The only way is up… Tower crane erected on Capitol Site

One of the key indicators of a recovering economy is the reappearance of cranes in our skyline and no better place to see it than in the heart of Cork City Centre where the tower crane was erected on Saturday morning.


Last month, the demolition phase of the former Capitol Cinema and associated sites including: 55-57 Patrick’s Street; the Vineyard; 14 and 15 Grand Parade and the former Central Shoe Store drew to a close. All the works were carried out within planned timelines leaving almost three quarters of an acre of prime development land in the heart of the city centre.


For the first time in recent history it is possible to see directly from St Patrick Street through to Washington Street, two of the main thoroughfares in the city, without any buildings obstructing the view, something that hasn’t been possible in hundreds of years.


As part of the site clearance works which were supervised by an archaeologist, the buildings adjoining the site have been underpinned and supported for the duration of the build. The historic Oyster Tavern as a protected structure has been retained and will be extensively refurbished and re-opened as part of the new overall scheme.


Now the rejuvenation of the city officially begins as the first crane symbolically marks the direction the city is going. Project Manager with JCD, Martin O’Brien said “We are very pleased that the initial demolition stage of the project is now complete and we are now commencing the building foundations and structure. We would like to acknowledge the support we have received from local businesses, Cork City Council and the traders in The English Market. We are in active negotiations with a number of potential occupiers and believe that when the development is complete it will transform the western end of Patrick Street.”


The foundations for the new building are currently being laid and the stair and lift cores are expected to commence in the next number of weeks, which will be followed by the structural steel frame of the building. The €50 million development which will have capacity to support up to a 1,000, direct and indirect, new jobs has previously been described by Colliers International as “a game changer for Cork City centre” and is the first significant investment into the heart of the city centre since the development of Opera Lane.


Martin continued, “The project which consists of 100,000 sq ft of high end retail and office space will create a new focal point at the western end of the city centre, and make it an even more attractive destination for shoppers and visitors alike. It will also be a catalyst for further investment in the city.”


The site which lay derelict for years is now at the centre of a major rejuvenation of Cork city centre. Construction of the building is expected to be complete by the end of the year with first tenants moving in by February/March next year.


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