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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
NAMA and KPMG have today put the former Ford distribution depot on sale for a price of €8.5m. The 4.59ha site was bought by Howard Holdings during the Celtic Tiger and was to be the site for the ill fated Atlantic Quarter development, close to the planned Eastern Gateway Bridge

A rising development tide, a housing shortage, plus the Government’s 2040 National Planning Framework, may aid the planned sale by Nama and receivers of a pivotal Cork docklands site.

The now-defunct Howard Holdings had ambitious plans for a €1bn Atlantic Quarter on the Cork Docklands site in the mid-2000s.
Fresh to market today is the long-anticipated launch of the former Ford Distribution depot on Cork’s Centre Park Road, in the south city docklands renewal quarter.

Comprising 11.35 acres, and used most recently to host the Live at the Marquee summer concerts, it’s guided at €8.5m by selling agents CBRE in Dublin and Cork, acting for Nama and receivers KPMG.

Heralding hopes of a “Docklands Mark 2” expansion of Cork City’s population, it last sold back in the mid-2000s, when acquired by the now defunct Howard Holdings for a reported €35m.

Plans were then unveiled in 2009 — as the Celtic Tiger high tide and high times evaporated — for the €1bn Atlantic Quarter project, to include three tall apartment towers of 10, 20, and 27 floors, as well as 350,000sq ft of offices, retail, and 5,000-seat event centre.

The Design was by Scott Tallon Walker, who had done the €100m City Quarter scheme for Howard Holdings along with leading world architectural practice Norman Foster + Partners and full planning was granted for a 10-year period, which is due to expire in 2019.

However, while those plans envisaged 560 apartments, mainly in the tall towers, such ambitious building heights are unlikely to be considered again for this location.

A new South Dock LAP is due from City Hall this summer, and the most recent zonings indicate preferred heights of seven to nine storeys, suitable for uses such as apartments, offices, technology, hotel, third-level educational, hospital, and cultural investments.

The Ford Distribution site is close to the revamped €45m Páirc Uí Chaoimh stadium and the new Marina Park, a public amenity next to the stadium and Monahan Road, currently being developed by Cork City Council.


The site for sale is close to the recently redeveloped Páirc Uí Chaoimh and a planned new Eastern Gateway Bridge. Picture: Dan Linehan
It’s also close to where plans have been drawn up for a new Eastern Gateway Bridge linking the road network by Tivoli to the south docks at Centre Park Road/the Marina.

Even closer to the river Lee is the equally valuable Tedcastle site, which market rumours earlier this year linked to the Galway-born developers and investors the Comer brothers, but reliable sources indicate it has not yet been sold.

This open market offer of the Ford plot is one of two Dork south docks sites granted Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) approval under the Rebuilding Ireland programme with a €15.5m allocation to facilitate 700 residential units on the two approved sites.

A previous 2008 LAP assessed that the South Docks’ overall 300 acres was capable of supporting 20,000 workers and a 25,000-resident population, notes CBRE’s Denis O’Donoghue.

The CBRE agent says they expect “considerable domestic and international developer interest in the site as it represents an opportunity of scale in a city that is set to transform over the next 20 years under a Government-led agenda”.

“While Dublin represents a mature market Cork is just starting on its journey to becoming a true second city and now has all the ingredients required in terms of government support, new planning guidelines, occupier demand, capital and business confidence to deliver its docklands vision,” the selling agents said.
https://www.irishexaminer.com/irela...-docklands-site-on-market-for-85m-469061.html
 

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going backwards when we need more housing :(
Exactly, we need more centrally located apartments in our cities now than we did in 2005 given the tech sector boom and the particular demands and needs of young professionals who want to live close to work and in the middle of a city, not some suburban semi-d along with a 2 hour commute. Madness.
 

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I am not to worried about that. First, they said specifically that site, and secondly, these articles [1] [2] still exist. The old planning permission is still in place until next year so I guess they could apply apply for an extension, but I don't mind if not, I am not a fan of the current design (also, if we can barely get one event centre off the ground, a second will never happen)
 

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Site is too small (11 acres) and too expensive (€8.5m) to be used for low rise low density development. There is no way they could fit more that 100 houses on it so it can't be fast-tracked and Cork City council will never approve low density on this site.
 

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Woah!! The old plans for the site were for 575 apartments and featured three towers (10, 20 and 30 storeys), however that plan also included offices, a hotel and an event centre. I wonder if this will be done like the Connolly Quarter though, where the residential aspect goes through an SHD while the commercial goes through the normal process. If that is the case, we could see some big buildings here. I’m hoping for at least one getting close to 40 or 50 storeys. This is one of the most isolated parts of the Docklands, and the houses it is near, it is either shielded by loads of mature trees/Páirc Ui Chaoimh (and still far away from) or is on much lower ground. Either way, this is really exciting news!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Is there really demand in Cork for this scale of apartment development? Would these rent out straight away or would they struggle?
If I were to theorise

The large scale office expansion plans slowed somewhat in the last 18 months. Its clear from some comments from developers that the lack of city centre accommodation is a hurdle to attracting companies to set up in the city

The response to this so far has been the AQ2 development by JCD and there’s also been rumours that OCP are to go for residential on their Anderson’s Quay site. OCP have brought the Lancaster Quay site seemingly out of nowhere recently too.

If there’s a genuine push to provide the required accommodation in the city centre it’ll have a positive impact on office space take up in the city centre. As more residential comes on the market, it’ll have a multiplier/domino effect on take up of both residential and commercial

A thriving mixed use city centre heavily aided by the Docklands is the goal here.

Now for the main issue. This is a great site but there has to be large questions about servicing. No planned Centre Park Road upgrades, poor public transport services, no sign of the proposed bridges, and it’s presently located at the arse end of a half derelict industrial district. A proper master plan for the Docklands is needed pronto. I can’t understand what’s taking so long
 

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If I were to theorise

The large scale office expansion plans slowed somewhat in the last 18 months. Its clear from some comments from developers that the lack of city centre accommodation is a hurdle to attracting companies to set up in the city

The response to this so far has been the AQ2 development by JCD and there’s also been rumours that OCP are to go for residential on their Anderson’s Quay site. OCP have brought the Lancaster Quay site seemingly out of nowhere recently too.

If there’s a genuine push to provide the required accommodation in the city centre it’ll have a positive impact on office space take up in the city centre. As more residential comes on the market, it’ll have a multiplier/domino effect on take up of both residential and commercial

A thriving mixed use city centre heavily aided by the Docklands is the goal here.

Now for the main issue. This is a great site but there has to be large questions about servicing. No planned Centre Park Road upgrades, poor public transport services, no sign of the proposed bridges, and it’s presently located at the arse end of a half derelict industrial district. A proper master plan for the Docklands is needed pronto. I can’t understand what’s taking so long
South Docks plan is due in March:
https://twitter.com/cllrkmac/status/1211591948265496578?s=20

but as we have seen with CMATS, plans that require public investment in Cork just gather dust.

meanwhile the same councilor who is responsible for the years late Docklands LAP is publicly protesting the apartments on the Ford Site because there is no Docklands LAP:

The plan has been met with a mixed reaction from local councillors with Independent Councillor Kieran McCarthy calling for the new Local Development Plan to be published in order to allow for joined-up thinking from developers. “Pumping that much housing into Centre Park Road at the moment is lunacy," he said. I want to see proper community developed in the area with nice architecture and a sense of place. Mr McCarthy said that he welcomed development in the area but was afraid that the projects would be disjointed along the south docks. “I don’t want to see what was proposed 10 years ago developed in the area.”
More than 1,000 homes planned for Marquee site

In other words "In theory I am not against development but it needs to be low density suburban like semi d's with a focus on families"
 

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I asked Cllr McCarthy about the South docks LAP on twitter and he said that is due to be published in Feb/March. If that timeline is stuck to (and hopefully this lights a fire to do so, I see he commented that this application is premature in advance of the LAP), then in 2 months or so we will hopefully have a clearer picture of what is coming.

As was said above I think the South Docks is really where Cork can advance/ shine. Whatever people think of the high rises in the core, and even those have moved through faster than even I expected, this stretch should be unbridled if there is any sense to the plan. I would love to see towers along the lines of Atlantic Quarter from the last boom. http://www.pedersenfocus.ie/gallery/atlantic-quarter-cork-docklands/

I have no expertise to speak to the viability of that number of apartments, so wont go here. I would think that if built kind of injection of what presumably will be quality apartments would have a dramatic effect on the Cork accommodation market. I would think these types of units would be favoured by the young professional than the semi-D's in Bishopstown and Douglas where plenty are based now, freeing those up for families. An big draw of that section of society to the near city centre, walkable (and longer term luas-able), to work and to hang around after work where they currently vie for cars and buses out of the city with urgency, should be good for city retail and dining. I wont get too excited just yet, but this is a scheme I will follow closer than others
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
South Docks plan is due in March:
https://twitter.com/cllrkmac/status/1211591948265496578?s=20

but as we have seen with CMATS, plans that require public investment in Cork just gather dust.
This is different though, it's not really dependent on funding from elsewhere or on outside agencies, it's just for planning purposes.

What's taking it so long is what I'd like to know. This was due in 2018 afaik.


meanwhile the same councilor who is responsible for the years late Docklands LAP is publicly protesting the apartments on the Ford Site because there is no Docklands LAP:



More than 1,000 homes planned for Marquee site

In other words "In theory I am not against development but it needs to be low density suburban like semi d's with a focus on families"
He's right about the volume of housing at the minute though, it wouldn't be prudent to build 1100 apartments down there without some sort of associated plan for the area as a whole. At the minute those apartments would be at the end of a glorified cul de sac in a semi derelict industrial district, on the rivers edge with no bridge.

The blame for all those issues is hook, line and sinker with the relevant public authorities though. It's not as if they couldn't have seen this coming. The Docklands can't happen without proper leadership and proper funding.
 

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He's right about the volume of housing at the minute though, it wouldn't be prudent to build 1100 apartments down there without some sort of associated plan for the area as a whole. At the minute those apartments would be at the end of a glorified cul de sac in a semi derelict industrial district, on the rivers edge with no bridge.

The blame for all those issues is hook, line and sinker with the relevant public authorities though. It's not as if they couldn't have seen this coming. The Docklands can't happen without proper leadership and proper funding.
And he is following the usual Buttimeresque tactic of screaming about the development instead of using the development to scream for infrastructure. It is so frustrating to see the reflexive anti development tantrums from local Cork Councilors, it's all we get from them:

There is a private company looking to invest millions into your local area
but the roads and public transport can't handle it.
Should we upgrade the roads? Add buses?? Use this development to get funding?
No we should campaign to stop the development
 
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