Praise for new 'landmark' tower in Cork

Thu, Sep 18, 2008, 01:00

A NEW €150 million luxury apartment complex in Cork incorporating Ireland’s tallest building was yesterday welcomed by Cork city manager Joe Gavin as a landmark development which pointed the way for future projects in the city.

The Elysian tower, built by O’Flynn Construction, which opened yesterday includes a 17-storey tower which, at 71 metres, is Ireland’s tallest building, extending six metres higher than Cork County Hall (65m) and 13 metres higher than Liberty Hall in Dublin (58m).

The development, which is located on a three-acre site formerly owned by An Post on Eglinton Street near Cork City Hall, was designed by Wilson Architecture and incorporates 211 apartments, including 37 penthouse apartments, as well as commercial units.

“The Elysian tower has been designed in such a way that it fits into its environment in a very attractive way – it’s sleek and slender and is a landmark building as you come in from the airport. It gives a very good impression of modern development in Cork,” said Mr Gavin. He said he believed the development complements the classical architecture of nearby Cork City Hall, while it also complements other high-rise developments by Howard Holdings at the City Quarter across the south channel of the Lee.

Developer Michael O’Flynn, who paid €15 million for the site, revealed it was during pre- planning consultations with Cork City Council that he began considering putting a high-rise development on the site given its location at the end of the Southern Link Road leading into the city centre.

“It became clear during our discussions with Cork City Council that the site needed a landmark development at the end of the South Link, and while it’s not very high by international standards it’s high-rise for Cork, and we’re very proud of it.”

Mr O’Flynn said he believed Irish cities have to develop upwards if they are to progress, and he remained confident that Irish people were now much more open to residential living in quality high-rise developments.

Prices start at €375,000 for a one-bedroom apartment and go up to €2 million for the Triplex penthouses. While Mr O’Flynn admitted that the current economic climate was not as ideal as he would wish, he was confident the apartments would sell well.

“The market is extremely challenging but we have a fantastic product in a superb location right in the heart of the city – it will clearly take longer to sell than it would a year ago but we’re confident because of the uniqueness of the product we will certainly sell them.”

Trish Stokes of Sherry FitzGerald, who is handling the sales, is equally confident that the high-spec finishes to the apartments, together with their convenience to the city centre, would ensure they would sell well.

“Outside of the penthouses, which are over 3,000 sq ft, we’re talking luxurious apartments, some of which extend up to 2,600 sq ft with dual aspects, 2.7 metre- high ceilings and large private balconies with tremendous views.”

The complex, which includes a one-acre landscaped Japanese garden designed by Expo 1990 gold medal winning designer Martin Hallinan, includes retail units on the ground floor, a restaurant, a créche and a gym, as well as 550 car-parking spaces in a double basement.

The Elysian was officially opened yesterday by Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin and Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe. The deputy lord mayor of Cork, Cllr Patricia Gosch, also attended, with Ireland and Munster rugby star Ronan O’Gara acting as MC.

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