€275,000 price tag for long-term derelict houses on Barrack St
Cork City Council voted to dispose of the two buildings that they acquired by CPO last December.
Two long-term derelict buildings on Barrack St in Cork city centre have been sold to a private developer for €275,000 by Cork City Council.
Councillors voted 21-6 to dispose of the two buildings to developer Mairéad Keohane at a council meeting Monday evening.
The developer hopes to lodge a planning application for two dwelling units above two retail units, the council meeting was told.
Numbers 118 and 119 Barrack St were owned by David O’Connor, who alongside his brothers, Brian and Pádraig, also owned 62-65 North Main St, where a dangerous building collapse took place in 2019, prior to the CPO (Compulsory Purchase Order) off all the buildings by Cork City Council last year.
The sale of 62-65 North Main St is currently held up by a legal dispute.
“Broken housing system”
While the sale, which was proposed By Cllr Dan Boyle and seconded by Cllr Sean Martin, was broadly welcomed by the majority of councillors as a quick way of ending the history of dereliction on the site, several councillors raised concerns about the sale, saying the properties should be developed as social housing in council ownership.
Cllr Lorna Bogue said that the disposal for €137,000 per house into private ownership sent a message about the long-term profitability of dereliction as a strategy by developers.
“Dereliction is part of a process that we as a council are allowing to happen,” she said. “There must be ways around this instead of selling it off while we have a housing crisis.”
The sale was a disappointing symptom of a “broken housing system,” Cllr Colette Finn said.
The council executive said the properties had been considered not suitable to development as social housing.
“One point worth considering is that it’s an area of architectural conservation,” Director of Corporate Affairs Paul Moynihan told the meeting.
“The proposal is for two residential units above retail units, and the offer was made on this basis. The proposed developer has a track record of deliverability and investment in the area.”
Cllr Mick Finn, speaking in favour of the sale, said the dereliction at 118 and 119 had “held the street back from reaching its potential. I take the point about these not being used by council, but hopefully they’ll be used as private housing or rental, which are areas which are also under pressure.”
“We have an opportunity to get rid of two sites that have been a blot on the landscape on Barrack Street for a long time.”
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