Cork quayside complex gets go-ahead


THE DEVELOPERS of a proposed €120 million hotel and apartment quayside complex in Cork have welcomed the decision by Cork City Council to grant planning for the project and have expressed optimism that work will be able to start next year.

Murrayforde Developments was granted planning permission by Cork City Council for construction of the 120-bedroom hotel and 80 apartments on a 0.39 hectare site on Kyrl's Quay near Cornmarket Street, on the north channel of the River Lee.

Tom Murray of Murrayforde Developments said the company had consulted closely with council planning officials and was "quite pleased" that the development had been granted permission.

Mr Murray said that he hoped construction of the project could begin early next year.

Architect James Leahy, of Leahy and Associates, also expressed satisfaction with the council decision and said that he believed the design helped "finish the area", which has recently seen a major development.

He said he also believed the project would link well with the nearby pedestrian Shandon Bridge leading to the north side of the city and he pointed out that the building maintained the roof line with recent developments.

Mr Murray confirmed that an agreement has been reached with a major hotel chain to operate the hotel, which includes a bar, cafe/restaurant, conference facilities, gym and leisure centre.

The residential part of the development includes 80 apartments and an amenity area at first-floor level. The apartments will rise to eight storeys at the western end of the complex, which fronts onto Kyrl's Quay.

The development will include a two-storey basement which, in addition to the hotel leisure centre and kitchens, will include an underground car park.

The proposal involves the modification of two structures that have been proposed for protection, an old public toilet and the gateway to the former Cork Timber and Slate premises dating from 1856, both on Kyrl's Street.

The 19th-century gateway will be incorporated into the new development, while the public toilet will be dismantled and reassembled elsewhere.

The site, which flanks the Bridewell Garda station, was previously the subject of an architectural competition sponsored by the council as part of Cork's tenure as European Capital of Culture in 2005. The competition was won by Conroy Architecture.