by Alan Healy
Planning permission has been granted for a landmark 15-storey skyscraper that is set to transform cork city's skyline.
The €20 million office building called The Prism will be located on the small triangular site at Clontarf Street next to the city bus station.
Construction of the development is set to begin in the coming months and the Prism Building will create more than 100 jobs on site during development and a multiple of this figure over the next 18 months once occupied.
An Taisce opposed the development on a number of grounds, including the height of the building.
“A structure of this kind will be the dominant feature on the east of the island when viewed from many parts of the wider city," they said.
However, in a decision this week the planning appeals body said the Prism would make a "positive contribution to the urban character of the area" and would "enhance the skyline of the area."
It "would not have a significant and detrimental impact on any important views and vistas within the city."
Commenting CEO of the Cork Business Association Lawrence Owens said,
"We warmly welcome the decision to approve planning for this impressive new development, which has the capacity not only to transform the skyline but the local economy as well".
Tower Holdings Group, owned by Kevin O’Sullivan, will oversee the development of the proposed new office building.
Along with his brother Donal, the pair from Kerry has been responsible for a number of skyscraper developments in New York.
They have also acquired the triangular site at Custom House Quay where both channels of the River Lee meet and are planning another major skyscraper for this site.
Reacting to the news on the Prism this morning, Tower Holdings Director of Operations Conor Lee said the development will be transformative for Cork’s city centre.
"There is a strong demand for offices and commercial buildings within Cork city centre. In order to continue to attract investment into Cork, to accommodate commercial expansion and to meet the projections of Project Ireland 2040, Cork needs to have a supply of modern, fully equipped buildings where the growing population of Cork can work in a vibrant and dynamic environment," he said.
"We are delighted that An Bord Pleanála upheld the decision by Cork City Council to grant permission for this important commercial development for Cork. In particular, the size and scale of this commercial development, which accommodates 300 work stations over 60,000 square feet is very much in demand in Cork."
"We, at Tower Holdings, are ambitious for Cork, because we believe that Cork has enormous potential to rival other European cities in providing a world-class place for citizens to live and work.”
Asked about a construction start date Mr Lee said preparations were ongoing while awaiting planning and now they will be ramped up to commence as soon as possible - within the next number of months.
Source: Alan Healy, The Evening Echo