De­mand for restau­rants adds to pres­sure on plan­ners and on rents

Irish Independent - Business Week - - COMMERCIAL PROPERTY - Paul McNeive info@paulm­c­

of new restau­rants in the area to the south. I don’t agree that uses on our streets should be left to the market to sort out, but I fear that op­po­si­tion to food and bev­er­age uses, in cer­tain lo­ca­tions, has gone too far.

l Busi­ness has a flex­i­ble friend in Cork

I was in Cork last week to speak to the sales teams at Kearys Mo­tor Group. Kearys, with mul­ti­ple deal­er­ships and sell­ing 5,000 cars per an­num, is one of Ire­land’s largest mo­tor groups.

Man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Bill Keary said the group is em­bark­ing on a ma­jor training pro­gramme for its staff, which will em­brace the fast chang­ing technology in the mo­tor busi­ness, to fur­ther im­prove cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence.

To em­pha­sise the rate of change be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced more gen­er­ally, rather than book a meet­ing room in a ho­tel, the sales event took place in one of Cork’s new ‘flex­i­ble’ busi­ness lo­ca­tions, a fa­cil­ity known as ‘The Repub­lic of Work’ at 12 South Mall.

This co-work­ing space of 1550 sq m opened ear­lier this year, of­fer­ing short­term of­fice and desk space. Its man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Frank Bren­nan, told me that the busi­ness is go­ing ex­tremely well.

The busi­ness model is to of­fer a rolling 30-day con­tract on ei­ther ‘hot­desks’ or ‘ded­i­cated desks’ which suits com­pa­nies that are grow­ing, longer es­tab­lished firms that need ex­tra space, and in­com­ing multi­na­tional projects.

The rent for a hot desk is €299 plus VAT per month, or €399 plus VAT for a ded­i­cated desk. Those rates in­clude heat­ing, light­ing, elec­tric­ity, WiFi and a print­ing al­lowance. Pri­vate suites of of­fices are also avail­able.

Mr Bren­nan said that the com­mu­nity as­pect of the fa­cil­ity is cru­cial, with a lot of col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the oc­cu­pants.

The weekly ‘lunch-an­dlearn’ ses­sions see out­side ex­perts speak­ing on top­ics such as fi­nanc­ing, pitch­ing for busi­ness and em­ploy­ment law. Bank of Ire­land has four desks in the build­ing which are pro­vided to uni­ver­sity grad­u­ates start­ing up com­pa­nies.

Mr Bren­nan sees po­ten­tial for fur­ther Repub­lic of Work fa­cil­i­ties in the Cork sub­urbs. He also plans to open fa­cil­i­ties in Lim­er­ick and Gal­way.

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