Atlantic Quarter

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The Atlantic Quarter is a proposed mixed-use residential and commercial development of 12 buildings on a 5-hectare site in the docklands area of Cork city, in Ireland. The 2008 proposal included the development of three tower-blocks and a swing bridge over the River Lee.

The €1-billion development was originally launched on 6 March 2008, with the planning application lodged the following day,[1] and, if it were to be completed, would be the largest development ever planned for the city.[2] It was the first major planning application since the adoption by Cork City Council of the South Docks Local Area Plan on 11 February 2008.[3] The developers originally predicted that the complex would be complete by 2013.[4]

The Atlantic Quarter was described as capable of rivalling Dublin's docklands area and acting as a counterweight to the International Financial Services Centre in Dublin and the Titanic Quarter in Belfast.[2] Ireland's Enterprise Minister, Micheál Martin, welcomed the project.[2]


The proposed site of the development is to the east of Cork City Centre, on the south bank of the River Lee, at the former Ford Motor Company Distribution site in the "Marina Precinct" of the South Docks. The site is bounded by Centre Park Road to the north, a link road to the west, Monahan's Road to the south,[5] and adjoins the Páirc Uí Chaoimh stadium.[2]


The developer is Howard Holdings, a Cork-based property company whose earlier City Quarter project is regarded[weasel words] as the first regeneration project to take place in Cork's docklands.[6]

The principal architect is London-based Foster and Partners, with other design work by Patel Taylor, Scott Tallon Walker, Wilkinson Eyre, Urban Strategies Inc. (Toronto), HKR Architects, Mitchell and Associates, Arup, WYG, DLPKS and Cunnane Stratton Reynolds.[6]


The proposed 1bn euro mixed-use project plans to include:[7]

  • Three tower-blocks of 30, 20 and 10 storeys in height.
  • 51,000 m2 (550,000 sq ft) of office space.
  • An 11,000 m2 (120,000 sq ft) event and conference centre capable of hosting over 5,300 people.
  • A 205-room four-star hotel.
  • 575 residential units catering for 1,600 residents.
  • Bars, restaurants, shops and cafes designed to exploit the revamped dockland areas.

The €80m swing bridge, planned within the development, would open to allow boats use the river, and the design would make it the largest in Europe.[6] Provisionally named the Eastern Gateway bridge,[8] Greg Coughlan of Howard Holdings said the bridge was essential for the project to proceed. The developer would design the structure, but requested that the Irish government fund the bridge's €80 million construction cost.[4]


  1. ^ "Atlantic Quarter Planning Application". Cork City Council website. 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  2. ^ a b c d Ralph Riegel (7 March 2008). "IFSC to get €1bn rival in Cork". The Irish Independent. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  3. ^ "South Docks Local Area Plan". Cork City Council website. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  4. ^ a b Barry Roche (7 March 2008). "Plans unveiled for €1bn project to regenerate Cork docklands". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  5. ^ "Atlantic Quarter Planning Application Ref: T.P. 08/32919". Cork City Council website. 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  6. ^ a b c Neil Callanan (9 March 2008). "Howard Holdings in talks with Hilton group over Cork hotel". Sunday Business Post. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Tommy Barker (7 March 2008). "City vision to swing into docklands". The Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2008-03-28.