Tuesday 20 August 2019

Fresh multi-million euro extension plans for Liffey Valley Shopping Centre

Shoppers in Liffey Valley. (Stock picture)
Shoppers in Liffey Valley. (Stock picture)
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The Liffey Valley Shopping Centre in Dublin is planning a multi-million euro extension that will include 27,000 sq ft of new restaurant and retail space.

Liffey Valley is owned by German pension group Bayerische Versorgungskammer, which acquired it last year for more than €600m.

The fresh plans for the centre come just months after An Bord Pleanála blocked a proposed €150m expansion at Liffey Valley that would have included a 2,500-seater indoor ice arena.

In its latest application, Liffey Valley has told South Dublin County Council that it wants to redevelop a one hectare site, removing an existing unit and replacing it with two restaurants and two retail units.

It also wants to extend a public plaza to include external seating for the new restaurant units. The redevelopment will result in 49 fewer car parking spaces at the centre.

The plan will add 364 sq m (3,900 sq ft) of restaurant space and 2,126 sq m (22,900) of retail space in a three-storey structure.

A decision on the proposal is due by the middle of January.

Liffey Valley currently has about 100 outlets and recorded footfall of 8.6 million last year. That footfall is likely to hit between 9.5 million and 10 million shoppers this year. The centre's annual rent roll is about €35m.

It is anchored by Marks & Spencer and Dunnes Stores, and is also home to the busiest cinema in the country - the 14-screen Vue.

Last December, a large Penneys store opened at the centre. Its opening was the second busiest ever debut of any global Penneys or Primark store.

Last year, South Dublin County Council approved a €150m plan that would have seen the Liffey Valley centre expand its available space by 50pc and create up to 450 jobs.

As part of that proposed mixed scheme, the centre would have added the indoor ice rink. It would also have resulted in an additional 60 stores being built, all organised around a public plaza.

Liffey Valley director Denis O'Connell had hoped the new development would have helped the centre entice retailers such as Zara, part of Spain's Inditex group.

There were a number of objections to the proposals, and the decision to grant permission was appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

The planning watchdog said the €150m expansion would cause serious traffic congestion in the area, and negatively impact the M50 and N4 roads.

Objections had been received from An Taisce, as well as the Moriarty Group, which owns SuperValu outlets in Skerries, Balbriggan and Palmerstown. The firm also owns two hotels.

Irish Independent

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