Ambitous multi-million euro plans for Cork city's docklands have been announced which would include the re-purposing of the landmark Odlums Mills building, a new rehabilitation hospital, and the construction of a number of multi-storey office and apartment buildings.

Developers O'Callaghan Properties say the €350m South Docks project involving the development of a 4.162 hectares site at Kennedy Quay will be the subject of two separate planning applications to be lodged later this month with Cork City Council.

They say the project has the potential to create in the region of 5,000 jobs.

Designed by architectural firm Henry J Lyons, it includes plans for a 130-bed rehabilitation hospital, three nine-to-12 storey office and mixed-use buildings, an 11-storey building with 80 "build-to-sell" apartments, and the creation of a new public realm and space onto the river.

At the heart of the project is the proposed restoration and re-purposing of the historic Odlums Mills building to create two seven and nine-storey buildings including 84 one, two- and three-bed apartments, a cinema, food hall, office space and a new 360-degree "rooftop destination".

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The developers propose to retain all of the "significant historic fabric to the front, rear and side facades" of the 1933 Chillingworth and Levie-designed building, retain and restore structural elements to the interior, and remove later construction to the south of the building and the extension to the western gable.

"The original Odlums building is not a simple structure but it does, once stripped back and isolated, present a building volume that is open to re-use and extension with little or no impact on the quality of the original structure," a spokesperson for the company said.

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The application, however, will see O'Callaghan Properties seeking to demolish the imposing R & H Hall grain silos, a feature on the city quays for over 90 years.

Describing them as "monolithic concrete structures bound together by a honeycomb of internal supports", the company says there are major structural issues which makes re-purposing of the silos impossible to achieve.

O'Callaghan Properties plan to apply to the city council to demolish the silos, but say the design of a new Silo building will echo the former structures.

It would also be their intention to dismantle and preserve grain drying and conditioning machines, which are described as "uncommon and industrial archaeologically significant".

Separately, the 122,000sq/ft rehabilitation hospital proposed for the Cork South Docks would be the second only such dedicated facility in the country and would be operated by French healthcare Group ORPEA.

A render of the proposed front view of the re-purposed Odlumbs building on Kennedy Quay

Announcing the plans, O'Callaghan Properties MD Brian O'Callaghan said the development of the docklands is a major focus of Project Ireland 2040, the National Development Plan and a key element of the current and proposed City Development Plan which will see the city's population projected to grow by 50% by 2040.

"Docklands will drive rapid economic development for Cork and already has shown itself capable of hosting large scale multinational and indigenious investment projects. It is largely under utilised and presents a wonderful opportunity for the City to expand eastwards," he said.

A render of the rehabilitation facility with the proposed Silo building in the background

The Government recently committed €350m in Urban Regeneration and Development funding for the city's docklands.

President of the Cork Chamber of Commerce Paula Cogan has said the plans will transform the city.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Ms Cogan said there is great excitement about the plans which will provide "a full neighbourhood development right on the cusp of the city centre in Cork".

She said the apartments in the development will be provided for private sale but that the overall plan will trigger further mixed-use development by the Land Development Agency on nearby lands.

Ms Cogan said that the rehab hospital is key and crucial to the delivery of services in Cork and that the city will ensure the planning process is sufficient to allow development to begin as soon as possible.