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The Square Deal site on Washington Street.
The Square Deal site on Washington Street.
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Developers lodge student apartment plans for Square Deal site

THE company behind the planned conversion of the old Square Deal building on Washington Street into student apartments have described the plan as a "landmark development in the city centre."

The former furniture shop is a protected structure but will be transformed internally into a 242-bed student apartment block, close the both University College Cork and the city centre.

The building will also include a cafe and co-working space on the ground floor.

The red brick exterior will be restored and retained, and windows and doors will be repaired or replaced, along with the existing roof.

The major changes to the structure will be to the part of the structure at the corner of Washington Street and Wood Street, which will be upgraded and used as the main entrance.

The Square Deal furniture store closed down in 2015, and the building was sold in January of this year for €5 million.

While student apartments will make up the bulk of the building, it will still have a commercial element.

The cafe and co-working space will be based on the ground floor, facing out onto Washington Street, and will include a bar and meeting rooms.

"The subject scheme will transform the subject location by sensitively redeveloping the vacant protected structure and providing a high-quality contemporary designed mixed-use scheme, which will transform its receiving context by the creation of increased vitality at this prominent city centre urban block," says the planning application, submitted by Thornton O'Connor Town Planning on behalf of Summix WSC Developments Ltd.

"The location of the site is ideally suited to student accommodation which will provide student living in the heart of the city with ease of access to educational institutions and the variety of retail and commercial facilities in Cork City."

This is the latest in a series of student developments taking place in Cork.

Just minutes away, a €75m student apartment complex on the Western Road, despite objections from local residents and businesses.

The planned five-storey complex on Lancaster Quay is set to hold almost 200 students on what used to be a former Esso station.

The development forms part of UK-firm Ziggurat’s plan to create an additional 1,000 student beds in Cork city/