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Work starts on latest Cork project creating 2,250 Construction Jobs

The regeneration of Cork’s docklands has stepped up another gear with work underway on a €125m office block on the northern quays which will be able to accommodate more than 2,250 Construction workers by mid-2020.

John Cleary, the developer behind the Penrose Dock project near the train station, said he believes the scheme, which is being built next to the larger €400m HQ office, 136-bed boutique hotel and apartments scheme, will help create a thriving new economic ‘station district’ in the city centre and will rival anything on offer in Dublin’s docklands.

“Centred around Kent train station, the new district at the eastern entrance to the city will be the cornerstone of a rejuvenated area, as it brings balance and adds momentum to the progress made in recent years on the South Quays, with One Albert Quay and Navigation Square,” he said.

“The synergies of what is being proposed in both developments, combined with their proximity to Kent Station, which has been identified as a key interchange point for the new Rapid Transit Corridor under the Government’s National Planning Framework 2040, has the potential to transform the “Station District” into a destination of choice for companies looking to attract and retain the best talent and give Cork an offering to compete on the global stage for foreign direct investment projects.”

John Cleary Developments (JCD) confirmed that site clearance on Penrose Dock is now underway just days after the final grant of planning permission. There were no third-party appeals to An Bord Pleanála.

The 250,000 sq ft office campus, featuring two main buildings ranging in height from six to eight storeys on an eight-acre site overlooking the north channel of the river Lee, will have large open-plan floor plates, a 12,500 sq ft gym with purpose-built rooms for group exercise and fitness classes, and a 160-space basement car park, with 80 featuring electric charging points.

It will have a large town-hall space for conferences and events, a wine bar and a coffee shop. The project also includes the refurbishment of the historic Penrose House which was once the home of the City of Cork Steampacket Office.

It is expected that the entire scheme will be available for tenants by May 2020. Talks with several potential occupiers are already underway.

Loftus Demolition is on site and PJ Hegarty’s has been appointed as the main building contractor. The scheme will sustain some 300 jobs during construction.

PJ Hegarty’s director Sean Carrigh said the project has been designed to allow for most of the construction materials including the façade, glazing, stair and lift cores to be made off site to ensure minimal disruption.

Penrose Dock is JCD’s largest city centre project to date. The group built the new office block at 85 South Mall, fully let to KPMG and US cyber security company Forcepoint; it refurbished 97 South Mall for Eventbrite, and is building a €200m data centre and e-Park in Little Island.

It also built City Gate in Mahon, and built and sold One Albert Quay.