Thursday 23 February 2017

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Council selling off derelict properties in city centre

Thursday, 16th February, 2017 1:01am

Some city buildings described as derelict and dilapidated could be set for a major revamp. This is following Cork City Council’s decision to place a block of properties on the open market.

Properties at 7-9 Parnell Street and 1-2 Deane Street in the city centre were put on the market by the local authority on Tuesday.

Councillors were informed of the news and relating information the night before at a meeting of Cork City Council.

Described by senior officials of Cork City Council as a “transparent and open process” it will allow all interested parties to visit and consider the building and outline their proposals and vision for its future use.

This will be done, Ann Doherty Chief Executive of Cork City Council says, bearing in mind the interested party’s track record and financial capacity to deliver and manage “an urban regeneration development of this importance and scale”.

The Parnell properties were acquired by Cork City Council in two separate lots in April 2014 from the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA).

Ms Doherty said this was done “to help promote economic development and to facilitate the renewal of strategic city centre listed buildings which are currently in a derelict and dilapidated condition”.

Subsequently, Cork City Council acquired further property at 1-2 Deane Street with the purpose of combining the block and maximising the regeneration potential of the area.

Parnell Place and Deane Street run parallel to each other and the properties are beside the bus station. The properties front Parnell Place and are significant five-storey protected structures, being former warehouses built in the mid-1800s.

More recently, a sports shop was using the building.

Mr Doherty said: “Being satisfied that the acquisition of the above properties would contribute to the implementation of key recommendations of the City Centre Strategy their redevelopment for commercial purposes will bring further diversity and important economic activity that will underpin the Parnell Place precinct as the western end of the City Harbour District.”

The city council described the properties as being in a high profile position on Parnell Place covering an overall site in excess of half-an-acre.

Recently, it said, footfall and activity in the area has increased significantly by the bus station and Cork City Council’s Park and Ride Scheme which terminates in Lapp’s Quay close by.

Ms Doherty continued: “Our intervention and the approach now being adopted will assist in ensuring the architectural heritage and value of the buildings is maintained.”

To identify, the local authority says, the most appropriate, sustainable and financially viable future use for the buildings the city council now intends inviting proposals for the development of the block through an open market process to be managed on behalf of the council by an independent sales agent.

Ms Doherty concluded: “An indicative development brief for the property has been prepared by Cork City Council confirming that the site allows for a wide range of uses; reflecting its city centre location including a mix of uses emphasising a flexible but appropriate treatment of the architectural heritage of the building on site.”

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