Sunday 25 September 2016

Even if every planned retail build goes ahead, Dublin will still be short

Published 07/02/2016 | 02:30

An artist's impression of the plaza extension at Liffey Valley
An artist's impression of the plaza extension at Liffey Valley

The Dublin retail real estate market will be seriously underserved as the economy recovers, new research suggests.

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Independent research conducted for international real estate firm Hines found that even if every retail development in the pipeline for the Dublin area is developed, it will still not match population growth and increased spending power.

Between 2008 and 2020, the population of Dublin will have grown by 13pc, the research found. Spending power in the region is set to increase even more, by 15pc.

But even if every retail development and expansion currently being proposed - from the expansion of Dundrum Town Centre and Swords to retail space proposed for Cherrywood - is delivered, the amount of retail space available will only grow by 12pc.

It is highly unlikely this will happen, said Brian Moran, Hines Ireland's senior managing director.

The consequence, he said, is that there will be an acute shortage of retail space by 2020.

"Even if every project in the pipeline is delivered, we will still have less retail space in the capital per person than in 2007," Moran said.

Hines' research suggests retailers will require more floor space, not less, he added.

"The vast majority of online purchase now include an element of in-store shopping, whether for research or trying on clothes or so on" he said. "A presence in physical retail is becoming essential for online-only retailers."

Hines has just applied for planning to build a huge expansion of Liffey Valley Shopping Centre.

The plan includes additional 22,000 square metres net retail space; 1,800 car parking spaces, a major new civic plaza and a 2,500 seat Olympic-sized indoor ice arena capable of holding international ice skating competitions, ice hockey matches and ice entertainment performances.

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