagining and redefining this historic and prominent location in Cork into the future heart of the city,” Marco Gamini, Design Director at Gensler, said.

Custom House Quay development
Custom House Quay development

“Whilst maintaining and enhancing the original architectural intentions of this heritage site and its historic past, the addition of a new landmark tower, will help create an icon for the city, helping secure its future.”

Planning permission for the new development, which it is believed will cost in the region of €150 million, is expected to be lodged before the end of the month, with 350 to 400 construction jobs to be created during the building phase. More than 800 people are expected to be employed in the finished development— across hotel, retail, tourism and commercial offices.

This latest announcement follows several major announcements relating to the docklands area in recent weeks. Last month, developer John Cleary unveiled plans for a large-scale residential “build-to-rent” scheme on the Carey’s Tool Hire, including a 25-storey landmark tower and a large public plaza.

And earlier this week it was announced that O’Callaghan Properties reached a conditional agreement to purchase 31 acres of land in the south docklands for €47.5 million. The site, which includes the R&H Hall grain silos and other buildings of historical significance, is zoned for urban development.

Custom House Quay development
Custom House Quay development

It is understood the Cork City Council’s New Local Area Plan (LAP) for the docklands, due to be published by the end of the year, will have a major bearing on how the site is developed.

Corkonians can get a closer look at the Custom House Quay site plans and ask questions of the design team tomorrow, with a public information event taking place at the Custom House between 11am and 2pm.