Retail Property - Academy Street scheme to boost Cork retail space

The scarcity of retail floorspace in Cork, Ireland, could be eased by a new Eu150 million (£100.1 million) retail scheme.

Local developer O'Callaghan Properties has paid Eu80 million (£53.4 million) for newspaper publisher Thomas Crosbie Holdings' prime Academy Street site. The site is located off Patrick Street, Ireland's most important retail pitch after Grafton Street in Dublin.

The scheme, due for completion in late 2007, will include basement, ground and first-floor retail units. These have proved difficult for multiples to acquire because of the city's traditional retail layout.

Cork's Zone A rates are Eu390 per sq ft (Eu4,200 per sq m) at present, with Patrick Street undergoing a facelift in advance of the city becoming Europe's new cultural capital next year.