A luxury hotel and skyscraper would be built at the historic Port of Cork site, under plans from an Irish American firm.
New York headquartered Time Square Construction, owned by brothers, Donal and Kevin O'Sullivan from Ballinskelligs in Co Kerry, is understood to have had pre-planning talks with Cork City Council about the Port of Cork site located at the confluence of the north and south channels of the Lee.
Port of Cork put the three acre wedge-shaped site on Customs House Quay up for sale at the start of 2016 with selling agents DTZ Sherry FitzGerald who put a guide price of €6 million on the property which includes the bonded warehouse as well as the Custom House building at the front of the site.
Most of the buildings on the site at he eastern end of the city centre are listed buildings, including the dressed limestone Custom House, which was completed in 1819 to the design of architect Abraham Hargrave and first became headquarters to Cork Harbour Commissioners in 1880.
The bonded warehouses to the rear and east of the Custom House have been commercially occupied up to recent times but are now vacant while it’s understood various studies by consulting engineers have identified the need for serious underpinning of the quays below the waterline.
September 11th memorial
However it is understood Time Square Construction has a proven track record with some major construction projects to its name in New York including at the site of the Twin Towers where the company poured the foundation for sthe National September 11th memorial and museum.
According to informed sources, the proposed development, which is currently only at the design stage, could kick-start the development of Cork’s Docklands if granted planning permission by Cork City Council which is seeking private investors to develop both the north and south quays.
If granted permission, the project would complement the existing City Quarter at Lapp's Quay as well the One Albert Quay complex built by John Cleary Developments and the €90 million Navigation House project by O'Callaghan Properties expected to start construction later this year.
The Port of Cork site is also close to the Elysian apartment complex built by O’Flynn Construction which is Cork’s tallest building at 17 stories standing 68 metres high but it’s understood that the flagship building planned by Time Square Construction will be significantly taller than the Elysian.
The Port of Cork decided to put the site up for sale after it received planning permission for a major €100 million development of new facilities including a new headquarters at its land at Ringaskiddy Deepwater Port on the southern side of Cork Harbour.