herald

Tuesday 25 June 2019

Centre revamp delay 'is a mortal sin'

Concerned locals outside Phibsboro Shopping Centre
Concerned locals outside Phibsboro Shopping Centre

Business leaders have said any further delay to the regeneration of Phibsboro Shopping Centre would be "a mortal sin".

Some business owners and residents complained they have been waiting decades to see the 1960s "eyesore" revamped.

Many were disappointed after it emerged last week that the regeneration plans were hanging in the balance because of a disagreement between developers MM Capital and Tesco.

Footfall

Local businessman Myles Balfe, of Myles Balfe Ltd car repairs, said the potential end of the plans, which have been several years in the making, would be "a mortal sin".

"To see them not sitting down and working something out, it's just not right," he said.

"The best way forward is for both parties to come to an agreement in the interests of business and for the comm- unity.

"Obviously, development will draw more footfall, so the best thing is for the development to go ahead."

Joe Scully, who owns Commercial Hygiene, close to the centre, said anything that was set to improve Phibsboro was "for the better of the community."

"I feel the developers and Tesco will need to sit down," he said.

"Someone in authority has to make a decision and sort this out."

Phibsboro Shopping Centre
Phibsboro Shopping Centre

Dorothy Smith, of voluntary group Phizzfest Reimagining Phibsboro, said: "The shopping centre has been declining rapidly for a decade or so.

"It was great that the developers bought it and they plan to develop it.

"Some parts of the plan we aren't happy with, but overall it's an important project for Phibsboro and the greater area.

"It's a significant site along one quarter of the village and the public realm round it is sub-standard - it's an eyesore.

"It drags down the feel of the village. The Celtic Tiger never came near Phibsboro. It's only in the last two years we've seen a slight turnaround.

"It's dragged down the mood of the place. There's less hope and ambition due to the look of the place.

Dalymount Park
Dalymount Park

"That has a big impact on how you feel."

Bohemian FC, which has already called for the redevelopment of Dalymount Park to go ahead, has been joined by rivals Shelbourne FC, which will share the grounds.

A statement from Shelbourne said: "We have been advised by Dublin City Council that the planned redevelopment of Dalymount Park will go ahead irrespective of whether the redevelopment of Phibsboro Shopping Centre proceeds.

"Ideally, both redevelopments would proceed in parallel and deliver a major rejuvenation to the Phibsboro area as well as to Dalymount Park.

"We endorse the views expressed over the past few days by our colleagues in Bohemian FC asking that the various parties involved in the redevelopment of the shopping centre reach an agreement which will allow the original redevelopment plan to proceed.

Determined

"Both Shelbourne FC and Bohe- mian FC remain determined to see through the redevelopment of Dalymount Park into a state-of-the-art football stadium which encompasses civic and community facilities."

MM Capital has accused Tesco of preventing the progress of the €50m plans, but Tesco said the proposals would impede on the store's deliveries.

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