Planned 40-storey tower will be symbol of Cork, says Coveney

Docklands development worth €100m to be twice height of city’s tallest building

A 40-storey tower block development at the Port of Cork will be a major signal to international investors of the potential of the city's docklands, Minister for Housing Simon Coveney has said.

Mr Coveney told The Irish Times he expected the €100 million project by US company Time Square Construction and Development, involving Irish-American developer Kevin O'Sullivan and his brother, Donal, to be completed within three years once planning issues were resolved.

"Kevin O'Sullivan is a very driven individual and it's very hard not to like him because he has a real draw back to Ireland, having left here in the 1980s and he sees this Port of Cork site as the most significant in the country in terms of being such a dominant site by virtue of its impact on a city," he said.

Mr Coveney said the development could “become a very iconic symbol of Cork in the future and it will be right smack in the centre of the docklands on both sides of the river – I think it’s exactly what a second city needs”.


The Minister said the O'Sullivans, who hail from Ballinskelligs in Co Kerry, have already had extensive preplanning talks with Cork City Council about what would be suitable for the site, which includes a number of listed buildings including the Custom House and the bonded warehouses.

It is understood that the developers acquired the three-acre wedge-shaped site at the confluence of the north and south channels of the River Lee for about €5 million earlier this year.

Stand out

With the tower set to be 40 storeys high, more than twice the height of the 17-storey Elysian building, the tallest in the city, it will stand out in the Cork skyline. Mr Coveney said it would not be the only such building lining the Cork docklands north and south of the river, said Mr Coveney.

“What is happening now with this project and others is that we are going to see the realisation of the potential of the Cork Docklands which is going to be hugely transformative for the city and this project will send out an important signal both internationally and nationally about that,” he added.

"But it's not just the Port of Cork site – we have the O'Callaghan Properties Office Complex starting at Navigation House, we have a major project lining up at Horgan's Quay near Kent Station as well as developments at the Origin site and we have planning for developments at a Nama-owned site.

“You will see a number of tall buildings being developed in the docklands area which will be very modern and with very high standard of architecture and I think it will be a very welcome contrast to some of the other parts of the city where the emphasis is on heritage and protection.”

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times