Penneys to anchor €70m mall in Carlow
Carlow is set to see the creation of over 225 construction jobs with the development of the new Carlow Central Shopping Centre. The scheme, which will be anchored by retail giant, Penneys, is expected to provide a further 800 full and part-time jobs once it opens for business towards the end of next year.
With some 200,000 sq ft of retail space, 640 car parking spaces and 10,000 sq ft of office accommodation, Carlow Central represents an investment of over €70m and will be the first purpose-built retail development in Ireland in a number of years.
Yesterday, the developer behind Carlow Central, Eamonn Duignan of Lexeme Properties confirmed Penneys' decision to anchor the ambitious scheme.
"This confirmation [by Penneys] is the culmination of many years work by both Lexeme and Penneys, and ensures the delivery of Carlow Central." he said.
While Penneys already has a store in Carlow, this will be incorporated into the development of a new and much larger store extending to 51,000 sq ft of retail space over two levels.
Sales director for Primark ROI, Gerry Butler described the company's announcement of its intention to anchor Carlow Central as "an important milestone for us and one which we know is eagerly anticipated by the people of Carlow".
"We are delighted that the expansion will generate additional jobs in the new store," Mr Butler added.
Separately, Lexeme also confirmed that negotiations are at "a very advanced stage" with a number of other national and international retailers with a view to securing them as tenants for Carlow Central which is due to open for business in time for Christmas 2018.
The news that Penneys, one of Ireland, the UK and Europe's most successful retailers with more than 325 stores in 11 countries is set to occupy such a major footprint at Carlow Central is set to entice other major brands to the development given the level of footfall Penneys attracts.
Karl Stewart of Cushman & Wakefield and Tony Waters of HWBC are acting as joint agents for the development which was designed by the award-winning firm, Henry J. Lyons Architects.
Speaking to the Irish Independent yesterday, Mr Stewart decribed the news in relation to Carlow Central as being encouraging for the Irish retail sector more generally.
"I am delighted that following a difficult period in the retail market we are once again seeing the retail sector improving and today's announcement represents an encouraging outlook for the sector," said Mr Stewart adding that he expected to deliver further announcements on the tenant line-up for the new shopping centre in the near future.