26 January 2016

The rejuvenation of Cork city centre has officially begun as demolition works on the former Capitol cinema site begins today. This marks the start of the first significant investment in the heart of the city centre in almost a decade. The demolition phase, which is to be undertaken by Cork company Loftus Demolition, is expected to take just over 3 months to complete and marks a significant step forward in the revitalization of Cork.


The €50 million redevelopment with frontage to both St. Patrick’s Street and the Grand Parade, adjacent to the English Market, will create a new iconic and timeless landmark for Cork and breathe much welcomed new life to the west side of the city centre.


The Capitol is a major opportunity to bring new premium retail names to the city centre and increased footfall with up to 60,000 sq ft of retail space as well as 35,000 sq ft of Grade A Gold LEED office space. The office element alone will be capable of accommodating up to 350 people, which will be a welcomed boost to city centre traders. It will also support up to 200 construction jobs in Cork in 2016.


The developers of the project, JCD Group, have a detailed liaison process in place with local business owners and traders from the English Market to ensure minimal disruption. Speaking about the work beginning today, Martin O’Brien, Project Manager of JCD Group says “This is a very exciting project in a unique location in Cork city centre. We have been hugely encouraged by the level of public support for this project and are in detailed negotiations with a number of potential retail and office occupiers. The development will provide prime retail space opening on to St. Patrick’s Street as well as large floor plate offices. Construction work is expected to take approximately twelve months with much of the large scale construction work due to be complete prior to the busy retail period in the run up to Christmas 2016.”


The Capitol, taking its name from the former cinema, was a famous meeting point for generations of Corkonians, but has sadly remained derelict for years. A detailed photographic and archaeological survey of the old buildings has been completed and submitted to Cork City Council to ensure an accurate record of the buildings is retained.


Martin O’Brien added “The development also includes a food innovation area and the restoration of the Oyster Tavern which is being refurbished and restored under the supervision of an experienced conservation architect. We are working closely with our architects Wilson Architecture to ensure the development will be of a very high standard.”


The new development will give shoppers from Cork and beyond a very strong reason to return to shopping on the west side of St. Patrick’s Street. JCD Group are in discussions with a number of potential premium retail occupiers who would undoubtedly have the potential to double the existing footfall close to the Market Lane entrance to the English Market.


President of the Cork Business Association Claire Nash spoke about what The Capitol means to the business community in Cork, “The Capitol on its completion will make Cork city the retail centre and the hub of business that we missed out on in the boom. It will be a huge addition to complement the 300 independent, family run business coupled with high street stores that which epitomises that eclectic top class experience which Cork City offers and will move us to Best in Class on its completion. The build of course will cause some disruption but this I am guaranteed by Mr Cleary will be informed, seamless and on time. Bring it on”.


The Capitol is expected to take just over 12 months to complete.

For further information see www.thecapitol.ie or The Capitol on Facebook and @TheCapitolCork on Twitter.