Friday 17 August 2018

Kilkenny Group claims €100m Goodman family office development will hit jobs

The Kilkenny shop and design centre in Dublin’s Nassau Street employes more than 100 staff at peak periods
The Kilkenny shop and design centre in Dublin’s Nassau Street employes more than 100 staff at peak periods

Gordon Deegan

The Kilkenny group has warned that a planned new €100m office development will result in "serious consequences" and job losses for its flagship store in Dublin city centre.

The Kilkenny Group operates its Kilkenny Shop and Design Centre on Dublin's Nassau Street where it employs 88 people with an additional 20 people employed for the busy Christmas period.

However, consultants for the Kilkenny Group, Future Analytics Consulting, have warned Dublin City Council that the group "is seriously concerned" that the works planned by Ternary Ltd for an eight-storey office block around the Kilkenny Shop will have "serious consequences" for the business, impacting customer experience "and consequently resulting in a reduction in the number of staff employed in the shop and cafe".

The consultants state that "this impact upon the number of jobs supported by the Kilkenny Shop should not be underestimated".

The Ternary Ltd plan for Setanta Centre on Dublin's Nassau Street facing on to Trinity College will create at its peak 430 construction jobs and employ 1,600 people when the offices are ready for occupation.

A letter enclosed with the application confirms Setanta Centre Unlimited as owners of the site and lists beef baron Larry Goodman and his eldest son Lawrence as directors. Lawrence heads up the family's property interests as well as running his own property development business. 

The Setanta Centre - which was built in the mid 1970s - houses the Kilkenny Design centre store and the applicants state that the Kilkenny enterprise is to remain untouched in the redevelopment of the centre.

However, in a comprehensive objection requesting that the City Council refuses planning permission for the ambitious project, consultants for the Kilkenny Group state that the proposals "will result in significant harmful impacts" on its store "both during and following construction".

The objection states that over one million shoppers visit the Kilkenny design centre shop, cafe and restaurant each year.

The objection also claims that construction works for the office project "will also significantly impact the Kilkenny Shop financially with our client raising genuine concerns regarding the viability of the store during the proposed development activities".

The Kilkenny Group also states that the drawings submitted for the office development are inaccurate and do not explain the full extent of demolition resulting to the Kilkenny Shop.

In the objection, the Kilkenny Group has extended an invitation to a city council representative to visit the design centre "where a representative of the Kilkenny Group can expand further upon the extensive consequences that this development proposal will have upon the store and café".

A decision is due later this month.

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