Sextant skyscraper will take two years to build


Having successfully used the fast-track planning route, the 25-storey, 201-bedroomed apartment tower on Cork’s quays near City Hall will take two years to erect — but no construction date has been confirmed by project developers JCD Group.

The green light from An Bord Pleanála, subject to 31 conditions, came right on schedule under the Strategic Housing Development process for the build-to-rent development, loosely valued at between €80m and €100m.

It is located at the former site of The Sextant pub/Carey’s Toolhire, next to the 17-storey Elysian, and has office developments either side on the south quays, including Navigation Square and One Albert Quay.

They have burgeoning workforces numbering thousands, many of whom will need rental accommodation, and this lofty build, over a double basement, with gym, co-working areas, and a residents’ lounge on the top floor, may accommodate more than 300 tenants.

However, to make the development financially viable, rents will have to be over €2,000 per month, against a backdrop of rent level scrutiny and proposed caps in cities.

The JCD Group’s planning comes only a few months after another grant was issued for a 17-storey apartment tower, Railway Gardens, on the South City Link Rd.

Market sources say Railway Gardens is to be offered for sale shortly to international funds in the build-to-rent sector, such as Kennedy Wilson, now owners of the 217-unit Elysian.

Developer John Cleary of JCD Group said the firm was “delighted with the decision of An Bord Pleanála and believe that it is a landmark decision for the development of Cork’s docklands”.

He added: “I would like to thank our design team who have worked very hard on what we believe is an extremely high-quality design and is appropriate for this very important site and look forward to progressing the project.”

No start date or contractor has been revealed for the ambitious project, which, at 25 storeys, is taller than Dublin’s current tallest structure, the 22-storey tower at Capital Dock.

The Cork docks project will see the demolition of The Sextant bar, which shut last year, and the creation of a new bar and restaurant in a former rail station terminus on Albert St, a protected structure. An archaeologist will be on site during groundworks.

The design is by architects Henry J Lyons, which is behind several of the completed office schemes on Albert Quay.

JCD Group said: “The design and slenderness of the tower would become a key landmark for Cork City as it enters a new phase of urban renewal, with the docklands becoming a new employment and residential hub that complements the historic central business district.”

Meanwhile, initial site preparation works for a 16-storey Cork office tower, The Prism, commenced this week near Clontarf St and the city’s bus station.

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