A premises fronting Cork city’s historic Cornmarket Street, part of which is on the Derelict Sites Register, is to be sold to a private company to be redeveloped, following a vote by Cork city councillors.
At last night’s full council meeting, councillors voted through a property disposal to sell 43, 44 and 45 Cornmarket Street to Fogo Investments Ltd for the sum of €372,000.
In a report to councillors, city council’s chief executive Ann Doherty said this amount “represents the best consideration reasonably obtainable based on an open market sales process and an independent evaluation process”.
The report states that the properties are “no longer required for any of its [Cork City Council’s] functions”.
A number of conditions are attached to the property disposal including a stipulation that the purchaser “must complete the redevelopment and/or refurbishment of the property, subject to planning, if necessary, within a maximum of two years from the date of the closure of the sale”.
The properties, immediately adjacent to the Bodega Bar, consists of a three-storey premises with a vacant site to the side and rear.
Speaking at the council meeting, Sinn Féin councillor Mick Nugent asked if the council could stipulate a request for an element of the property to be developed as social housing.
“There is active discussions between the purchaser and an approved housing body (AHB) but it would be not be possible to condition in a definite requirement for the delivery of social housing,” city council’s director of corporate affairs and international relations, Paul Moynihan said.
However, he said these discussions are at an “advanced stage” and the council would be pretty confident that there would be “a social housing yield” as part of the redevelopment.
Solidarity councillor Fiona Ryan said she felt there was a “disconnect” if city council’s housing directorate did not see the benefit of using the site to develop housing itself but a private developer does.
Fine Gael councillor Des Cahill said “every avenue is explored” before disposals come before councillors and that the “best possible solution” is put forward by the Executive.
A section of the site was acquired by the council under the Derelict Sites Act in 1999 and the other portion was acquired by the local authority in 2017.
A section of the site once operated as a paint and decorating shop premises, called Paintwell.