JCD Group has confirmed it has formally lodged its planning application with An Bord Pleanála to construct a large-scale residential “build to rent” scheme in Cork’s docklands. The development is meant to be a response to the severe shortage of quality rental accommodation in the city. The development, if approved, will be a purpose-built, high-quality apartment scheme on the Carey’s Tool Hire site, which the company purchased in 2019.
JCD has completed the pre-application process as set out in the fast track “Strategic Housing Development” Guidelines, which must be completed prior to making a formal application directly to An Bord Pleanála. A decision is expected within the next 16 weeks.
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The project would sustain 200 construction jobs and deliver 201 apartments into a market in need of quality residential accommodation. The site itself extends from Albert Road along Albert Street, fronting Albert Quay, and includes the former Sextant Bar, as well as the former Terminus for the Cork-Blackrock & Passage Railway. The proposed scheme will comprise of 93 one-bedroom, 104 two-bedroom and 4 three-bedroom apartments.
Part of the proposed scheme will include the relocation of the bar and restaurant uses from the former Sextant premises to the protected Ticketing Office and Railway Terminus Building located on Albert Street, the creation of an internal public plaza, and the refurbishment of the station offices for office use. There will be significant investment in these protected and historic structures to restore them to their former prominence.
John Cleary, CEO of JCD Group stated, “We are very excited to be progressing this proposed large-scale residential scheme on this key site. It’s been almost 12 years since the last new city-center apartment scheme of scale was completed in the City, and given the current momentum in the office sector, the availability of apartments such as those proposed is an essential ingredient to the ongoing development and growth of the city. We really believe that Cork has an opportunity to undergo a real transformation into a modern European city, where people are encouraged to work, live, socialize and shop in the city center.”
Tanaiste Simon Coveney said, “I am very pleased to see planning permission lodged for this very significant apartment development for Cork City. The plans by JCD to construct a large-scale residential ‘build to rent’ scheme in Cork’s docklands will be a very significant development for the city.”
JCD has delivered projects throughout Cork, with over 4,500 people working in completed JCD developments in both the city and suburbs.
The scheme has been designed by architects Henry J Lyons with specific input from London-based Urban Initiatives Studio and tall-buildings specialist Richard Coleman from Citydesigner, as well as conservation architects JCA. The development comprises three distinct parts: the restored Railway House and Terminus buildings leading onto a large public plaza; the two lower residential blocks that step up from 9 to 12 stories; and the Landmark Tower section, which is proposed to be 25 stories.
The Plaza has been designed to connect and attract footfall through the site and complement the other developments that have transformed this area of Cork City; such as The Elysian, One Albert Quay, and Navigation Square.
The scheme’s amenities will include a 25th-floor residents’ lounge and dining area, gym, café, coworking space, and game room. There will also be a basement with car spaces, bicycle parking spaces, refuse and recycling, as well as dedicated storage areas for the apartments. Provisions will also be made for electric-car charging points as well as GoCar facilities.
Citydesigner has designed major high-rise schemes in London and Dublin, and Coleman believes that the design and slenderness of the tower would become a key landmark for Cork as it enters a new phase of urban renewal, with the docklands becoming a new employment and residential hub that complements the historic central business district.
JCD is currently on-site at Penrose Dock with 250,000 square feet (23,000 square meters) of Class-A office space, being delivered in one phase, which is due to complete in June 2020. In addition, Navigation Square and Horgan’s Quay are also delivering office space, which, when all three schemes are completed and occupied, will have a combined capacity to accommodate over 6,500 employees. This will create a new major employment hub in the heart of Cork’s docklands.
The proposed development, given its proximity to both the railway and bus stations, as well as this new employment hub, makes it an ideal location for a high-density residential scheme, and will go some way to addressing the current lack of rental residential accommodation in the city center.
For more on this story, go to Business Cork.