Wednesday 11 December 2019

Limerick's Parkway Centre in line for €100m revamp

Marks & Spencer have agreed to take 100,000 square feet in the new Horizon Mall, their largest store outside Dublin
Marks & Spencer have agreed to take 100,000 square feet in the new Horizon Mall, their largest store outside Dublin

Patrick Edwards

The former Parkway Shopping Centre in Limerick, which was mothballed after the property crash of 2007, is set to undergo a €100m redevelopment with the potential to create 2,000 jobs

The derelict site, on the main Dublin to Limerick road, is to be resurrected as Horizon Mall under proposals submitted to Limerick City and County Council by Northern Ireland-based developer, Suneil Sharma, today. The developer, who is head of Varsity Developments and a campaigner for better race relations in the North, wants to amend existing planning permission for the site.

The project represents one of the largest ever private sector investments in the Limerick area and the promoters say it will create 1,500 retail jobs and 500 construction jobs.

However, these figures must be treated with caution. It is always difficult to calculate net job creation when shopping malls are built because shops in city centres often close down as shoppers shift spending to the suburbs. Horizon Mall's strategic location has already generated interest from international retail brands, many of which would otherwise not consider locating in Limerick, said Mr Sharma, who has a connection with Limerick for over 15 years.

"Marks & Spencer have agreed to take 100,000 square feet in the new scheme, their largest store outside Dublin. We are involved in very positive discussions with other major retail brands and will be making further announcements about this in the weeks and months ahead," he said yesterday.

The development will comprise 29,000 square metres of retail, 28,00 square metres of food, 3,400 square metres of leisure, 1,575 car parking spaces and a creche.

As part of his development strategy, Mr Sharma said he will support an employment training scheme targeted at maximising local take-up of employment with a particular focus on long-term unemployed.

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