Construction work on Cork Docklands revitalisation project expected to begin next year

O’Callaghan Properties plans to develop 92,000 sq m of office, retail and residential units on 1.5 hectare site on Kennedy Quay in the city

South Docks site in Cork

Construction work on a major component of the revitalisation of the Cork docklands, worth at least €350 million with the potential to create 5,000 new jobs, is expected to start next year after the last remaining appeal against planning for the project has been withdrawn, the developer has confirmed.

O’Callaghan Properties confirmed on Wednesday that site work will commence on the 1.5 hectare site on Kennedy Quay in Cork’s south docklands in the fourth quarter of this year with construction work expected to commence in mid-2024 on the apartment element of the office and residential project.

The news came after it emerged that Southern Milling, which had lodged an appeal against the project with An Bord Pleanála, had withdrawn their appeal in the last few days, clearing the way for full planning permission to be granted for the O’Callaghan Properties project.

O’Callaghan Properties originally revealed details of the project in November 2021, when the total cost of the investment was put at €350 million, and although no current figures are available from the company, it is expected to now be higher due to construction inflation over the last 18 months.


The project involves the construction of four new buildings, ranging in height from nine to 12 storeys, and will provide a total of more than 92,000 sq m of development space which will include office, residential, retail and a 130-bed private hospital run by French group, Orpea.

According to an O’Callaghan Properties statement when applying for planning, the development will include almost 42,000 sq m of office space and almost 15,000 sq m of residential space, while the hospital will occupy almost 14,000 sq m in a triangular-shaped, specially designed building.

The site is bounded by Kennedy Quay to the north, Marina Walk to the south, Mill Road to the east and Victoria Road to the west, and the development will involve the demolition of the two 33.3m-high R&H Hall grain silos which dominate the skyline in the Cork docklands.

The development will also involve the restoration and repurposing of the nearby derelict Odlums mills on Kennedy Quay to create two seven- and nine-storey buildings incorporating some 84 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments as well as a cinema, food hall and office space.

Among the conditions which Cork City Council attached to the planning was one that there should be no more than 177 parking spaces on site, with 125 of these reserved for office workers and another 40 for residents, while the development must all include at least 625 bicycle parking spaces.

O’Callaghan Properties Managing Director, Brian O’Callaghan previously revealed that the Odlums building was not a simple structure but once it is stripped back and isolated, it offers the opportunity for reuse and extension with little or no impact on the quality of the original structure.

He said that the Odlums building was designed along traditional 19th-century lines, with floors installed at regular levels with windows for ventilation and drying, and it was proposed to retain all of the historic fabric at the front, rear and side facades of the original building.

However, O’Callaghan Properties was obliged to apply for planning permission to demolish the 90-year-old R&H Hall silos after they were found to be suffering from structural issues, which made a viable repurposing of them impossible to achieve.

Meanwhile an OCP spokesman confirmed today the company also has further residential projects in the pipeline for the Cork docklands and will apply within the next few weeks to Cork City Council for planning permission for 1,325 apartments on the Gouldings site on the nearby Victoria Road

“That planning permission for the site on is dependent on Gouldings getting planning permission to move that operation to the former IFI [Irish Fertiliser Industries] site in Marino Point. That is under appeal at the moment,” said the OCP spokesman.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times