€40m plan to expand shopping centre in Dublin is approved
Planning permission for a €40m redevelopment and extension of the Red Mall at Blanchardstown Shopping Centre has been granted by the local authority.
The approval paves the way for the creation of up to 300 more jobs at the Dublin location, which is the country's second-largest shopping centre.
Blanchardstown Shopping Centre - which is owned by US private-equity giant Blackstone - intends to add an additional 100,000 sq ft of retail space.
It will see the construction of a single, 40,000 sq ft unit, as well as 18 standard units.
Multi Corporation, Blackstone's pan-European retail platform, manages the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre on behalf of the $9bn (€7.7bn) Blackstone fund that acquired the mall for €950m from Green Property last year.
When it acquired the property, Multi Corporation said there was scope for adding a total of about 150,000 sq m (1.6 million sq ft) of retail, residential, office and leisure space to the Blanchardstown site.
The shopping complex has about 12 million sq ft (112,000 sq m) of retail space. There are about 180 outlets at the centre and some tenants will be relocated in order to facilitate the new development.
When it first announced the planned extension to the shopping facility in September, Multi Corporation said the building work involved would support 250 construction jobs. The centre currently supports 5,500 jobs.
Dominic Deeny, the managing director of Multi Ireland, said in September that the new extension would be the second in a number of planned investments at Blanchardstown.
The Irish Independent recently revealed that US doughnut chain Krispy Kreme has selected Blanchardstown Shopping Centre as the location for its first-ever outlet in Ireland. The chain, now owned by Germany's billionaire Reimann family, had been scouting for more than a year for a location in Ireland.
McDonald's has also just secured planning permission to extend its drive-thru restaurant at Blanchardstown. It will add 462 sq ft to boost the size of the outlet to 3,500 sq ft.
There have been changes of ownership among all three of Ireland's biggest shopping centres over the past couple of years.
UK property giant Hammerson acquired 50pc stakes in Dundrum and the Ilac Centre in Dublin city centre in 2015, after paying Nama €1.85bn for €2.6bn worth of loans connected to the developments. Hammerson has also bought a 50pc stake in the Pavilion's Shopping Centre in Swords, north of the city.
Last December, the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre in Dublin was sold for more than €600m to German pension scheme Bayerische Versorgungskammer.
It was sold by a consortium that included HSBC, Alternative Investments, Grosvenor, and Hines.