It will be ‘the centrepiece of Cork’s new business district’.
And now it looks like a €150m redevelopment plan including the construction of the tallest building in Ireland at the historic Custom House Quay site is set to go ahead, having been green-lit by An Bord Pleanala.
Development management firm Tower Holdings Group hope to restore some of the existing landmark structures and add a new 34-storey five-star hotel tower with unparalleled panoramic views across the city.
In a statement, the group said the decision “confirms Cork City Council’s previous approval for the landmark development, which will provide a focal point for the redevelopment of the city docklands.”
As part of the plans, first mooted in 2019, the bonded warehouses will be opened up and transformed into retail units for local entrepreneurs, offering a unique cultural experience for locals and tourists and celebrating Cork’s rich history as a port.
The new visitor experience will be completed with the introduction of a micro-distillery at the eastern end of the site.
Designed by world-renowned architecture firm, Gensler, in association with Henry J Lyons as local architects, the iconic new hotel tower will offer spa, swimming pool and gym facilities, with a sky bar and restaurant on the top floor.
A number of appeals were submitted, including one by the Irish Georgian Society and another by local artist John Adams who started a petition to halt the development.
Mr Adams said he felt the skyscraper project would “destroy the Port buildings, which are the most historical, prominent, visually beautiful buildings in Cork City.”
According to a report in the Irish Examiner, the planning appeals board decided to give the go-ahead to the project as it will help rejuvenate this part of Cork City Centre.
Conor Healy, CEO of Cork Chamber said the redevelopment of the bonded warehouses will “open them to the public for the first time, allowing access to this beautiful and historic building.”
“The approval of this planning for the Custom House site, coupled with last week’s Urban Regeneration Development Funding announcement for the Docklands show truly inspired ambition for our city region which will enhance Cork’s reputation,” said Mr Healy.