Friday 28 October 2016

New shopping centre set for Ballymun site - 15 years later


Ballymun is to get a new shopping centre to replace the 50-year-old semi-derelict one that is now being cleared of tenants before being demolished.

The site of the new centre is right beside the old one on Ballymun's main street, and was first planned 15 years ago before the economic crash dashed the plan.

Councillors at Dublin City will today vote on the €1.8m offer from a development company for a site to build the centre in north Dublin.

The news comes as the last of the old flats complexes are demolished this week as part of the Ballymun Regeneration Plan.

A new shopping centre was central to that plan and locals who have witnessed the units in the old shopping centre being closed-up over the last few years have complained that amenities in the large suburb came second to housing instead of being of equal importance.

Fifteen years ago Treasury Holdings paid more than IR£6m for a 53pc share of the old shopping centre with a plan to demolish and redevelop it.

In 2003 it was granted permission to build a 170,000 square metre town centre scheme that would redevelop the old shopping centre and add another eight acres or retail space to it.

Objections and planning difficulties delayed the project and in 2009 plans for the new Spring Cross Shopping Centre were unveiled including 360 apartments, 60,000 sq m of retail units and 35,000 sq m of office space as well as a leisure centre and cinema, bowling alleys, a public library and restaurants.


But just a year later it was reported that the developers Real Estate Opportunities (REO) owed €2bn in loans and asked Nama for working capital.

Nama eventually took over the loans when the property company behind the plan fell foul of the economic downturn and ceased trading.

Last May Dublin City Council, which owned the remaining 47pc of the old shopping centre, reached an agreement with Nama and its receivers to acquire the remaining 53pc of the site.

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